Project Tighten Up: Update 10 – Measurement Results

Reallllllllllllly quick one guys!  :D

Here is my measurement results for the month:

[click image to enlarge]I had pretty good results again this month with some good loses from the mid section and chest (sigh) and a surprisingly yet very WELCOME loss from the upper thigh!  BOOM!  It’s about time!

It’s also worthy to note that I am now officially a size 10 up top (according to eBay Australian Sizing charts) and only 3.5cm away from being a size 10 around the hips!  OH HAPPY DAYS!

Okay – that’s it from me.

Told you it was a quick one.  ;)

Embrace the ‘Blah’!

Mindfulness in Everday Life

Today is a ‘blah’ day. They don’t come around as often for me as they used to… Definitely used to feel ‘blah’ more often than not! But it is a ‘blah’ day nonetheless and I am totally okay with that.

In my journey of self-discovery this year I thought that I should force myself out of bad moods. I was trying to push all negative feelings aside and only experience positive emotions. I thought that being upbeat and perky all the time was a quality that I would like to have (those who know me would scoff at the idea! Amanda! Upbeat and perky! Pfft!). I quickly learnt that this is a fast-track way to emotional suppression, definitely not a cool thing.

A lot of people are brought up to believe that experiencing anger or feelings of sadness are wrong. We are told as children (especially teenagers) to “Snap out of it”, “Cheer up!” and “Stop moping around!”. Suppressing negative emotions rather than dealing with them as they arise doesn’t make them go away it just makes them sink deeper down within you. Eventually you will have so much negative emotion built up within you that you will not know how to deal with it and that can result in depression and other health complaints.

I read in a magazine article recently about mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening in the present on a moment by moment basis, while not making judgements about whether we like or don’t like what we find. It’s about recognising and accepting our emotions so that we able to be aware of what causes us to feel a certain way and how we can deal with it.

Rather than pushing aside feelings of sadness we should recognise our sadness and understand it. We can only experience true happiness if we truly know what sadness is. Rather than suppressing anger we should allow that anger to be felt so that we can rid it from our system (as long as we are not hurting ourselves or others in the process). Every emotion has its place and we should allow each to be felt equally.

So today is a ‘blah’ day. And I know that once the feeling of ‘blah’ is over tomorrow will feel even more awesome because of it.

Do you often suppress your feelings of sadness, anger or frustration?

Measurement Results & New Goals

Right.  I’m not going to bore you with a standard introduction and welcome to this post.  I’m going to get straight to the nitty-gritty.  Here are my measurement results for the last month:

Click to enlarge


I had really great results on the hips and thighs (thank you cycling!) but no loss from the middle which is a bit sad.  I usually have my measurements done in the morning though, on an empty stomach, so that might make a difference.

I also only lost 1kg this month which is a bit of a pain in the old ass seeing that I wanted to get to my weight goal of 68kg by April.  I’m working really hard, harder than ever actually, so it’s quite frustrating that I am having so much trouble shifting these last few kilos.

The good thing about goals though is you can reassess them when you need to.  Which is what I have done.

I’m now going for a dress size goal.  I want to be a size 10 by the end of June 2011.

Here’s what the Australian dress size chart looks like:

Looking over the last 4 months I have lost 5cm from my hips, 2.5cm from my waist and 2cm from my bust.  If I lose those amounts again (or more) then I will definitely be a comfortable size 10 or be on the higher end of the size 10 spectrum.

To be honest, I already fit in to most size 10 tops so I don’t think the waist and the bust will be an issue.  It’s those damn thighs that are the issue.    So I’m going to continue to hammer them over the next few months in an effort to get them smaller.  Reduce in size, damn you!  REDUCE! *shakes fist* (Maybe I can threaten them into slimming down?  Anyone ever tried that?  I’ll be the first person to literally scare their thighs into getting smaller.  That would be awesome).

Now, whilst I do have the new goal that doesn’t mean that I am completely writing off the old goal.  There are still 2 weeks until April and by the name of sweet baby cheeses I am going to do everything within my power to lose that pesky 2.7kg.

Watch this space.  Waaaaatch it.  *shakes fist*

(This blog post seemed to get really aggressive towards the end.  It’s my burning passion.  It gets me all fired up.  Sorry about that.)

Not Another Quinoa Recipe?!

Yes!  Another one!  The Quinoa Queen is back bitches with a delightfully warming and delicious healthy breakfast!

I got this idea from one of the lovely gals on the Vogue Forums.  Shout out to ma voguettes!  Holla!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture.  It was a bit dark at 6.15am this morning.  Or as I like to call it, ‘Ugly O’clock’.

I had some leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge from a couple of nights ago (side note: quinoa, napolitana sauce, Cannellini beans, garlic and baby spinach equals a Charlie Sheen combination – winning!) (another side note: I need to stop referencing that douche bag in my posts) so I was glad to find a delicious new use for it!

In a Bowl:

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
A splash of vanilla extract
A dash of ground cinnamon

Combine and heat in microwave for 90 seconds.

Add to it:

A handful of berries (defrosted if frozen)

A tablespoon of LSA
A splash of rice milk (or the milk of your choice)

A teaspoon of agave nectar or honey

Combine and your breakfast is served! Dig in!

Next time Imma use banana instead of berries.  Squee!


I know this is going to be my new go-to winter-warmer breakfast.  What’s your favourite healthy hot breakfast?

Chicken, Vegetable & Barley Soup

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I feel like SOUP!

And soup I shall I have!  Every damn day this week!  Why?  Because I feel like it!  And because it’s super healthy and easy.  And I made a huge pot so I gotta eat it all now!

This soup is full of goodness.  It’s packed with fibre and protein and is low in calories and fat.  A perfect lunch option!

Ingredients (fills 5 x 600ml containers)

1 leek (sliced)

2 carrots  (diced finely)

2 cloves of garlic (diced finely)

2 organic chicken breasts (diced into small chunks)

2L of salt-reduced chicken stock

1 cup of uncooked pearled barley

2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley (chopped)

1 teaspoon of dried tarragon

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

3 handfuls of spinach, kale, cabbage or silverbeet (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot saute the carrots, leek and garlic until softened over a medium heat.

Add the chicken and stir until most of the meat has turned white.

Add the chicken stock, barley, chilli, tarragon and parsley and cover.  Simmer gently for 1 hour.

Add the spinach, kale, cabbage or silverbeet and cook until softened.  Add seasoning to taste.

Your soup is now ready to slurp or pack into containers and freeze!

Nutritional info: 321 cals, 6.3g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 31.6g protein, 28.4g carbs, 7.7g of fibre


Do you like to cook in bulk?  What’s your favourite thing to make and store?

I’m SO Not Vain

I’ve been thinking lately.  Unusual, yes I know – I’ve heard that it’s not good for the brain but hey, I’m a rebel.

ANYHOO, I’ve been thinking that I am extremely sick of looking at my former overweight self, swathed in cream silk, all chipmunk-like in the face, gazing down at me from my living room wall every day.

At the time I felt pretty good.  I had lost 5kg before the wedding and I even had to have my dress taken in!  I was definitely a little unhappy that I hadn’t lost more weight but I didn’t let that affect my day.

Even Justin is slimmer now than he was back then but we are both as vain as ever and although we are not vain at all, we’ve been discussing getting new pictures taken.

When I told Chanel about this plan she thought that we were going to dress up in our wedding attire and have the pictures taken as if it were our wedding day all over again!  What a laughable concept! Ha Ha!  “That dress is swimming on me now!”, I exclaimed to her, rolling my eyes (well, I was rolling my eyes but she couldn’t see them as this discussion was over email).  But I can see how when I told her that I wanted to have my wedding photos re-done that she would come to this conclusion.   Let’s be honest, I wasn’t very clear.  So, like all good friends I laughed at her a little more and then explained to her that no, we would just have some nice pictures taken in normal clothes in a nice location.

And that’s if we ARE to go ahead with it.  I’m still thinking about it.  Should I just ignore the fact that I was overweight in those photos on the wall and remember our wedding for what it was, a beautiful day celebrating our love with our family friends?  Or should I replace those photos with new ones that represent us as a couple, who we are now and where we are heading?  Dilemmas, dilemmas!

What are your thoughts on this extremely important, life-altering and not at all vain issue?


The World’s Shortest & Most Exciting Blog Post EVER!

Note:  Apologies for shitty photo.  The zoom on the iPhone is terrible.  But YAY!  Under 70kg!  I haven’t been that in ten years!  My excitement is out of control right now.

Creamy Chicken Tenderloin Salad

I love this salad.  If it had lips I’d kiss them and gently thank the salad for being so delicious, filling (oh hai protein!) and kind to my waistline.  It’s perfect for either lunch or dinner and super quick and easy to whip up.   I prefer it for dinner because of its low carb content!

The dressing is inspired by Natalie’s Faux Caesar Salad but slightly tweaked (I omitted the olive oil and added lemon juice).


Two handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves

1 medium tomato (sliced into wedges)

Handful of capsicum strips

3 chicken tenderloins (120g)

15g of shaved parmesan cheese (no more than this!  It is unexpectedly calorific and easy to go overboard on)

Dried or fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper

Olive oil spray


1 tablespoon of natural, low-fat yoghurt

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Sprinkle the chicken with a little rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat a little olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken for about 3 minutes a side or until cooked through.

Combine the salad ingredients and parmesan in a serving bowl.  Shred the chicken and place on top of the salad.

Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the chicken and salad.

Now, if I weren’t watching my calories like a damn hawk at the moment I might also add a boiled egg or some crispy prosciutto.  OR (gasp!) both.  Drool.

Nutritional info: 324 cals, 9.3g  fat, 4.2g sat fat, 47g protein, 8.6g carbs, 7.6g sugar