Three workouts to get you through the holidays.

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Monday WorkoutWednesday WorkoutFriday Workout

My trainer has been putting us through our paces this week and has come up with 3 really good workouts to keep the Christmas kilos at bay. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Merry Christmas.

Some exercise demos for you:
Medicine Ball Sit Up Throws (Sit further away than these people are so you get a good throw in). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAL99HxaZrw
Russian Twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSnIib9s5Y
Iron Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiVbKEkWbI8
Med Ball Squat Throw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6aC2o7204s
Medicine Ball Bridge with Leg Lift (About 2.14 seconds in to the video.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2mxYyMjfxY
Repeaters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnSzwCMXTSg
Mountain Climbers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzmKjlbbHzs
Medicine Ball Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUbY2prXt-k
Medicine Ball Slam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWghPf9dso0
Burpees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_%28exercise%29
DB Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9O7EOXVIKY
Alternating Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo1pFV8HMic
Squat Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87xtinde5y4
Knee to Pike Sit Up (Hold a weight in your hands and alternate one pike sit up with one crunch.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02b2QxcazOM
Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
Sumo Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
Hover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRXKg21pE-4
Rope Pull http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGHmgqJeSu0
Box Jumps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxldG9FX4j4
Medicine Ball Squat Toss http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C0z1_uNHU0
Medicine Ball Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb-kh42M-60
Chin Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FWqNXEWl34
Dead Lift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_GnXm7LbI

Summer’s here.

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Piha 1Piha 2

It’s quite early in the season to go for a swim in New Zealand, but on Sunday that’s just what we did. It was only nippy for the first few minutes and then the water took on a beautiful warmth. Very uncharacteristic for the Kiwi summer where we usually have to wait until after Christmas to enjoy water as warm. After a great afternoon in the ocean, we spent the evening eating fish, chicken and salad while the sun set. #perfectweekend

 

Another punishing workout from my trainer in the lead up to Christmas.

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Another punishing workout from my trainer in the lead up to Christmas.

When even the hard-ass girls I train with have a little grumble, you know it’s a tough workout. I was really enjoying this up ’til the third round of exercises with the burpees. Still, I have a Christmas party to go to tomorrow and after today, I feel like I’ve earned it.

Don’t forget to stretch afterwards and try to eat within half an hour of finishing. The girls in my group are huge fans of a 2 egg spinach omelette with a piece of whole grain toast.

If you’d like some demonstrations for the exercises click the links below.
Alternating Forward Lunges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRh6_4rq-b8
Burpees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWQrT6E3XX4
TRX Alternating T and Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-6mGus5jk
Medicine Ball Slams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huBClepn-jY
Sumo Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
TRX Squat Row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Z062Xmr9w
DB Push-Up Row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpB-ad8ezFE
TRX Backward / Reverse Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn68JwtRWzQ
Iron Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiVbKEkWbI8
TRX Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vPgHzuRI7I

 

People say the strangest things when they’re in a vegan restaurant.

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People say the strangest things.

For lunch today I rewarded my hard work at the gym with a trip to the Little Bird Unbakery, a raw vegan café in Ponsonby.

I ordered the Dosa (cooked), a fermented dahl and rice pancake served with fresh mango, coconut and ginger chutney and a sprouted chickpea and cucumber salad. I also had an Imperial Yunnan silver needle tea which was pretty fantastic as well.

Being a solo luncher, I sat at the large communal table where a number of people were busily chatting. It’s strange how some things take on added meaning when you hear them in a very angelic, vegan environment.

For example:
“My Dad is a hunter and for Christmas this year he gave me a card with a huge wild boar on it.”

“I’d really love to have some chickens.”

“They say it’s made with cacao not coco. Apparently they’re different but I’m not sure what the difference is.”

I also heard people nonchalantly throw healthy statements into their conversations.

“I’ve stopped eating red meat but you’re still eating mince aren’t you?

“I grow my own wheatgrass… And I have a juicer.”

“All I’ve been eating for the last few days is organic. But you have to wash everything really vigorously. Oh, and some kale.”

I’m not usually one to eavesdrop, but when it makes you smile and the people are sitting right next to you, what can you do?

Work off your Christmas Party with this.

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Work off your Christmas Party with this.

My trainer Maree can be brutal at times. Today, 8 girls innocently turned up to their Friday workout, unaware of what lay ahead. The 100 Club.

It’s a club she makes us all join and consists of having to do 100 reps of 10 different exercises. Sometimes we’re allowed to do 5 sets of 20 reps of each exercise, but no such luck today. If we wanted a break/recovery at any stage we were allowed to do a shuttle run. I did a couple of shuttle runs during the thrusters, iron cross and burpees sets, though it was more like a shuttle stagger by the end.

Maree said she hoped it would make up for any sins we’d committed that week. I don’t see how it couldn’t, we were too exhausted to even speak to each other by the end of it.

Here are some demos if you’d like to join the club.
Shuttle Run http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_u2eqjgdwk
High 5 with a friend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RllVGQOiSLg
Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmI9x_5aFdc
Dead Lift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_GnXm7LbI
Box Jumps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxldG9FX4j4
Medicine Ball Slams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huBClepn-jY
Full Sit Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWAhptFi_ns
Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
Iron Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiVbKEkWbI8/watch?v=WJR3JTtmPTw
Alternating Lunges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCpu8IhLvBg
Burpees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_%28exercise%29

Today’s Workout

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Wednesday Workout

This was really fun this morning. Nice to use the Swiss balls and TRX for a change.

Here are some demos if you’d like them.
Med Ball Throw to a Friend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6aC2o7204s
Med Ball Slams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huBClepn-jY
Swiss Ball Back Extensions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWRM3eC2GT0
TRX Row http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8d2pFLDkEs
Swiss Ball Jack Knife http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y03dkaK1O0
TRX Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vPgHzuRI7I
Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czf-1snzG2c
TRX Backward / Reverse Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn68JwtRWzQ
Swiss Ball Roll Outs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZs_zjTbRw
TRX Squat Jump with Row http://www.youtube.com
Ice Skaters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnZtEoYNs1A
Russian Twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSnIib9s5Y
Toe Taps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5i2rHaHTXA
Box Jumps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxldG9FX4j4
Med Ball Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb-kh42M-60
Bunny Hops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ4x1B-Iod4

Love thy neighbour… and thy neighbour’s garden.

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A couple of weeks ago I visited a few open gardens as part of the Auckland Garden Design Festival. All were inspiring but the last two were especially so and not just for visual reasons. The owners of these neighbouring gardens were able to work together to utilise their joint resources and create the backyards of their dreams.

As with many blocks in Auckland these two rest on the side of a hill. The upper needed to get rid of soil and the lower needed to add some. It can be an expensive process moving soil in and out but these two avoided that by moving soil from the upper garden to the lower and sharing the cost between them. They also used the same landscape designer and, considering their good relationship, left a little pathway through some of the larger plantings so they can pop next door whenever they like.

When so many neighbours don’t speak or get along, it was lovely to see two that were able to create spaces more beautiful than if they’d worked alone. They managed to keep their own individual style but create a harmonious environment that reflected their good relationship. It was by far the most inspiring thing I saw that day and that’s really saying something.