Embracing the Weights

I have been on a little journey the past two years with my exercise. After reading a ton of healthy living blogs I was inspired to start running back in 2011, and I managed to keep that up until last year when running and I broke up. Running led me to other exercises, mostly Jillian Michaels and her 30 day shred (a great way to start doing weights and different circuit moves if you are a total beginner), and this led to Shaun T and then here we are. My body has become so much stronger and I feel amazing for all that I have accomplished, but lately there was one more thing I wanted to get a hold of.

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Weights!

Like most women, I feel totally put off by weights. They make me think of over-muscled Arnold types and I have always been afraid that they would bulk me up too much. After reading blogs like fitnessista.com where weights are a normal part of her workout, I felt like it was time to give them a go.

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Incorporating weights into your workout is important for several reasons.

– Boredom! You can’t do the same cardio moves every time you hit up the gym. Variation is so important to all-over health and fitness. These will stop having such a great affect on your body if you are doing them all the time, not to mention the idea of working out is going to become something you dread the more repetitive and boring it gets! Add some weights in to challenge and motivate you.

– It’s an all-over thing. If you do weights with proper form (and please get someone at your gym who is qualified to show you), you will notice it in your core as well as upper-body. As someone who is always wanting to tone up my stomach area I love that working on my arms is simultaneously strengthening up other areas of my body.

– Burn more fat. I was always under the impression that weights just bulked up areas, but the benefits go so much deeper. Heavy lifting speeds up your metabolism and leaves you burning fat throughout the day (source).

– They’re good for your heart, bones and mind! Lifting weights has been proven to reduce heart disease related factors and help strengthen your bones. Not to mention those who lift report sleeping much better at night (source).

If that isn’t enough motivation, then I don’t know what is!

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Since adding in three 20minute weight session to my routine each week I have really noticed a change. I feel much stronger, and have a little muscle! One thing to keep in mind if that the more weight you add, the more you will bulk up. So if you just want to lengthen and tone those arms then don’t start piling on extra kilos every few weeks. Just keep the workouts challenging enough but do-able.

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And after a heavy workout I have been loving this tea. It tastes like blackberry and has all sorts of goodies for muscles like turmeric (good for inflammation), and I do think it helps sooth my body after putting it through everything.

Happy lifting!

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Brain Dump Wednesday

Hey there, I have a million things running around my head so here is a bit of a brain dump for you!

– I realized that I have become a morning person. After years of sleeping in till the late hours and finding it impossible to wake up like normal people, I am now up at 7am every day – and I love it! I am enjoying having time to work out, shower, eat, get some work done all before heading off to my real job at 9:45. I feel so productive 🙂

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– I just purchased Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please, and cannot wait to read it. I love all things Amy and think she is such a wonderful role model, plus she is funny as hell.

– Apples, so good right now! I am eating them like it is my job.

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– I bought a few face masks the other day at Olive Young and they are amazing. The gold one left my skin feeling incredibly smooth and glowing after just one use. I will be stocking up on these.

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– Peanut butter lattes – why was I not aware of this before. I had one Saturday night when we were killing time before the movie and it was crazy good. I think it’s just a coffee blended with peanut butter so I must try to re-create this at home.

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– It’s nearly Christmas! I love the season, the decorations, the hype, the music, the movies… Each year I go on a serious watching and listening binge. This year it began today as I was cold and cheered myself up by blasting cheesy music. My guilty pleasure is Britney Spears ‘One Wish’ or perhaps Band Aid – it’s too hard to choose. Funnily enough the day itself doesn’t have that much appeal for it, its all about the build-up.

And with that I leave you. My mind feels clearer. Happy Wednesday!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Muffins

Oh bananas, why must you go ripe so fast! I feel like we are constantly buying these things only to have them go brown within a day. Maybe it’s our small apartment getting a little to warm? Or maybe the world just wants me to bake more. Either way ripe bananas can mean only one thing – baking!!

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Sweet banana with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar, these are the ultimate comfort food in the colder months. Best served straight out of the oven with some melted butter, they wont last long in any household. While the recipe may not be the healthiest, sometimes we just need to indulge and treat ourselves with babies like these.

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Ingredients

– 3-4 mashed bananas

– 1/3 cup melted butter

– 1 egg

– 3/4 cup sugar

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1 1/4 cups of flour

– 1/3 cup brown sugar

– 1 TB cinnamon

The Steps

– Mash bananas in a bowl. Mix in melted butter, egg, and sugar.

– Combine baking soda, salt and flour then add to wet ingredients.

– In a small cup, mix cinnamon and brown sugar together. Sprinkle a little at the bottom of each muffin tray and fill just under halfway with the muffin mixture. Add a little more of the brown sugar and cinnamon and top off with remaining mixture. Pour on the last of the sugar mix over the muffins before placing in the oven.

– Bake at 130degrees for about 15 minutes, or until done.

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Enjoy!

Lazy Sunday

Okay. I finally giving in. It is fall and I will dress accordingly.

DSC00692[1]Today I pulled on leggings and a comfy sweater because the apartment was cold. I baked banana cinnamon muffins and made a shepherd pie, because that is cold weather comfort food.

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For lunch I ate a ton of roasted pumpkin, possibly the best thing about the change in seasons.

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I spent a majority of the afternoon curled up with Harry Potter (don’t judge, we all love it), hot tea and chocolate leftover from Halloween. Despite the amount of dread I have for the colder months I have been trying to do these things which are weather appropriate and will hopefully turn my attitude around. The chocolate helped.

As did a trip to Olive Young. All I needed was shampoo but I ended up coming home with this.

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I think it is impossible to walk into this store and only buy one thing. Especially when they have a sale…

In addition to the shampoo I picked up a couple of face masks so I can pamper myself tonight, some clothing spray to freshen up my wardrobe shelves which can get a little funky in winter, and an iced tea with mint just because it looked good. Not to bad, I managed to walk out without picking up a new nail polish which is usually what happens.

On another note, last night I finally got around to seeing Gone Girl. I read the book and absolutely loved it but was a little wary of how the movie would be. I know everyone is sick of hearing this but seriously, this movie, ohmygod! The perfectly captured the characters, the acting was crazy good and the whole movie had so much suspense. When it finished my fiancĂ© actually let out a small ‘no!’ because he was so shaken by the ending. If you haven’t seen it already,  just go because it lives up to the hype.

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Now I’m going to get some work done for this speed dating and make myself more tea, maybe I am coming around to this fall thing.

Halloween Happenings

Good morning, hope you had a great Halloween!

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I spent mine eating a crap-ton of lollies at work which was justified by the fact that I did my double workout in the morning. Unfortunately the weather was so cold and rainy all day so going out last night to party was looking like it would be hard to do. I just get so lazy when the weather is like that! But after work we managed to come home, chill for a bit and motivate ourselves to get dressed up and get in a taxi. I had such a good night with a few friends and realized how much it is going to suck when I have to leave them in a few months. I spent a lot of time in Korea not trying to meet people because just as you get to know someone they seem to head home and the friendship is really short lived. But this year I realized how dumb that is and have meet some wonderful people. It will be sad to leave them but has made my time here that much better.

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Anyway back-tracking to work. Kids nowdays have the most elaborate costumes! I realize how old I sound saying that but seriously, check out these superhero outfits which come with padded muscles.

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And the princess ones are really intricate.

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Our Halloween part at work involved games, lollies and pumpkin carving which excited me as it was something I have only done once before. The idea was the kids could scoop out some seeds themselves and feel like they helped – and the teachers could take a million photos for their damn parents.

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After work I came home to put together my costume of Cindi Lauper/the 80s. It was hard to get my hands on legit Cindi wear when I am in Korea but I did my best to channel the decade.

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The fiancé went as John McLean from Die Hard. He even took his shoes off for most of the night which was commitment due to the rain and gross bar bathrooms.

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Downtown we met up with some friends, scored free shots for being in costume, had cocktail drinks in a bag and talked the night away. It was fantastic but I got home at 4 and am a little tired today. Right now I am trying to motivate myself to clean the house – girls just wanna have fun!

Happy Halloween!!