Friday Workout

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Friday Workout

Hi everyone, I’m back after a short break and ready for action. Today’s workout is a nice one to ease back in to things. Enjoy.

Reverse Fly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U3yZne1jw
Walking Lunge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDWDlzFobQ
Med Ball Throw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sQjqcNljaQ
TRX Squat Row http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QEfDANtMDA
Squat Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
Swiss Ball Leg Curls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KWfj4FnRS0
Hover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRXKg21pE-4
Sumo Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
Swiss Ball DB Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxgA5qEi2mc
Arnie Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mD6QAaaJZQ
Tricep Dips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXNHHm9c5-E
TRX Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vPgHzuRI7I
Box Jumps (I use a step and make it about 5 or 6 levels high) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc65Gdd2Omg

Monday’s Workout

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Monday Workout

You can take this one at your own pace depending on how you feel. If you’d like a bit more of a challenge you can always up the weight and complete more reps within the set time. Enjoy.

Bicep Curls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av7-8igSXTs
Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
Sliding Hands Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYvpxFltWuk
Shoulder Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-aVuyhvLHU
Alternating Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo1pFV8HMic
Russian Twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSnIib9s5Y
Four Point Push-Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXEHGJMc_Zg
Tricep Extensions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRiJVZDpdL0
Tricep Dips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXNHHm9c5-E
Medicine Ball Raises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vqnoDn0S-g
Bicycle Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FGilxCbdz8

Mexican Monday

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Quinoa SaladQuinoa Close Up

Recently I went through my folder of recipe clippings, saved from various sources over the years. I often save recipes that look great but I’m truly hopeless at getting around to making them.

I decided to change this pattern and made a Quinoa Salad recipe from Mamasita in Melbourne out of a Delicious magazine from a few years ago. I made a few additions to improve it and I have to say, it’s really yum. Great as a side dish or use it with some beef mince to stuff a burrito. Delish.

4 corn cobs with husks
1 cup (200g) quinoa
3 cups baby spinach
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked
2 long red chillies, deseeded, chopped
1 red capsicum, roasted, deseeded, peeled and chopped
250g feta cheese
toasted pepitas for garnish

Pico de gallo dressing
¼ telegraph cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
½ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
1 tbsp chopped dill
juice of 3 limes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook corn in husks for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool, then remove and discard husks. Using a sharp knife, slice off corn kernels and set aside.

Meanwhile, place quinoa in a pan with 600ml water over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cool.

For the dressing, combine ingredients in a bowl, then season to taste.

Toss corn, quinoa, spinach, coriander, chilli, capsicum and feta with the dressing. Sprinkle over the pepitas and serve.

Serves 8

Today’s Workout

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Today's Workout

Only my friend Bridget and I showed up for our regular Friday workout today but I’m glad at least one other person was there. This was pretty grueling for the second session of the year. For the last set of exercises, Maree (our trainer) gave us a choice between doing burpees or mountain climbers. I said I didn’t mind so Bridget chose burpees. We both ended up regretting that decision, a set of 50 burpees is no walk in the park. Good luck and make sure you stretch thoroughly when you’re done.

Here are some demos:
Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
DB Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmB1G1K7v94
Burpees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_%28exercise%29
Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDdSZmWNYQI
Box Jumps (I use a step and make it about 5 levels high) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc65Gdd2Omg
Dead Lift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_GnXm7LbI

Wombok Salad with Marinated Mushrooms and Fresh Herbs

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Wombok SaladWombok Salad CU

Lunch today was a simple salad and some seared Snapper. The salad was surprisingly tasty considering how easy it was. I based it on a Karen Martini recipe I found in the paper a few years ago.

60ml extra virgin olive oil
60 ml light soy sauce
4cm piece of ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 pinches raw sugar
1 pinch salt flakes
1 pinch white pepper
juice ½ lime
1 green chilli, finely sliced
250g Swiss brown mushrooms, finely sliced
½ wombok (Chinese cabbage)
4 radishes, finely sliced
½ bunch basil
3 sprigs dill
5 sprigs mint
20g roasted cashew nuts

To make the dressing combine oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and lime in a jar and shake to create an emulsion. Add the chilli and shake again.

Add dressing to the sliced mushrooms and let marinate for 5 minutes or so.

Separate wombok leaves, trim and lay on a platter. Top with the mushroom mixture but don’t put all the dressing on the lettuce as it will make it soggy (and anyway, you don’t really want all that oil). Instead I just lift the mushrooms out of the dressing with clean hands and place on the wombok leaves. You still get a splash or two of dressing around the place. Then, scatter over the sliced radishes. Wash the herbs and tear them over your salad letting the leaves fall where they may. Roughly chop the cashews and scatter them in the same way.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

First workout of 2014

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First workout of 2014

My trainer’s back from holidays and put this little number together for the 5 girls in my group today. We’re usually a pretty fit bunch but we did struggle after having a few weeks off. Oh well, as Maree says “Pain is weakness leaving your body.” And by that account, a great deal of weakness left my body this morning….

Here are some demos:
Burpees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_%28exercise%29
Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmI9x_5aFdc
Stationary Lunge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GA4STCHhAM
Tricep Dips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXNHHm9c5-E
Box Jumps (I use a step and make it about 5 levels high) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc65Gdd2Omg
Mountain Climbers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzGekP0XSVA
Four Point Push-Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXEHGJMc_Zg
Alternating Lunges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCpu8IhLvBg
Iron Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiVbKEkWbI8
Bicycle Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FGilxCbdz8
Plate Crunches (My trainer had us put our legs straight in the air as opposed to the bent position in this video. We had to try to get the plate to touch our shoes, head doesn’t touch the ground.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuzs_P7y24s
Russian Twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSnIib9s5Y

I tawt I taw a turtle

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Turtle 1Turtle 3Turtle 2

I diiiiid, I diiiiiid see a turtle. Quite a few actually.

One of the many delights of Hamilton Island is grabbing a snorkel at low tide and swimming around until you meet a turtle, usually feeding on the reef. They say that once a turtle has identified a feeding site it will remain in the area for the rest of its life. And, considering their lifespan, that could be for the next 100 years.

These were some of the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen. It was such a special experience that I hope I get to enjoy again sometime. And on the fitness front, what better motivation to snorkel for a few hundred meters every day than to have a turtle by your side while you’re doing it?

Crispy Skinned Salmon with Avocado and Green Bean Salad

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SalmonSalmon Close Up

I love healthy food that’s tasty, quick and easy to prepare. This Bill Granger recipe ticks all the boxes. It made a filling yet light lunch today right after my spin class.

2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, cut into quarters lengthways and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 punnet yellow teardrop tomatoes, halved (I used regular cherry instead.)
1 small green capsicum, diced
200g green beans, trimmed, blanched and cut into 2cm lengths
1 small red onion, sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp white sugar
1 red chilli, seeds removed and diced
1 tsp finely grated ginger
sea salt and black pepper
4 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on

Place cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, capsicum, beans and onion in a bowl and set aside.

For dressing, whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, chilli and ginger. Season to taste. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss together very gently. Set salad aside.

Meanwhile, season salmon liberally with salt and pepper. Heat extra oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

Add fish fillets, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes or until skin is crisp. Turn fish over and cook for 1 minute for rare. Keep it on the heat a little longer for medium or well done.

Serve salmon with the avocado and green bean salad.

A taste of Melbourne

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Chicken HeroChin ChinChicken Close Up

As an expat Aussie I love collecting souvenirs whenever I go home, but not the typical boomerangs and kangaroo scrotum money bags that the non-Australian tourists take away with them. I make a B-line for cook books from my favourite restaurants so I can taste the flavours of home when ever I miss them.

This time around I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of “Chin Chin. The Book.” It’s really hard to come by, you can only get it from their website, in person at the restaurant or from The Essential Ingredient in Prahran. International orders have to be specially requested via telephone which seems a bit too hard to me. So, to help all of you taste what it’s like to dine at the iconic Melbourne restaurant I’m going to publish the first meal I’ve cooked out of it. And, in keeping with my routine of doing some form of exercise every day, I went for a 45 minute jog before indulging. Not that I needed to work up an appetite, it tasted great.

Larb Gai
(Better known as Chicken Salad.)
10 white peppercorns
½ bunch coriander, roots washed, leaves picked
3-4 cloves garlic
2 scud chillies, plus extra chopped scuds to serve, optional
150g chicken or duck livers, optional (I left this out as offal is quite high in fat.)
2 tbsp rendered pork fat or vegetable oil (I just used a spray of Canola to keep the fat down.)
500g medium to coarse chicken mince. (They recommend having a high fat content but I went the opposite way and it still tasted great.)
juice of 2 limes
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp ground roast rice (Recipe to follow.)
1 stem lemongrass, pale part only, thinly sliced
½ tsp galangal powder (Recipe to follow. I used ground ginger as I couldn’t be bothered but, it’s there if you can be.)
2-3 shallots, thickly cut
2-3 apple eggplants, thickly cut, optional (As apple eggplants aren’t available in NZ, I used a regular eggplant and grilled it first.)
½ bunch mint, leaves picked
3-4 kaffir lime leaves, julienned

In a mortar and pestle, pound the peppercorns. Add the coriander root, garlic, scuds and a pinch of salt and pound together to a rough paste.

If you’re using the livers, trim them, put in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to the boil to blanch quickly.

Heat the pork fat or oil in a hot wok, add the paste and fry until fragrant. Add the chicken mince and continue to cook. When the mince is almost done (about 2-3 minutes), add the liver, if using, and stir to combine.

Remove the wok from the heat, and put the cooked mince in a bowl. Season with lime juice, fish sauce and oyster sauce.

Add the ground roast rice, lemongrass and galangal powder and stir to combine thoroughly. Now add the shallots, apple eggplant, mint, coriander and lime leaves and toss to combine.

Transfer to a serving plate or bowl and garnish with the extra chopped scuds, if desired.

Serves 4

Ground Roast Rice
In pan, dry fry a cup of white glutinous rice with a couple of chopped kaffir lime leaves and some sliced lemongrass and shaved galangal. Keep stirring it the whole time so it doesn’t blacken on the bottom of the pan. When it starts to get a bit of colour and is nutty and fragrant, it’s done. Remove from heat and blitz to a powder in a food processor. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. This is a great addition to salad, stir-fries and dressings.

Galangal Powder
Roughly chop a whole galangal root (or two) and blitz in a food processor. Thinly spread the paste on a baking paper-lined baking tray. In a low 70°C oven, completely dry the galangal (about 5-6 hours). When it’s cool, blitz again. Store in an airtight jar.

One last look at 2013.

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Shot 9Shot 8Shot 7Shot 6Shot 5Shot 4Shot 3Shot 2Shot 1

My first post of 2014 is about my last run of 2013.

Over the break my partner Alex and I visited Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Passage, Queensland. Initially we went there to take in the beauty beneath the water, of the Great Barrier Reef, but the views on land were just as inspiring. This view, from the top of One Tree Hill, is one of the most celebrated on the island however, after tackling the 82 meter elevation to get there my breath was already taken. But, thanks to the power of photography, I can enjoy it forever without having to go through that again. 🙂