Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras Weekend!

Concrete Playground

This Saturday night, get out the tequila, pump Kylie's Greatest Hits through the speakers and fly that rainbow flag with pride – because when it comes to gay rights, we've come a long way, but we're not there yet.

Seaweed, Anyone?

Eat seaweed, live longer.

I read an article this week on the life expectancies of some of the world's healthiest countries (props to Australia, we made the list with the average person kicking on to 82, thanks to our outdoor lifestyle).

Not surprisingly, people live the longest in Japan, where the diet of sushi and miso soup proves very healthy, and in Iceland, where people enjoy an enforced hour-long lunch break and chow down on dried seaweed. Tasty.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Case For Weights.

Risky Beads

When I first started going to the gym, I headed straight to the treadmill and started running (well, it was probably more like jogging back then, to be honest, but get the picture). I pounded the treadmill for 20 minutes a day. Every day. At first, I lost a few kilos but after a while, I stopped seeing any rewards on the scales. So I upped my cardio. But still, the weight didn't budge. Cue sad face.

Then someone told me that it was more effective to watch what I ate than train like a crazy person. So I booked in with a nutritionist. She gave me lots of healthy pointers (and she wasn't even fazed when I greeted her with, "Hi, I'm Alice – and just so you know I don't eat any weird beans or tofu crap"). But one of her unexpected pieces of advice was the recommendation that I start doing weights.

So I went into the weights room to do my 20 prescribed weight-assisted tricep dips, took one look at the machine and decided, no sir, weights were not for me. What I really needed, I figured, was a trainer to show me how to run faster. Yep, that would burn those calories faster than any stinky tricep dips. But ten minutes into our session, I was standing next to my trainer, staring at... the tricep machine. Weights, he tells me, you gotta do weights.

Body Love 101: Brought To You By Kate Winslet.

Add caption
I just adore Kate. Always have. I watched Titanic so many times when I was a young'n that I could recite almost every word in every scene. And in a three-hour film, that's no easy feat, trust me.

Anyways, Kate's on the cover of this months US Glamour and she's looking hot, hot, hot! You've gotta give the girl credit for embracing her curves, way before Christina Hendricks made them cool. This was my favourite quote from the interview:

"I don’t have parts of my body that I hate or would like to trade for somebody else’s or wish I could surgically adjust into some fantasy version of what they are." 

You hear that? There are no parts of her body she doesn't like or wants to change. None. Wish more women felt that way about their figures.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Delicious Or Just Plain Wrong?

Ice Ice Baby!
Ben & Jerry's is releasing a new flavour: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream With A Salty Caramel Swirl & Fudge Covered Potato Chip Clusters. And while this person clearly enjoyed it (a lot), I'm still not sure I'm sold on the idea of potato crisp covered in fudge covered in chocolate. 

But before you consume the whole tub (that's how you eat Ben & Jerry's apparently, by the tub), know that 400g contains a cool 1080 calories. Well honestly, what did you expect from an ice-cream with "salty caramel" and "potato chip clusters"...

Let The Sun Shine.

Daily Mail

Gwyneth Paltrow has been told to get more sun. Apparently she's been diagnosed with osteopenia, which can be a precursor to osteoporosis. Woo-freakin'-hoo, I hear you say.

Now, normally I wouldn't give two hoots about whether a celebrity was baring their bod in a bikini under doctor's orders, except that our lack of exposure to the sun is becoming a big problem. And not just for Gwyneth. Experts are concerned that rickets might be making a revival. Rickets, people. A disease that was eradicated half a century ago.

We're all very well schooled on the risks of skin cancer and UV exposure, but are we taking this slip, slop, slap movement a little too far? Truth is, the sun is the best way to get vitamin D, which is actually essential to prevent cancer. You don't need a lot of it, but you do need more than you'll get walking from the train station to the office all covered up in your nine-to-five gear.

On The Breakfast Menu: Bircher Muesli

Mine doesn't quite look this good. But it tastes awesome!

I eat breakfast at my desk every morning and I'm not very inventive. Normally it's just a tub of Jalna yoghurt. But I recently stumbled across this recipe for a berry bircher museli and it's quite delicious. I prepare all the ingredients and mix it together the night before and take it to the office in a container. Too easy.

You'll need...
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups apple juice (no added sugar!)
1 granny smith apple, coarsely grated
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 tablespoon sultanas
1 cup vanilla yoghurt
1 cup mixed berries

What to do...
1. Place oats in a large bowl. Pour over apple juice to cover. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
2. Just before serving, stir in apple, almonds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, sultanas, 3/4 cup yoghurt and 3/4 cup mixed berries.
3. Spoon muesli into bowls. Top with remaining yoghurt and mixed berries. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Dear Colleen

I gave up alcohol for the month of February. And it was great. My weekends were more productive, my body (and my bank balance) felt much healthier, and I didn't wake up once with a pounding headache and a giant black hole in my memory. Winner.

And I think I'm going to keep it up. Another 30 days, alcohol-free. So raise your water glasses, and here's to a parched March.

(Of course, if you are still on the boozy bandwagon, there is some good news. A recent study in the UK has found that whatever your poison – wine, beer or spirts – a daily tipple can really help your ticker. Your liver, however – that's another story...)

Meet My New Favourite Shorts.

$29.99, Running Bare from Rebel Sport

They're light, comfy, not too revealing, come in at under 30 bucks and I'm 96.4% sure they make me run faster. The hot orange colour is just the icing on the cake.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Charity.

Last week at work we had a bake sale. God, I love bake sales. So many home-made goodies, just like the kind I'm sure my dad would bake if we didn't keep him plenty busy painting, mowing the lawn, rewiring the TV, building cedar fly-screens from scratch... (He's a man of many talents my dad.)
Anyway, this particular bake sale was extra fun because not only were the cakes delicious, but what made them that much sweeter was the fact that all the money raised from the sale went to a charity for ovarian cancer. You see, February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so it's the perfect time for a quick revision lesson on what the most common symptoms are... You got a pen ready?
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
  • Needing to urinate often or urgently.
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
It can be difficult to distinguish these symptoms from the changes we girls experience every day – but that's what makes ovarian cancer so tricky to catch in its early stages. If you are concerned, you can learn more here and if you want to donate, do it here. I can't promise there'll be cake, but I can promise it'll feel sweet.

Oh Dear, It's Monday Again.

Olly Moss

How did that happen?

If you're already in the office, feeling frazzled and preparing to draft your resignation letter – stop and take some time out to do nothing. At. All.

Two minutes is all you need. Just click here. Relax. Gather your thoughts. Then go get 'em.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake.

I can have my cake and eat it too!

I've had a hankering for chocolate cake since Thursday. So this weekend I decided to cave into my craving with this ridiculously easy recipe, which comes courtesy of my aunty Carmel. 

You'll need...
125g butter
1/2 tablespoon coffee (made with 2/3 cup boiling water)
100g cooking chocolate
1cup caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 

What to do...
1. Melt butter in pot. Stir in coffee, chocolate and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Beat in sifted dry ingredients. Add eggs and vanilla and beat wel.
3. Pour into a greased, lined tin. Bake on 150 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

It literally never fails. (Except that one time that it did, but I'm pretty sure I used the wrong flour that time, so as long as you stick to the self-raising stuff, yours should be just fine.)