Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where do I end?

First off a big thank you to everyone for their advice re the Wii Fit, I am a member of a group on the Ravelry and last year they started a fitness thread and we were all motivating each other on. And people were really excited about their Wii Fit or really excited because they were going to be getting one.
However, I never actually found out what the Wii Fit did, or if it was worth it's purchase price. I even Googled it and had no luck. Having asked, you've all answered and I found a recent informative blog post so I am now more aware.

Secondly I am very excited about this recipe I found on a blog, I was going down a rabbit hole like Alice, following link to link and ended at this recipe for Taco Pasta. Mmmm looks good, I think I could do that and it's just the weather at the moment for a pasta bake.

And on for my weekly Healthy For You challenge, this must be end of week 3 now. I discovered I liked Pilates, I was never sure I would. I am a mad keen yoga buff but I often looked at Pilates and dismissed it thinking it would be too samey. Then I finally got one, a Stott I think. And I hated it with a passion.
Fast forward, I have one of Mari Winsor's, she of the infomercial fame although having said that I haven't seen one for her in ages. Oh how I now like Pilates! Thank you Mari.

Many, many, many years ago in a galaxy far away...around the same time I really got into yoga, I was also intrigued with belly dance. Only back then it was well I may be ignorant and making sweeping statements it was very "Middle Eastern". And in that I mean it all seemed to draw from an Arabic/Egyptian kind of background. This was pre-internet, pre-culture explosion as well.
Now you can surf the net to see what people are doing on the other side of the world, you can get books on everything and everyplace now. There's no lack of knowledge available now, but then the world was a lot bigger and places and other cultures were much farther away and far more mysterious and unknown.

I bought a video on belly dance, it had horrible chinky clinky music that irritated me to no end and the instructor was wearing a unitard, it was red, and when she came to use her veil it was also red. Most of the time I had no idea what she was exactly trying to demonstrate and this was way back in the dark ages, pre-internet, pre-YouTube, pre-Paypal and ease of shopping from overseas even finding this one video locally was about it at the time.
I gave up belly dance as a bit of a bad joke.

Then some how, I forget what I saw where but I was looking at it again, thinking about it. Belly dance now is kind of like ice-cream there's a flavour to suit everybody! While I was browsing the many flavours that I found out about Rachel Brice.

Rachel Brice is a incredibly wonderful thing to know about. I am hugely enamored of her, in part because she's so bendy but I am also fascinated by Tribal Fusion style (or flavour!) of belly dance she practices. I got her first DVD, and was then hugely intimidated because she is so lean and bendy and found my self scurrying for safer ground with the equally wonderful Sharon Kihara (think Angela from Bones meets Abby from NCIS).
Anyway back to Rachel, she's about to release another DVD, which will include details on one of the things she is famous for in her routines - very cool looking back bends!
I realise these are not unique to Rachel or Tribal Fusion they pop up else where across belly dance, but I just find them here to be particularly awe inspiring.

When I took on the HFYC, it was partly as a way to keep my motivation going, make me perhaps slightly more accountable in my effort to clean my life up. There was a certain quality of life I was aspiring to for some time and this seemed an opportunity to keep at it.
But now, now my new goal for HFYC? I want to be bendy like Rachel Brice, I want to do one of those cool looking back bends among other things.

Up until here I liked belly dancing, but here after I saw this is where I fell in love with it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where I find a new soapbox...

HFY End Week One - Well nothing earth shattering to report on this front yet. I have been working my way through the links on the blog roll on HFY and so far it's been 50/50 live and dead links. The check in links on is all live so there's been some successful reading there.

I find myself nodding in agreement as I read these blog posts as I find I can really empathise with what there women are writing about.
There isn't exactly a new story to found here, women with weight loss goals have been around forever. We clearly like weight loss stories; as a society we seem to have a passion for thinness.
As Lord Vetinari said to William de Worde in Terry Pratchett's novel The Truth, people don't want new news they want old news. They want to read about dog biting man, not man biting dog!

Magazines love to write glowing stories about how some celeb got their pre-baby body back and write of the epic tragedy that has caused celebs weight to balloon out and generally give them a good hiding with the proverbial stick. However, when they lose it you'll hear all about in glowing terms whatever exercise and diet regime they have been following to bounce back so quick and how you too can benefit from this.

But Celebrity Fitness is a huge industry, Elle, Cindy Crawford, Rachel Hunter and Jerry Hall have all made workout’s, fast forward and now we have workout’s from Jordan aka Katie Price, The Girls Next Door (those infamous Playboy girls), the Pussycat Dolls (not actually featuring the Pussycat Dolls mind you) and a whole plethora under the Biggest Loser banner. Which has certainly given Jillian Michaels a platform to launch off a number of titles under her own name separate from Biggest Loser, people rave about her 30 Day Shred. Personally I don’t like Jillian Michaels; the lasting impression is that of an over-aerbocised megalomaniac, but that might just be me.

How about the Wii Fitness boom? And all it's associated paraphnalia? I see Biggest Loser is in on the action there as well. How do I feel about the Wii Fitness? I must admit I am both intrigued and suspicious of it. It is after all a game, a computer game and quite honestly I'd put more stock in the Girl's Next Door workout than I would in any computer game.
People rave over it and I have no doubt it does do something for you but so does walking round the block twice every day. No matter how interesting a neighbourhood you live in, that will eventually get old and kind of useless.
Aside from the benefit of trying something new to avoid boredom at some point you need to change up what your doing to stop your body from cruising through on auto-pilot and not getting the maximum benefit from your workout.
I know this is true, because I've been there, done it and seen the results.

In closing today I'm putting the question out to you in cyber land, you all get to be my opinion poll - What's the verdict on the Wii Fit? Am I simply being all dark ages biased about this particular piece of technology? If have one does it live up to all it's hype??? Come on dish it all, this inquiring mind wants to know!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cooking, Eating and Reviewing on the Darkside

Over the last two days I have been slow cooking from Sally Wise's book Slow Cooking. I've made Satay Chicken always delicious and I love satay! And yesterday I made Meatballs in Spicy Barbecue Sauce which is delicious as well but it's more of a glaze than an actual sauce on the meatballs.

Sally Wise has just released a new book Out of the Bottle, preserving and recipes using your preserves. I might have to compare it with her first book A Year in a Bottle (which was the best selling book for the year according to one of my local book stores) to see if there is much repetition, but there are no slow cooking recipes in it.
What recipes there are a fairly good I'm loathe to say basic, but there not fancy and nothing to weird or obscure to find is needed and in most instances even if you haven't preserved anything your self you can buy a commercial product equivalent not quite in the same spirit but preserving very much hinges on what's available. If you want raspberry jam, you best be making it in raspberry season!

I'll test some of the recipes and maybe try and squeeze in some preserving if I can find a suitable recipe for the time of year here and see how we go, then write up a more accurate review here.

Miss Stash and I have been watching on DVD the TV show All American Girl, oh my how it takes me back. Not only does it remind me of when I saw it the first time around but I so remember those 90's fashions!

I'm sure most people will have heard about John Cleese's 3,300 British pounds taxi ride across Europe by now. I have been following with amused interest on Twitter Bill Bailey's trip home from Spain. He's made it into France now, but hasn't yet bought an old car with which he hopes to drive back to England in.
My limited overseas travel while exciting never become adventures like this. I guess with the internet I can live vicariously through other people's adventures.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They come in 3's!

Lots of things come in threes, but having written my last blog post the three most interesting things to write about all fall into my new workout plan time allotment. There was other stuff but that's mere boring drudgery and makes these 3's look awesome.

1. I discovered the Healthy You Challenge - it was exactly what I was looking for! I wanted something to keep me inspired but without sucking up too much of time and this challenge is perfect for it.

2. At school I saw on a noticeboard a poster for a Zumba Fitness Party, someone is running one locally on Monday nights, at $10 a session. Since I don't sleep well and roam about at night and by night I actually mean very very early hours of morning when it is still dark so it can be classed as night still, sometimes I find myself watching infomercials.
All the fitness machines amuse me to no end, I like how they all fold away for easy storage. My ironing board folds away for easy storage but I suspect comes out for more use than some of these machines. I also love the beauty treatment one where they drive around in a caravan and surprise "ordinary" woman with beauty treatments.
And I have totally gotten off point, I can't vouch for how many of you out there in blog land also peruse infomercials at odd hours but one that seems to get a lot of airing is the Zumba one.

Now the infomercial would have you buy a very, very, very expensive set of DVD's which come with Toning Sticks - which to me seem to be a set of plasticy looking dumbells that apparently rattle when you shake them as your dancing to the Latin beat.
While I'm quite happy to pass on the DVD"s, I am kind of intrigued about the class. It does look like it'd be fun and it is only pay for the session you attend. A thought I shall keep to think about later.

3. The school gym, I heard from them at last year's orientation and they were then touting themselves as the cheapest membership in town. Which is true if your student, it is a very cheap membership and they offer up services comparable to other gyms around town.
I think I'd need a an actual look around before parting with any cash and see how it looks, but they had just refitted it last year so everything was brand new.
Should be quite modernised then. Another thought to think about later.

But first I need to work out my plan, I feel if I actually organise something and write it down I'm probably more likely to do it. Or at least I hope I will be more likely to get off my backside and do it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things I Need To Do....

- Homework...If I do it at school does it become school work????
- Housework...Why does it never end?
- Fix the second Punky Rose Wristlet, discovered when I went to start thumb I had been knitting the right wristlet again. No problem, managed to work it so I could get thumb in normal, all good. But no, I now need to be working back and forth and it's not in the right place. Needs more thought.
- Possibly temporarily desert PRW and work on second sock I found half finished?
- Find the other 9mm needle, I can work on finishing the scrunch scarf then.
- Take time to work out what, when and where of a new exercise plan. Must be user friendly, not boring, not too hard or worse too easy!

And if I have time left after all that possibly I could turn my mind to creating peace in the Middle East, you know just for R&R....
No, more likely at the end of the week I'll sit down and watch Margaret Cho. Very, very, very, very funny but a bit rude for some people I fear. I do love Margaret's Mommy stories!

To do now? Cup of tea and then into bed with a book, I am not yet sure if it will be a good one or a bad one.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Hijacked Ancient Pagan Festival!

Or as Bill Bailey would call it Happy Implausible Resurrection Day.

Reading the newspaper leading into Easter, there will be a two page spread advertising chocolate eggs and bunnies followed by a two page spread about the Christian spirituality of the occasion.

There were also quick quotes from people they'd stopped on the street and asked about if they would eat fish on Good Friday? If they'd asked me I would have said no, I tend to like making my dinner decisions on the day.
Get up and think what do I fancy for dinner tonight? And work from there. Granted 9 times out of 10 it'll be green Thai curry, but sometimes there are other things I fancy. Usually something else suitably spicy, I have been having the most immense cravings for hot spicy food lately.

To me the not eating of meat on Good Friday belongs to the Christian religion, it's like people of Jewish and Islamic faith who both have the no pork dietary rule among others. I’m not an expert on either of those religions so won’t attempt to profess what others fall under their dietary rules.

It's like vegetarians there falls many choices of what you will and won't have before moving onto fully fledged vegan. Or even more hardcore again I feel are the fruitarians, I'm never sure if I believe this or not. A fruitarian is someone who only eats produce that has fallen from the plant. Or perhaps has been picked but allows the plant to continue on living??? They'll eat an apple because the tree can live on, but they won't eat a carrot because it has ceased to continue on growing.
However a quick Google brings up this site so maybe over time its definition has changed - Fruitarian Site.

None of those options necessarily stem from a religious faith, maybe if you’re Buddhist that would encourage vegetarianism. Religion is a weird animal; if you have it does that make you better than someone who doesn’t?
I don't believe in God with a G, I don't identify myself from any branch of the Christian faith. And I must confess quite ambivalent about anyone who does have faith in any religion. Live and let live! Yet what surprise me is Christians I know who are very anti-Muslim. How dare they be allowed to build mosques! How dare they practice their non-Christian religion in our Christian country!

Last time I checked we were secular and our constitution gave us all the right to freedom of religion, we can believe or not believe as we choose. Something for which I am immensely thankful for, I can believe in the Easter Bunny!

But in closing for some light relief, how about those Republicans, the American political party and their trip to the nightclub with live faux lesbian bondage acts??? I thought they were all morally opposed to lesbians and gays.