The Best Medicine (is half an hour)

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – YouTube

Seriously, Watch the link above, it is a great watch; I love an easy to follow, informative animated presentation – and I am not going to write about the ins and outs of the video – Just watch it, it is better than any summary I can write. Surprisingly  it does touch on a post  I wrote a while ago in relation to TV and health…But If you don’t watch it the premise is that one half hour a day is the best medicine for us, it’s free (ie walking) and will save us our health and hip pocket!

I just got the big thumbs up from my surgeon this week to go ahead with exercise. I had reconstructive plastic surgery of a tummy tuck and arm lift 6 weeks ago. He let me know I can get back into everything: slowly building up my running and weights… I did my first 2.5km run back after 6 weeks off this week – I Loved it, I went without my Garmin running watch which calculates distance, pace, heart rate etc. I went just for the love of running and not looking at numbers allowed me to relax and let my body go at its natural pace whilst I continue to recover and build up.

Exercise for me is not just about losing more weight or weight control. For me exercise just makes me feel really bloody good! I am addicted and get a bit of a high off it 🙂

Exercise has improved my quality of life and improved my overall fitness. It gave me my life back, and I would much prefer to live a 21 -23.5 hour day (giving the balance to exercise) than ask for more hours in a day – Honestly there ARE enough hours in a day; and I am willing to bet that a large majority of people who would ask for more hours would end up giving those hours over to their TV habit anyway. 😦

We cannot change the clock to give us more time (unless you have the DeLorean with a flux capacitor in your garage), but we can change our priorities, our lives, families and communities by becoming healthier. Every minute counts, and it is up to us what we do with them.

Till next time

Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday; Asian Pork with Bean Shoot Salad

Asian Pork with Bean Shoot Salad...

I love a good piece of pork on my fork… Pork is a meat that I find tasty and with many of the new cuts today being very lean, makes this meat a winner. I brought a piece of Pork Loin and wanted to make something quick and easy and what cuisine is quicker than Asian. The good thing about this meal is the flavors are strong but not overpowering, the salad is fresh and crunchy from the bean shoots and the pork is warm and tasty.

I love Asian food, usually I don’t bother cooking it too much as we eat it a lot for dinner at work. It is cheap, quick and very tasty – all keys when you only have a half hour dinner break and don’t want to spend all your hard earned coin on work dinners 7 nights a fortnight. (We don’t have the option of taking food to work in my job, you have to eat out)

Being off work for the past 6 weeks (one more week left) I felt like a twist on making my own style Asian salad. It is inspired by a Vietnamese dish called Bun – a type of cold rice noodle salad with warm lemongrass grilled pork on the top and dressed with a sugar chilli  sauce.

Meat (per person)

150- 200gm Pork Loin

I first marinated the pork in a mix of

1/2 tsp Chilli paste,

1 tsp minced garlic,

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp coriander paste and some extra fresh leaves picked

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 pinch of salt.

The marinade measures depend on you, how much you use depends on what heat level or garlic level you like. Combine to your own tastes (checking and rebalancing if needed)   I cover the pork in it and let this sit for around 15mins (or longer for a more intense flavor).

Pan fry pork on each side till sealed and brown then transfer to a oven safe dish to cook in the oven for 20mins at around 180C. Let rest for 5 mins then slice and serve on the bed of salad.

Salad (per person)

The salad is very simple, but very tasty.

One big handful of bean shoots

Coriander Leaves picked (this can be substituted if you don’t like the taste for parsley)

Half Lebanese cucumber deseeded and sliced thinly.

1/4 of a Red or Yellow Capsicum (Bell Pepper) (green doesn’t have the sweet flavor needed) cut into thin short batons.

Wash all the salad well in a bowl of water, drain and dress with the following and allow to sit to absorb dressing while meat is in the oven

Dressing

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp chilli paste

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

pinch of salt

Again this is to my tastes, once combined, rebalance to your liking, pour over salad.

Vegetarian Option – Use firm tofu instead of pork – simply slice down the centre cover in the same marinade and then pan fry in a little sesame oil till sealed on each side and warmed through.

That is it, simple quick dinner, with no carbs and very filling.

Hope you enjoy it, till next time…

Lin xox

~ Relationships; Old & New

Marilyn Monroe

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”Marilyn Monroe

I have thought a lot about relationships this week. What they are based on, what people expect of us, what we expect and want of ourselves. What I been pondering is two-fold, Old & New, Beginnings and Ends;  Like what happens to relationships (either platonic or romantic) when a divide grows and there seems to be nothing left in common? Or the parties involved aren’t being real anymore? In some respects it is easier when the relationship is romantic, often you kind of know when it’s over or not going to work; this somehow seems to be more difficult with platonic friendships… Can you “break up” with a friend in a nice way… How do you say in a platonic relationship “Look I like you but just not like that anymore, let’s be friends; oh i mean… Um let’s not be friends” Awkward right?

I adore the words of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to relationships; either friendship or romantic… And let’s be honest; relationships aren’t easy; personally I have a habit of just blurting out stuff, being too open and honest – perhaps it is a style of guerilla honesty to see if you can handle me 🙂

For some reason the idea of not being friends with someone anymore doesn’t sit well with us. We all want to be liked, we are social creatures. Redefining relationships may mean that you need to draw in new boundary lines; or it may mean the line is a separation line – fold along the dotted line and cut. ———————————————-

While closing doors on relationships that need to be shut can be hard, Starting Relationships – Well that is hard work too!

I am beginning to learn that Dating is a Minefield, a Minefield people! And, as I am learning, somehow even harder in your 30’s. You see I am now pretty happy with my life, yep sure it would be nice to be in a relationship (with a great guy obviously) but single-dom is pretty attractive most of the time, and is a hell of a lot better than being in a bad relationship. As Marilyn’s quote at the top says, I am impatient, a little insecure (after years of being obese and ridiculed who wouldn’t be right) and like us all, I can definitely be selfish… but I do have a best side too 😉 and Dating is about finding that person that can handle your best and worst, that doesn’t happen overnight. Being in a relationship requires building a friendship, and trying along the way to get to know the real person not who you want them to be, or comparing them to your other friends.

Ultimately Dating is a bit of a process; in your 30’s a lot of your friends are married, you have your social circles set and meeting new people can be tough. Meeting new single guys even harder. There is the first date, the text messages, the second date, the phone calls. It is a process, it takes time and while dating is hard work, it is fun as well. Your 30’s presents the problem to that you have developed your personality over a longer period of time, and are more set in your ways. I have some pretty funny stories about some of the people I have met, I’ve learnt more about myself, what I want and don’t want, learnt that the best thing to do when someone won’t stop texting you and you have been clear that you are not interested in pursuing things further, is to ignore the texts (they do stop and nothing you can say will make you look better in their eyes, trust me on that one).  I am not entirely sure dating is time well spent…but hey maybe the next date will prove me wrong, and that’s the point right!

Till next time, Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday; Mouthwatering Mushrooms

Jamie Oliver is fun to watch and has simple recipes to follow! His food pops with flavour and is like a party for your taste buds. So when I was banged up in hospital recently I managed to catch an episode where he made steak sandwiches, crispy potatoes, a simple beetroot salad and what looked to me like the most mouth-watering mushrooms ever.

Seriously when I saw this episode of 30min dinners I was about a week into eating hospital food and my taste buds started tingling. I haven’t had a chance to make the sandwich, potatoes or salad yet. But I have cooked the mushrooms a few times. And I make it even simpler than Jamie – His recipe is here check it out.

Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals: Steak sarnie, crispy new potatoes, cheesy mushrooms and beetroot salad | Mail Online

I used some a little chilli (from the tube variety), garlic and 1 tsp of olive oil per mushroom and mixed together in a bowl. Spooned evenly into the mushrooms and topped with cheddar. Banged them in the oven for 30mins while everything else cooks and oh i just  I used flat BBQ mushrooms, but have also done it with bigger button mushrooms when they  didn’t have the BBQ ones.

Seriously get on this recipe, it is an easy side for dinner with a taste explosion or could even be served as a quick entrée or appetizer – Oh and remember that you could always make a couple of mushrooms per person and replace the meat in the meal!

Till next time, Lin   xox

Get Lost (and learn a lesson)

I got lost today. Not so lost that I didn’t know how to get back to my car, but lost enough not to be able to provide support in the form of H2O that I was supposed to give my friends who were training for the upcoming Tough Mudder event. The idea was i would meet them along the track half way into their course and have a water station. That did not eventuate….

I picked up the water from the start and finish area and drove to another park entrance. I didn’t realise that I entered at the wrong spot. But despite the awkwardness of carrying the water, I persisted, thinking that the place that I would need to meet them was just up here, I must be close… I wasn’t

I just kept taking one more step and another and another…. A friendly runner named John stopped and helped me ( I was about 1.5km into it at this point) …..And still my mantra continued “It must be just up here” “Just keep going”. I then realised that I could check the map on my iphone to see where I was… I wasn’t on the right section of trails.

So with John’s help the water was carried right back to the other end of the park because it was closer to go to the other car park where everyone was finishing than to schlep it back to my car. At the end of the day, the runners brought water at a local petrol station they passed, no one died of thirst and I learnt these lessons.

*I am more stubborn than I thought I was – I just kept going without wanting to give up or “fail” (while this can be a strength, this can also be unhealthy and re-evaluation is an important skill I need to build in)

*I can achieve what seems impossible if I take one step at a time. If you had of told me this morning I would do that walk (since I haven’t been feeling great) I would have laughed. But I did Ok, I broke down the journey into manageable portions,, I had to take my time, and rely on others. This lesson can be translated to any journey or seemingly overwhelming project.

*Sometimes the human race surprises you, John was  generous with his time, kind and helped me above and beyond.

*If it doesn’t work out to plan – find the good in the situation… Despite thinking that I had failed and got a teeny bit emotional about it all – People in the team worked together to solve their water crisis (thanks to a runner who carries cash on him) and I got a workout!

Overall it was a great day to enjoy outside! I love autumn and the mild clear days, there was an abundance of kangaroos bouncing everywhere, beautiful lake and bushland; and at the end of it all I got a coffee with friends; what more could you ask for…

Till next time, Lin xox

“Not Running”

going a little crazee!

I think I am going a little stir crazy.. Yesterday I woke, tired exhausted and grumpy. I knew that after being out for dinner two nights in a row to see my friends, (one who just flew in from the UK) I was due for a day home. I started off quite enjoying the day, I got up, dressed, and then onto the net for a look at some of my favorite sites,Esty and Pinterest (I may be addicted). I chatted to a friend on the phone…And then, I got restless…

It was a lovely day outside, some friends had posted on FB about their training for an upcoming event (tough mudder), I was super jealous and my brain just wanted to chuck on my running gear and head out the door; my body on the other hand was still on strike.

I was driving my housemate (Lynn) mad, by saying I would rest, and proceed then roam around the apartment like a nutter; cleaning out under the laundry sink, cleaning out my bedside table, throwing away junk, and counting up my spare change collection ($70 was a nice little bonus). I would return to sit on my bed and write between these little outbursts, but I was really just wanting to burn off all this mental energy.  Exercise is a great way for me to unwind and do this, somehow on a long run I can turn the music on, let my legs pump away and allow the thoughts of the day wash past me, running exhausts me physically and aligns my thought patterns, it has become the feel good drug for me, it replaced food… I do not like the feeling of not running,  not cycling or not working out at Step into Life classes. It doesn’t feel right…

Before surgery I thought that I would struggle with this; the being stuck at home, not moving, not being as active as I want to be… Honestly it scares me, not exercising and or being active feels too much like my old life. This coupled with the fluid retention, swelling and exhaustion; well it is not a great combo…

But then this morning (after another fitful night sleep) I awoke with a little more energy, each day is one day closer to a full healthy recovery and running, that is what I need to focus on; I also felt like I could perhaps start to go for short walks, I checked with my surgeon House this afternoon after a minor procedure to remove some more fluid, he said YES to walking now. So it is all systems go from tomorrow; Slowly of course 🙂

Till next time, Lin xox

Hospital – Going Home and “Scooting” Around!

Speed Racer - Not!

So in the end I was released from Hospital on Sunday 26th, despite me being worried I would not be.  The last drain didn’t come out but I was allowed to go home with it in as long as I monitored the drainage myself each morning and report it to House’s office; then go back on Wednesday for a check up.

I was thrilled, and if could, I would have jumped for joy! – As soon as I got out of Hospital I wanted to go shopping, I did actually need some new clothes (essential items 😉 ) and food for the house. So my friend Janelle (who picked me up) took me to the local Shopping Centre… Just before we got there I was exhausted. I had not factored in that getting up, showered, dressed, packed, down to pharmacy to pick up the drugs and going in the car would take it’s toll – but it did. Add to this that I am only walking slowly at the moment, and all of a sudden that shopping centre, and walking in it – felt like a mountain summit.

This trip took on a whole new dimension. The fatigue hit me like a tonne of bricks in the car… I didn’t know if I could do it. As we were driving there we were talking about a parking game plan; i.e. which car park door was closest, then Janelle suggested jokingly (i think) to go to the shopping mobility desk and borrow a wheelchair. Well I was not keen, but it made sense – I couldn’t walk that far, my blood levels were still down and the last thing I wanted was to be released from hospital only to faint on the first day. So I agreed.

Janelle dropped me at the closest door, parked the car and went to the shop mobility desk… Only they didn’t have any wheelchairs let – only a motorized scooter. She actually had to drive the thing back to me, so that was a bonus!  So, there I was, sitting on a motorized scooter driving around the shopping centre… And it was a humbling experience. Many people do not look were they walk. (I am sure I’ve been guilty of this in the past) Kids (being kids) will ask what is wrong with her?, You have to use the lift every time to change floors at the centre (which is crowded with trolleys, prams and everyone else who can’t use the escalators) and occasionally you get a dirty look or mean glance from someone with the message of “Why are you here in a supermarket in that big thing”.

So even though I was a bit embarrassed by the situation to start with, It definitely was a growth experience for me and a humbling one at that; I think that everyone should have to experience it – the whole walk a mile in someone else’s shoe thing!

One of the best things about coming home was the peace and quiet, not being bothered for meals three times a day, plus a morning and afternoon tea on top of that; or people coming in to see if you want the paper, to clean your room (twice a day), Nurses doing observations, Doctors checking you… It is almost impossible to rest! All necessary in the life of a hospital but tiring.

The down side of coming home is being alone and having to make my own cups of tea and food! Ha – can’t win either way… But on a more serious note, (and I wrote about this in the other day),  It is the fatigue and only being able to be up for a few hours before I have the overwhelming desire for a nap that is the killer. So I nap a couple of times a day – So be it at the moment. I have a long way to go and am just coming to terms with that.

Wednesday I headed back to Houses rooms, and he took out my last drain! I was so happy to be drain free, although for the first few hours I kept thinking I was still attached to something and went to pick it up (How quickly we adapt eh!)

He also put a big drainage needle attached to a suction machine into my belly and drained off old fluid and blood that had begun to collect there, around 700ml – Gross; but better out than in. I thought seeing the needle (think the size and length of a metal skewer) that it would hurt going in, and being poked around; but nothing, no pain only a bit of feeling it move around (but I did schedule my pain meds and take them half and hour before the check up)

SO the next phase is all about resting for another week or so, taking my time doing stuff and not worrying too much about the scales – House told me they would go up, they have – I am full of fluid, swollen and can’t really move around a lot.

Off to see my Lap Band Surgeon tomorrow to start to put back in the fill that was taken out prior to surgery. I am looking forward to being back on track and feeling “full” after eating a normal small portion that I am used to now.

Well writing this has bombed me out – Nap time!

Till next time, Lin xox