Music to workout with

When to comes to workout music I am very picky. I need upbeat tunes that will keep me at a good pace and won’t annoy me. I also find that keeping the same music on my ipod for too long gets really frustrating and starts to discourage me from working out, so I change my playlist around once every three weeks.

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So here are some songs that I am loving lately and haven’t gotten sick of yet. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily songs that I would listen to when I am not working out, some of them are a bit lame and trashy I know – but these makes for the best tunes as they aren’t too serious and have a catchy beat.

–          Pink – Blow me (one last kiss)

–          Pink – U and Ur Hand

–          Ke$ha – Cmon  (don’t judge me, for some reason this song speaks to me when I am running)

–          Ke$ha – Blow

–          Blink 182 – What’s my Age Again?

–          Calvin Harris and Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing

–          Icona Pop – I love it (really catchy!)

–          Jessie J – Domino

–          Nicki Minaj – Starships

–          Jennifer Lopez – Let’s Get Loud

–          Hairspray – You Can’t Stop the Beat

–          The Prodigy – Firestarter

–          PSY – Gangnam Style (a bit lame I know, but I like running through the park watching the old Korean ladies do their weird backwards walk as I listen to this).

–          PSY – Right Now

–          Aqua – Happy Boys and Girls (it makes me happy).

–          Young the Giant – My Body

–          The Temptations – Ain’t too Proud to Beg

–          Britney Spears Megamix  (This is really good as it is around 15minutes so I don’t keep noticing the break between songs, and it is Britney so the nostalgia is awesome).

–          Heather Small – Proud (I like to listen to this as I am struggling up a hill or something, makes me feel badass)

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So there you have it, my ultimate workout (at the moment). It’s pretty random, but works for me and I hope it does for you too.

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food and more food

You know what really sucks? Accidently dousing your dinner in salt. Especially when you have been looking forward to it all day! I mentioned the other day that I am bad at getting stuck in a rut with food, so tonight I was determined to cook something different.  Lesson learned – the world is telling me to eat the same thing every night.

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Maybe it was a good thing as I ran 4 k this morning and probably needed some extra salt. My running has gotten much better over the past few weeks. When I got to Korea I felt like I hit a wall and went from being able to run 5ks to barely making 2 and a half. I came home one day from a run absolutely furious and so upset with myself and why this was happening. Part of me badly wanted to give up as I was feeling like every run was worse than the previous. Lucky I am a stubborn person and forced myself to keep going, I changed my running time from after work to in the morning and while it really sucks getting up that early I think it has helped. I am slowly starting to feel like my old self.

I think adding more protein to my diet has made a big difference as well. Right now I am loving chia seed pudding as it has so much protein and whenever I have it I find that I don’t need a snack in the afternoons, yay! I have been omitting the banana in the pudding and just having milk, then crunching up a few of these babies on top.

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I got another order from iherb and got these as my new thing to try. They are totally raw cookies with coconut oil, chia seeds, and dates.  These are really good for a snack during the day or before a run, but the coconut oil is strong tasting and I am not the biggest coconut fan (too much of that flavor medicine when I constantly got tonsillitis as a kid).

Anyway this is becoming another random post! I went to homeplus after work in the hopes of finding a blender- I was let down. Breaks my heart as there is a bag of chickpeas in the cupboards that I really want to make into hummus! I consoled myself by purchasing heaps of food (I was hungry at the time which never helps).

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I saw these dried persimmon on special and knew I had to get them. I don’t know why NZ doesn’t sell persimmons like this but they are so yummy and chewy, I ate two on the walk home.

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Then I spotted these Kashi bars that were reduced by 60%, awesome! I had never tried these but Kashi is a brand that gets thrown around on the healthy food blogs a lot so I just wanted to eat something by them. I had a nibble already (no restraint when I find new food), and they are pretty damn good!

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And some cute Asian stuff to send to my mum. Hope your week is going well!

Feeling the Burn!

This weekend can be summed up in one phrase ‘it’s so hot!’ Even though we both well aware of this the boy and I seem to be repeating it to one another constantly, why do people always do that when it is extremely hot or cold? Anyway I have spend the past two days attempting to cope with the heat and humidity by eating fruit, and wondering if I should bother with makeup anymore.

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from a student, his mum put little bows on each one!

Yesterday I went to Busan again to get my Zumba on. There was a big public Zumba event which was put on to raise money for Africa  and my instructor from Daegu was going to be leading a few of the dances. Now I have mentioned before that I am not good at going out and meeting people, so as soon as I heard about the event I knew I needed to force myself to go. There were 8 of us and we took the KTX to Busan in the morning.

Busan welcomed me, within the first 10 minutes of arriving we saw a homeless guy cause a scene in public and get arrested. Then a car lightly bumped into a cycled (the car didn’t stop at a pedestrian crossing and the cyclist was pissed about that, but to be fair to the driver no one in Korea stops at those and the cyclists should have just assumed the driver would run it). There was no damage but saving face in Korea is a big thing so there was a huge fight. We then got in the taxi and were driving to the event when we saw a guy on the street selling chestnuts, the driver heard us discussing him and must have thought we wanted to buy some so he called the chestnut man over. We were spared an awkward ‘no we don’t want any’ when the guy started waving is hand furious and shaking his head then yelled something in Korean and walked off. The Korean girl with us translated that he had said ‘I don’t sell these to foreigners, they are too special.’ Thanks Busan!

Anyway it was hot as hell in the gym and after dancing for two hours I was a sweaty beast. Here is a before pic.

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A during…

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And an after.

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Yeah look at that forehead But hey, if it doesn’t make you look ugly then it wasn’t a hard enough workout right.

I had so much fun dancing, and getting to know the other people from Daegu who came was an added bonus. The only bad thing about the day was that I didn’t bring any lunch as the event was 2-4 and I thought there would be a mart or something close by – there wasn’t. Most of us had nothing to eat and were super hungry by the end of the day. I just wanted to get home and take a shower so while everyone went out to dinner me and one other guy headed back to the station, downed a smoothie king and then got the train back. I got home at 6:30, I don’t know about you but when I have a big day like that I just want to get home as quick as possible. I forced the boy to come downtown with me to get Mexican food (it was an easy forcing), and satisfied my hunger with a burrito and margarita.

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My theory was that I needed the margarita to replenish the salt I had lost.

Today I walked in the 36 degree heat downtown to check out a farmer’s markets which was really lame and disappointing. Hardly any vegetables, jams and bread like the ad promised and mostly people selling their homemade jewelry and crafts. I did, however, score some homemade mozerella cheese which went down a treat with my cheese and jalapeno bagel for lunch. I needed to relax after all that walking and zumba-ing from the weekend so the rest of the day has been spent reading.

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Anyone else read this? I saw the movie and liked it, but it was disturbing as hell. The book seems pretty good, it is also nice to be having a real book in my hands after using my kindle for so long. There is a really good second hand bookstore/café/vegetarian restaurant in Daegu that has become my happy place.

So a pretty busy weekend by my standards. I am starting to realize how much I have changed in my 20s, a few years ago I never would have gone away with people I barely know, but now I am focused on enjoying everything and being open to new experiences. Even though things like this scare me a little (it sounds so silly to talk about making friends being scary!) I know that I won’t regret getting involved. Sometimes I feel very mature, then I laugh when I discovered this morning that the people who used to live in my apartment drew a penis on the corner of the wardrobe door…

Happy Sunday!

 

eating, running, random

End of the week, yay!! I hope you have something awesome planned. I will be heading to Busan tomorrow for a giant zumbathon (it’s a thing). It is a fundraiser for Africa but also part of my way of making new friends here. I have been going to zumba a few times a week and am really loving it. The weird thing is I hated it when I went to a few classes in NZ, I think the girl who takes it here just makes it so much more fun.

Anyway this post is going to be random as the week has been in this manner. It was filled with a lot of watermelon as we finished off the giant one I bought last week…

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And a lot of banana chia seed pudding.

I really love food blogs, unsure why, looking at other peoples meals just makes me hungry/want to eat better. I wish I could have an exciting food blog but to be honest I always eat the same thing and it is boring. I have a terrible habit of finding a food or meal that I love and eating it constantly for a month or two. Lately it has been the banana pudding and stuffed sweet potatoes. I am so in love with sweet potatoes, I eat them every day no lie. Right now I have some in the oven which will soon be wedges, I plan to have black beans over them and make some sort of nacho dish. On a side note, you know you have been living overseas too long when you stop calling them kumaras!

I have been running really well lately, forcing myself to go at least three times a week. I usually go Friday after work and today it was crazy hot. Daegu is the hottest city in Korea, something I only found out recently. But I was determined not to let myself down and put on my running shoes. When I go for a run I find it hard to get motivated and will ask the boy for encouragement, it often consists of him singing a few lines of ‘you’re the best’, today he said ‘be careful.’ Very inspiring.

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Anyway I ran along this which is beautiful, but it was hot as hell. I noticed an outdoor thermometer which said it was 35 degrees, awesome. Even though I wanted to do a long run tonight I realized that it wouldn’t happen, it is so important when you run to be aware of

1) how you feel that day and

2)the environment. It was too hot so I paced myself for 26minutes and then walked home. I feel kind of bummed that I couldn’t run any longer but at the time there was no way, I came home a big sweaty tomato. Even though we don’t always reach our exercise goals I think the fact that we try should be celebrated, so I present you with my ‘run yourself ugly’ face.

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It wasn’t what I hoped for, but I definitely got my workout!

Afterwards I quickly bought some cheesy Korean things to post home tomorrow (we are sending the giant T-Rex to its new home and I thought I should send some stuff so my family doesn’t feel left out).

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Notice the socks!

And I found it really hard not to open these and see what they taste like!

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pasta flavored chips, carbs + carbs!

 

Instead I tried this red bean paste, it was surprisingly nice, will do for my energy fix tomorrow.

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And I enjoyed a big class of this….

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If you are reading this post and are very confused by its randomness perhaps the wine explains why. This is so random! Anyway I am off to eat, watch an embarrassing amount of old Full House episodes and then get some sleep. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

                                                                                                                                       

I am a Woman, but what does that mean?

At a time when women can have great careers, raise a family and share the same rights as men it seems like we have it all. This is the age of powerful females, singers like Lana del Ray are showing that we can be sexy creatures and that is okay, while cross training is becoming a huge workout among women who are being encouraged to gain muscle and show off their strength. Yeah it seems like this is the best time to be a women – and I’m sure it is – but today I want to talk about something that I am slowly coming to realize, it kind of still sucks being a female.

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Disagree with me if you want, but for me being a girl still has a lot of drawbacks. When I was living in New Zealand I had all those typical brushes with sexist dorks.  As I am a chesty girl they usually involved something really witty like ‘are those real?’ or ‘can I put a dollar in your cleavage.’ Really awesome guys. These were brushed off by me, I mean what girl doesn’t get sick leers or comments from drunk losers? But when I started working full-time that is when shit got real.

 

I worked in a supermarket for years to put myself through uni and unfortunately I worked the late Thursday and Friday nights which meant I saw some drunk people. As you know I can decide if those people are too drunk and choose not to serve them alcohol. So one night when I saw a guy fall asleep on the floor, then stand up and try to buy a bottle of wine I said no. His response? Slap my ass and say ‘are you sure about that baby?’ This made me MAD!! Of course I kicked him out but all I could think was, if a male told him no he would have just left straight away. Being a girl sucks.

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let me hang with my friends without your stares at my boobs please!

 

Things got worse in China, a country with zero respect towards women. Plus as I was a foreigner it was generally assumed that I was a prostitute. I had my chest grabbed by Chinese men, was rubbed up against in public buses (the public would see it and just ignore, thanks China!) and established a fear of taxing. I had to taxi to work everyday by myself and I hated it, the driver would stare at me and occasionally try to rub my leg. Yeah in China women are just objects.

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Yup even dressed like this I had my leg suggestively rubbed!

 

Now these are all sexual things I know but I feel like it is still socially acceptable to stare at a women in  public and make a comment about her that she really doesn’t want. It’s that whole thing of how men can sleep around and they are awesome, but if a girl does it she is a ‘whore’ (I am not condoning sleeping around for women, just pointing that out). Likewise if a guy gets drunk in public it’s fine but when a girl does it she seems tragic.

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In Korea I have come to look at my role in the workplace a lot more. Korea is an awesome country, living it, but they do have a more traditional attitude towards women. I think it was best described by my friend who compared it to the 50s. A Korean women lives at home until she marries, and she better marry! Once she hits 28 if she is still single then all is lost and she is past her prime. They take this very seriously, most couples will not live together before marriage and when they are dating girls are expected to act like cute innocent creatures. The idea of embracing their sexuality is not common one, and as for working out and finding the power of their bodies – forget it!

Regardless, women do work in Korea and have good careers, but in my experience the way I was treated at work was awful. Everything I said was ignored by my Korean co-workers, but if my boyfriend said the exact same thing they praised him. I was/am totally overlooked at times so that my opinion doesn’t matter. I have tried to be much more assertive at work but it seems to be a fine art – if we stand our ground and express our opinions until they are hear, then we are just looked at as a bitch. Whereas a man would be looked at as a strong leader.

In my experience, being a woman is awesome and we are in a fantastic place in the world right now. However as I look around I do at times feel like the weaker sex, like people don’t take me as seriously at times and feel that it is okay to look at me like an object. Whatsmore I feel pressure to dress a certain way and wear makeup at times, while it is totally okay for men to roll out of bed and throw on dirty clothes before heading out the door. I want it to change, and I hope that it does. But for now I guess we just have to try our best to prove ourselves as more than just that ‘blonde girl with the nice/sexy/fat/average body.

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We don’t need makeup, hair products and perfect skin to look good – we are awesome as it is!

 

watermelon, cookies and dianosaurs

Happy Sunday! I hope you all had lovely weekends, mine went by nice and slow as I had made it my goal to enjoy the long weekend.

It started with a watermelon….

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The old man who sells fruit is usually really nice to me and I went to buy a $5 watermelon from him. He kind of refused to sell me it and kept talking about how good the $10 one was. Maybe he is right and something was wrong with the cheaper ones, he could have been trying to save me some watermelon disappointment. However I was kind of annoyed with him, I buy fruit from this guy all the time and he usually gives me free things like strawberries and is always so happy to see me. Hmmmmm

Anyway that was the mission of the long weekend, eat a lot of watermelon. Good thing it has been hitting 30 degrees!

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Friday was spent cleaning and grocery shopping (yawn) but getting it out of the way meant that I had the rest of the weekend to myself which is a rare thing. We had to buy a birthday present for a 6 year old nephew and after a huge struggle of what to get we ended up buying this baby.

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Giant T-Rex, loved by kids, hated by the mother who has to blow it up. That may have been part of the reason we chose it, nothing like pissing off your sister.

I went for a run on Friday, not realizing that it was crazy hot. It was good to get out and enjoy the weather though.

Saturday and Sunday I relaxed with a book and food, okay with watermelon and wine. I recently read ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman. I have to say that I didn’t think the book was anything special, but it turned out to be pleasantly surprising. The story follows Mia, a teenage girl whose family is involved in a fatal car crash one day. She is the only survivor and the book is told from her point of view as she spiritually (For lack of a better word) observes what is going on in the aftermath of the crash. She has to decide if she wants to return to the world and continue to live or just give up.

I often find it hard to relate to young female characters, they just always seem to be unrealistic and have these weird high-school lives where no one talks like a normal person. However I really enjoyed the character of Mia in this book, she was simple and honest and I found her very likable. I also really enjoyed the idea in this book, what should we do when faces with a struggle? Giving up seems like a cop-out, but in this situation would you just be better off to avoid a life where those you love are gone and your whole world is going to change. In a smaller way I think I can relate it to my everyday life, when I do things like move-overseas or even just go for a run, part of me wants to quiet because it is too hard. The book made me look at how we see change in a new way, it is scary and it isn’t always going to be the best option.

Anyway I liked this book enough to buy the sequel (where she went) for my kindle. It was okay, not as good as the original, but I just really like closure when I read books – tie up all the loose ends!

And now for a recipe. I am a pretty useless cook in that I never follow a recipe. I try, really, but then I think to myself ‘wow this recipe would be great if I add…..’ and usually it works out okay. Today I decided to make cookies and I ended up getting majorly sidetracked by the recipe, then when I was pouring in the salt I accidently added a little too much  :S Turned out to be a happy accident as I created something delicious!

Salted almond and chocolate love bites

 

ImageThese are so yummy, full of almond butter for protein; chocolate just because and a hint of sea salt. Lately the combo of salt and chocolate has been rocking my world and I was pretty happy with how these cookies turned out.

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Ingredients

– 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

– 1/4 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp salt (just under level)

–  3/4 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 cup white sugar

– 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

– 1 and 1/2 tablespoons milk of choice

–  1/4 cup butter

–   2 TB chocolate almond butter (or just add a little cocoa powder if you only have regular almond butter, see I really don’t take these recipes too seriously)

 

The Know How

–          Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

–          Melt the butter in a pan, add milk and vanilla and mix.

–          Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix.

–          Stir in the almond butter, it should melt slightly but still remain a little firm so you get delicious mouthfuls of it when the cookies are ready.

–          Bake at 130 degrees for about 8 minutes. They will look very soft when done but leave them to harden, around 5 minutes.For extra goodness, top with a little almond butter instead of icing.

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Also on this weeks list of goals – get a damn haircut! I look like Martin from the Simpsons in this.

 

Tomorrow another week begins. I am trying to have in goals for each week, tiny things that I can actually achieve. This weeks is to drink less coffee (I am getting bad!), more water and stick to a budget of $10 a day. Lets see how that goes!

Banana Frenzy

Happy Teachers day! This is a pretty awesome Korean holiday which saw me get some cute wee gifts, a few generous ones (starbucks gift card, score) and some lovely cards. Check out my haul 😀

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And check out this little cuties card, his mother put a photo of him inside it and he wrote ‘I love you like the sky.’ Future heart breaker!

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Anyway along the lines of my meal planning, I have been getting breakfast ready the night before. As I go running in the morning it is really nice being able to come back and have breakfast sitting in the fridge all ready for me. This week I have been making banana chia seed pudding, and it is heaven in a bowl. I mean seriously, it is pudding for breakfast!

The night before you simply mash up a banana in a bowl, add about a cup of milk and a 2 TB of chia seeds then stir the heck out of it. Adding cinnamon makes it really tasty, adding cocoa powder makes it the shizness. Cover the bowl and place it in a fridge overnight and you should wake up to this.

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I give it a good stir and add some chopped nuts and a few cornflakes on the top for crunch. Not only is this really delicious but it is crazy good for you. Bananas are of course a runner go to food, while Chia seeds are backed with potassium and protein. All up this bowl has 8grams of protein which makes it the perfect breakfast for me right now.

And check these out. You can buy iced coffee already made for less then $1 at any convenience store in Korea. I have been getting these Americans and having them over ice in the morning – yum.

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you can see at the bottom the calories count. Every damn thing in Korea has the calories on it!

 

As we have a bunch of bananas I also made a kick-ass banana bread the other day. I got this recipe for a friend and am unsure where she found it (just want to make sure I’m not taking credit!) and it is the best banana bread recipe I have ever encountered. As with most of my recipes it can be made vegan if you change the type of milk used.

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Ingredients

1 cup of mashed banana

¾ cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 TB canola oil

1/3 cup of soy/regular milk

1 ½ cups of flour

¾ tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

3 TB cocoa powder

6 TB boiling water

2 TB almond butter (optional)

The Steps

–          Mash banana and add in sugar, essence and oil. Mix it good.

–          Slowly mix in flour, baking soda and salt. It is really important not to over mix here, don’t stress about trying to get all the flour to dissolve.

–          Divide the mixture into two bowls and get that water boiling.

–          Add the cocoa powder and half the water to one bowl of mixture. Stir it all up to make it good at chocolatey.

–          Add the rest of the water to the other half of the mixture and stir. You should have two bowls of runny goodness. If using almond butter add 1TB into each bowl. This just gives the bread a little something extra but leaving it out will not affect the recipe.

–          Bread pan time. Pour the plain mixture into the bread tin and then follow with the chocolate one. Depending on how you want it to look, give the mixture a good swirl with a knife or just leave it be. Either way it will look pretty when you take it out.

–          Bake at around 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes. I say this but all ovens are different and I am currently using a tiny Korean toaster oven. It only took 20 minutes in one of these.

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So two banana recipes today. Delicious!

Meal Planning – I’m a Fan

Hi there! How is your week going? Mine is flying by which is awesome because there is a public holiday on Friday, score!

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Giant Margarita will be a part of my Friday off

 

Today I wanted to write a little about how important it is to plan ahead when you are trying to save money or/and eat healthy. Yeah I know, meal planning, what a nerd! To be honest I used to think that meal planning was really lame, the idea of sitting at home on a Sunday night to work out what I will eat days in advance just felt kind of stupid. However for the first two months in Korea I have been on a strict budget (waiting for my first full pay!) and I ended up planning out our meals in order to budget correctly.

Turns out this is a great idea, not only is it super easy, but it is really nice knowing that everything is planned for the week. At times I can cook certain things the night before and let them keep overnight to save even more time in the kitchen when I come home from work. Plus I have been trying to eat healthier and add more protein and iron into my diet and meal planning has been great for this.

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plan ahead like a Korean lady… okay maybe not this intense

 

So how do you do it? Easy.

I sit down on a Sunday night and write down what meals we could have that week, usually I try to find things with similar ingredients. For example last night we had tofu pad thai so tomorrow I will have BBQ tofu in order to use up whats leftover (the boy wont be home for dinner).  Once I have come up with a few things I write down which night we will have them. Again common sense when it comes to using ingredients, things like vegetable burgers can be made at the end of the week because they are mainly canned beans, while the sweet potato gnocchi was eaten this evening as the spinach and salad to go with it don’t last that long.

To give you an idea this is what I have this week…

Monday : tofu pad thai

Tuesday: sweet potato gnocchi

Wednesday : BBQ tofu

Thursday: roasted vegetables and vegetable burger

Friday: Nachos

Saturday: dinner out

Sunday: Pasta

Even though these things look different all I need to buy are tofu, fresh vegetables, canned beans and corn chips (assuming you always have basics like dried pasta in the house). By choosing things that are easy to make and have similar ingredients it makes saving money a lot easier! And yes one weeks worth of vegetables do last until Sunday, like I said the spinach and lettuce will go first but things like carrots, tomatoes and peppers last until the end of the week for the nachos and pasta.

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coffee and bagels, I don’t feel like planning every single day!

 

One thing I like about this is the prep that I can do. Last night when I was making the pad thai I cooked and mashed the sweet potato for the gnocchi and left it in the fridge – made it much easier when I came home from work today! I also find myself eating more variety by planning ahead, I know that next week curry and a home made pizza will probably feature along with eggs. When I wasn’t thinking my meals out like this I could easily eat the same dish a couple of times a week just because I couldn’t be bothered thinking of what to do after work (or of going to the supermarket again). I was also getting in the habit of buying street food on my way home which is tasty but probably not the healthiest.

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The other bonus of meal planning is when it comes to healthy eating. I always take a snack to work and knowing what I will be eating that night means that I pick something different each day. Today for example I had almonds and fruit because I knew that my dinner wouldn’t be too full of protein but had a lot of carbs. Tomorrow I will bring some banana bread as my dinner is low carb. And because I love banana bread.

 

As I type this I realize how lame I sound, but hey don’t knock it until you have tried it!!

Zumba and Margaritas

I really hate to speak in clichés, but is it seriously Sunday already? This weekend went by in a big rush and I do not feel at all rested or ready for work tomorrow, ahhh well.

                                                                                                                                                      

Saturday I took advantage of my first full pay check and went crazy in a Korean cosmetics store. It’s hard not to really, in Korea beauty products are absolutely amazing and super cheap. Most Korean women have a morning and night routine which is comprised of almost twenty different items.. I have always been adamant when it comes to removing my makeup, cleansing and moisturizing at night but when it comes to stuff like toner I have been skeptical and seen it as just a way to get us to spend a little extra on skincare. However with the polluted air in Korea and the heat which is turning my face into a red oily mess, I decided to change up my routine a little. Yesterday, I went to skinfood and purchased their black sugar scrub, toner, bb cream with sunscreen included and foot scrub. I am following the standard Korean evening of double cleansing, toner, exfoliating, face mask, serum and moisturizer. Sounds a bit extreme but I am curious to see how this will affect my skin. Anyway one of the super awesome things about shopping at these stores is that you always get free shit, check out the goody bags of face masks and sample products I got!

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Shopping was followed by Zumba (so addicted), doing groceries, drinking iced coffee and redecorating our apartment in an attempt to make it more homey. Needless to say I was exhausted by the evening.

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And yet I managed to fall asleep at 3am and wake at up 8 for a random trip to the beach!

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We live pretty close to Busan which is a large city built upon the coast of Korea. It has a pretty kick ass beach and as the weather has been lovely all I wanted to do was walk along the sand. Weird observation though, Korean people do not seem to ever go into the water, they were all on the beach playing soccer or volleyball. Even the kids were happy to just watch the waves.

The awesome thing about Korea is that you can just turn up at a train station and grab a ticket for whatever time the next train leaves – makes for fun spontaneous trips. It only took  1hr and 10 minutes to  get to Busan and then a short subway to Hundae beach. I had been to Busan before and seemed to remember a kick-ass Mexican restaurant along the shore which I was determined to visit.

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The margaritas do not disappoint.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting in the sand and just soaking up the sun, loved it! I know I say this a lot, but we need to stop sometimes at just enjoy the small things like being able to sit outside on a beautiful day – and drink margaritas, that always makes for a good weekend. I am so tired tonight though, I feel like a little kid that had a big day out and needs to jump in bed. But alas lesson plans must be made, a teacher’s job never stops.

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Girl Look at that Body

Excuse this huge ramble, but I feel like we need to be talking about this.

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In the past ten years I have put my body through hell. Since I was 13 I have been dieting, exercising too much and binge eating. I knew nothing about nutrition – all I knew was that I HAD to be skinny. I am sure this was a standard feeling of most (all) girls my age, and it is something that I still carry with me today. I can remember being in year 9 and not eating breakfast, then having a bottle of coke and coming home to eat a big bowl of noodles. In my mind because I hadn’t eaten all day this was totally okay, even though I probably consumed a ton of calories that had no nutritional value. As I got older I switched to starving myself some days and only eating dinner, then going for huge walks in the evenings as exercise. The thing was, I never really lost weight. Because I knew so little about nutrition I was focused on eating as little as possible regardless of what that food was made of. My body must have been lacking protein, iron and all those other goodies and it showed. I was often sick with a cold or something, and I was really unfit.

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This stayed with me until University when I did the whole, gaining weight in your first year due to drinking and eating way to much. Then I joined a gym and started to eat a little better. Believe it or not I was 19 when I started eating breakfast every day.

While my fitness went up and I lost a little weight, I still knew nothing about food. I would eat so much junk food and drink a lot of wine, then just get up and go to the gym to counteract it. Not to mention I was burning off all these calories but not re-fuling my body with things like protein – my poor muscles! This cycle pretty much continued until I eventually moved overseas to Korea.

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It was here that I found the food blogging world. It began by coming across http://www.aliensdayout.com which is an amazing website written by a vegan in Seoul. I started reading it to get some ideas on what to eat in Korea, and this lead to a bunch of different food blogs which changed my world. It sounds lame I know, but reading blogs such as http://www.neverhomemaker.com, http://www.healthyhappylife.com and http://www.katheats.com made me realize how powerful my body could be. These ladies work out, cook delicious meals and they eat a lot! Finally I was learning about how to fuel my body for both everyday life and when working out. I was inspired to start running and I really began to focus on adding foods into my diet rather than taking them out. For the first time in my life I was happy to be eating heaps because I knew how food could help my body.

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That was two years ago, and today in Zumba as I watched my terribly uncoordinated body dance in the mirror, I noticed some new muscles in my legs. And I felt incredibly proud!  It bums me out that it took me ten years to learn about nutrition and to feel happy with my body. But as I look online at different blogs and at my friends facebook pages I am realizing that a lot of girls now are starting to look at their bodies as powerhouses, not  as sticks. Strong seems to have become the new sexy and I think that is damn awesome.

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Most girls have no idea how to eat properly, and being told that you need to eat more to be healthy is an almost frightening concept to us. I want women to feel empowered by what they can do rather than trying to be as thin as they can. I have spent way to much of my life worrying about what I am eating and stressing over things like going out for dinner because I don’t know how many calories will be in the meal I order. Women now are starting to make a change for the better and we need to encourage it and each other! Let’s focus on being strong, sexy ladies who ooze confidence and love who they are.