Playing Catch Up

Round 2 Stats Update

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Click image for larger version.

Here are my very first pictures for Round 2:

My Week 4 pictures:

Finally, my Week 12 pictures from Sunday:

I’m actually really happy with my progress. It’s interesting to see my total measurement changes and pictures though, as I don’t always feel that much smaller than before.

I took a sneaky peak at the scales again this morning because I was planning to write this update tonight, and I am down to 63.6. I’ve lost 1.2kg in the last 6 days!!

News for Round 3

I’m going to really work on maintaining an active lifestyle overall, for a couple of weeks there I was really living some of the costs of not exercising/eating well. I’m not sure which video it was but I can remember Mish saying that as soon as she stops exercising, that’s when the mind games start and that’s absolutely what it was like. Now that I’m back in the swing of things I already feel stronger, healthier and more powerful, both mentally and physically, and I know how I will feel if I stop. However, I also feel like I learnt a very valuable lesson about not being too hard on myself.

I’m going to be ‘going it alone’ for Round 3 as Hugh has lost interest in the exercise. I think this will actually be the perfect opportunity for me to gain some of that self-respect Mish was talking about, and to really get in touch with who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and what my goals are.

I have joined the running club at my university which conveniently meets on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. Running alone has been one of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around so this has been really helpful to counteract the mind games.

The club actually set up a ‘beep test’ for us yesterday and we will be doing one on the first Monday of every month which provides another opportunity for me to test my fitness. They also meet for one swimming session every Monday morning, and one gym session which I’m hoping to use for some proper weights training.

Additionally, this time I’m committing to this blog, and my fellow bloggers, no matter how hard things get. I love to blog but I also felt the most on track when I was posting here regularly. I have so much more to learn and to share and I’ve loved getting to know you all over the last 12 weeks, and I know I’ll enjoy getting better acquainted with new bloggers as well.

I’ve met some very special people through this blogging experience and I want to thank you all for being there for me and for continuing to inspire me through your posts.

Also! I am now the Secretary of the newly formed Doctor Who Society at uni!

Bring on Round 3.

~ energyandEmily

The Week That Wasn’t

Exams are officially over and The Week That Wasn’t is almost at a close.

This week hasn’t been so great for me, 12WBT-wise. I just wanted to put it out there.

I know that I’m not the only person on the 12WBT who has been pressed for time, or studying, but this week I just couldn’t find the time to exercise every day. I have been stressed and tired, and trying to make up for lost days by doing two sessions on other days has just left me feeling drained.

Also, on Wednesday night, Hugh’s close family friend was in town; a lady with whom I get along really well and someone that we haven’t seen in almost a year. We ended up booking a Chinese restaurant in China Town for the three of us; I wasn’t even planning to attempt to calculate every calorie at dinner because of how impossible that would have been. I decided that I would simply do my best to make good decisions and I had a very light-on day calorie-wise. I wasn’t as restrained as I have been but I was much more mindful than I would have been prior to starting the 12WBT. I did end up having a couple of glasses of red wine as well as sharing a dessert. The food was delicious.

We were invited out again the next night; Hugh went along but I declined in favour of study and sensible food choices.

So I certainly haven’t “fallen off” any bandwagons this week; I’m feeling okay, just a little bit off my game. I need to stop thinking about what other people are defining as “good” or “bad” (as per Michelle’s latest video) and trust my decisions when I know that I have made them for a reason.

Anyhow, Beef, Pumpkin and Prune Tagine is on the stove, we have a day of food preparation planned for Sunday and next week I’m on holidays so there are no excuses. Oh! and I have fresh, dinosaur-popped popcorn to take to the movies tonight to see Gatsby. Which reminds me that I haven’t followed curfew this week either but I fully intend on carrying this week’s challenge over to Week Six.

My plans for the next few weeks are as follows:

  • Read as many non-text-book books as possible (including finishing ‘Lady in the Lake’ and ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’).
  • Cook lots of things and try lots of new recipes.
  • Take lots of photos!
  • Follow the 12WBT program to a tee.
  • Have a Doctor Who and a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.
  • Compile my Pen Pal gift.
  • Check out the Bikram Yoga studio down the road some time.
  • Set up a herb garden.

Hugh and I are also thinking about driving down to Sydney to stay over a weekend, and I will be helping my mum out at work a bit but what else can I get up to?

Any ideas? Do you have any hobbies?

Can you recommend any books to me?

~ energyandEmily

Week Four and More

My priorities have been shuffled around a bit this week; exam prep > 12WBT prep, which means that I have been a bit less organised than usual. I didn’t not have time I just managed it a little less efficiently and had to work on getting the 12WBT to fit into my life (rather than the other way around) a little more than usual. There was a little bit of complacency still hanging around from Week Three at the beginning of the week but I’m feeling really good now. I feel like having to work things out on-the-go this week has helped me to realise that I have really taken on a new way of thinking.

My big positives this week:

  • I lost 700g this week! Bringing my progress tracker to a strange place where my stats are all in matching numbers… 4.4 loss overall, 6.6 to go and my weight is now 66.6.
  • Wednesday night meant watching State of Origin with my family; we’re not big into football but it was a good excuse to get together. I knew that they were planning to order pizza so I bought everything that I needed to make my Creamy Wholemeal Pasta Bake. I had accepted the fact that there would be pizza and that I would not be eating it but I had forgotten about soft drink, garlic bread, herb bread, apple pie, and biscuits with tea. I’m so comfortable around my family that I felt like I could have just joined them for a couple of slices, some garlic bread, and a drink and not even thought about. Nevertheless, I persevered, thankfully my pasta bake, while a little bit bland, was quite filling and that’s all that I had for the night.
  • Hugh was away visiting his parents for a couple of nights during the week which meant that I had to do my first partner-less work out session. I know, have a whinge, right?! Most of you probably exercise alone everyday; but I don’t, and neither does my “inner teenager” who pulled a bit of a tantrum. I decided to JFDI; I put together a little workout mix on the music-streaming website and busted that session out, singing (horribly) at the top of my lungs, and dancing between sets. It was actually crazy good to do a session by myself, it allowed me to realise how much stronger my body has gotten, have a bit fun and a bit of me-time as well.
  • This alone-time also lead me to try to do my first push up on my toes…followed by my second… then my third…
  • The Pen Pal Project sign ups closed last night with 20 participants!! Everyone will be getting an email with their pairing by Wednesday!

In other news:

  • We didn’t exercise on Tuesday; I came home from studying and made the mistake of casually lying down in bed. I fell asleep, Hugh joined me and we slept until 11pm, at which time we got up, ate toast and went back to sleep. Oh! But this meant that we could wake up at 5am to go on our first early-morning run before Hugh left for the few days! However, it also meant that I felt a little bloated for weigh-in, but if it affected the results at all it will all even out for next week. This time I didn’t make up for the exercise the following day because I figured that I must have really needed the sleep.
  • On Friday night Hugh was home again and was nice enough to make the Beef Fillet with Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Spinach for dinner while I was studying. He came into the study to let me know that dinner was ready, I quickly finished up what I was doing while he checked something on his computer, for literally 30 seconds. I walked into the dining room first and saw the cat (Hugh’s sisters but lives with us) eating something on the floor and I didn’t really think much about it until I looked up at the table and Hugh’s steak was missing!! The little bugger had jumped on the chair and stolen it! I actually still can’t believe it, I’ve never seen her do anything like that before. Thankfully, Hugh’s dad (who had come back with Hugh for the weekend) had friends over and they had just ordered pizza so he was able to have some of that instead but yeah, crazy!
  • Exams have officially begun so stress levels have been a little higher than usual but they will be over soon!
  • We didn’t exercise on Friday BUT…

BIG POSITIVE: This one deserved its own section. I was ready to write this post, tail between my legs, and tell you guys that I had only exercised three times in Week Four, but it was okay! I had an exam on a Saturday, I was tired, I had been studying, I was stressed, and I took some days off to get myself back together. All good! On the bus on the way home from my exam I decided that, no, it wasn’t all good, and that I would JFDI. I did my Friday session alone at home while Hugh was at work (second session by myself!!) with my singing and dancing, then we smashed out our SSS together when he got home (minus the hill intervals though) and went to bed feeling tired and sore but happy, and with my head more in the game than ever.

My Stats Update

I did my very first fitness test the Saturday before the round started so I decided to do my Week Four fitness test yesterday rather than earlier in the week as I wanted to properly capture the changes over the four weeks.

Firstly! Here are my updated stats:

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I ran for the whole 1km! I was so happy, and now I get to have a massage sometime this week for completing my Mini Milestone! I don’t really know what else to say, I’m really happy with all of my time trials and still can’t believe that I can even do one push up on my toes, let alone 6! Also 6cm smaller on my hips and 5cm on my thighs is pretty awesome too, right? I don’t know really how to read these numbers but I can see that they are dropping.

Here are my first pictures from four weeks ago:

And here are my pictures from yesterday:

I’m really happy with the results so far and I can see lots of changes.

Week 4 Challenge: Try a NEW food!

I’ve already told you how much of a foodie I am and I loved this challenge; I loved reading about what everyone was trying, and what they thought about the new foods, as well as trying new foods myself. I really enjoyed the new learning experiences even if I didn’t love all of the food.

This week, for the first time, I tried:

  1. Quinoa
  2. Pineapple with Cottage Cheese
  3. Short black espresso
  4. Dragonfruit
  5. Okra
  6. Lobok
  7. Persimmon
  8. Fresh pomegranate

And technically I also tried apple/strawberry puree, the combination of curried egg and peanut butter, peanut butter with cottage cheese on toast and tinned salmon for the first time too.

Oh! And the massive, purple thing in my photo last week was a Banana Flower, I was excited to try it but they go off very quickly and we just didn’t find the time early in the week. I tried to find them again at the markets but to no avail!

Here’s the photo evidence:

foodweek4-7299So Quinoa, or as I like to refer to it: “KeenWAHHHHH” (with accompanying karate hands) was interesting; I had a little bit of trouble cooking it at first and it tasted like… porridge, sort of? A little bland but nice as well. Also, overall the dish was nice but I might heat up the milk next time.

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foodweek4-7336I’ve tried both Cottage Cheese and Pineapple separately before but through my research for the Week Four challenge I re-discovered a little list called ‘100 Foods to Eat Before You Die,’ give it a Google if you’re curious! Pineapple and Cottage Cheese, of all things, is on this list along-side foods such as Eggs Benedict, Haggis and Honeycomb. I thought that I had better give it a go.  My pineapple was a bit tart which I think threw it off a bit but it was nice enough. I might try it again one day with a sweeter pineapple.

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foodweek4--3I spent a few days this week studying at my favourite cafe – Ltd; a small espresso and brew bar in Fortitude Valley. My espresso was good, you could really taste the flavours in the coffee but at the same time it was like a punch in the face haha. I think I will stick to my usual flat white in the future.

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foodweek4-7402Firstly, I was surprised by the red centre as I was expecting it to be the white-centred variety, also I really couldn’t tell if was a little bit over-ripe or not but I gave it a go. I would really like to try it again to get a better idea of how the flavours change but it was like the texture and taste of a watermelon crossed with a pear but not sweet, and then so much like kiwi fruit because of the seeds. Really interesting but a bit weird.

Side note: Observe the glory that is socks with thongs! Judge all you want, I have warm feet, and I don’t get stuff stuck to my socks!

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Okay so we stir-fried the Okra and Lobok together in the Hoisin Beef Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables, I wish I had taken prep photos of the Lobok but oh well. It’s those two, translucent semi-circles hanging off the Snow Pea under the Okra in the first picture. Also I honestly couldn’t taste anything when I ate it so I might have to give it another try sometime. The Okra however… someone told me that they hate it and that it’s slimy but I quite liked it. Imagine a red chili, sliced thick and cooked but with no spice. It had that same background flavour and a similar kind of texture but without the heat. Really interesting.

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Persimmon tasted like apricot and mango mixed together, and was quite mushy. I read somewhere that you can make nice preserves out of Persimmons, I’d like to give that a try one day.

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Pomegranate was really nice! You can only eat the juicy bit around the outside of the tiny seeds so there wasn’t much to taste at first. However, a good table spoon of juice was squeezed out of them when I scraped the seeds out with a spoon. It was like Cranberry Juice but sweeter and less dry.

foodweek4-7352Breakfast Crumble with Cinnamon Yoghurt. I just used regular muesli but I think it would have gone really well with a bit of a crunch. Nice, simple little breakfast.

foodweek4-7343Satay Egg, Carrot and Cucumber Corn Thins.

foodweek4-7371Late-night dinner concoction. It wasn’t bad but it mostly just tasted like Peanut Butter.

week4I really wasn’t looking forward to the tinned salmon after reading a few reviews; in the end it was like tinned tuna… but salmon. We decided that we liked the meal but that we would rather have tinned tuna.

foodweek4-7405Also! We finally managed a runny, boiled egg!!

Favourite Meals

There wasn’t any one meal that stood out as a favourite this week but I really enjoyed trying the Satay Egg, Carrot and Cucumber Corn Thins, Grilled Lamb with Pumpkin and Pine Nuts, Corn Thins with Mexican Tomato Salsa and the Beef Fillet with Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Spinach (sorry Hugh!).  Also the Breakfast Crumble with Cinnamon Yoghurt was nice for a quick and easy breakfast.

My goals this week:

  • Finish my exams!
  • In bed by 9:30 every night for the Weekly Challenge – I’m not as excited about this challenge, I am honestly one of those people who just functions better at night but I will give it a good shot!

Can you tell me about some of your positives and negatives from Week Four?

Have you ever tried Dragonfruit, Persimmon, Pomegranite or Okra before?

What were your favourite meals this week?

Let me know!

~ energyandEmily

Week Three and Me

At the beginning of Week Three I was feeling… complacent, I think for the most part I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered exercising. From browsing the forums and other blogs I know that I’m not alone in feeling like the sparkle has started to dull a bit. Regardless, I’ve pushed through, I did all of my workouts, ate all of my good food and I’m feeling a bit better now and ready to keep pushing forward.

A few tidbits from the past week:

  • 100g loss on the scales this week, I wasn’t too worried as I know that I have been sticking to the program but I did have to chase just a couple of niggling, negative thoughts away with a big, pointy stick.
  • It’s been a pretty rainy week here in Brisbane so we have done all of our exercises at home, surprisingly we didn’t even have to change to the “home” program. We have a good pole to do towel pulls on, stairs for low steps and a table for step ups, so yeah.
  • Subsequently, we discovered the motivational powers of music. Normally the only soundtrack to our workouts is traffic or my beautiful voice blabbing on about this or that thing. Exercise makes me really chatty for some reason, probably a combination of fresh air, energy and lots of thoughts. Doing the exercises at home we just had a “popular” soundtrack playing from a music streaming website and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem came on as we were about to start planking, an oldie but a goodie. About 30 seconds into our plank Hugh comes out with this gem, “Are you even planking? Oh, you normally complain more by now,” to which I replied “Sorry I’m just too busy singing.”
  • I found out that when Hugh was younger he called pickled onions “pickled yum yums.” Adorable.
  • Excuse me but when did we start doing 5 minute super sets? I do not approve!
  • We didn’t do any exercise on Thursday, it honestly just kind of happened. I don’t even have an excuse for it but we ended up doing both Thursdays and Fridays exercises on Friday.
  • I went to the movies on Saturday night to see a special screening of Doctor Who. I popped my own popcorn and packed a punnet of cherry tomatoes to snack on! This was a big positive for me even though I had to use our super weird dinosaur popcorn maker:

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  • I jogged non-stop for 5 minutes during a warm up! Up hills and everything. The program said that I could take breaks but I just wanted to keep going. Mind you, I was “jogging” at a snail pace at some points but still. I didn’t think I would be able to do it without stopping.
  • Hugh and I have started laughing and winking at each other during Sumo Squats – Pulses and Hamstring Curls – Bench. This has been highly amusing.
  • I visited Nandos for the first time since starting the program for my treat meal (my “last supper” for the program was Nandos if that gives you any indication of how I feel about it). I had a Classic Chicken Pita (Extra Hot – 326 calories), no drinks and didn’t even have one chip! It was ridiculously satisfying.
  • No Food Photo Friday for Week Three! Overall we enjoyed the meals for the week but they just weren’t overly photogenic (Dhal, anyone?). Not to worry though! I already have quite a few snaps for this week.
  • I set up a Pen Pal Project for 12WBTers!
  • I had my hair cut to clean up my messy little mane that you have all seen previously, I ended up with a new style that I quite like.
  • I finally got my hands on Mish’s One Active hoodie (and proceeded to take selfies)!! I also picked up a new training bra/crop top, the red one, I really like the black one but this one looks so nice.

Week 3 Challenge: It’s time to STEP UP!

Monday: 200
Tuesday: 100
Wednesday: 200
Thursday: 0
Friday: 0
Saturday: 0
Sunday: 0

Total: 500/800

We really came out all guns blazing on this week’s challenge; at first we weren’t sure what the height of the steps were meant to be so we did our first 200 on park benches which hurt like crazy. Both of us were thinking “now THIS is a challenge.”  By Wednesday we were feeling pretty cocky about our numbers “300 more to go? What a cinch.” The no-exercise Thursday came and went, we were knackered after our big Friday and Saturday and we really wanted a proper break on Sunday. Excuses, I know. I’ll bust out those extra few hundred this week. We’ve also been avoiding those park benches, opting for this table on the deck which I’m surprised hasn’t broken on us:

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In the meantime, I’m really excited about the Week Four challenge! We were secretly hoping for a non-exercise challenge this week but also I’m a total foodie so I’m jumping at the chance to try new things. At first I thought it would be a little difficult to find things I haven’t eaten without resorting to eating brains or something but one trip to the markets on Saturday morning fixed that right up! Here’s my loot:

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You probably recognise a few of these things, “Is that pineapple?” I can hear you asking… I don’t know, is it? I have a few non-vegetable/non-fruit things to try as well. This is going to be a fun week!

Stay tuned!

Favourite Meals:

The stand out for the week for me was the Hoisin Beef Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables, I ended up having it twice and I definitely plan on having it again soon. I was pleasantly surprised by the Apple Muesli, it wasn’t *amazing* but it wasn’t bad and it kept me full for ages after breakfast. We both really liked the Dhal, I noticed that there have been mixed reviews about it but yeah, the only thing I could say against it was that it really sits in your stomach for a while after… not necessarily in a good way. We had it with a warmed pita pocket both times which was nice, like having our own little naan bread. Lastly, we really enjoyed the Spinach & Two-Cheese Omelette on Saturday morning. However, due to our lack on non-stick pans at the time it was more of a “Mess of Spinach, Two-Cheeses and Egg” but it was still really nice.

I’ve mentioned it before but corn thins really are the best snacks, I was happy to see them featured a fair bit on this weeks meal plan.

My goals this week:

  • Keep on studying away – first exam this coming Saturday!
  • Try at least seven new foods for the Weekly Challenge!
  • Take lots of photos.

How was everyone else’s Week Three?

Do you have any favourite work out songs? Actually, if you run and listen to music you should look up Basshunter – Now You’re Gone. It has a great rhythm.

Have you taken your own snacks somewhere?

How did you go with the step up challenge?

Are you excited about trying new foods in Week Four?

~ energyandEmily

“Obesity is just a fad”

I was chubby for most of high school. I joined my high school rowing team in grade 11; somehow, a girl I was working with at the time convinced me to join up, I didn’t even really think about it to be honest, I just did it.  I loved it and it was hard work, the most I had ever exercised, but I never really thought about weight loss until I stepped on the scales at the end of the year and realised that I had lost 10kg. I participated in club rowing over off-season for the two years but couldn’t compete at school in grade 12 because I dropped a 20kg plate weight on my big toe (crushed fracture, oh yeah baby). Post high school I went to the gym regularly, I had no idea about what foods to eat but I gave it a good shot and I maintained a fairly low weight for a couple of years out of school. I was lucky that my family eats fairly well.

I’ve almost always beaten myself up about what I eat, I couldn’t have this or that thing without physically feeling disgusting. For the last several years I have played the on and off game with the gym. I would get to a point where I felt really horrible about myself and decide to get back into gym and give it ‘everything’, going 3 or so times a week, starting from 6 months, to maybe another 6 months, to a few months, to a few weeks, basically just going until I felt better about myself and then blowing it off because hey! I feel better… and I can’t be bothered… and I wasn’t changing up my routine so I would get really bored.

Another problem was, I was always confused about exactly what to do to lose/maintain my weight and I was constantly playing mind games with myself. I picked up the MX (free, local newspaper, I think they have them in Sydney and Melbourne as well) the other day on my way home from uni because I saw the words “Obesity is just a fad” taking up half of the front page. It was a very small article in a not entirely credible paper but it said “A new survey shows almost two-thirds of women blame diet and exercise trends for causing Australia’s obesity epidemic.” Obviously it’s a little much to blame obesity entirely on any one thing, not to mention that these “studies” can be seriously flawed, and calling it an “epidemic” has always seemed a little bit much to me anyway. However, I think there is some truth behind that idea though, that diet fads/messages create mass confusion.

Over the course of my life, since even before high school (though I’m not about to go as far back as primary school here, you’ll be glad to know), I have been told varying things to do with weightloss/maintaining weight. At first it’s pretty simple, diet and exercise. Then you start being told not to eat carbs, not to eat baked beans or bananas, to do cardio after weights, the next thing is that you can eat a few, but not too many carbs, then you are eventually told that some people calorie count… “but how is that different to carb counting? I understand carbs better, I’ll just keep doing it that way.”

Then one day you start a shake diet and you lose 5kg and you think it’s great but you still don’t know how to eat properly, and then when you start on the “second phase” of the diet you feel bad for eating sandwiches for lunch because “How can I still lose weight like I have been now that I’m eating carbs?” and you wonder and wonder, constantly, all of the time, “When can I eat bread again without feeling bad about it? When can I eat anything that I want to eat without feeling disgusting (yes, disgusting) and like I’m ruining all of my hard work.” as well as “When can I stop going to the gym? Because I’m bored out of my mind.”

6 months? 1 year? Never? I don’t want to never eat carbs again. I don’t want to do this boring exercise every week for the rest of my life, besides, I’m feeling like I look better anyway.” Not to mention how, by this point, my head was so full of information that I couldn’t start to comprehend.

This is turning out much longer than I had intended but what I’m boiling down to is that I’m loving the 12WBT so far because for once I’m feeling in control, and I know that the girl in the photo at the end of this will not only be smaller but stronger and healthier and one who actually understands how to take care of her body. When can I eat carbs again? Only tomorrow morning. That’s when. I’ve eaten baked beans and bananas about three times each this week. I’m working out 6 days a week and I’m not bored. It hasn’t been a perfect journey so far, I’m not always jumping on clouds or farting rainbows (have I mentioned that I think farting is pretty much the funniest topic ever? I seriously just laughed out loud re-reading this. How immature.), but I feel like I’m on the right track.

I’m a little bit worried about what will happen when I feel “okay” again, but less and less every day because every day I feel a little more like this is a lifestyle change forever, not just for now. I can thank you all for inspiring me as well. I think Michelle was right when she said that this isn’t another fad that will lead you right back to where you started, but I do need to really want this for myself.

Man, that was really long, kudos if you got through it all. I’m actually not really one to dwell on past events (I’m much too busy over-thinking present and future ones) but between the excuses pre-season task and reading other people’s stories it’s just gotten me thinking about what things have been like up to this point regarding my weightloss. I have also been thinking about this whole thing a lot over the last 12 days, picking up newspapers, watching people eating (in a non-creepy way…mostly haha) and realising just how little we are all informed and how hard it is to become informed. I’m not saying the 12WBT is the answer to everyone’s problems but I think it’s the answer to mine, and hopefully yours.

On another note, it is also Food Photo Friday so here are some of my favourite snaps from the week since last Friday:

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foodweek2-6939The Sweet Potato and Roast Capsicum Pizza! I can’t believe that I forgot to mention this in our favourite foods for last week. I added cherry tomatoes and mushroom to mine, and mixed the garlic into the ricotta with oregano, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. The pasta sauce was a great replacement for tomato paste too.

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foodweek2-6983Studying and Jarrah Frothy Classic hot chocolate (47 calories).

foodweek2-6998-3The Roast Cinnamon Pumpkin and Feta Salad. We swapped the walnuts for pine nuts, and I was a little skeptical because I’m used to salads with at least some sort of dressing, balsamic vinegar or lemon, but we thought it was really nice.

foodweek2-7148The remains of our roast chicken.

foodweek2-7061-2Monday’s Banana Bruschetta.

~ energyandEmily

Banana Ice-cream

Do you love bananas? What about berries?

Have you been missing ice-cream or feeling like some frozen yoghurt?

If so, this might be the recipe for you! This Banana Ice-cream is an oldie but a goody; it can be made using only bananas, makes a good snack-sized portion with a matching snack-sized calorie count and it can be easily modified without blowing your calorie allowance.

banana (1 of 1)-2Cut your bananas into coins and lay them out in a tray on some baking paper.

banana (1 of 1)-4Layer them as high as you want with baking paper between each layer plus one more sheet on top. Leave them in the freezer either for a few hours or overnight.

When you take them out of the freezer leave them to thaw for about 5 minutes because they stick to the paper a bit. If you have children I think that peeling the coins of banana off the paper would be a good task to get them involved.

banana (1 of 1)-6For each serving I have used 120g of banana (weighed as coins), which is 110 calories and about 1.5 bananas worth. I encourage you to check the Calorie Counter tool for yourselves as well.

banana (1 of 1)-7At first it will look a bit like this, the real labour involved in this recipe is having to turn your blender off about a dozen times to push the banana back down off the sides. Please be careful here! Turn your blender off at the wall or take it off its stand if it makes you a bit more comfortable. If you have an ‘ice’ function don’t worry about using it; I thought I would need mine but in the end the faster blades just flung the banana straight to the sides, where the lower speeds actually churned it a bit first.

banana (1 of 1)-8The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it a little bit chunky or keep blending until it goes really smooth and creamy.

banana (1 of 1)-9This is what it looked like straight out the blender. At this stage it does just taste a bit  like cold, mushed up bananas; it’s nice like this but if you can leave it in the freezer just for a couple of hours the texture, and even the flavour, changes. It becomes much more like ice-cream. I thought that perhaps you could make it before lunch/dinner and let it sit in the freezer until dessert or afternoon tea time?

Note: I’ve been looking for an excuse to use this bowl and spoon for so long! I bought it earlier in the year as a bit of a nostalgic impulse-buy from the supermarket, I think it is the cutest thing ever but I’ve had no reason to pull it out of the cupboard. So thanks!

banana (1 of 1)-10I then made a chocolatey variation by adding half of a sachet of Jarrah hot chocolate (full sachet of Frothy Classic: 45 cals). I didn’t mind the flavour of this one even though I thought it had a little more of a coffee flavour than chocolate.

banana (1 of 1)-11

banana (1 of 1)-14After initially tasting it, I left this batch in the freezer for about 24 hours. It was rock solid when I pulled it out so I popped it into the microwave for 10 seconds and it was perfectly pliable, and the texture was very similar to ice-cream at this stage.

banana (1 of 1)-12This is the final variation that I put together, with 50g of frozen berries (22 calories) and 1 teaspoon of plain, low fat yoghurt (4 calories).

banana (1 of 1)-13This variation was a little bit too runny straight out the blender so I popped it into the freezer while we had lunch. It tasted just like berry frozen yoghurt.

You could make batches as big or small as you like then weigh them out, though I think it would be harder to blend a batch much smaller than 100g. I would recommend freezing them in smaller, or individual, portions if possible as well.

Other variation ideas:

  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Peanut butter
  • Roasted bananas
  • Coconut
  • Coffee

It’s fairly limitless and the flavour changed quite a bit with each variation that I tried.

I hope that you might give it a go!

What have your favourite snacks been so far on the 12WBT?

~ ediblesandemily

Weekly Challenge #1

Week 1 Challenge: Create an Inspiration Board

This is what I have come up with!

You can click on any of the images to make them bigger. None of these images are my own but each one really resonates with me. If you would like to pin these to your own board or find the original sources please head over to my 12WBT Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/emily_bee/my-12wbt/ .

Have you made your inspiration board yet?

I would love to see what you’ve put together!

~ encouragementandEmily