Thursday, 31 July 2008

Duckeys Get Fit Week... day seven... Thursday

On day seven...

Today is the last day of my “get fit week” I can say I am really beginning to enjoy it now! Its almost a shame that it is officially over today. Just to let you know I wont be going to raid the supermarkets for chocolate based products tomorrow!

It was just a usual Thursday today, I had lunch on the beach and really enjoyed my bowl of porridge this morning.

I was due to go to the gym and unfortunately we got back late and missed our usual time so decided to stay in do some yoga and stretching while cooking a healthy meal! (Yes I can do yoga and cook at the same time I am a woman!)

So heres how my last day went:

6.30am – half hour of yoga

7.30am – breakfast

Porridge oats with currents and skimmed milk

8.30am – 15 minute walk into work

9.00am – glass of water

11.00am – green tea

12.30pm – green tea

1.00pm – Half hour walk down the beach

2.30pm – Carrot and an Apple

5.00pm – 15 minute walk home

7.30pm – Dinner with half hour of yoga whilst cooking!

Chicken stir fry with brown rice and vegetables

8.30pm- Dessert

Strawberries and Mango with bio yogurt

9.00pm – 50 ab rolls

Today was a light day in the end but I feel as I have had such a healthy week I didn’t need to push myself. I have really enjoyed this week and having a goal to work to. There has been some element of pressure there but it has not been awful.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my week! Perhaps you could let me know if you’ve tried something similar?

Stay tuned for my final thoughts tomorrow!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Prawn and Avocado Salad with spiced noodles...

For a quick light summer meal I have found the perfect solution, you usually see a lot of offers on King Prawns throughout the Summer months so this also makes a cheap recipe.

I also know that avocado compliments prawns immensly so I made an avocardo salad with spice noodles to compliment the prawns.

RECIPE: Dressed King Prawns on a bed of spiced asian noodles on top of an avocardo mixed salad.

You will need:
1 pack of King Prawns
2 servings of noodles
1 avocado
1 bag of mixed salad
1 teaspoon of Mayonnaise and Mustard

To Make:

1. In a sauce pan bring some water to boil and insert the noodles

2. Arrange in a bowl the salad and avocado

3. Once cooked add the noodles and top with chili

4. Mix the prawns with a spoonful of Mayo and Mustard for extra flavour.

5. Top these on the noodle mixture.

This made a really light elegant meal, it was really enjoyale and flavoursome! Perfect for a late summer evening.

Duckey gets fit week... Day 6... Wednesday

On day Six:

Today has been a bit of an unusual day, I fancied a change for breakfast and went for lunch with a work friend Sacha. We went to seven dials in Brighton to a small cafe for a tea date!

It has been a good day and tomorrow will be the last official day of my get fit week!

6.30 am - half hour of yoga

7.30am - Breakfast A bowl of porridge with a few currents and skimmed milk

8.30am - 15 minute power walk into work

9.30am - Glass of water

11.00am - Green Tea

1.00pm - 45 minute walk around town

1.30pm - Orange and Coconut tea

2.30pm - Dinner

I missed dinner today but had one rice cake to keep me going I couldn't make it out to get anything.

5.00pm - 15 minute walk

6.00pm - one hour of rapid housework

7.30pm - Dinner Big bowl of fresh Tuna salad with lettuce, tomato, celery, beetroot, hummus, pickled onions and a bread roll. I also had half a corn on the cob. I didn't have dessert just a few teaspoons of yogurt.

8.30pm - half an hour of yoga

9.00pm - 50 ab rolls

9.30pm - Green tea

I am feeling again a little less swollen today and feeling pretty tight and healthy now. It usually takes a few days to feel the effects but I am doing well and like I have been saying all along learning new things.

I haven't missed a meal in a while and found it was harder to eat when I did as my stomach was quite small and I felt really full very quickly.

I have learnt to have something even if it is just fruit.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Duckey gets fit week... Day 5... Monday

On day Five:

Today marks a sad day for me. Its the anniversary of my Grandad Ducker's passing. I can't
believe it happened a year ago. I would like to take this time to tell the world what a wonderful man he was. He was very much loved by all who met him.

My dad wrote a great post ab
out him on his blog Fighting Fit at Fifty, so to read more you can view this here.

Sometimes when you are feeling a bit low it can be hard to stay motivated, especially over the last few days I have had a virus flare up again, when I get stressed out I usually have this aftermath affect where my spleen area will raise, my boobs get bigger and I notice my bras won't fit (I know this might not be a bad thing but it aggravates the hell out of me) and also my stomach puffs out.

But the day still went acc
ording to plan and I have taken some tablets prescribed to help reduce the swelling.
6.30 am - half hour of yoga

7.30am - Breakfast

A bowl of Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and raspberries

8.30am - 15 minute power walk into work

9.30am - Glass of water

11.00am - 1/4 of a cup of Green Tea

12.45pm - 1/2 cup of green tea

1.30pm - 45 minute walk around town

2.30pm - Dinner

An apple and carrot

5.00pm - 15 minute walk

7.00pm - one hour at the gym
  • 15 minutes on the cross trainer
  • 10 minutes on the wave machine
  • 5 minutes on the arm bike
  • 10 minutes on arm and leg weights
  • 10 minutes of pull ups
  • 10 minutes of sit ups
7.30pm - Dinner

Fresh chicken stir fry with peppers, mushrooms and brown rice

8.30pm - Dessert

Mango and Raspberries with a spoonful of low fat yogurt

9.30pm - Green tea

I still managed to have a successful day. I think I am beginning to feel much better but its hard to track my progress with my swollen torso!

Hopefully if I can manage to relax this will calm down and that is my biggest problem - not being able to switch off. So I am still learning lots and I can't wait to record and reflect all of this at the end of my Get Fit Week.

Choosing your gym...

Having joined a gym for the first time a few months ago here are some tips to help you!
When shopping for health clubs consider the following:


Is it close to your home?
Is it close to your office?
Does it have enough parking?
Can you attend other branches?
The location should provide you with no excuses not to go

Try Before You Buy

Do they offer a day pass trial?
Is there a wait for equipment?
Are there busy times?
Ask the members about the gym you need to know if you will feel comfortable at the gym to go!

Make Sure They Have What You Want

Make a list of what you want to use
Do you want a personal trainer?
Do you need child care?
Do you want to go to classes?
You need to be motivated to keep attending

Member Profile

Find out what the members are like
Make sure you feel comfortable and welcome


Make sure someone is always available
Is there someone to show you a new exercise?
Are the friendly and helpful
You need to know the staff are supportive

Costs and Contracts

Find out the exact membership fee and what it includes
Are there extra costs for additional services?
Can you afford it?
What package suits you?
This should be the most important part in your decision

Some health clubs have a one-time initiation fee and require purchasing a minimum of three months up front.

Depending on your budget, you may want to find a club that allows you to go on a month-to-month basis.

In addition, find out if the health club debits the funds directly out of your account. This can make it easier to pay membership fees but make sure that it's easy to cancel if you decide you don't like the club. Be sure you read the contract before you sign so you're not "locked" into paying even if you move out of town or change health!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Beat the credit crunch with an M&S meal for two at just £10!

You may have seen the divinely presented advert; you know the one with the music and the mouth watering food that’s right Marks and Spencer’s!

We saw this meal deal advertised and thought wow, that’s great let’s try it. The good thing is as well as a few naughty treats like the chocolate soufflĂ© they also have some healthier options which I opted for of course within my Get fit week!

So I guess you could even call this Get fit on a budget.

We opted for:

  • Chicken with pesto
  • Caesar vegetables (but I took the butter out of mine)
  • Summer Fruit Pudding
And you do also get a bottle of wine (healthy in the way of relaxing your mind!) You can find more information about our dinner in my Get Fit Week day three post.

We added some vegetable corn pasta and peas to fill the plate.

If your single and your having it for one person i'm sure it would last over two days.

It really was a tasty meal usually I don’t like pre-prepared meals but it wasn’t unhealthy and it was quite fresh. It only took 25 minutes to cook as well so it had an added perk in that respect.

I believe the offer has ended now but I recommend you definitely try it if they have another one soon!

Get fit week... Day Four... Monday

On day Four:

Well today it is back to work for me. Today unfortunately is not a great day as I have major cramps, that are so painful I want to pass out and feel really sick. Now like I say my pmt is becoming much worse but so is the after effects, so I am keen to find out why?

I don't think I am the only person who suffers with this and all I can think is that my stress levels are high to put it politely 'that time of the month' seems to be happening 1-2 weeks later than it should which is obviously worrying.

So today I suffered in silence at my desk trying to make it through the day! All hunched over!

This is how my day went despite this!

6.30 am - half hour of yoga

7.30am - Breakfast

A bowl of Shreaded Wheat with skimmed milk and honey

8.30am - 15 minute power walk into work

9.30am - Glass of water

11.00am - Green Tea

12.45pm - Snack

Half a rice cake

1.30pm - 20 minute walk

2.30pm - Dinner An apple and carrot with a green tea

5.00pm - 15 minute walk

6.30pm - Dinner Baxters Autumn vegetable soup with a salad wrap

7.30pm - half hour of yoga

8.00pm - Green tea

8.30pm - Dessert Raspberries with a spoonful of low fat yogurt

9.30pm - Green tea

I have looked in to the reasons for bad "ladies times" it is called Dysmenorrhea! It is described as a dull, aching cramp... in the tummy and lower back... its the worst kind of pain as it distant yet there.

You can cure it with drugs such as ibuprofen but I hate taking pain killers! A hot water bottle can also help and I do love cuddling up to my bottle as people who know me will know! (any excuse)

Cramps are caused by hormones called prostaglandins, which cause the painful cramping they can affect the other organs causing:
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea (nice)
  • Cramps
They usually effect you on the first or second day. Lets hope for me tomorrow will be a better day!

If you don't want to use drugs than a natural way is to rest and relax before your cycle is due.

Cramps can worsen through lack of sleep and anxiety both in which I suffer from! This is why I exercise, meditate and do my yoga.

Perhaps I will have to accept i'm someone who will always have a little anxiety and stress in their life.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Duckey gets fit week... Day 3... Sunday

On day three:

Despite heading out for a meal last night I thought I handled it pretty well and maintained my healthy eating challenge.

Temptations are always there but to be honest I enjoyed my meal just as much and if not more as I didn't have the doubt of picking something that was really bad for me.

Today we didn't have many plans it was just going to be a typical Sunday, however we ended up spending the sunny afternoon in Brighton and took a trip to the crazy sealife centre... honestly not worth the money but funny all the same!

9.45am - Breakfast A bowl of Shredded Wheat with a drizzle of honey with skimmed milk

10.15 am – half hour of yoga

11.00am - one hour at the gym

  • 15 minutes on the cross trainer
  • 10 minutes on the wave machine
  • 5 minutes on the arm bike
  • 10 minutes on arm and leg weights
  • 10 minutes of pull ups
  • 10 minutes of sit ups
  • 2 minutes on running machine

2.00pm - Lunch at Zilli's in Brighton

(I only ate half) Small salad c
onsisting of tuna, bean and onion, butternut squash and mushroom and fennel with rocket 1 fresh strawberry and apple juice

2.30pm - 2 1/2 hours walk around town (including sealife centre)

7.00pm - Dinner

M&S dine in for £10 meal
Pesto chicken with vegetables and corn pasta with peas

8.00pm - Dessert - M&S Summer Fruit Pudding

This is low in calories and fat and so fruity a really top tip on a tasty healthy dessert!

10.30pm - Water

So again another successful day, plus I always think weekends are harder as you have more time to be tempted by naughty things! Sometimes when your working your too busy to snack.

I must say, today I feel quite tired and have a bit of a headache whether this is done to my healthy detox or just a tiring weekend!

So i'm off to bed!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Duckey gets fit week... Day 2... Saturday

On day two:

Yesterday I feel I did great but weekends are always more of a challenge. Usually on a Saturday I will have a coffee and let my hair down so that's the hardest thing about today!

As a different type of exercise today we are playing tennis! We have courts booked at 3pm!

I also have a meal at at The Crown in Turners Hill with Rob's brother and his girlfriend Georgina. So I will try and be as good as I can whilst out however sometimes to keep social slight sacrifices have to be made.

I am beginning to remember after one day how unhappy I was before when I used to be so controlling over my diet. So although being so strict is not good its bringing back home again that life is for living and you shouldn't sacrifice it for being seriously strict. Still one week to sit it out!

9.30pm - 30 minutes of "private exercise"

10.00 am – half hour of yoga

10.30am - Green Tea

12.00pm - 20 minute walk around town

1 pm – Lunch out at Savannah's Carrot and Coriander soup with brown bread and 1 earl grey tea (black)

3pm - 1 hour of tennis

4.30pm - 1 green tea and glass of water with a few dates to perk up my sugar levels

5.00pm - 30 minutes of Yoga

6.00pm - Another Green Tea

6.30pm - 50 rolls on the ab machine

8.00pm - Dinner at The Crown

1 cranberry juice and soda water

Sea bass with sweet potato and green beans

9.30pm - Dessert

Fresh strawberries

10.30pm - Green Tea

Today yet again another successful day with heaps of exercise and managed to eat a healthy meal out! So it proves this can be done with good self discipline! A few tips can be found on my eating out tips page.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Get Flexible!

Flexibilty is a range of movements in series within your joints and muscles. To be flexible simply helps balance muscle groups that might be overused during exercise.

It is something that comes with plenty of practice, this is something I teach in Martial Arts.

A good goal is to learn how to fall into the bridge position (but please don't break your back!) This take a while to perfect and to prevent injury go at your own pace. If you can simply achieve one of the below steps then thats great.

Stretching is a great way to start off and even if at first you have to start this bridge position from the floor up do so until you feel strong enough to support yourself.

1. Start in standing position

2. Start of by practising a lean. Do this until you feel confident your back is adapting to its new found flexibilty.

3. Lean back further but only go as far as you feel comfertable. You will find with practise and time this will feel more comfertable as the muscles will stretch.

4. When you can feel your hands on the ground you have reached your goal. It ha taken me a while to get as flexible as I am today but remember I practice yoga everyday.

Flexiblilty will defintately benefit you in your older years so good advice is to start now! Plus it also makes a great party trick!...

Duckey gets fit week... Day 1... Friday

So lets start with today day one:

Well hopefully I wont have to change much of my routine just be careful with those evil treat I crave or find replacements! I am going to try and cut out coffee, so I am upping the green tea!

6.30am – half hour of yoga

7.30am – Breakfast

For breakfast today I had a bowl of wholegrain shredded wheat with skimmed milk.

They recommend lots of whole grains which shredded wheat contains. For more information on healthy cereals see my Cereals post.

8.30am – 15 minute power walk into work

9am – Glass water

12. 00pm – Green tea - this replaces normal tea / coffee

1.45pm - Snack – 2 organic rice cakes

1.50pm – Green tea

2pm – 10 minute walk

2.30pm – lunch - 1 Apple and 1 carrot with another rice cake

Fruit and vegetables are good to help lower pmt levels.

5.00pm – 15 minute walk

5.50pm - Pre-gym snack of 5 dates

6.00pm – 1 hour at the gym...

• 20 minutes of cross training
• 10 minutes of weights, including leg and arm work
• 10 minutes of pull ups
• 10 minutes of sit ups
• 10 minutes stretch

7.30pm – Dinner

Baxters Autumn vegetable soup served with salad and a chicken salad wrap

8.30pm - 45 minutes of "private" exercise

9.00pm - Dessert

Fresh fruit salad (apricot - plum and kiwi) with low fat cherry yogurt

9.30pm - 50 rolls on the ab trainer

10pm - Green Tea

I think this has been a successful day and I am already starting to feel cleansed. I have done about 3 hours of exercise and kept a well balanced diet.

Beat PMT...Duckeys Get Fit Week...

Every now and then we all have a lapse with our food habits.

The last few weeks have presented me with some stressful situations... so naturally I have been comfort eating not to mention my pmt cravings! (sorry guys too much info?) But seriously this and your hormones all encourage the way we eat.

I am sick of having this pmt I never had it until I moved away and my life became more stressful!

Apparently coffee can heighten pmt levels there are four types of pmt...

PMT 1: anxiety, irritability and mood swings

PMT 2: weight gain, swelling of the extremities, breast tenderness and abdominal bloating. (I have this I feel like i've had a boob job and that my tummy is like a balloon!)

PMT 3: headache, craving for sweets, increased appetite, heart pounding, fatigue and dizziness or fainting. (I have this too, I want chocolate, I have headaches!)

PMT 4: depression, forgetfulness, crying, confusion and insomnia. (And yes this too I am emotional and forgetful at present)

I find these types come in stages! Stress also doesn't help PMT in women!

There are a few things you can do to help!

  • Reduce eating sugars, redmeat, salt and drinking alcohol
  • Eat more whole grains and legumes
  • Eat more fish and poultry
  • Reduce drinking coffee, tea, eating chocolate and cola-based drinks so basically caffine!
  • Increaseyour fibre by eating green, vegetables and fruits.
Along with my diet I have also found it hard to do my usual routine of gym sessions.

This week has simply been a bad week which included (from last Friday):

*Chocolate desserts, Thai food, Fish and chips (which is said to be the healthiest take away) a BBQ even though I substitued the meat for Salmon, a high in fat cheesecake, and a small bowl of ice cream* eek!

Now to you this may seem not that bad, but to me, my body is not used to it and really suffering because of it.

So I have set myself a goal target to show you how easy it is to set a goal and stick to it in hope that it might also improve my wicked pmt!

I am calling this next week get fit week, now I’m not saying I’m out of shape or unhealthy but I just want to feel good in my mind. So I will document what I am doing each day for a week and if it works it may be useful to you also.

Stay tuned for my daily progress!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Korean Food....

Going to another country is great especially if it is somewhere with completely different cuisines or traditions.

In 2005 i was lucky enough to be able to go to Korea. I can say that it was the best experience away from the UK I have had.

One thing that really amazed me was the food culture. My favourite food was Korean Kim Chee which is a spicy (and I mean spicy) cold salad. I also loved the noodles and also the Korean style omelettes (shown in the photo above.)

It also quite funny how Koreans love to drink, beer especially.

I am always interested in learning about different foods. If you have any interesting facts about food nationalities let me know!?