Saturday, January 21, 2012
So after a few days in North Africa, here I am in South Africa, for 11 days.
The food is gorgeous.
People are very nice.
So I need to be really vigilant not too slip down the "I just eat a little bit of this" slopes.
It's full summer here, and I think the main focus should be to drink enough water during the day, not to confuse hunger and thirstiness.
Some preparation I did:
1. brought my travel body scale, weigh-in every morning to see where we're going
2. small travel kitchen scale (like the Bible in the precher's hand)
3. I asked around the participants to do exercise together, so we're gonna run each morning together, maybe some gym in lunchbreaks
4. I brush my teeth now after breakfast, helps to reduce the morning snack cravings
5. askef for fruits and vegetables for the coffee breaks of the program
6. small plates for buffets, only one round, strict - no return! (This one will be difficult!)
Brushing teeth after breakfast - done! Yesterday, after the long night flight, I could only do it later when arriving to the airport, but I did it at the airport!
Sunset in Cape Town, from The Twelve Apostels restaurant
Friday, January 20, 2012
Today is my first day of my second year on Sparkpeople.
Lot of things happened during the last year, let me share some pictures.
December 2011, Gleisdorf, Austria - After a cold run in the morning. The moisture froze on my cap!
November 2011, Mexico
October 2011, Szombathely, Hungary - daily run
October 2011, Gleisdorf, Austria - at work
September 2011, Gleisdorf, Austria - I needed new trousers
August 2011, Bléré, France - summer holidays
July 2011, Orléans, France - daily run
June 2011, Budapest, Hungary - in a coffee house
May 2011, Doorn, The Netherlands - coffee break in course
May 2011, Gleisdrof, Austria
April 2011, Gibraltar, Morocco - the wind between Europe and Africa
April 2011, Volubilis, Morocco - Oliver's Oliver Tree
March 2011, Utrecht, The Netherlands - going for local food
January 2011, Skiing in Austria
October 2010, Gleisdorf, Austria
September 2010, Gleisdorf, Austria
Searching for all these photos, I noticed two things.
One, more and more pictures were me doing sports, as time went by.
Second, I travelled pretty much last year.
Funny, I write this blog today, from Cape Town, South Africa.
Due to the lot of flights and short nights this week, I decided to be light on exercise, and prioritize sleep. I made a long walk nearby (40 min), and now I'm heading to the bed.
I could have a nice run in 40 min, but then it spins me, I wouldn't sleep until 2am.
However, for tomorrow morning, I'm planning to get up and make a nice long run.
I thank you all for your support this last year, it is great doing the healthy lifestyle together!
I got so many tips, motivation, encouragement, ideas, presence from you here, it's incredible.
It's just sooo good that I have friends on this journey, and we can share all the ups and downs.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
During this 3 day quick come-and-go trip to Morocco, I finally managed to make a run every day. I only had 30 mins, so I did interval training.
I had the chance to taste the first strawberries of the new season, mainly shipping for the fresh market. They are sooo good looking and tasty. Oh, I love my job! Many of my colleagues are saturated with strawberries, but somehow, I am still fascinated by these fruits. In fact, before working here, I didn't really care about strawberries, but here, over time, I got into it.
On this evening pic, you can see my favourite place in Asilah, a restaurant called Casa Garcia. It's owned by a Spanish man. They are specialized in seafood, and there's not really a menu, everything is shown in the glass-doored fridge that is available to eat. Everything is fresh from the sea. It's that type of restaurant that is exquisite cuisine, but not expensive, not a posh place. I got the insider tip from a colleague working there for years before.
I ordered mixed salad - somehow simple vegetable salad taste extremely joyful, salad de fruit de mer, swordfish, icecream, and tropical fruit salad. I asked about the side dish, and my worry was justified, so I asked to exchange the pile of french fries to steamed vegetables. And all this wonder for the same cost as a workday lunch in Austria.
What I find interesting in Morocco's cuisine, is that very healthy, fresh, organic, low calorie food is on offer in the same way as, fat rich, heavy food. For example, Taijine, which is steamed chicken/beef with vegetables dish, and heavy in fat grilled ribs with french fries are similar price items on the menu. In Austria, and Hungary, I only find low calorie items in special restaurants, or as special "fitness" menu items. In Morocco, somehow by tradition it is part of the menu. And most of the raw material is fresh, organic, non-processed.
As for my weekly new habit, brushing my teeth after breakfast, it's in. I had to do it in a rush, in the toilet of the hotel lobby, but it's in.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This week is funny. The frist three days I spend in Larache, Morocco (North Africa). Then on Thursday I am off to Cape Town, South-Africa.
For this week my new habit was to brush my teeth after breakfast every day.
Yesterday and today was good!
Before dinner, I went to run, 30 minutes. It was dark, cold, and lots of wind, but somehow I didn't care. My colleague told me to pick me up in an hour, and I've seen automatically taking on my running gear and heading outside. It's great that I don't need to put in any extra willpower to make my daily exercise happen. It just happens.
Food here in Morocco is excellent. There's nothing special as creation, just simple Taijine, Couscous, grilled seefood. But somehow, the ingredients and the raw materials are all natural, fresh, local products, and everything tastes even in the roadside grill marvellous.
So, I plan to eat less for breakfast, and squeeze in good runs to have room for the calories.
Travel, especially airplanes can be difficult for nutrition. Lots of junk food around, and lack of sleep and tiredness all work in favour of snacking. Today, I've spent 5h altogether in small Fokker and Canadair style airplanes. But somehow, it was all good. (And let me list all the cities crossed today, quite a list!)
I left Gleisdorf with my usual 15g of Granola and half cup milk. In Graz, I had a bottle of water and a small croissant in the lounge. In Vienna, I refilled my water bottle, and got a fruit salad before the second flight. I asked otherwise for water on each 3 flights, and slept trough the junk food sections. For lunch, I grabbed a chicken salad in Madrid - was not easy among the heaps of sandwiches on offer with high quality Spanish meat. Arriving in Tangier, I decided to skip eating, and after driving on the highway, had an afternoon chicken-califlower Taijine near Rabat instead. Then, finally, I had a proper meal for dinner in Asilah, with my colleagues. I went for seafood, as in Austria seafood is not really available, and here in Morocco it's so tasty. A colleague of mine said "your good in healthy fatty acids for the week!".
This is where I ran today (this is not made by me, it was already dark), in Asilah.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Beside the 5% challenge that is becoming 2nd nature in my sparklife, I joined Sassymoho again for a quest, which moves different energies in me. This blog is a bit longer than usual.
5% challenge this week habit:
Brush teeth after breakfast, lunch, dinner. I start this week by washing teeth after every breakfast. I start on Sunday, today, and it's already done.
To motivate myself, I bought an extra Oral-B Pulsonic toothbrush. This is because I love gadgets, and I take this to my workplace. I also bought a pocket Elmex toothbrush+pasta combo.
FNF by Sassymoho challenge: goals, and last week:
My plan was to think about my goals, and my starting point, and finish line.
I thought to keep it simple, to increase the chance of success. I decided to make 2012 be around developing new skills. So all these are new skills. I only start a new one, when the previous one had been done every day the last 7 days.
I was struck by choosing an emotional goal. I've never thought about it before, I was always about Body/Mind/Spirit. So I thought to cut trough the stuff, and make it first priority.
The finish line for each of these is to become a habit after the challenge, so to do it without extra willpower every day.
1. Emotional: Gratitude light
I was experimenting lately with the gratitude journal, which is about listing 5 things "Today, I am grateful for:". It focuses me on the positive energies, and I expect to be more optimistic and feel happier.
Tierney J (2011): A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day
This happened for 9 days, so I keep it going, and move on to start #2.
2. Body: BAM Brush-After-Meal
I brush my teeth after breakfast sometimes, and before going to bed on every day. I want to make it a habit to wash teeth after every breakfast, and later on after every lunch, and in the evening to switch to wash teeth after dinner.
This is partly for the health of my teeth, and partly to "close" the meal, so I munch less afterwards.
3. Mental: Morning pages
I will start this later but it's on my plan for FNF. I expect this to clear my mind, and improve my productivity for the day overall. Then I will have more time to PLAY!
I want to make a habit to do meditation in the morning, and later, in the evening. Probably this will come through establishing a morning sequence, and an evening sequence of doing things. Otherwise, it will be just skipped in the daily rush and tiredness. I'm still planning on how to make this happen.
To support all these happen, I made a small mindmap, and an Excel table (printed) to track my progress (tip was from Gretchen Rubin on happyness-project.com).
Any tips, feedback, supporting questions for the above are welcome!
A picture from my run yesterday (14K):
Here's my favorite article on habits.
A must read for anybody who wants to improve on habits.
Young S. (2011):
Fix Bad Habits: Insights from a 7-Year Obsession
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