Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fitness and Food: August 2014

The beginning of the month is always a good time to make goals, and a new plan for the month ahead.


This month I am going to make a 3-day plan. I usually have a 4-day plan but lately have been finding it hard to fit it all in. So this month I am going to try 3 days, and if I fit in an extra day or two, it's just a bonus.

A. Chest/Back
1. Dumbbell Chest Press
2. Barbell Rows
3. Dumbbell Incline Flyes
4. Lat Pulldown
5. Floor Chest Press, one arm at a time
6. Deadlifts

B. Legs
1. Leg Press
2. Hamstring Curls
3. Dumbbell Lunges
4. Calf Press
5. Goblet Squats
6. Leg Extenstion

C. Full Body (Circuit Style)
1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
2. Russian Twists
3. Jumping Lunges
4. Push Ups

1. Kettle Bell Swings
2. Reverse Crunches
3. Bicep Curls
4. Jumping Squats

Incline Treadmill Walking

I also plan to walk to work when I can, now the weather is slightly better and there is only one more month until Spring!

I have quite a few social things on this month, but I still need to try and eat well and be healthy. I find it pretty easy to get back into bad habits, so I really need to make some healthy habits.

One of my biggest things I need to focus on, is not buying snacks from the supermarket. Pick n mix lollies and corn chips are my biggest downfalls. So my plan to stop that, is if I want a treat, I need to go out somewhere and have a single serving. I.e cake at a cafe, frozen yoghurt at soyo, etc.

I have a couple of dinners planned with friends, my anniversary with my boyfriend, and an awards night with work. Cheat meals are always acceptable in my plans, so I will be able to work them in no problem. A balance of life, and healthy living is so important. My biggest focus will be on snacks.

Now it's getting closer to warmer weather, I'm hoping I will have more motivation and stick to my goals!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gratitude & Goals: August 2014

August already! This year is going so fast, but at the same time I feel like a lot has happened.

So far this year I have:

  • Bought my first car
  • Moved out of home
  • Got a new job
  • Moved in with my boyfriend
  • Got approval to buy our first house
  • Traveled to the Gold Coast
  • Traveled to Bali
  • Bought a new bed, washing machine, lounge suite and other house-related things

I'm pretty goal orientated, so it's important for me to always have goals. Just as important, is being grateful.


  • A full-time, busy job that I enjoy
  • A great relationship with my boyfriend
  • Renting a house in a good location, next door to mum, while we save for our own place
  • Savings, and leftover money to spend on things I need/want (like cracking my Galaxy S3 a couple of days ago, and upgrading to an S5)
  • A reliable car
  • My friends and family (and cat!)
  • My health and wellness
  • Plans for our future


Short term goals for August:

  • Find out the asking price for the house next door, and make an offer
  • Gym at least 3x per week
  • Walk as much as I can, since the weather is getting better
  • 2x cheat meals per week, with one cheat treat out (no pick n mix or corn chip snacks!)
  • Pay off my S5 on my credit card
  • Save more than I have budgeted
  • Feel healthier and focus on fitness and nutrition

Have a great month everyone! I'll be reviewing these in 2 weeks, and again at the end of the month. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

iHerb order 06/07/2014

Another iHerb order arrived for me this week. Just a little one this time.

Purchases in this order:

Dang Coconut Chips - a must have every order.

Now Acai Powder - I ran out of my last Acai, and the one I bought last time was sold out, so I decided to try a new brand.

Slender Sticks - A zero calorie flavor to add to water, new product for me

Miracle Rice - I've heard a lot about this, so decided to try this zero calorie rice. Let's just say, the small globdules of rice in the thick watery package doesn't excactly appeal to me. Will be interesting to see what it's like...!

That's it or this order, I'll be back to review the slender sticks and miracle rice.

Remember to use my code LDJ484 to get a discount at iherb.

Vision Board: July 2014

For the past few years I have always been into positive visualisation and the law of attraction.

Over the past year or so I haven't been doing a lot of it, so I thought my blog would be a good place to put it all together.


I am mostly a cat person, but how can you resist a Samoyed? So fluffy, and one of the happiest looking dogs ever.

My boyfriend and I can't wait to get one of these when we own our own house.

First House
We have just started looking at the idea of buying our first house. We have a bit of saving to do, but are getting an idea of what is out there. 

Requirements are modern kitchen and bathroom (not too hard in Christchurch, since they are mostly being done up due to Earthquake damage at the moment), a garage and of course a yard for the samoyed! 


While not a real priority for the forseeable future, if I was to get a new car I would like a Holden Cruze in black. A good size for me, and my favourite shape.

The house and samoyed are higher on the want-list than the car though.


In line with the house, I can't wait to own my own home, and be able to decorate it with my own style, and most importantly - art.

I have a couple of things already, but I don't really like putting it up in a home we rent - it just doesn't feel like it belongs.

I'll definitely be getting some inspirational quotes, and photos to print out to put in photo frames.

A happy, healthy life

And of course, to continue a happy, healthy life in all areas - work, love, home, friends, health, and wealth.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Travel: Bali, Indonesia

A little different from my usual posts. I recently spent 6 days in Bali, and here are a few snapshots of my holiday.

Lots of restaurants to eat at. While a fairly cheap price, meals were pretty small compared to home.

Our hotel pool was awesome. And because it was 30 degrees every day it was much appreciated.

There was a nice big buffet breakfast included on our stay too which was great. And a free private shuttle back to the airport.


Sunset on Kuta beach was really nice. We stayed at the Kuta Paradiso Hotel. And although I don't intend on going back to Bali again, if I did I would definitely stay there. It was a great location and a really nice hotel for it's price.

More dining out, in between day trips and walking around.

On one of our day trips we went to a coffee plantation and got to try out a lot of different coffees...including Luwak coffee. Where the only way they can get the bean is to get a possum-like animal to eat it and poo it out. The coffee is ridiculously expensive considering it comes from animal poo.

Turtle releasing on Kuta Beach. We didn't do it, but we watched people do it. The turtles are so tiny, going out into the big ocean.

Lots of 2 for 1 cocktail deals. Frozen Strawberry Daquiris for me.

A lot of temple visiting, it was a shame it was quite cloudy on the day we visited this temple. 

Fresh coconut juice, is of course a must have.

We went to the monkey park which was cool. I didn't feed them, but mum did.

A ginger, lemon, carrot, and celery juice on our last night in Bali.

We had a full day before going home, since our flights were at 10pm. So we spent the day at Bali Safari and Marine Park which was really awesome. To pat a lion cub and get a picture only cost me $12 NZD.

I love to travel, and I'm glad I've been. But I would prefer to go back to Malaysia than Indonesia. It was a nice holiday, but 5 days was enough time to spend there.

Review: Artisana Coconut Butter

In my most recent iherb order (which is quite a while ago...I am in need for another!) I decided to try coconut butter. I never really liked coconut oil, so thought I might like this better. I love coconut.

To be honest, it's not a whole lot different to coconut oil. It does have more of a coconut taste, but the texture is only slightly softer.

It is often used as an oil replacement when cooking, and supposedly this butter version is better for spread. It can also be added to smoothies, energy bars and more.

My favourite way is to spread it onto crackers or toast and sprinkle cinnamon over top.

This raw, organic food is made only from whole coconut flesh. 

A serving size is 2 Tbsp (32g):

Nutrition: 186 calories, 18g fat (16g saturated), 7g carbs, 5g fibre, 1.9g sugar, 2g protein, 10mg sodium.

Obviously high in fat, it is low sugar and has a good amount of fibre.

Taste: A mild coconut taste. You can taste it a lot more than coconut oil, so I prefer it.

Texture: I wouldn't really describe it as "butter" it's more of a softer version of the oil. You can always warm it up to make it smoother. It melts in your mouth, which is nice.

Value: Pretty expensive, but it is raw and organic. I bought it for $11.05 USD on iherb for 454g (16 oz)

Overall: 6/10

It's just okay. For those looking for an alternative to butter and oil, it will be great for those who love coconut and want that subtle taste added to their food. It's good to have in the cupboard, and I prefer this over coconut oil. But I don't think I will be using it too often.

Want to try it out for yourself? You can get your own here, and use my code LDJ484 to get 5-10% off your first iHerb order.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Bean Supreme - Vegetarian Sausages:

After deciding recently to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet I bought vegetarian sausages. The Bean Supreme brand (NZ) has three different flavours of vege sausages. I tried out Sundried Tomato and Kalamata Olive.

These (as the company name suggests) are made out of beans - soy beans. The ingredients list for this product isn't too long, and most of the ingredients are ones you would have in your pantry.

A serving size is two sausages, there are 6 in a pack.

Nutrition: 194 calories, 8.5g fat (4.8g saturated), 13.1g carbs, 4.3g sugar, 16.3g protein, 688mg sodium.

Pretty good calories with high protein, and better fat than regular sausages. The sodium is quite high but that's expected.

Taste: These look like real sausages. I just put them in the oven until browned. I first tried them chopped up into a bowl with rice and veggies. I like the taste of the sausages, but for me, this flavour is far too overpowering. A plain flavour would have been much better.

Texture: Like I said above, the texture of these is really good. This flavour has chopped sundried tomato throughout.

Value: These are about $7.00 NZD on special at the supermarket. Probably what you expect for a product like this, and with 2 to a serving you get three meals out of it, which isn't so bad.

Overall: 6/10

I really like the texture of these, but I just didn't enjoy this flavour. It was far too strong and overpowering and ruined it for me. I like sundried tomatoes and olives, but it was just too much. I have since tried the Rosemary and Sage ones and they are better. I'll definitely be buying the other flavours.

Review: Sambazon Organic Freeze-Dried Acai Powder

In one of my recent iHerb orders, I finally decided to try out Acai powder. It's a pretty popular superfood, but I wasn't really what sure what to do with it. It's a purple berry that grows in the Amazon forest and is used in smoothies, yoghurt, and other drinks.

The brand I got is Sambazon, it was $18.49 for 90g, which serves 30. 

Acai (pronounced A-sigh-ee) provides powerful antioxidants and helps boost your immune system.

So far I have added it to my smoothies and greek yoghurt.

It's purple in colour, and to be kept in the fridge after opening. It comes with a little scoop, which is so cute, and handy.

Nutrition: 20 calories, 1.5g fat (Omega 6 and 9), 1g carbs, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Taste: It's not a sweet powder, so you would want to add some sweetener too if you have a
sweet tooth. It just tastes like what it is - dried berry. It's a little bit dull, so I think it really depends what you mix it with.

Texture: It does have a bit of a powdery texture, but mixes in well with yoghurts and drinks.

Value: While quite pricey for a reasonably small tub, I think it will last me quite a while. A little goes quite a long way.

Overall: 6.5/10

I don't know if I would purchase this again, as the taste isn't really my thing, but if it really does boost your immune system

If you want to purchase Acai berry you can purchase from here, and get a 5-10% discount off your first iHerb order by using my discount code LDJ484.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Dang - Toasted Coconut Chips

These chips are so good. I can't find anything like it for sale here, so every time I make an iHerb order I get these.

You can eat them as is, or add them to your oats, cereal, yoghurt, salad etc.

Nutrition: 115 calories, 7g fat (7g saturated), 12g carbs (3g fibre, 8g sugar), 1g protein, 115mg

Ingredients: Coconut, Sugar, Salt

Taste: Since these are coconut chips, they obviously have a very strong coconut flavour, so anyone who doesn't like coconut will not like these. They are quite sweet, so you can taste the sugar in them, but it's not overly sweet.

Texture: They are the same texture as chips, although in this lot I did find there were a couple that were a bit hard.

Value: These cost $4.59 USD on iHerb plus whatever you pay for shipping. So to me, that is quite pricey for only 90g/3.17oz but definitely worth it. There is another brand of coconut chips on iHerb that is cheaper, but I much prefer these.

Overall: 9/10

The only complaint I have about these is the price/value of the product. But any coconut lovers must try these.

You can buy them here, remember to use my code LDJ484 for a discount on your first order.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Cookies and Cream Quest Bar & Recipe

I tried my first quest bars about a year ago on my trip across the states, and I wasn't a huge fan. I felt like the bars and their taste was a bit over-hyped. Lets just say, I don't crave them. 

But then I bought a box of cookie dough quest bars, and learnt a new way to eat them....bake them into cookies!

So, this meant that Cookie Dough, White Chocolate and Raspberry, and now Cookies and Cream are actually pretty good. Read below for the recipe.

Now for the review.

Quest bars are a protein bar that are gluten free, high in fibre, and come in a variety of different flavours.

Taste: They have a strange taste, and it does have a slight artificial taste. You can taste the cookies and cream for sure. 

Texture: It has little bits of crushed up cookie in it, as well as some cookie chunks, and chunks of the "cream". Quest bars themselves can be a little hard depending where they are kept. Some people put them in the microwave for a few seconds so they soften up. 

Nutrition: 180 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated), 22g carbs (17g fibre, 1g sugar), 21g protein, 310mg sodium

A good amount of calories for a bar, reasonable fat, high carb - however if you are a net carb counter the carbs are quite low because of the fibre, low sugar, high protein, and moderate sodium. A good snack bar for on the go, after a workout.

Ingredients: The main ingredient is whey protein isolate. Other notable ingredients are; water, almonds, cocoa butter, erythritol, and small amounts of other ingredients.

Overall: 7/10

In comparison to other quest bars I have tried this is probably a little down the list. Nothing beats cookie dough flavour...However if you love quest bars and cookies and cream flavour I think this would be a good option for you.

If you want to try these, you can buy them from iHerb here. Remember to use my code LDJ484 for a discount on your first order!

Recipes: Cookies and Cream Protein Cookies 


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 farenheit).
2. Cut quest bar into 5-6 pieces and spread out onto a plate. Make sure they have a bit of room between them, as they melt a little bit.

3. Microwave for 10-20 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave. You just want them to be soft.

4. Pick up a piece and mould into a cookie shape.

5. Place them on a baking tray (still with space inbetween them....they puff up a bit).

6. Bake for 5-8 pretty much have to watch them the whole time. They will go from uncooked to burnt fairly quickly.

7. Ta-da! Protein Cookies and Cream Cookies.

iHerb Order Arrived! 22/04/14

I ordered my latest iherb order on Good Friday and it arrived on Tuesday morning! All the way to New Zealand. 

  • Roasted coconut chips
  • Coconut Butter
  • White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
  • Stacey's Pita Cinnamon Sugar Chips
  • Acai Powder
  • Cacao Powder

I probably shouldn't admit that the pita chips are gone already....

I have tried all but the cacao powder. So I will have a few blog posts over the next week reviewing some of my purchases.

Looking forward to another long weekend starting tomorrow for ANZAC day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Food Review: Ceres Organics - Peanut-Almond Butter

I am a big peanut butter fan. I recently tried Justin's Vanilla Almond butter and loved it. But since my latest iHerb order was looking pretty pricey, I decided to just get a peanut/almond mix from the supermarket.

Ceres Organics is pretty much the only brand of almond butter we have at the supermarket here. 

I had tried their version of cashews before, since cashews are my favourite nut. But I found it was really dry and impossible to spread. But then I later tried a different brand of cashew butter and didn't like it either.

I had high hopes for this one, since it's half peanut butter - and I know I like that!

For my usual peanut butter I use Sanitarium no added salt/sugar.

First of all, there is so much oil in this jar. Even when I stuck a knife in and stirred it round (as it says to on the jar) it is still ridiculously runny. Very hard to spread on crackers etc because it is just so oily. I'm not a big oil fan either, so not a good start.

Ingredients: Peanuts (65%), Almonds (35%), Sea salt (0.5%)

All ingredients are certified organics.

Nutrition: 84 calories, 3.2g protein, 7.7g fat (0.7g saturated), 2g carbs (0.8g sugar), 42mg sodium

I tried it out yesterday on a vita-wheat cracker (with cinnamon, because I'm addicted). I have to say, I'm not a fan.

Taste: I think because I'm used to no added salt that this tastes really salty to me. Even though there is only a tiny amount of sea salt and only 42mg per serve, I can really taste it. You can definitely taste both the peanut and the almonds in it. 

Texture: If you like oily nut butters then this will definitely be a good one for you. However it is far too runny and oily for me, as mentioned above. 

Overall: 4/10

The oil ruins this for me. It has an alright taste, but it won't be something I will use that often and I won't be buying another jar for $10.00 (NZD). I'm better off sticking to my usual peanut butter, and paying a bit extra for Justin's almond butter.

What's your favourite nut butter? Do you prefer more oily ones?

Recipe: Beetroot, Pineapple, Carrot, Celery, and Ginger Juice

I've been into making juices at home a bit lately, and experimenting. Today I made a beetroot, pineapple, celery, carrot, and ginger juice.

Makes 1


  • 5 baby beetroot/2 medium
  • 3 small carrots (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 pineapple (depending how sweet you like it)
  • 1 (long) stalk of celery
  • small cube of ginger (depends on taste...I like it strong. add small amounts until happy with it)
Juice all ingredients and pour into a glass. Add small amounts of ginger inbetween adding other ingredients.

Nutritional Info:
165 calories, 1g fat, 38g carbs (8g fibre, 26g sugar), 4g protein, 230mg sodium

This Weeks Eats - April 20

The easter weekend started off rainy, but today was gorgeous so I had a rest day from the gym and went for a walk in the sunshine.

Afterwards I came home and made a beetroot, pineapple, celery, and ginger juice. Recipe will be up later today.

Breakfast is always my favourite meal of the day, this week I mostly had oats, but the last two days I had greek yoghurt and fruit.

I love both meals since they are so easy to change up every day depending what you have with them.

For easter instead of giving me chocolate, mum gave me some manuka honey.

Coriander is my favourite herb, so I finally bought some real stuff instead of just using the dried herbs. I've been adding it to a lot of meals already.

I love making a healthier version of nachos. This week I made vegetarian ones, but I didn't have any cheese, so I'll wait to put up my recipe for these. I make the chips myself too using mountain bread.

I was doing a lot of work from home after work this week, so a couple of times I just had quick and easy meals like eggs, avocado, and tomatoes on toast.

Hope you all had a great easter weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Food Review: R.A.W Food Bar (Cashew)

I've seen these R.A.W food bars around a bit, but never tried one. I got one the other day from the supermarket since it was on special.

Brand: Ceres Organics

Ingredients: Cashews (50%), dates. - Pretty raw ingredients! 

Nutritional Value (per bar): 217 cal, 4.9g protein, 12.3g fat (2.1g saturated), 21.4g carbs (18g sugar), 4mg sodium

While obviously high is fat and sugar, both ingredients are natural so it's still a good option for a treat (over a regular bar anyway).

Taste: Pretty good, it is quite small (50g) for the amount of calories, but it keeps you satisfied if you're looking for something small and sweet in the afternoon! The flavour isn't anything amazing, just a slight cashew taste. So I wouldn't bother if you don't like cahews.

Price: What you expect for a health bar. Around $3.00, sometimes cheaper if it's on special.

Overall: 7/10

I would buy this again for a good raw snack, I just wish it had more flavour.