Creamy herb and garlic prawns with cauliflower rice

By popular demand I have been asked to share this recipe that I fluked tonight, so rather than procrastinate I am putting fingers to keyboard so I don’t forget.

IMG_20160316_192915 low resMidweek meals are a pain in the rear, nobody offers any suggestion as to what they want and even if the kids say 1 thing then they have been known to change their mind once it is on their plate. If I am disorganised or something seems too hard or time consuming, then bad things CAN happen. (Did someone say pizza?)

So in honour of improving my health and well being this concoction was created tonight.

Half a head of cauliflower
1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
300g of fresh or frozen peeled green prawns
300ml of thickened cream
5 or 6 small tomatoes
Handful of whatever herbs you have on hand (preferably fresh) I used flat leaf parsley and chives.
Ghee or butter for cooking
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Thaw prawns (if frozen) I do this by placing in a bowl of warm water while I’m prepping other stuff.
  • Chop cauliflower in blender or Thermomix in short bursts so you don’t overdo it(Thermomix 2 seconds, speed 7) remove and put in hot frying pan with ghee or butter, fold it over every minute for about 5-7 minutes or until it has hint of brown. (Remove and set aside)
  • Next mince, chop or Thermomix garlic (Thermomix without washing the bowl, 2 seconds, speed 7)
  • In the same frying pan, lightly fry off the garlic, strain and add prawns until slightly pink (don’t overcook) then add cream, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer.
  • Throw in halved tomatoes and chopped herbs, salt and pepper, cook for about 3 more minutes.
  • Plate up like a true Masterchef and throw it on whatever plate you can find. Put a sprig of fresh herbs if you want it to look fancy. More pepper and voila, dinner is served.

Serves 2

So before you ask, no my kids did not eat this, but I did serve up some cauliflower rice (aka magic fairy dust) and a few small amounts went in their mouths.

NOTE: you could add more if you wanted like, kale, baby spinach, shallots or onions it depends on what your eating plan or WOE looks like.



Row a Marathon! Are you crazy?

The word Marathon had only ever been used in my vocabulary with the word ‘Movie’ in front of it, involving the delight of plonking on the lounge for hours on end.

But, a year ago I used the word Marathon with a Half in front of it, and accomplished 21,097m on the Concept 2 Indoor rower, whilst on an adrenalin fuelled whim I said “hey maybe next I’ll try a Marathon” (crazy).

I never thought it would come to fruition as I was always postponing the date due to surgery and, to be honest, lack of time and commitment. I needed to set a date and stick to it. I also had added pressure by saying I would row for charity*, a little local girl Sophia who needed surgery in USA to correct her rare limb deficiency, donations still welcome and read more of her story here. Being a woman of my word I had to get it happening.

I procrastinated a bit more, trained for short distance events like the 1 Minute Challenge and Australian Indoor Rowing Championships and it was while I was at this event in Brisbane that I saw an opportunity. The host gym Urban Rowing was holding a Christmas Marathon Day on 13th December 2015, so I decided I would hold my own event in NSW on the same day.

It was only a month away so it was time to get in some longer distance training on the rower in preparation. So depending what time I could fit into my busy life I would do anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, 3 times a week. When I did the 2 hours I rowed 24,000m it was hard but doable and this was to be my longest training row.

Now when I say I only had a month to train, I had been doing A LOT of training before this so I just increased it to more of the longer distance rows. (The experts recommend a minimum 4 month training program, so don’t go from zero to hero in a month.)

Finding a venue was easy, the amazing owners of my gym EnVie Fitness were happy to let me host the event at their studio, as I didn’t know anyone else who would row the full Marathon with me, I attempted to fill 2 other rowers as a continuous marathon relay. So taking advantage of the gym Christmas party and a few slightly intoxicated members I recruited enough people to commit to rowing 2k or 5k or even 10k and more.

As I confirmed the relay rowers more and more started pulling out and made the lead up to the event which made me very anxious, whilst some had good reasons for cancelling it still didn’t help. But calling upon friends is the best thing a girl can do and they came, stayed, filled in gaps, rowed twice or even 3 times and made my row a lot less stressful.

Now MY Marathon row, let me tell you all about it. It started more worried about music and technology rather than the distance, my vintage Ipod failed to charge and my carefully selected Row Ho Ho playlist was never to be heard.

The starting line-up, Amanda, myself and Jules

The starting line-up, Amanda, myself and Jules

I started as schedule at the stroke of 7am, trying to chat to my fellow rowers rather than focusing on the time and numbers, it was great to chat to friends and meet new people who I hadn’t got to know from the gym previously.

Alita the owner of EnVie on the left and Coby on the right doing their bit.

Alita one of the owners of EnVie Woonona on the left and Coby on the right doing their bit for the relays.

The first 18,000m was, dare I say, relatively cruisey, and from then on hitting each milestone was an achievement in metres and in time, 21,097 half way, over 2 hours then became my longest ever row, when you see the numbers tick down from 20,000 to 19,999 and especially when it went to 9,999 that was epic. But the realisation that 10k meant nearly an hour to go at my current pace was hard to grasp.

Pleased to see some festive spirit from Kate on the right and our token male Scotty "Unreal" who says he really needs to work more on his cardio.

Pleased to see some festive spirit from Kate on the right and our token male Scotty “Unreal” who says he really needs to work more on his cardio.

With about 8k to go, shit started to get real, my body hated me, my mind wanted it finished, I couldn’t pull harder if I tried and the more I looked at the estimated finish time the more it was creeping up to 3 hours 40 minutes. There was my amazing pit crew at the end Kim and Kate who were adjusting my foot hold up and down to change positions slightly, I was lifting alternate buttocks off the seat on every other stroke for some rear end relief, I was taking many sips of drinks and all too often I would just stop for a second here and there but never putting the handle down, it was getting really really tough mentally and physically.

I rowed for a while hunched over so I wouldn’t look at the screen just to get a few more metres done. To my surprise this seemed to work. Then the counting down of every kilometre, when it ticked over 3 hours I was feeling some relief that the home stretch was in sight. I just kept rowing. My mantra was “still less painful than 3 days on a horse”, I’m still yet to blog about that experience and in saying that this was a different kind of pain, more intense but I kept repeating it to myself and occasionally out loud (weirdo).

It was around this time that my darling husband brought the kids in to the gym, this put a little pep in my stroke, but it was short lived.

The pain is real, but the end is nigh. My cheer squad kept me going.

I had now stopped talking to my rowing buddies, a new lady got on to finish 1 of the relays and I hadn’t met her before, I said “I’m really sorry but I’m not feeling very chatty right now” (how rude).

There was a small crowd of dedicated supporters to whom I’m very thankful, some not exactly yelling what I wanted to hear like “go harder” but knowing they were there to support me was more important.

Such a welcomed distraction when Ella climbed on next to me.

Such a welcomed distraction when Ella climbed on next to me.

With less than 1000m to go my daughter Ella climbed on the rower next to me to finish off 1 of the relay rows, completing about the last 300m, this inspired me to give it all I had, but when I went to push harder with my legs I felt on the verge of a cramp in my quads so I calmed down a bit but still faster than I was going, at this stage I was aiming for sub 3 hours 42 minute but I was just happy to be so close to the finish.

The pain and relief of THE END

The pain and relief of THE END

And then, THE END.

I had made it, my amazing pit crew removed my feet from the straps and I waddled like a little old lady to a mat on the floor and lay down collapsed. EVERYTHING hurt.

Get me off this thing. Thanks Allison and Kim for helping me escape.

Get me off this thing. Thanks Allison and Kim for helping me escape.

I just lay there for a few minutes feeling sore and sick to the point of almost vomiting.

Once I peeled myself off the floor the enormity of what I had done still hadn’t really sunk in, it was all pure relief of being off that damn rower.

I'm dying here, but still have my festive spirit. Row Ho Ho.

I’m dying here, but still have my festive spirit. Row Ho Ho.

Here’s my acceptance speech for my virtual award:

I would like to say a massive thanks to Alex and Alita from EnVie Fitness Woonona for allowing me to take over their studio (again). To all the amazing people who came along and rowed you will never understand how much your support means to me. To Kate and Kim for hanging around and helping me as well as filling in rowing gaps in the relays where it was needed and especially for your support at the painful end. To my deer husband (yes it’s spelt right for us) for you never ending

And the winner is ….. everyone who finishes a Marathon. I’ll take this certificate and display it with pride.

support of my crazy ambitions and coming to cheer me on “row fatty row” (it is an approved cheer) and for my adorable children yelling “row mummy row” before wandering off to play with your friends, I can only imagine how boring it was to watch for 10 seconds but my little angel Ella who rowed with me at the end almost made me cry and she still brags about how she beat me.


So for those who care for the numbers, here are my stats:

Distance 42,195m
Time 3 hours 41 minutes and 56.6 seconds
Calories burned 2149
Average HR 154
Max HR 171

In conclusion, would I do it again, well on the day, and the week that followed I would have said no way, no chance, no how …… but some time has passed since that fateful day and I am contemplating that it could be an annual event, never say never.

Thanks for reading
Row Ho Ho

* From this event alone we raised over $1000 for Save Sophia’s Leg Charity Appeal but still so much more is needed.

1 last picture to share, the next generation of rowers.

1 last picture to share, the next generation of rowers.

My dirty little secret

Aaahhhh school holidays, a time that some mums love and some dread. I sit on the fence when it comes to school holidays. I enjoy doing the fun stuff with the kids, movies, play dates, lunching and just hanging at home and love the lack of schedule, no yelling and screaming to put shoes on grab bags, jumpers, hats (I’m sure you get the picture). But even with all the fun some days you just need an hour to yourself to have a shower, do a workout, plan or prepare dinner, I’m sure there are some mums nodding along with me (please tell me you are). And I am blessed that I can take the kids to work with me when I need to (the perks of working for family).

This holidays I have taken things to a whole new level of “falling off the wagon”.

The last day of school was a Friday which also coincided with my husband going on an overseas trip and a 7am drop off at the airport, this was all fine, followed by kids dropped at school/daycare on time and me heading off to work. On the way to work I realised I needed fuel in my car so I stopped to fill ‘er up. Well the sales and marketing people at Coles saw me coming, 2 family blocks of chocolate for $7 what a bargain and $2 large bags of chips, “I’ll have 2 bags of those thanks” after all it was Friday and people might pop in over the weekend (this is what I do to justify it to myself). And there began the downhill spiral that was the next 10 days.

On the way home from work I did a quick run to the bottle shop for some supplies for the week and promptly bragged jokingly about it on Instagram.

With a post that went something like this "Should be almost enough to get me through the 1st week of the #schoolholidays

With a post that went something like this “Should be almost enough to get me through the 1st week of the #schoolholidays

Whilst I won’t bore you with the details of every morsel that I ate and drank, I’ll give you a list of what I can remember about my total debacle of a week* (*10 days).

3 family blocks of Cadbury chocolate
Somewhere in the vicinity of 4 large bags of chips
Half a litre of Ice Cream
2x Schnitzel Cotoletta (this is a chicken schnitzel topped with Bolognese meat and melted cheese, I didn’t even know it existed, epic find)
1 loaf of Sourdough in about 3 days often doused in butter and peanut butter (up to 3-4 pieces at a time)
Copious amounts of other bread products
KFC twister and Crusher
Movie popcorn (I shared it, because that makes it all better)
Double choc-top (because a single just wasn’t enough and it was barely past breakfast)
Several Frozen cokes
A bottle of champagne every night and 2 a night over this last weekend (I’m not an alcoholic, they go to meetings)
Late night cheese and crackers

And there was much more; many Chai lattes, a few Iced Chocolates, cakes, biscuits (that didn’t even taste that good), burgers with the whole bun on (gasp).

I was mindfully eating poorly at almost every meal. Sort of defeated the purpose of the last few weeks in cutting out sugar from my cups of Tea.

I’m not blaming any 1 thing for this out of control week* I was still a functioning adult, the kids were still well looked after mainly because of my dirty little secret.

The really bad shit comes out after dark.

I try not to eat the bad food in front of the kids, you know to set a good example and all that. When they ask for desert I like to respond with fruit and proceed to list everything that we have, they can also have yoghurt if we have any and on a very rare occasion a tube ice-block. So my house is not a barrage of junk because as you can see I often have no self control. The chocolate wouldn’t even get mentioned until they were fast asleep and really there was no-one to mention it to.

My addiction love of reality TV still continues and the latest season of The Biggest Loser Australia has just started. Whilst I was not in any way as BAD as the show made the contestants out to be, they were inhaling entire pizza’s while sitting alone in a car or consuming litres upon litres of ice-cream for breakfast, having a whole tray of lasagne for lunch that should feed a family, I was my own kind of BAD.

I would have to say this is my longest stint of BAD that I have had in over 5 years. Normally I can manage a good day or 2 in a BAD week, but for some reason I couldn’t get off this downhill spiral. I got to Thursday morning and thought it was almost the weekend, so why start now? Normally I can talk myself out of that mindset but not that day.

I even tampered with my own Typo light box motivational message.

I even tampered with my own Typo light box motivational message.

But amongst all of these BAD food choices I was still exercising and setting goals, in fact setting some big ass goals. 1 of which was commencing training for a Marathon on the Concept 2 Indoor Rowing machine and the other signing up to compete in the primo 2k Rowing event a the upcoming Australian Indoor Rowing Championships (I’ve been retired from that event for the last 6 years). So in line with my new training regime I sat on the rower for an hour, my body was screaming at me, “what are you doing to yourself” but even that didn’t stop me eating crap shortly after.

So what have I gained from eating like a piggy? Well about 3 kilos, a continual bloated feeling and generally feeling quite down in the dumps.

What have I lost? The ability to fit in some of my clothes, my motivation and self esteem.

What am I going to do about it? Dust off the chip crumbs and get myself together. With another week of the school holidays to go and a long weekend thrown in there and a holiday coming up this can’t go on. Stop blaming little speed humps in my life, FOCUS on the positive, because there is a lot to be happy and positive about and maybe re-word my Typo light board. Any suggestion?

School Holiday fun

School Holiday fun with my cherubs.








The Commando

There could be no other title for this Blog post other than “The Commando”

I was lucky enough to win a group training session with Steve Willis AKA The Commando. (For those overseas readers or if you live in a bubble he is 1 of the trainers on our Australian version of the TV show The Biggest Loser).

I’ve been a fan of The Commando since he first appeared on our TV screens on The Biggest Loser reality show in 2007, he appeared tough, mysterious and man of few but firm words and instilled fear into all the contestants. Using Tractor tyres, heavy ropes, and often mud he was a force to be reckoned with. I’ve seen his group motivation that if someone dropped from a plank or other move the whole group had to start again. I think it was probably borderline TORTURE. I also read his book NO EXCUSES in 2010 which was where I heard about the crazy world of Crossfit. Now Crossfit is everywhere and something I would love to try 1 day.

So how did I win a torture session with The Commando? From an Instagram hashtag, #garmincommando. Unbelievable but true. I never thought anyone won anything from Instagram or Facebook but I am living proof.

The nervous wait to get start our session with The Commando

The nervous wait to start our session with The Commando

So thanks to Garmin Australia, my friend Belinda and I along with 60 of Commando or Garmin’s biggest fans descended on a secret location in Sydney for a group training session.

The group of lucky winners. - Photo courtesy of Garmin Australia

The group of lucky winners. – Photo courtesy of Garmin Australia

The Commando started the session advising everyone to work to their own capability (best thing I’d heard so far), because despite wanting to push myself and to be pushed, but I needed to still be able to function walk after. We started with a 5 minute warm-up which was as much to test our brain as it was to warm up the body. With the group running around an indoor basketball court and Commando calling out changes, high knees, bum kicks, side steps, backwards running, change direction etc and firing the changes at a rapid rate. I was like a deer in the headlights, with coordination not being my strong suit, however I was pleased to say I wasn’t the only 1. By the end of the 5 minute warm up I could tell this session was going to be a world of pain.

We then progressed to yoga style moves and stretches before getting into the hard core workout.

Now I don’t want to give away all the Commando’s secrets and to be honest there wasn’t many exercises I hadn’t attempted before, but the way he put the session together tested how tough you were. I’ve got 2 words for you “Bear Crawls”, now I hate these at the best of times but the surface of the basketball court was some crazy hard plastic criss cross concoction which hurt your hands like nothing else, so I was more a princess about my hands than the cardio workout I was getting, there was also a whole list of other exercises that I cringe at including burpees which almot stopped me in my tracks. I pushed on doing my own version as best I could. Now I don’t want to brag but during the session he high fived me, I never saw him do that to anyone else, yay me. I don’t know why I deserved that but I’ll take it.

After 3x 4 minute tabata rounds with a 4 minute rest (yes he let us rest) we finished off with a group game before a motivational talk.

My Commando Steve quote of the day: “Be the person you want the world to be.”

Some others quotes he uses are:

“Keep it simple and do the work”

“You can’t OUT TRAIN a bad diet”

“There are NO EXCUSES”

And 1 of my all time favourites that I have embraced over the last few years:


I was a little disappointed I didn’t get “The Commando” off the TV, I would have loved to flip a tractor tyre (at least once), however according to this article from 2013 Steve is happy that he can smile and put his personality into training his contestants.

So all in all a great workout 1050 calorie burn according to my Garmin Vivofit and so glad I could take my friend Belinda along for the ride.

We survived and still have smiles all round.

We survived and still have smiles all round.

Garmin dished out some cool North Face backpacks, Garmin t-shirts and caps after the event. I think everyone was secretly hoping for a new Garmin watch (a girl can dream).

The Commando, very generous with his time for photos with all the attendees.

The Commando, very generous with his time for photos with all the attendees.

The Commando was very gracious with his time and knowledge after the event, allowing everyone the opportunity to chat and take pictures. Did I mention I lined up twice. Well the 2nd time I waited til right at the end to have a chat to him about Indoor Rowing on the Concept 2, something I know he is passionate about in the hopes that he may be involved in upcoming events. Watch this space.

Someone asked me what he was like, and as with all celebrities, he is human, but also very approachable and I found him extremely motivating (and easy on the eyes). All in all a great morning.

I’m currently doing The Commando’s Get Commando Fit 13 week program so follow along on Facebook to see my results.

* This post is not sponsored by The Commando, Get Commando Fit or Garmin Australia, but I would like to be, hint hint.

I’m NOT with the Band

Twenty something years ago I was an amateur Band Manager and my Saturday night quote was “I’m with the Band”. My weekends were spent having a couple lot of drinks and watching live bands in some seedy awesome establishments.

Not actual band I managed, but they were almost as good. Image Courtesy of

Not actual band I managed, but they were almost as good.
Image Courtesy of

Fast forward 20 years and the only bands, I’m talking about are hair bands for my mummy bun and my daughters pigtails.

The other band I am not afraid to talk about is my Lapband or Gastric Band.  I got my lapband in June 2010, (read about that here) because I didn’t want to be morbidly obese and pass on my poor food habits to my children. In the 10 years leading up to having my daughter I had put on 50kgs (read about that here). From having my Lapband in until now I have maintained a 22-25kg weight loss. I have no regrets.

But for the past few years my Lapband has been causing me grief with reflux that medication couldn’t always control. This in turn inflamed lower oesophagus and stomach ulcers (that I didn’t know I had), caused internal bleeding (which I didn’t know about) and these unknown complications potentially caused me to pass out while shopping one day with both my kids (5 and 1 year olds), really scary stuff.  I was thankful to be in Athlete’s Foot Wollongong at the time buying school shoes for my daughter and I joked about the price of her shoes causing the fainting episode. The store owner, staff and random members of the public were amazingly helpful and the kids and I got a free ride in an ambulance.

Initially after some tests they thought my fainting was caused by dehydration and low blood pressure, which dropped substantially when going from lying to standing position. A follow up appointment with my doctor 2 days later and it was discovered that it was a combination of all of the above complications. So although the Lapband wasn’t the cause of this it was a bi-product.

So after the last few years of procrastinating about getting my Lapband fixed or removed it all came to a head and I made the decision to have it removed. I went in for surgery just before Easter for what was potentially a 1 or 2 night stay that turned into 3 nights. The surgeon did warn me that getting it out can be a longer recovery than putting it in and he was not wrong. I had really low blood pressure, blurred vision and vomiting and I felt just plain awful.

So 4 weeks post-surgery I am on the mend, I’m back to the gym on light weights and cardio, getting my head around eating well with no restrictions. I will see my surgeon again in 3 months and I have set a weight loss goal of 9kgs. I am focusing on low carb (not cutting carbs completely) and high protein style eating plan as per his recommendations and every other reputable trainer, coach, dietician etc I have ever met.

I am terrified of weight gain. I have just got to the point in my recovery where I am feeling hungry, I have passed through the liquid diet phase of my recovery and had my chocolate binge, milk and milo fix and ice-cream binges (because they are a liquid) and I have thankfully stopped that shenanigans.


My latest mantra is “Don’t waste the fortuity”, (because opportunity wouldn’t fit on my Typo Lightbox) I have to remember that the last almost 5 years with the Lapband have not been easy and I have slogged out countless hours of exercise, mummy guilt abandoning the family to go to the gym, emotional rollercoasters, stress, relationship struggles and wondering if I had done the right thing, to let it all slip away by eating and drinking stupidly.

Weight-loss is made in the kitchen so I am focusing on this primarily and exercise secondly because, honestly, the exercise for me is the easy part.

So the future is uncertain but I am going to give it my all now that I am no longer “with the Band”.

Half Row Ho Ho – completed

To inspire me to get back onto the Indoor rower I needed a goal, something to train for, because as much as I enjoy exercise (most of the time), having a personal challenge motivates me to get out the door and get moving. My second motivation came from raising funds for The Salvation Army Australia for their Christmas Appeal, donate here but don’t delay my appeal page finishes on 17 Jan 2015.

My personal goal to complete attempt a Half Marathon happened on Saturday 20 December 2014. I was pleased to have 3 great people alongside me with my long time rowing Coach Ian Gibson of Pioneer Fitness, Kathy who I met a few years ago through Ian and Kim a long-time friend who nagged me to join HER gym EnVie a few years ago, something I have never regretted.

OUR awesome gym EnVie at Woonona was the host for the event, even allowing a MALE into their all-female environment (Ian tells me he even put the seat down).


All happy rowers before and in the very early stages of the Half Row Ho Ho

All happy rowers before and in the very early stages of the Half Row Ho Ho

WARNING – this next part will contain numbers and figures which may only be understood by fellow Indoor Rowers or Concept 2 users.

We kicked off almost at the stroke of 7am (get it stroke, rowing/clock, double meaning and all that).

Ok time to get serious, my goal was to finish in 1 hour 45 minutes which would have been an average pace of 2:29.3 per 500m and strokes per minute around 20-21.

The nervous excitement and adrenalin of the challenge saw me start too hard and I had to talk myself back to a more maintainable pace and slow my stroke pace down, eventually settling at about 2:26 I felt comfortable but was afraid that I was going too hard.

Once I got through the first third of the row I picked up the pace and was maintaining about a 2:24 pace. All was going well until about the 17000m mark and with 4k to go my arms turned to heavy logs and I feared they wouldn’t get me home. By this stage of the event we had a small cheer squad of Gym trainers and fellow rowers who offered some much needed advice, some of which was “use more legs” so focusing back on my technique and getting the very tired legs to do more of the work, I struggled through the next 3k.

With 1000m to go the adrenalin kicked in and excitement that I was soon to get off the damn rower, so I picked up the pace and averaged a 2:19 pace, even pulling under 2:00 for a strong finish.

Here are my splits for all you Rowers out there.

Here are my splits for all you Rowers out there.

End of uber technical details, resume normal programming.

My stats for half marathon on the rower, which for those who don’t know the distance is 21097m, time was 1:41:46.4 with an average pace of 2:24.7 per 500m average stroke rate was 21 spm.

The home stretch during the last 1000m when the going got tough but the adrenaline kept me going.

The home stretch during the last 1000m when the going got tough but the adrenaline kept me going.

It felt mighty good to finish and this could be the post row adrenalin talking but I committed to have a crack at a full MARATHON on the rower 42k at 42 years old. Watch this space, coming to you from a gym sometime in April 2015.

Ahhh pure relief, I finished the event and still have my Santa Hat on a very happy Half Row Ho Ho.

Ahhh pure relief, I finished the event and still have my Santa Hat on a very happy Half Row Ho Ho.

MY – Half Row Ho Ho

Some of my readers will know I have been a fan of the Indoor Rower for the past 7 years.

I recently set myself a personal goal to complete a Half Marathon on the Concept 2 Rower.

I recruited 1 friend just by mentioning it and a few others along the way including my coach Ian Gibson from Pioneer Fitness who is an approved Indoor Rowing Instructor. My goal was to complete it before the new year but I amended that to now be before Christmas (I didn’t want Christmas food belly).

So the dates are set my friend Lisa is completing her HM this Saturday 13 December and I will be completing mine on Saturday 20th December along with my 3 other buddies. The events will be held at my awesome gym EnVie Woonona starting around 7am on each of the days.

Inspired by Australian comedian Hamish Blake’s goal of completing a Marathon on the Rower and raising funds for The Salvation Army, I wanted to make my metres count so I have started a fundraising page on Shout for Good. FYI Hamish completed his Marathon last Sunday 7th December at a cracking pace and for those who know their Rowing numbers it was 42,195m in 2 hours 58 min 26.1 seconds a cracking average pace of 2.06.8 per 500m and an average strokes per minute of 27.

My training over the last few months has been wide and varied including a few distances I have never tackled before a 12k and a 15k straight row and surprisingly did a better average pace on the longer distance. Leave a comment if you want to hear more about my training rows I’m happy to share.

So support me in making Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate and donate here to support the Salvos and the wonderful work they do. Every little bit counts and adds up, so don’t think you can’t make a difference.

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram with our hashtag #halfrowhoho


The pain starts here.


I’m having a moment

Tonight I am spiralling out of mental control. I am analysing and over-analysing my life, my goals, my body, my family, my reasons for doing all that I do and trying to figure out why I am doing it and who I am doing it for.

Tonight’s options as I saw them were A) go and have a shower and go to bed and everything will be fine tomorrow and I will just carry on doing what I am doing, or B) write that crazy shit down and share it with the world.

It all started tonight with my weekly group PT session, I took my little dude “Mr Just Turned 1” and asked my friend to bring her daughter to play with him. Whilst she did her best to entertain him, about 20 minutes into the class he got a glimpse of me and starting screaming, several attempts to calm him and get back to the class failed, I assumed he was probably tired, so I packed us up and went home, I don’t know about you but I can’t finish a workout hearing my baby crying.

The next thing that was getting me worked up was my daughter reading the Junk Mail toy catalogues and getting all excited about Christmas. I was trying to calm her down and say you can ask for things but you may not get them. How do you explain this to a 5 year old, who gets almost everything she asks for? I really want her to have a lean Christmas and not for any other reason than she has too much stuff. Last year after opening all her presents she said where are the rest, it made me want to cry.

So I thought my spiralling mental state was caused by an interrupted workout, upgraded by a spoilt 5 year old. I then started the plotting and planning with my husband as to his start time and when I might be able to get some kid free time at the gym, and I opted for 5am tomorrow, but really who wants to be at the gym at 5am.

The next mass of analysing and in no particular order:
why am I going to the gym so much;
I should be spending more time with my kids;
why do I feel guilty about working out;
why did I even contemplate taking little dude to an evening class, he needs to be home snuggling with a bottle;
why did I have lapband surgery when I still eat crap A LOT;
why am I dreaming of losing weight when I eat the wrong foods;
why can’t I be happy as I am and therefore stop going to the gym;
was I happier when I was fatter and inactive;
why am I nagging my husband to go to the gym when clearly it is not something he wants to do;
does he resent me for nagging him, when all I want is for him to be healthy;
why am I like I am;
why have I had such issues with food ALL MY LIFE;
why should I go to the gym at 5am, what is the point;
maybe I’m not spending enough quality time with my daughter and she is compensating by asking for things, you know PRESENCE not PRESENTS;
what can I eat RIGHT NOW, I’m upset so I deserve something;
would I be happy if I was at my goal weight;
why is my house such a mess, maybe I should spend less time at the gym and more time cleaning;
(I was vacuuming with tears whilst all these crazy thoughts were going around in my head)

I could keep going on ……….

Now amongst all of these negative thoughts I did have a few positives:
I go to the gym because I feel better after;
I’m really enjoying my indoor rowing and training for something (half marathon on the rower);
I prefer to workout for fitness not for weight loss;
I deserve a little ME time every once in a while;
I love to hate running;
running is stupid but now I can do it because I taught myself;
I enjoy being around people.

So there it is, tonight’s mind on a PLATTER (and there’s that food thing again).

Anyone care to share that they could be as loopy as me, don’t leave me hanging out here in crazy land all by myself.


Stop the Procrastinating – 10 Goals to a better me

Goal setting has aided me in the past and whilst I have had these in the back of my mind for a while I was inspired by reading a blog Imperfect Life to put fingers to keyboard and get this documented. Andrea has also had WLS (weight loss surgery) so I connected with a lot of what she had to say and completely agree the Surgery is a tool which sparked a complete overhaul.

The problem I have found with WLS is that whilst it treated the immediate problem of weight, it doesn’t always fix the underlying problem of food addiction, so for many like me it is a constant battle.

Andrea runs a Fitness Challenge whereby she encourages you to participate in 10 races or your own fitness goals which will physically challenge you to be faster, stronger and better than you were before. I am not participating in her challenge but it really struck a chord with me because whilst I used to compare myself to others and I am still curious about what other people do, lift and run, I am much more focused now on beating myself.

So here are my 10 Races/Goals: 

  1. Go skydiving. Hubby bought me a voucher for my 40th Birthday so now over a year and a half later I am busting to do it. I have to weigh a maximum of 105kgs so I am aiming to weigh 103kg before booking my date.
  2. To crack the double digits weight goal. 99kgs by the end of September 2014.
  3. Pinkies Triathlon – October 2014 Long course (which in the world of Triathlon is like an Enticer).
  4. Leg Press “The Stack” at my Gym EnVie Woonona which is 103kgs x 5 reps. (Currently 82kgs 3 sets of 10 reps 15 July 2014)

    The leg-press stack, currently at 79kg plus the 3kg drop = 82kg, watch this space.

    The leg-press stack, currently at 79kg plus the 3kg drop = 82kg, watch this space.

  5. Play a Paintball Tournament – The Masters November 2014
  6. Mud Run or similar before Christmas 2014.
  7. Run 7km non-stop. (Just cracked 5k on 12 July 2014 and beat my time today 26 July 2014).
  8. Aquathon – Australia Day 2015
  9. Husky Enticer Triathlon – Feb 2015
  10. Sydney City to Surf 2015 – 14k (more of a longer term goal but it’s on my bucket list, run, walk or crawl, who’s keen?).

So there are my goals, I will keep you updated on my progress. Who has some goals they would like to share, I love to hear what everyone else is striving to achieve.


I got this recipe from doing the 36 Day Challenge at my gym EnVie Woonona and loved it so much I just had to share. This is my replacement for the chocolate or sweet cravings and it really works. I make these in my Thermomix and have worked out the weigh conversions, but you can make them in a bowl or blender. The only investment I had to make was the Protein Powder and I have used it for this and many other recipes now.

I used to think protein balls, protein bars and protein shakes were a bit of a wank and only for the serious body builder types but I was wrong, so wrong. I am sure like all foods they are not all tasty but these are AmazeBALLS.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein balls

(40g)1 Tbs Peanut Butter (I make my own in the Thermomix)
30g dried coconut
(12.5g) 1 scoop Chocolate Protein powder
(40g) ½ cup wholegrain rolled oats
(25g) 1 tbs pure honey (I have also used Golden Syrup and I hear Rice Malt Syrup is great too)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or in Thermomix 4 seconds on spd 7. If the mix is too dry add about 10ml of water and stir again. Divide mixture into 8 and squeeze and mould them into balls in your hand. You can also roll them in a little extra coconut to pretty them up. I keep mine in the freezer and remove a few minutes before you want to eat.

Delicious balls of protein.

Delicious balls of protein.

Makes 8 AmazeBALLS.

Nutritional info per Serve
Calories 69
Carbs 8.6g
Fat 3.6g
Protein 2.2g