FIFIFRIZZLE's SparkPeople Blog FIFIFRIZZLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Kefir, resistant starch, motor racing I think I have got the hang of kefir now, I make it every day and have some on the go for a second ferment. Every few days I make a smoothie for breakfast, in the weekend it was mango and this morning it was feijoa and apple. Both delicious but mango is the best! <BR> I don't usually have milk so this is quite a change for me. I couldn't get water kefir grains, which I would have preferred. I think my digestion is improved but it does take a bit of getting used to. I don't know how long it t... Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:36:39 EST Holiday weekend Yet another domestic day, housework, made scrambled eggs for DH, swam, bit of gardening, then had a glass of wine with our new neighbour who was easily distracted from his chain sawing. <BR> It's a long weekend, Queen's birthday is celebrated on Monday, so everyone is either out of town or doing a pre winter catch up. <BR> Lovely calm sunset full of birds returning to their nest. <BR> Have a peaceful weekend, sparkies <BR> Sat, 3 Jun 2017 01:28:04 EST Domestic doings I made my first milk kefir today, a little more trouble than yogurt but apparently a zillion more good strains of probiotic. Haven't tasted it yet... <BR> Today was food prep day. It included making stock, and a jar of tamarillo <img src=""> <BR> and feijoa compote to add to our steel cut oats. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I used my own feij... Mon, 29 May 2017 22:37:05 EST In the swim with new shampoo I haven't been swimming as regularly as usual because I've been busy with other stuff. So it's nice to pick it up again. I overdid it the last couple of days so had yesterday off just to be sure I had DOMS (=delayed onset muscle soreness) and not something else. It was DOMS so I was back in the water again today. <BR> <BR> I feel so much freer about exercise now that I have dropped a lot of the 'shoulds' around it. if I can only do 40 minutes, then 40 minutes it is. If all I can do is a ST ... Mon, 22 May 2017 23:41:59 EST Getting real It's scheduled to snow somewhere in the country but thankfully not here. However the cold weather is with us now. <BR> In a spirit of hope I have hung out the washing but there is very little breeze so I think the dryer will come into play. <BR> I had a warm swim this morning and picked up just a little shopping - the My FoodBag service takes care of all my food needs for 5 main meals, so there is nothing much to think about. I really am enjoying it, so glad I resumed. <BR> It's time to put t... Mon, 15 May 2017 22:37:51 EST Wintry Cool here today, I think there would have been a frost down in the valley. <BR> I am getting rugged up to get into the garden and do a few things while the sun is still out. <BR> Week two of my new food delivery service will arrive tonight. <BR> Ginger baked chicken, spiced lamb, spiced chicken, lemon baked salmon and beef & mushroom bolognaise on the menu this week. All the ingredients and instructions provided, I just need to put it all together. 450 calories a meal, I just need to take ca... Sat, 13 May 2017 19:16:55 EST The mystery of the disappearing meringues I know, meringues shouldn't be a part of Fifi's food vocabulary, but making aquafaba meringues really appealed to the thrifty side of Fifi. <BR> Aquafaba is the brine from a can of chickpeas, and it acts like egg whites if you beat it. So I made a trayful of beautiful looking raspberry flavoured meringues, and popped them in the oven. More than an hour later they were nothing but smudges on the baking paper. <BR> <em>39</em> <em>46</em> <em>24</em> <BR> Fri, 12 May 2017 21:43:23 EST Kitchen improvements I'm presently recovering from our endeavours upgrading the kitchen in our flat. Here it is, just one unit but quite a bit of work <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our tenants are now ensconced, all is well, and we are all a little tired. <BR> I've done a little gardening, and am about to do my weekly food prep. <BR> <BR> This is made easy because my food delivery arrived last night. Five recipes, you can see them onli... Sun, 7 May 2017 18:56:42 EST Tuckered out Thank goodness I am going to work today! I have spent my four day weekend deep cleaning the bottom flat in preparation for our new tenants & I am tuckered out. Old tenant moved out after three years, and we have a week between to do some stuff. <BR> There have been sone horrors, as the last tenant pressed me to move in one day after the previous tenant so there was a limit to what I could do. But I have a list & I am working through it... <BR> Helped DH assemble the kitchen units, there is s... Tue, 2 May 2017 10:54:31 EST Time out It's been balmy lately and we have spent quite a few evenings and afternoons sitting out enjoying our garden. <BR> Easter was followed by ANZAC day on Tuesday as a public holiday, and I've enjoyed the company of a decompressing DH. As usual I have been loathe to put my garden to bed so we are blessed with late blooms and continued colour in the flower beds, though I recognize this must come to an end soon. <BR> We attended a memorial service for DH's aunt in Nelson on Monday, flying in a litt... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:23:59 EST Easter holiday I only work 3 days a week and not on Monday's so having Easter Friday is my only public holiday. I get 5 days off in a row. Five days of gardening , I think. Though we were supposed to have a tropical cyclone. It swung past a little to the east so we are all good here. <BR> <BR> It didn't disturb my garden activities, we cleared our pathways so we can be dry walking down to work, and I refreshed the chicken zone partly in preparation for an Easter egg hunt. It seems a waste to have chickens ... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 07:28:59 EST Shower dome image and other domestic stuff OK, for those of you that wanted to see my new gadget, here is a picture <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Not my shower, though very similar, but the dome is hard to photograph, you can;'t really see it when you are in the room. It works by providing a sealed environment so that there is no contact with the cold air, therefore no steam in the bathroom. I can tell you, it's hot in that shower and I have had to turn down the w... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 05:02:49 EST Domestic busyness and food talk Getting our new tenants has generated a burst of domesticity. I spent yesterday prepping vegetables. I made a vegetable curry and some rice and quinoa, a coconut rice pudding, vegetable soup, spiralized carrots. Today I cooked a haloumi and added it to two salads, one for lunch today & one tomorrow. <BR> Sitting here drinking homemade lemon verbena tea, which is absolutely delicious. <BR> But have to rush out in a minute and do a bit of urgent planting because bad weather is on the way and th... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 20:14:55 EST New tenants Our Irish tenant is returning to Ireland so we need to replace her. <BR> What a palaver! But actually it has been relatively simple and Oh, so quick. <BR> She had friends who wanted the flat, but in the event they changed their minds. So I advertised the flat on TradeMe, which is the equivalent of Ebay, I think. <BR> <BR> I listed the flat at 10 am, had 285 views by 4pm, showed 5 potential tenants through by 3pm, signed up the second viewers and received confirmation of their payment at 3:30... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 02:14:00 EST Yet another day in the garden. What a glorious day, so hot I was tempted to go to the beach but gardening is my spare time agenda. <BR> Planted alyssum, weeded and swept, made space for other ground cover. As I was planting lettuces my chicken buddy watched and rushed to try to dig them up. Grrr, she got a push! <BR> So many birds and butterflies about, and 20 degrees all day. <BR> I put in a good 7 hours and then cleaned the shower while I was washing, rest of the house has been neglected for the last few days... <BR> Ha... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:23:26 EST Autumn flush The last few days I have made serious inroads into my garden. The unusual season means it has been friable from spring right through. And now we have an autumn flush I want to take full advantage of the opportunity to move and establish plants and make the garden easier to cultivate by hoe. <BR> Usually I garden with a wire hook, I find it easy to get around the garden but not so easy to stand up and get into the house after a long session. Stiffness and ouches! But this year it has been dif... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 23:12:16 EST MIA for a few days Don't know what happened, I've been MIA lately. But getting on with things, swimming in the colder Wellington sea, gardening, and picking up Yoga with Adriene again. I made a good start on the 31 day Revolution when on holiday but on my return didn't embed it in my routine. I figured you don't have to do it every single day, even twice a week is enough. <BR> <BR> But actually I love it and miss it if I don't do more than that. And I can easily fit in four sessions a week. <BR> <BR> So I di... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 21:22:38 EST Holding on to the holiday I've been back nearly a week, including my four day work week. I got a bit lost in the mundane, but am clawing back that holiday feeling. <BR> My break was truly like a spa, with rest, swims, yoga, walks, and a strong connection with nature. My work days haven't allowed that but in my long weekend I have visited the beach for wading/swimming sessions at our cooler, grey beaches, picked up the yoga again, and been outside in the garden. <BR> <BR> I saw a baby barracuda on my Saturday swim. At... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 15:17:15 EST Home What a pleasant drive home it was. The weather was a little hot, but apart from that, the roads were not too busy and late summer is a beautiful time in New Zealand. <BR> <BR> It was a very peacable crossing in the ferry, and when we turned into the harbor mouth I stood outside at the prow, wearing just a light summer dress, not jacket, and watched us come in to berth. <BR> <BR> DH was pleased to see me, and made me a delicious fish meal, and we drank champagne outside in the warm evening.... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:01:03 EST Fishies? To answer your question, OJ, yes. In the river there are little baby fish, I saw them in the shallows. Under the rocks at the far bank there are many eels. But luckily I didn't see any. I'm sure they knew about me, though. <BR> One of my friends was standing in the shallows and an eel came up and bit her on the bum! She posted a photo to prove it. Of her bum, not the eel, because it swam away. Eel is a delicacy in New Zealand and the Maori had significant eel wiers in some rivers. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 12:33:34 EST The river pix The rapids <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The big pool <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's quite long <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> PS it's in NZ Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:07:30 EST The river I am holidaying in the valley of the Anatoki River. We hear the sound of the river day and night.. When it rains the water rises and the force of its heightened flow rolls the boulders over. We hear them as they grind against each other. <BR> <BR> This is a snow fed river and the water is deep and cold. Sometimes I am afraid that if I get into the water my feet will be numbed and will become so cold that I won't be able to negotiate its boulders to get out. We talk about being so cold that... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:35:45 EST Flippers Yesterday I was busy all day but headed off for a swim in the evening. I found a beach that had surf, quite unusual for Golden Bay which is shallow and warm. Played in the warm surf and got home after dark. <BR> Today was a friend's birthday so I made a chocolate bean cake for him, and some peanut cookies for the people working on the bathroom. I'm not going to see it finished until next time. <BR> As for me, I spent the afternoon at the beach with friends. One of them lent me a set of flippe... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 02:10:37 EST Things that go bump in the night I was so chillaxed yesterday, pretty much all I did was reading and yoga. It was very hot but I didn't even go for a swim. <BR> <BR> I made banana fritters, though. The first banana I have had for a while. They are easy, mash a banana, mix with an egg, cook on a griddle. Yum! <BR> <BR> So here I am in bed, well slept, but I've just been woken by the death shrieks of a creature, not quite sure what. We have some introduced predators here in NZ. Rats, stoats, possums in particular have laid ... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:03:02 EST Big swim at the beach I had to go to Takaka township. There were serious roadworks on our gravel road. I'll try to post a picture. I'm driving my townie car, it is low to the ground so I found navigating this something of a challenge. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> But I got there, did my errands. <BR> Had a chai at Dangerous Kitchen, sitting under their grape arbor. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:37:34 EST Stepping it out First it rained, <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> then the sun came out and it was fiercely hot. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hot enough to dry three loads of washing. <BR> <BR> Despite three separate visitors turning up as I was on the mat, I did my Yoga with Adriene. Loving it, but it's hard! Modifying to suit my present ability. The s... Sun, 19 Feb 2017 04:43:58 EST Ease in walking I have been having a busy time laundering and airing the bedding at our holiday lodge, which sleeps 14, the weather has held for the week though I think it might rain soon. <BR> <BR> As I am here for a good stretch I am doing a spring clean. We have guests expected shortly after I leave (band camp) so it is nice to prepare the place for their arrival. <BR> <BR> The showers are out of action so I am obliged to have a bath. It is a huge claw foot iron bath, I can float stretched full out a... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 05:50:47 EST Yoga with Adriene When I began this holiday I had plans to increase my walking. I confess I haven't made huge strides in that direction <em>211</em> and I promise to do better. <BR> <BR> But I have started yoga. One of my friends told me to check out Yoga With Adriene and I am loving her practice. I started with short before bed and waking up routines, just a few minutes, but now I am beginning to do longer sessions and really enjoying her approach. I figure this will really help with my balance and pro... Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:03:21 EST Swiming and stranding It's raining today and warm and a bit windy. This makes it a slight problem getting out on our road, which is subject to slips. I'm glad I went to the beach yesterday. <BR> This is Ligur Bay with the tide out. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Can you see the Tasman Memorial on the promontory? <BR> I swam in the bay around the corner, which has a steeply sloping shelf, so more water for swimming. Wore myself out and slept li... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:11:20 EST Holiday activities After my ferry trip and drive to Motueka I felt as though I was properly on holiday. Getting away from home makes for a complete break. <BR> My sister and I had a Bowen massage treatment the next day, and on Wednesday we went to Kimi Ora spa in Kaiteiteri. We had a jacuzzi, then a swim, then a sauna and a swim, then another jacuzzi then a picnic lunch. Here is a picture of my toe, <BR> <img src=""> <BR> By this t... Fri, 10 Feb 2017 23:56:25 EST On holiday Here I am in Golden Bay, the top of the South Island. I arrived last night and dropped by friends who live on the property, then set up in the Annex, which is a living space attached to our Lodge. <BR> The place is so quiet and peaceful. It gets very hot here in this sheltered valley but this morning it is cool. Luckily I brought a jersey with me. <BR> I have also brought enough kitchen equipment to start a shop. I'm setting up a separate kitchen in the Annex so that people ho don't want to s... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 13:02:20 EST Vibration plate exercise machines? I'm not the only one in the family who loves a gadget. When I visit my sister I will get to play on her newly acquired vibration plate machine. She calls it the wibble wobbler and we both have the ingredients for a fair amount of wobbling. She has a hip problem and hopes it will help her with that. <BR> I have my doubts but that won't stop me trying it out during my visit. <BR> Do any of you have experience with these machines? <BR> <BR> Apparently they are good for rehabilitation. Well, t... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 14:45:37 EST More gardening and holiday plans The weather is holding and I am continuing with my gardening plans. With luck it will stay overcast and I won't get too hot. <BR> <BR> People have been complaining about the unusual weather this summer, but for me it has been perfect. Overcast means I am not subject to too much sun and heat. And the rain means the soil has remained friable. So I have been taking full advantage. I pack my lunch and a drink in a travel cup, add sunscreen, and down to the garden I go. <BR> Our house is at the ... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 12:40:10 EST Vegetable prep with garden pik I've said before how much I love my spiraliser. It is such fun to prep the week's vegetables and I did it tonight after I got home from work. Cucumber, carrots, broccoli, courgettes. They look so cute in the fridge. I have bought some glass click clack containers with silicone lids, and now I can prep, store and take the vegetables to work, pop them straight into the microwave and eat from the dish, wash, repack and repeat. I feel very satisfied when I do this. <BR> <BR> So a shoutout here ... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 02:04:55 EST Gardening in the rain Eight hours in the garden today. It was raining to start with but dried out and got very hot for a while there. Planted marigolds, gerbera, , a rose, and replanted many flowering plants I have moved. I still have some clumps to shift tomorrow morning. Mon, 23 Jan 2017 05:20:26 EST Flowers and birds and stuff Another windy day, horizontal rain, and in some parts of the country, snow! Not usual summer weather. We bought some plants for our garden and soon they will be in the ground. It gas been a most unusual growing season. The wonderful pohutakawa flowers have mostly blown away, which is sad for the local nectar feeding tui. I have a sugar water feeder in the garden but the birds haven't discovered it yet. I've never hung one before and I wonder whether they don't like the yew tree it is hanging... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:10:55 EST Wind storm OH it is windy here with gusts of up to 160 kph, they woke me at 5 am and the house is shaking with it, so more sleep isn't feasible. It is just getting light and we will be able to see the damage shortly. At least our paths will be swept clear and any debris left from our hedge trimming etc will be out to sea by now so the place might look pretty tidy... <BR> On the injury front the exercise stirred up the leg pain but it is not too bad most of the time and I will persist gently. The crush i... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:15:23 EST Exercising at last I decided that the garden was my number one priority and I have been doing that instead of exercise. Also I have had a slightly bung leg. Don't ask, but basically its because I overdid the star jumps in the water and I paid a big, dreary price. <BR> <BR> But, nil desperandum and I've pretty much ignored the whole thing and kept on going (minus pool work) and it is nearly better. <BR> So today I did 20 minutes on the dreadmill and 45 minutes in the warm pool. <BR> We shall see how it respon... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:44:44 EST Weeding and mulching in the garden, nothing to see here. It rained yesterday, all morning. We hung our new prints. Then, with the rain lifting I went out in the high cloud. DH was moaning about the weather on the phone to his Mum in the sunny South Island but I could tell it was all over and I wanted to mulch the garden while it was still wet. <BR> But first I had to weed. I ended up doing another six hours. The chooks helped, especially when it came to spreading the mulch. Caught out again as the sun came out, my sunscreen didn't last that long. ... Sun, 15 Jan 2017 12:57:12 EST Summer holidays ending Week two at work has nearly finished and things are speeding up. In New Zealand our Christmas break is combined with the summer holiday so a lot of people are still away, but next week it will be business as usual. It's fun to reconnect with people who have come back from their holidays and hear what they did with their leisure time. <BR> I'm still enjoying my first week of the Cura and the inspiration of dramatic weight release. <BR> <em>141</em> <BR> Taking things easy as much as I can.... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:53:36 EST Before I get into the garden... I was a little late starting this round of the Cura but now I'm in the swing of it I'm really enjoying the antidote to a full month of social eating. <BR> And awake early and about to start again in the garden. Let me at it! Mon, 9 Jan 2017 11:34:47 EST Birds of a different feather I've been gardening with the chickens for company and they are very companionable, although not as hardworking as me. I did another six hour stint and with reasonable weather if I keep it up for the next long weekend I'll be feeling very happy with the results. <BR> <BR> Everywhere I went the chickens did too. They weeded, sunbathed, dust bathed, snoozed, and hopped up wherever I was. They missed me when I was gone and now they are laying again. <BR> <BR> At our holiday place we were so ple... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 22:19:58 EST The garden After being away the garden calls, it is rather unruly at the moment but just a week or so would sort it all out. With luck DH will help and we'll get it all done but he is rather inclined to go off at a tangent. <BR> So I got up early and spent six hours gardening today. Now I'm sitting on the sofa wondering if I will be able to get up again! Sat, 7 Jan 2017 21:14:08 EST Some December pix (including foodstuffs) December is my birthday. We went away for a weekend with friends. <BR> Here are the hors d'ouvres I made. Olives of course, spiced nuts, stuffed baby peppers, devilled eggs, asparagus wrapped in bacon... and smoked salmon on cucumber. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We went out for dinner on The Day, too <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> it was ... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 02:03:22 EST Baaack Happy New Year to my Sparkadees. <BR> What a great holiday I had. A true family time, both families, and it went well. I just got back. Flew home while DH drove the car and took the ferry. He's just disembarking now. <BR> We went south to spend Xmas with DH's family. Then north to connect with mine and spend a few days at our holiday home with friends. <BR> The weather has been variable, mostly cloudy which was wonderful driving weather. DH and I did a working bee at MiL's and transformed he... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 05:13:06 EST Loving my new rice cooker with wierd spelling corrected Sister in Law gave me her rice cooker, a device I have never owned before. My first rice cooked in the cooker was wonderful! I mixed it with cauliflower rice in my vegetable stir fry for tonight's dinner and we were happy chappies. <BR> We had about 1/3rd cup cooked rice in all, the rest was vegetables. <BR> <BR> I,m looking forward to trying out quinoa and brown rice combined in the cooker, but wish I had the instruction manual. Any advice, Sparkies? <BR> <BR> Later... no, Dr Google has no... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 04:19:43 EST One weekend...with recipe It was a three day feast, thank goodness it's over. <BR> A wonderful still night on Friday, we sat outside in the garden for our housemates' dinner. Later we turned on the outdoor heater but there was not a breath of wind and the night sky was beautiful with a fingernail moon and the evening star for the longest time as we sat eating, drinking, and playing nicely. <BR> I made baked slider burgers and trifles in individual jars. <BR> Saturday a catered birthday party for an old colleague, it ... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 13:39:19 EST Rested What a relaxing time at the beach. The weather was wildly windy and there were rain storms on the water. The waves rolled in ceaselessly, with breakers far out into the ocean. Seabirds hovered and swooped in the wind. But it was warm, we did not need the fire. There was astonishingly good food. (Too much of that, but indulgence soon mended.) <BR> The company was relaxed and happy. <BR> Newspapers were read. <BR> Sudoku and origami puzzles were done. <BR> And now we are home again. <BR> We wer... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:30:24 EST The beach It is the last few days of spring, and we are preparing for a trip to a beach called Raumati, which means summer. Unfortunately rain is forecast, but we are taking our bathers just in case. <BR> The place we stay is architect designed, and captures wonderful sea views. Maybe I'll take a photo if I remember. It is only an hour's drive away and en route we will cast away our cares. <BR> <BR> A well deserved long weekend break. <BR> <BR> Happy thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:17:01 EST The joys of gadgetry Today is the end of the fourth week and of this round of the Cura, and I begin to wind down for a weekend at the beach, along with a return to more normal eating, at least some of the time. The dust hasn't settled yet but I got my fourth gold star, for 20lb lost in four weeks, which is not to be sneezed at. <BR> <BR> I read the promoted sparticle on green smoothies, these are a favorite of mine and I often make them to start the day with a little dose of vegetable goodness. Mine have less fr... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 12:46:34 EST