Saturday, September 1, 2012

you might have noticed...

... that I've stopped blogging here. But it's not because I don't have lots to say – I'm still doing that, just in a whole new location, at I hope you'll follow me there.

Alice x

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Words Of Wisdom... From Pinterest.

I've got a confession to make: I just discovered Pinterest. And it's dangerous. Seriously. I'm on holidays from work and yesterday I got lost in there for Two Whole Hours. I almost forgot to eat lunch. Anyway, in the hope that something productive might come of my 120 wasted minutes, I thought I'd share these little pearls of inspiration with you...

Of course, if you want to follow me on Pinterest, you can do so here. But sign up at your own risk.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Best Video You Will Watch This Week.

This week I saw an interesting video. It's called Hungry For Change. It's not a diet like Atkins and it's not groundbreaking. It's good, honest information about food and nutrition. And it had me nodding along for the full hour and twenty minutes.

The best bit of advice I got from the film? When it comes to changing your diet, don't restrict – add. Add in the good stuff. Get your recommended serves of veggies, fruit and good fats. Eventually it will crowd out the bad stuff, because there simply won't be room for anything else.

Of course, there is heaps more to learn from this video and if you get the chance to sit down and watch, I really recommend it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Make Them Now: Jam Muffins

Serious Eats

 I'm a pretty novice baker, but muffins I can do. They're simple, quick and don't even require a beater. This weekend I took a stab at these jam muffins, and they went down like a treat. Recipe courtesy of Serious Eats... Make them, then freeze them so you're not tempted to scoff down the whole lot.

You'll need...
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and spray 12 standard-sized muffin tins with baking spray, or line them with paper liners. Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, egg, and honey. Whisk to combine, making sure the honey is fully dissolved.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just enough to combine. It will be lumpy. Add the jam, and fold the mixture a few times to distribute it, but leave the mixture streaky. Portion the mixture evenly into the muffin tins.
  4. Bake at 190 degrees until the muffins are browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Love The Show, Get The Cookbook.

This one of those "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" kind of ideas. They've been around since the '40s, but it seems TV-themed cookbooks are only getting more popular. While The Sopranos Family Cookbook is flying off shelves, the Desperate Housewives Cookbook is also a sales success, and now you can even eat Don Draper-style with The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

I had no clue these kind of books even existed, but the day they make a Friday Night Lights cookbook, full of Tami Taylor's Texan delights, y'all know I'm going to be first in line. What show would you most like to pinch the recipes from?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Got A Spare 20 Minutes? I've Got A Workout For You.

Check out this bunch of exercises from Women's Health. It's called the "Power Pairs" workout. Think moves you already do, with the added pain of dumbbells. Simple but bloody effective.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

So Freaking Excited For The Hunger Games.

And if you're not? Well, frankly, I can't imagine why. It's an awesomely suspenseful story (no wizards, no vamps – just 24 kids who go into an arena where only one can come out alive) and it's got a smoking hot cast... Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, and did I mention Liam Hemsworth? Sigh.

Anyway, it hits cinemas on March 22, which by my calculations leaves you a good five days to read the book before you hit the cinema. And trust me, that won't be a problem because it's a real page-turner. Here's the trailer. Watch it. Then book your tickets to the midnight screening.

Oh, and can I just say that Jennifer Lawrence looks phenomenal in this film – svelte but fit as, and it's so refreshing. As the lady herself said, "I play a warrior. I can’t be skinny. You know, Kate Moss running at you with a bow and arrow isn’t scary." True that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

App To Buy. Now, Not Later.

Food Switch

A very food-savvy friend alterted me to this one to me and, in a word, it's genius. It's called Food Switch and it works like so: You're standing in the cold food section, debating the difficult issue of which vanilla custard to buy. You turn on Food Switch. You scan the barcode. It recommends healthier options. Simple as that. And you're out of there before your eyebrows freeze over.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Just A Little Crush.

Bubby And Bean
As the mornings get darker and colder, and it becomes harder to drag your booty out of bed and on route to the gym, there's one thing that can help... A harmless little crush.

You know that hottie that you've seen lifting weights, or the cycling instructor with the amazing AFL-worthy arms? He might be doing more for you than just providing a nice "atmosphere" to work out in. You see, gym crushes are great because, not only do they get you to the gym with a little extra pep in your step, trying to impress your gym crush by lifting bigger dumbells or coming to extra spin classes can work wonders. But here are the rules...

1. You can smile and chat away about trivial things, but you don't want to know about his relationship status. You don't want to have to get a new gym crush if you find out he's married. Or gay.

2. You don't want to impress your gym crush in the traditional Saturday-night-out-on-the-town way, with a smokey eye and perfect hair. Nope, you want to impress with your extreme fitness. But if that also involves a new outfit from Lorna Jane, so be it.

3. You can have a girl crush. In the same way I have an unhealthy obsession with Amber Heard right now (before that it was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, but we had to break up when she got too skinny), it doesn't hurt to have someone in the gym that you can be inspired by and challenged to keep up with. Just don't get too competitive. No one wants a cardio room catfight.

4. Your gym crush is your little secret. Don't make it too obvious with prolonged staring. That's why the gym is full of mirrors. Subtlty is key.

5. For goodness sake, don't actually date your gym crush. Because if it all goes bad, you don't want to have to find a new place to work out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Food For Thought...

It's no secret – losing weight is hard. Keeping it off is harder. But is there a reason obese people struggle so hard to keep the kilos at bay? Could it be that their bodies are actually working against them? A very interesting piece in the New York Times looked into just that, and if you're interested in the topic, it's well worth a read...

While researchers have known for decades that the body undergoes various metabolic and hormonal changes while it’s losing weight, the Australian team detected something new. A full year after significant weight loss, these men and women remained in what could be described as a biologically altered state. Their still-plump bodies were acting as if they were starving and were working overtime to regain the pounds they lost. For instance, a gastric hormone called ghrelin, often dubbed the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher than at the start of the study. Another hormone associated with suppressing hunger, peptide YY, was also abnormally low. Levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism, also remained lower than expected. A cocktail of other hormones associated with hunger and metabolism all remained significantly changed compared to pre-dieting levels. It was almost as if weight loss had put their bodies into a unique metabolic state, a sort of post-dieting syndrome that set them apart from people who hadn’t tried to lose weight in the first place.

That's not to say that overweight people can't slim down and stay that way. The results just indicate that it may be harder for them. While at 60kg, I can maintain my weight by eating a certain number of calories and doing a certain amount of exercise, someone who gets down to 60kg from an obese weight may find they have to eat less calories and workout for longer in order to maintain the same weight – because their bodies process food differently and respond to exercise differently.

It's preliminary research, but it could go some way to explaining just why it's so hard for obese people to lose weight and keep it off.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Move It Like Kristen.

I like to think that if I ever met Kristen Bell, we would be BFFs. She's just so damn cute. And nice. And she's freaking Veronica Mars. I mean, you can't watch this and not love her.

And maybe, when we're being best friends – and between double dates with Dax Shepard – I think we could be awesome training buddies, too. Because K-Bell has the moves. Here's her fave exercise, as she reveals to Self magazine...

"Here's the one that packs the most punch. I call it The Bowler: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend slightly at the waist, holding a 5-pound weight in your right hand. Squat, then swing your right hand up and left, across your body, and sweep your right foot to the left behind you, as if you're bowling. Do about eight on each side. It's amazing for the butt cheeks!"

We're going to be the most bootylicious besties in town! I just know it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Simple Swaps.

This week, I stumbled across this fabulous link to 89 Simple Swaps That Could Change Your Life at The Greatist. So basic, so easy to implement. Check out the full list, but here are a few of my faves...

  • Incline for flat treadmill. In a perfect, outdoor world, flat roads rarely exist. (Sorry, Midwestern readers!) Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline and feel the muscle-building burn! 
  • Foam rolling for static stretching. Need to get the knots out? Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to the toes. It’s almost like a personal massage. 
  • Homemade post-workout snack for a protein bar. Bring a PB&J or another post-workout snack to the gym rather than buying a protein bar. We need some after-exercise fuel, but don’t get it in the form of excess sugar! 
  • Greek yoghurt for sour cream. Sour cream can taste pretty good in a burrito. To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to amp up the protein and slash the fat. 
  • Frozen grapes for popsicles. It may sound a little weird, but hear us out. Stick a bunch of grapes in the freezer and snack on them a few hours later— it’s like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no added sugar! 
  • Keeping the same bedtime for winging it. Setting a bedtime schedule may help us fall asleep faster, so pick a good time and try to stick to it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hot Fitness Trend: Tabata Training

Looking for a new way to torture yourself in the gym? Allow me to introduce you to Tabata training. It's a super high-intensity workout that lasts for... wait for it... four minutes. Yep, you read that right. Four measly minutes. Except that they'll be the longest, most exhausting four minutes of your life.

Tabata Exercise

It works like this: work to your maximum for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat that 8 times. Like any interval training, you can do it with sprints (although on the treadmill it's difficult to get on pace fast enough) but you can also do it with other cardio moves like squat jumps, burpees, skipping or mountain climbers. All you need is a good timer.

Want a bit more direction? Dowload this app. It's like your own personal Tabata coach.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On The Couch: What I Learned From The Biggest Loser This Week.

 Never eat your food from a mixing bowl. Ever.
I'm a big everything-in-moderation girl, but there is nothing moderate about a mixing bowl-sized serve. If anything, try eating your food in smaller bowls and on smaller plates. It will look like more when you fill it up and if you take your time eating it, you won't miss the extra portion.

You might think you're pushing yourself. You're not.
One thing I learned very quickly when I got a trainer was this: what you think is your limit is not even close to your limit. And when you learn to push through that, the real results come.

Talk is cheap. Walk the walk.
It's easy to say "I need to lose weight" or "I need to get fit", but the truth is there's no easy way to get there. You have to do the work and make the changes yourself. Like Michelle said this week, it's up to you to make the time to exercise. And if Barack Obama, the busiest person in the USA, can find a few spare minutes for a workout, we all can.

Make a commitment. Write it down.
Don't be vague with your goals or they'll never happen. If you're serious about making changes to your lifestyle, make a promise to yourself and write it down. Then share it with someone else so you're accountable. Pencil your workouts in your diary and treat them like any other important appointment. No excuses.

Wear a heartrate minotor.
I've written about this before, but wearing a heartrate monitor is a great way of measuring exactly what you're burning. Because knowing how much energy your expending is important, so you can get the weight-loss math right.

One and a half tones of fat is a hellava lot of fat.
And, boy, did it look gross. If that's not enough to put you off a second helping of dinner, I don't know what would be.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Australia Day.

Willoughby and Co.

I love Australia Day. When you can smell the barbies firing up, hear the Triple J Hot 100 blaring and Woolies has sold Pavlova bases. It's a great day to be Australian... But then, isn't every day?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fashion On The Court.

You'd have to be living under a rock right now not to have noticed all the tennis action going on Down Under. And if the sport doesn't interest you, some of the interesting fashion choices might (ahem, Serena Williams). So if you've got the fever, save the white for Wimbledon and take to centre court in one of these bright buys. You'll be the hottest player at the net. Sharapova, eat your heart out.

Skirt, $75.99 @ Lorna Jane

Lunar Speed 3 Tennis Shoes, $180 @ Nike

Dress, $80 @ Adidas

Featherlight Cap, $30 @ Nike

Monday, January 23, 2012

On The Couch: Set The TiVo. You Don't Want To Miss These...

Revenge (coming in February to channel seven)
Is there anything better than watching a bunch of spoiled, cashed-up Hamptonites go down one by one as their dark secrets are revealed? Didn't think so. That's exactly what happens in this hot new series about a young woman called Emily Thorne who comes back to her home in the Hamptons to seek vengeance on the people responsible for destroying her family. In a nutshell: It's pure dramatic gold.

Homeland (watch it 8.30pm Sundays on channel ten)
Claire Danes is back. And she's magnificent. Here's the gist – Claire plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer who believes an American marine, held captive by Al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war, is now operating as a spy. Yes, it's a thinking show, but it just took home a couple of shiny Golden Globes. Oh, and President Obama is a fan and, well, if that's not enough for you, I don't know what is.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do It, Log It.

Fitness Log, $3.50 @ milas

My trainer always used to give me grief for not properly documenting my workouts. And while I know it's important to log what you do on a day-to-day basis so you can keep track of your progress (and ensure you're actually making some), I always had a perfectly good excuse – you know, no pencil, a hand cramp, the dog ate my log book...

Maybe I wouldn't have had to think up those pearlers if I'd had these super-cute sheets. Now they would have motivated me to bring a pen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If Your Fridge Could Talk...

What would it say about what you eat? Well, you don't have to wonder anymore because LG has unveiled a new ThinQ refrigerator, complete with an inbuilt dietician that can scold you when you make an unhealthy choice.

You program in your BMI and weight-loss targets and it uses an in-built smart TV to suggest healthier meal options. At the risk of sounding like my grandma, whatever will they think of next?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can You Hear That?

Lorna Jane
I feel like this outfit is talking to me. It's saying, "Go straight to Lorna Jane. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200."

Well, if you say so...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Look Out Tracy Anderson, There's A New Celebrity Trainer In Town.

Body By Simone

Her name is Simone de la Rue and here are a few reasons why you need to know about her...
  1. She's Aussie born. Don't you love her already?
  2. She's a classically trained dancer who's appeared on Broadway and The West End – but she did't leave those skills at the door. Her Body By Simone workouts incorporate ballet moves with yoga and pilates techique.
  3. You don't have to be a dancer. Matt Damon certainly isn't, but he loves Simone's program.
  4. You'll never get bored. "Like me, a lot of celebrities can be a bit ADHD when it comes to working out – they need to be stimulated," she tells The Daily Mail. "The body needs variety, too. You constantly need to trick your muscles by introducing different types of exercise, otherwise they become lazy and you stop seeing any definition.
  5. Still not impressed? Anne Hathaway and Sandra Bullock were. And if their bodies are any indication of what Simone can do, I'm sold.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Week That Was...

Where I recap the last seven days Instagram-style...

The breakfast: Weetbix and banana – an oldie but man is it a goodie. Especially now that bananas are back in my price range...

The lunch: Tuna, veggies and brown rice. This one gets full marks for flavour and nutrition. 
The show: I've been going through seasons of Friday Night Lights faster than I go through underwear. 

The fitness: Walking at lunch time. Take an hour and feel the extra calorie burn. Just don't forget the deodorant. Think of your colleagues.
The fun stuff: Rekordelig – cider drinkers, memorize that name. This stuff is da bomb.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stay Positive. It's Friday.

Positive Notes

Has this been the longest working week in history or what?

It definitely calls for a vodka tonic and maybe a visit to this awesome little Tumblr I discovered called Positive Notes which is jam-packed full of – you guessed it – positive notes!

Just the right amount of cute and corny – I dare you not to feel a little inspired.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can These Ads Stop Childhood Obesity?

Almost one million children in Georgia are overweight or obese. One million.

The state has the second highest rate of obesity in the US. Something has to be done and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is hoping this campaign will go some way to opening the eyes of the 75% of parents who don't realise their children are overweight.

The ads are brutally honest – heartbreaking even – and they've come under fire for the way critics say they "shame" overweight kids. But with the health of one million children on the line, Georgia is past pussyfooting around.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No Gym? No Problem.

Working out a gym that's connected to your place of work is tres convenient. But when the office shuts down for the holidays? Well, the gym does, too. So for the last three weeks, in the infamous words of Jason Derulo, I've been ridin' solo. No treadmill. No bike. No weights. No trainer screaming in my ear.

So what's a girl to do after ten too many rumballs? I did the logical thing and hit up my current celeb crush Jessica Biel for some much-needed inspiration. This is what her personal trainer Josh Walsh suggests...

Choose five heartrate-boosting exercises, like squat jumps, sprints, stairs, walking lunges and jumping jacks, and perform each exercise for 30 seconds, with a 30-second break in between. Oh, and then repeat the entire circuit five times. The Justin Timberlake soundtrack is optional.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On The Couch: If You Hate Cricket And Tennis, Summer TV Sucks.

So here's your chance to invest in a box set and catch up on the shows you might have missed last year...

Cougar Town
Courteney Cox has finally found a new home on the small screen and it's as part of the loveable Cul-de-sac Crew on Cougar Town. While the first season was all about her scouring for younger men, in the much-improved second season, the show finds a new rythym and proves it's got chops as a quality sit-com. Jennifer Aniston's cameo is reason enough to give it a go.

Friday Night Lights
This show hasn't been a hit on our screens, but it developed a cult following in the US and it's not hard to see why. Following the lives of players in a small-town football team, this highly addictive drama will have you literally on your feet, cheering for a touchdown. Plus, all five seasons are now available on DVD, so there's plenty to keep you busy in the ratings off-season.

Sons Of Anarchy
If you thought Channel One was all sport, think again. It's home to some fine programs (the US version of The Killing is well worth a watch), but Sons Of Anarchy is one of the best. A little bit of crime, a little bit of action and a whole lot of drama, this series focuses on the lives of a close-knit motorcycle club.

Watch the British version or watch the US version – either way, this series about a family living in a housing estate is comedy gold. And when you find you can't get enough? You'll be happy to hear there's seven seasons of the original UK version to enjoy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

On The Couch: Oh, Lordy!

While we wait for a small eternity for channel seven to bring back Downton Abbey (seriously, enough – just show it already!) I've been avoiding spoilers like the plague. But it's been quite a chore given just how freaking excited I am about the new season. So excited, in fact, I did a personality test to find out which Downton character I am. Try it, it's surprisingly fun.

I'm Lord Grantham by way.

This Year I Will...

Magnets, $12 @ HappyTownUSA
Read more, eat less, get organised, take up a new sport... It's that time of the year when we all make resolutions in an attempt to better our lives or better ourselves. Maybe you've already broken a few of the promises you made to yourself on January 1? That's okay, because the good news is, you've got another 350+ days to turn it around.

The best advice I ever got about New Year's Resolutions is this: break it down, keep it simple. Don't just say, "I need to visit my grandparents more" or "I want to start running". It's too broad and too vague. Instead, make it manageable – think about it not as a yearly resolution, but on a week-to-week basis. If you want to visit your grandparents, set aside one day a week and do it – make it a habit. If you want to start running, start with one morning a week, and go from there. It's only one morning a week – there's no room for excuses.

If you rush out of the starting blocks to fast, without thinking about how you're logistically going to maintain your resolution long-term, you'll get tired too fast and you'll fall off the wagon. And when the first day of 2013 rolls around, you'll be resolving all over again to achieve the exact same thing.

And if you're really serious about your resolutions – tell somebody. Having someone on board to help you might just be what you need to get you over the line on December 31.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's 2012, Y'all!

Hey Look

I love the beginning of a new year. It's a chance to put the past behind you and start fresh. Yes, I know, it's corny – but I'm holding high hopes for the year ahead. And I hope you are, too.

Whether you're hoping to revamp your exercise routine or add a few new dishes to your diet, I hope you'll find at least a little inspiration here...