It’s that time of year again….

I don’t know where time has gone, but it’s time for the Noosa Triathlon again!  I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone and that we’re heading up to Noosa in just a couple of days.

Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of last year’s drama– you can relive the adventure if you’d like.  Fingers crossed this year The Runner stays on his bike and finishes the race without any issues.  I’m looking forward to our first trip together since our honeymoon… and ice cream.   You know how I feel about ice cream.

I love ice cream like a fat kid loves cake.   No offense.  I know, it’s not very PC, but neither is my love for ice cream.  I blame my mother, she ate ice cream sundaes every day that she was pregnant with me (apparently).  I was probably born addicted to ice cream. I can’t help it.  I have a problem.  And I know just where to get my fix….. Noosa.

Noosa has more ice cream places in one 500m street than I can think of in Sydney CBD.  I’m not joking, I can’t think of a single ice cream place within a ten minute walk of my office.  Noosa has 4 or 5 ice cream shops that I know of within a 2 minute walk of each other.  Ice Cream Heaven.

Last year’s highlight was the Nitrogenie liquid nitrogen ice cream.   AMAZING…. it almost made up for the drama during the race (just kidding!!!).  Actually, it was the highlight of my trip to Noosa last year- I’m not joking.  I probably should have been going to the gym this week in preparation for the ice cream avalanche that I’m planning up there. Seriously, have you seen their flavours?

The Runner is busy studying run splits, max heart rates, training outputs and all sorts of other pre-race preparation to ensure he has the best race possible.  Me, I’m studying the Nitrogenie flavours and hoping that they have a good selection for the days that we’re there.  Seriously, how is a girl supposed to choose between Chocolate Mint Leaf vs. White Balsamic Strawberries or British Banoffee Pie vs.  Italian Tiramisu???  And don’t get me started on After Dinner Minty vs. Black Forest Frosty…

Rest assured, I’ll give you a full report from Noosa in between scoops!

Goodbye Fattember, Hello Droptober…

igh…. I have to say that the past 30 days have been pretty good.  Not only are we back in Sydney and settling back into married life but it’s been the inaugural Fattember.

What is Fattember I hear you say?  Fattember is exactly what it sounds like.  Fat-September.  Think Mardi Gras or Christmas (we don’t have a parade or a mascot or presents—yet) but for a whole month.

Maybe it’s a reaction to 12 months of 30 day restrictive eating challenges, or just a nice change of pace after having worked out, weighed, and portion controlled my way into a wedding dress.  It could also be just plain lazy.  I prefer to think it’s the start of something bigger.  We already have Movember, FebFast, Dry July, Parched March, and many other months of restraint (or indulgence) so why not Fattember?

Fattember is exactly what it sounds like.  Eating everything I want and not forcing myself to go to the gym 5 times a week.  Ice cream every night for dessert, fries, the odd hamburger, Mexican, cakes, candy bars, the whole shebang.  I haven’t measured, weighed or written down anything I’ve eaten.  And I haven’t worried about it either!   It’s been liberating and delicious and well, a bit decadent but it’s exactly what I needed.  Ok, maybe I didn’t need it, but I’ve enjoyed it!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  Fat-tember can’t last forever- I mean it could but then I would have to buy all new post “Fattember” clothes and I would probably start to take up more than one seat on the bus.    So, as The Runner makes me my last ice cream of Fattember (and literally uses up ALL of the ice cream in the freezer), I wave goodbye to Fattember and say HELLO to Droptober.

Droptober IS a real thing.  It has a website and over 2200 followers on Facebook- so unlike Fattember, it’s not something I’ve made up!

I’ve signed up for Droptober to try to negate the effect of Fattember.  A friend in Sydney started it, and it encourages people to be healthy and lose 2kg in October.  It’s a fundraiser for  Variety Children’s Charity as well.   And I’ve signed up for it.  So from tomorrow, no more candy, no more ice cream, no more fries.  I’m back on the bandwagon and back to the gym.  No excuses, 2 kg (5lbs) in 30 days…  Let’s get ready for summer and let’s get back to eating healthy.

STOP….hang on a sec.

I have an ice cream headache from Fattember’s last ice cream.  Clearly a sign.   Right, let’s rock Droptober!

I scream, you scream…oh wait, I can’t have it for another 20 days…

It was 39 degrees in Sydney today and walking home from the bus stop, I finally worked out what I’ve missed most in the last 10 days…. Ice Cream.

Ice Cream is the single reason that no matter what science or a doctor tells me, I will never, ever, ever stop eating dairy.  I’ve had almond milk ice cream which was good, but don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING in the world that compares to a delicious tub of Ben and Jerry’s or a big bowl of mint chocolate chip!

Image

 

Hurry up 20 days, I know exactly where I”m heading when this challenge is over!

Image

 

Game on– in 20 days that is!

 

Update: Yes, I’m still craving Ice Cream….

Update: Yes, I’m still craving Ice Cream…. (Click me for the Sydney Morning Herald Article!)

Reading this article this morning didn’t help!  FYI, Kohu Road Cookies and Cream is AMAZING as is Serendipity’s Blood Orange Sorbet and also their chocolate ice cream!!!!!!!!!!  I highly suggest trying them all, they’re stocked at Maloney’s in Coogee if you happen to be on the way to my house and want to pick some up!

Detox Week 1: Will someone please get me some chocolate ice cream?????

So I’m done with my first week of detoxing, and to be honest I haven’t done that badly.  Only three glasses of wine (I’m allowed four) and pretty much no wheat or cow’s milk consumed by yours truly which is pretty good.

I’ve been exercising and feeling really good, I’ve taken up yoga– well the Runner and I both have really as part of a 4 week Yoga Challenge with his Triathlon club.  We’ve been to two sessions this weekend and we’re both loving it– especially nap time at the end.

The food side has been pretty easy, it’s one of those things where the thought of going wheat and dairy free is really worse than the reality of it.  It takes a bit of willpower and a bit of planning, but really it’s not so bad. I’ve eaten out– and that hasn’t been too bad, Japanese, Mexican and Vietnamese.  Ten, the Japanese place we go to in Randwick, actually has gluten free options including soy and teriyaki sauce which was a bonus! I will admit to having Mad Mex’s Naked Burrito twice this week!  It’s pretty good, and totally on my detox plan especially if you skip the cheese and the rice!    Mexican’s my favourite cuisine anyway, so even if it wasn’t on my plan, I’d find a way to put it there.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right??

Most definitely!  The one thing I have been struggling with is my other favourite cuisine- Ice Cream…. and shut up, Ice Cream does count as a cuisine.  It’s almost impossible to find dairy free, gluten free, no extra sugar ice cream.  Wait, I said ALMOST.  Last weekend, in Jervis Bay, I found the Holy Grail. Ice Cream that’s on my detox! It’s a brand called So Delicious from the States (http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/) and they make Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free Ice Cream.  What the what????  I know!  It was actually pretty good, because of course I had to get a tub when I saw it in Jervis Bay.  Even at $11 a pint, I couldn’t resist.  Cookies and Cream Almond Milk Ice Cream.  Ok, so they won’t put Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s out of business any time soon, but it was pretty tasty and given my present detoxified state, it was just what the doctor ordered.   Any port in a storm right???   Except for one thing, I want more.  I’ve been craving Ice Cream all week, literally salivating at the thought of it.  Ideally, it would be a big bowl of Ben and Jerry’s mint cookie (my absolute favourite) or even a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, and I can’t have it…. and I don’t know where to find more So Delicious.  It’s nowhere in Coogee.  And the store finder on their website, only works in the States. If I were in DC, I’d go to Whole Foods in Silver Spring, or Yes Organic on Georgia Ave, but it’s a bit tougher to nail it down in Sydney.  Even Uncle Google is letting me down in terms of finding a place to buy it in Sydney.

Image

“Why don’t I just go back and get it where I did last weekend?”  I hear you ask….well, there’s a pretty good reason.  It’s nearly a three hour drive away.  Fail. Big Fat Fail.  

I’ve been looking for somewhere to order it from online but it’s ice cream….not exactly practical to home deliver ice cream when it’s the middle of summer in Sydney.  So I’m stuck with a conundrum, do I cheat on my detox and give into temptation or do I stay strong and stay the course????

Who was it that said, “I can resist anything, except temptation”?  Oh yes, Oscar Wilde, you were a VERY wise man!

 

Image

Click me! It’s Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Click me! It’s Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

And THIS is why I need the Ice Cream Maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid!  Seriously, I have less than two months to perfect the perfect St. Patrick’s Day Dessert…..  Thinking Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Jamesons ganache filling and Bailey’s Frosting, with Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream on the side….. OMG…..I think there’s room for one more attachment in the cupboard….  

YUM!!!!!!!

Back to reality, back to the gym- ugh!

So there are definitely people in the world who love exercising- The Runner, for example, and there are definitely people who definitely hate it- mostly the morbidly obese future Biggest Loser contestants, and then there are people like me. People who hate to do anything that feels like exercise but who are vain. Vanity is a very powerful motivator, as are pants that fit. So this week, I’ve gotten back into my exercise routine- or at least I’m attempting to.

After 8 weeks of eating ice cream, cookies, cake, cheese, and every other tasty thing I could get my grubby mitts on, time, calories and super premium ice cream have caught up with me– or was it the two thanksgiving dinners?

Whatever it is the vain side of me has decided to fight back against the side of me that thought making toasted cheese sandwiches using triple cream Brie was a great idea (it was actually an excellent idea in my defense- very tasty, very oozy, very fatty) and today I make my return to the gym. Or at least that’s the plan.

Earlier this week I got back on the pole, with three pole dancing classes in two days. Pole dancing is a great form of exercise that doesn’t actually feel like exercise. Great music, dancing, high heels, doesn’t feel like hard work until you’re out of breath and trying to figure out whether your arms are actually strong enough to hold you while you are holding onto the pole upside down with your legs in a V. Judge if you must, but any form of fitness that forces you to pull your bum over your head using your arms and core muscles and then hang there can’t be all bad! Talk about rude awakenings, I can barely lift my arms today- they were struggling to lift an extra three kilos of bum and stomach in the classes, not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Today, after work, it’s back to the real gym- planning a Dance Jam class (slightly overweight girls with no rhythm jumping around to Ricky Martin- it will be fun, I’ll fit right in) and maybe some weights afterwards. Yeah, right.

In truth, I’d love an excuse not to go to the gym, it’s a nice, friendly place with great people but too much like hard work. I’ll be lucky if i make the class when really I’d love to go for drinks followed by ice creams after work but the vain me has put the brakes on that idea.

The Runner, after coming back from his 3rd 5am cycling session this week, pointed out that I should set a goal for myself that way the gym won’t seem like such a chore….. This from a man who rides his bike 80 km in the mornings before work for fun. (How is that fun???) And don’t get me started on how he exercises two or three times a day most days. This is the kind of bad idea that people who love to exercise think is great! Clearly, I am supportive but I do think he’s crazy- or Mental Man as one of our friends call him.

Hmmm, my goal is not to wind up on the biggest loser and not give up eating ice cream- oh and to button my pants – unfortunately it looks like exercise could be the only way forward. If anyone has a better idea, please let me know! Until then, see you at the gym so!

Spoonbread- The DC Edition

SO being at home with The Mom, who really deserves a better nickname than The Mom, is fantastic.  Really, it’s like holding up a mirror into the future because she and I are a lot alike.  It’s quite funny.  I’ve actually been spending the day looking at photos in the basement and there are quite a few photos where I’m under 2 and already starting to mimic my mother’s gestures and actions.  It’s funny, people who knew my Dad, used to tell me that I reminded them of him, people who know my Mom, tend to think I’m her clone.  The weird thing is, I see it too.

Anyway, aside from our love of entertaining- and The Runner will attest that I like cooking but I LOVE entertaining- my Mom and I share a love of kitchen utensils.  Seriously, neither of us have ever met a kitchen gadget that we wouldn’t buy- cherry pitter- she has one, butter cutter- yep one of those too, milk frother- got it, vacuum wine sealer- check, melon baller- don’t make me laugh- of course she has one!  So if you can imagine being a small child growing up in the land of 1,000 kitchen accessories, it does shape your outlook on life- in a great way.  The Mom is literally the only person I know with more kitchen stuff than I do.  I’m a total girl- I like shoes and handbags and make up and jewellery, but I salivate- sal-i-vate over Williams-Sonoma……Mmmmmmmm.  It’s not normal, I know, but I’ve come by it honestly.  So I’m really excited to do a He Runs, I Cook from The Mom’s House—although I feel like I should do a 12 course, butter cutting, melon balling extravaganza while I’m here—and I probably would have if Thanksgiving weren’t last week.  Instead, I’ll be cooking from THE MOST EXPENSIVE COOKBOOK I’VE EVER COOKED FROM….(not that I’ve gotten my grubby mitts on lots of expensive cookbooks), “Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine.”

I wrote a little about it in my previous post, but I actually sat down last night and read it—that’s right read it from start to finish.  The book itself isn’t just a book of recipes, it actually tells the story of each family member from grandparents to parents to aunts and uncles, and possibly even a few others.  It’s written by two sisters who were living in New York and seriously, what a gem!   I started off looking for a recipe but by the end, I was enthralled by the family history.  It’s seriously, such a great idea and I can’t think of another cookbook that I own that does the same.  It’s small enough to read as a novel, yet the recipes are simple and sound tasty enough to use as a cookbook.  I’m sold!  Not quite sold enough to cough up $350 for a new one on Amazon.com, but I am bidding on one on Ebay at the moment so fingers crossed.  It’s only new, and the opening bid was $5… I’m not overly optimistic!

Anyway, this book is fantastic- and not just because the first chapter based on the Grandfather is all about making homemade wine……yessssssssssssss!  Unfortunately, I don’t have the facilities or the patience to make wine, and thanks to our lovely friends in the Hunter Valley, The Runner and I have a seemingly endless supply of fantastic wine.  If we didn’t, the idea of testing out a recipe for strawberry wine is vaguely appealing, but I am extremely thankful that we live in the 21st century where liquor stores are ubiquitous and you can order wine over the internet.  The book also has recipes for canning, jamming, and making marmalades.  None of which do I have any interest in.  What’s the point of buying 3 pounds of tomatoes and spending hours coring, blanching, peeling and boiling them when you can buy Canned tomatoes in the store for 99 cents.  Anyway, wine making and tomato canning are things I’ll do One Day….as in One Day/Some day/Never! 

The book also has some delicious ice cream recipes—and if there’s one thing that The Mom and I have in common—ice cream is our favourite food.  Legend has it that The Mom had ice cream sundaes every single day that she was pregnant with me, and I don’t doubt it’s true—I LOVE Ice Cream.  No, really.  I LOVE it.  Seriously, I’m like Cookie Monster’s long lost human twin, Ice Cream Monster.  Love it, love it, love it, love it.  Always have, always will.  In high school, I used to have a bowl of ice cream every day after school- mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream.  It’s actually a miracle that I’m not morbidly obese…. (and yes, Ben and Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie is pretty much the best thing ever).  Anyway, another vote for Spoonbread being awesome, it has awesome ice cream recipes.

So to recap, the book has recipes for two of my three favourite things- Ice cream and wine.  I think I might increase my Ebay bid.  I understand why it caused a phenomena in the 70s.  It’s causing a slight moral dilemma for me, I really want to quietly and secretly slip the book back to Sydney so I can delight in its yummy-ness on a longer term basis.  I know it’s wrong because The Mom loves The Book, but would she miss it?  Yes.  And she reads the blog…..hmmmm, let’s increase the Ebay bid.

Anyway, aside from all this, it does have some really amazing recipes-  Peach gingerbread upside down cake, made with fresh, homemade gingerbread, baked steaks, white potato and cheese casserole, like 8 different ways to make sweet potatoes, southern fried corn, pineapple upside down cupcakes, eggnog pie.  The list goes on…. Of course, there are some low points like scrambled brains- and yes, they mean actual brains not eggs, and of course squirrel, rabbit, opossum and other road kill delights- but that’s only one part of one chapter.  The hardest thing is that I don’t know what to make for dinner tonight- and I made a list of possibilities.  Do I make The Mom’s favourite macaroni and cheese or crab meatloaf or a classic fried chicken?  Do I go out on a limb with Ginger Ale Salad or Chicken in the Pot or Tipsy Cake?  Is it more of a Stuffed Eggplant occasion?  Whatever it is, the recipes all seem to be really simple with pretty simple ingredients and they sound pretty tasty…..  Overall, this cookbook is a winner.  No, I don’t know first hand, but The Mom and her friends can’t possibly be wrong!