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HAKAPES's Recent Blog Entries

A beautiful and challenging week ahead (Cape Town #02)

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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 1/22/2012 3:11AM

    very nice place to be!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 1/22/2012 12:57AM

    I love that you are in such a beautiful place! I think that you owe me post card from one of those places in an email you sent me several months ago!

You always have such a great plan in place when you travel!


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KIMBERTA99 1/21/2012 8:40PM

    Sounds like you have all your bases covered!! As usual:)

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/21/2012 10:33AM

    Fantastic Oliver!! Sounds great and you are my travel hero!

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ZELLAZM 1/21/2012 8:51AM

    You're doing so well on maintaining your healthy habits, even while on the road. Happy Sparkiversary!

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CANDOK1260 1/21/2012 5:29AM

    looking like you have a great plan. secrenar look wonderful.

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KRISZTA11 1/21/2012 5:13AM

Find a beautiful place like this for your morning runs!
Congrats to involving your team in your exercise plans!

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1 year sparkanniversary in pictures (Cape Town)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Friends,

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.

Let's spark!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLYBLUE67 4/24/2012 9:06PM

    Congrats Oliver you look awesome. I would love to go to Africa myself some day on Safari. On my bucket list

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KKINNEA 1/23/2012 12:27PM

    Happy Sparkversary! The picture timeline does tell a great story - I also seem to have more and more sport pictures as time goes by :) Really appreciate you as my Sparkfriend - let's have a great 2012!!

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    Wonderful. So proud of you and all you've done. Keep it up!

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TERESA159 1/22/2012 7:02PM

    Ah, you did the pictures backwards and I was going, wait, he's getting heavier! Ha ha. It's a wonderful picture blog, shows your journey very well. Congrats and both the success with weight loss and your ability to travel so much. I just had my first year anniversary two weeks ago. Keep Sparking!!

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LISAINMS 1/22/2012 6:50PM

    Way to go, Oliver!
Happy Sparkaversary. What an awesome lifestyle change you have made! You look happy and healthy.

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ZELLAZM 1/21/2012 8:53AM

    Not only are you doing sports in most of the pictures - you're SMILING! Obviously, this healthy lifestyle is good for us in more ways than one!

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SHOOPETTE 1/21/2012 12:42AM

    What a year!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/20/2012 8:43PM

    Good on you brother Oliver! What great progress and what a great plan you have.....you"re motivating me to out for a night bike ride!!

Happy Sparkversary!!

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TEDDYBABE 1/20/2012 8:33PM

    Oh I love that term "spins me". It does that to me also and affects my sleep also. Love your pictures and what beautiful travels! Congrats and good luck with year # TWO!!

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 1/20/2012 7:45PM

    I'm totally jealous of all your travels.
Happy Sparkiversary!! :)

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KRISZTA11 1/20/2012 5:56PM

    Happy emoticon, Oliver!
The pictures of your journey are awesome,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 1/20/2012 5:09PM

    Happy Sparkaversary! Enjoyed the pictures and WOW you do travel! Have a great new year.

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Strawberries again. And swordfish. (Morocco)

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 1/19/2012 8:59AM

    I'm with you - love strawberries. I'm looking forward to strawberry season but it's going to be a few months yet. Enjoyed hearing about Moroccan cooking!

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KKINNEA 1/18/2012 11:04PM

    Great building. Sounds like the tooth brushing habit is set - nice job! Also, I love how you get your exercise and healthy eating in - I love the joyful descriptions of tasty food!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/18/2012 9:04PM

    Great job....enjoy it! I agree strawberries are always good!

I'll have to put Morocco onto my list of places to vacation

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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/18/2012 8:38PM

    Keep up the emoticon work !


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KMICHA 1/18/2012 8:29PM

    Oliver! Way to go! Even if it's not the exercise that you are use to, you are still out there doing it! The food sounds so delicious! I can almost taste the strawberries! Thanks for sharing your travel experiences with us! I think many of us enjoy reading about them and seeing the pictures you post!

Good Habit! Brush those pearly whites!

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MELLOWPETE 1/18/2012 8:13PM

  Nice work keeping up on your fitness while away from home! I always found that difficult to do.

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PEPPYPATTI 1/18/2012 7:40PM

    This all sounds so fascinating! And good for you on the teeth brushing! Way to go Oliver! emoticon

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Africa, North and South (Morocco)

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 1/18/2012 7:39AM

    It was fun to read about your Spark adventures in exotic places. WTG on keeping up the healthy habits in spite of travel temptations!

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KKINNEA 1/17/2012 2:12PM

    Your running path looks nice - how was it in the dark? Great job on sticking with the healthy foods! Sounds like you should get as much fresh seafood as you can while you're near the source.

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FVHORVATH 1/17/2012 8:48AM

    Love to see the pictures of places you have been! I am so jealous that you have all this wonderful travel. Great job on all the choices you made for foods. I would be tempted to try all the goodies!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 1/17/2012 12:58AM

    I just love your travel blogs! I am still really jealous! Kudos to you on all your healthy decisions you make! You are great Daisy!

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KIMBERTA99 1/16/2012 11:32PM

    Oliver you are still going strong....you have some of the best habits of anyone I know!! I am glad that you still are able to find some healthy option and I like the idea of eating lite in the morning so you can enjoy some of the local fares for dinner!!

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CLAIREINPARIS 1/16/2012 8:01PM

    Wow, wonderful! Glad the food is so gorgeous in Morocco! I must say I sometimes struggle to eat healthily through my travels, but this time I am doing better. Although my Haitian colleagues and friends always want to 'feed' me!!! So I am being very careful - no bread, no sauce, as litle rice/pasta as possible and no desserts. Hopefully it will do the trick.

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/16/2012 7:04PM

    You're doing great!! Travel is tough and airline food makes it tougher on long trips, so good thing you're packing your own food.

Sounds perfect eating local....it's my favorite way to travel!!

Enjoy and keep squeezing in those workouts!!

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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/16/2012 6:40PM

    All the best !

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CAPTHAMMER 1/16/2012 6:35PM

    Always love your travelogues, Oliver. Since you mention a colleague, this must be another business trip. Are you still looking at strawberries?

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Fix bad habits (my favourite article on habits) (+FNF goals)

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.

emoticon5% 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.

emoticonFNF 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.

emoticon1. 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.

emoticon2. 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.

emoticon3. 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!

emoticon4. Spiritual:
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):

emoticonHere'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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYROSEC 1/15/2012 6:01PM

    Thank you for sharing :)

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KKINNEA 1/15/2012 3:14PM

    You and I are both doing the complementary challenges for the Daisies and SASSYMOHO. I think they'll help reinforce each other.

I love that you take your electric toothbrush with you - I only haul around my regular one!

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LASARRE 1/15/2012 2:17PM

    Great ideas!

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PEPPYPATTI 1/15/2012 1:42PM

    Awesome! I also keep a gratitude journal, It helps me to stay focused on the positives which is great on your mood! I also joined several teams whose themes are "positiveness". Way to go on your goals!

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ZELLAZM 1/15/2012 11:12AM

    Thanks for sharing so much good info! Much success to you in building new habits!

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SPARKCHANTAL 1/15/2012 10:50AM

    go hakapes, you*re such a hard worker! and so 'Konsequent'!

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    Great blog.

I loved the article on habits.

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FVHORVATH 1/15/2012 9:32AM

    Great way to stay motivated! Loved the picture at the end!

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NINNY165 1/15/2012 9:32AM

    Think you for giving me some insight to make my life better for me and ultimately for those I love. I want to make this year a year about me & for me. This is proving to be a challenge but I am worth it.

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REBECCAMA 1/15/2012 9:09AM

  Way to go on staying motivated!

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    I'm so glad you've joined in on another challenge and that it's already challenged you in your thinking. I want to take a bit of time to think about your goals and what I might be able to offer in support.

Thank you for always being supportive. You are a gem!

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KRISZTA11 1/15/2012 7:20AM

    I loved the article at the end of your blog.

For me, making exercise and healthy eating a daily habit went very quite similar to the method described in the article, even if I lacked the scientific approach.
Eating the same foods is true for me too: I have about 30 favorite foods, 20 groupings and 10 recipes, and I very rarely add any other food to my nutrition tracker.

I noticed that doing my daily routine (meditation, cardio, strength training) is much easier before a working day, even if I have to leave at 7 a.m., than during holidays or week ends when I have the whole day.
Human nature is a miracle...

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