Posts Tagged ‘summer’

So it’s Summer in Australia and I know now why I loved living in London so much. Summer in London is generally pretty nice. People lay around in parks and swan about wearing flippy dresses and their hair stays basically like it was when they left the house. Sure, the Tube is about 100 degrees celsius but you can’t have everything.  Here in Oz, however, people don’t lay around in parks because between 11am and 3pm the UV rays will basically burn your skin to smithereens and give you skin cancer, and that flippy dress you’re wearing clings to you in all the wrong places because you’re so sweaty. And don’t even mention the constant hair frizz due to humidity.

Yes, you could say I am not a fan of the extreme heat of the Southern Hemisphere. And this year, I’ve confronted something that I’ve been avoiding since I was probably about 18 years old: I hate exercising in hot weather. Absolutely detest is. Every year since I arrived back in Oz at the end of 2010, I have attempted to force, cajole, and even bargain with myself (“Go to the gym, Lisa. You can have an ice cream afterwards”) but this year, I have become reconciled to the fact that actually, if it’s above 32 degrees, the gym just ain’t happening. And instead of beating myself up with the guilts, I just go with it.too hot You know how most people put on weight in Winter, what with the heavier food, and moving less, etc? Well I am entirely the opposite – I lose weight in the cooler months because I exercise more and eat less ice cream, and in Summer I pack it on. So this year I will be sitting on the couch watching Making A Murderer (a documentary series which is my current Netflix obsession – DO NOT click on the link if you want to watch it, it contains spoilers), Cornetto in hand, not giving a damn about my abs.

 

What season do you find yourself more motivated to exercise? Is anyone with me in hating to exercise in Summer?

Stay fit & well,
Lisa x

Let’s get this straight: Winter is my season. I love the cooler weather, and I love cooking slow cooked, slow roasted, hot meals. This therefore means that Summer is not my friend. BUT, this Summer I was determined to try out a few new recipes, Donna Hay caesar salador twists on old favourites, and incorporate them into my Summer menu.

First up was a Donna Hay caesar salad. Being a parent and just generally pushed for time, I took a few shortcuts. Number 1: I bought a roast chook from Red Rooster and added that for extra protein and oomph. Number 2: I also added Cardini’s Caesar Dressing. I challenge you to tell the difference between a freshly made caesar salad dressing and this store-bought dressing. It’s my go-to dressing now, and the bonus is it has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per serve. Making a caesar salad dressing from scratch? Ain’t nobody got time for that!caesar dressing

Then the weather dipped and became slightly cooler at the beginning of December, and I thought I’d cook up a batch of my spaghetti bolognaise. I add all the vegies I can possibly chop up into teeny tiny bits (in this case: capsicum, carrot, celery and courgette…sorry, ‘zucchini’ for the non-Brits), store-bought pasta sauce, garlic, herbs, beef mince and beef stock and then I simmer it for an hour and a half. So yes, the weather does have to be cool, because it sure heats up the house! Cooking for a toddler means that you can’t add spice to anything. Or you can, but that guarantees that they won’t end up eating it. So instead, I added Cholula Hot Sauce to my own serving before I ate.

My husband will vouch for the fact that I’m a big fan of spicy food, as I keep trying to sneak chilli flakes into everything we eat (cereal excepted), and I am a new-found lover of Cholula. For those worried about the spice level, it’s hot, but the spice hit disappears very quickly, so you’re not left lunging for the nearest cold glass of milk or slice of cucumber. It has a sweetness to it that is really different to a traditional hot sauce.cholula hot sauce

It’s going to be hard, and I’m going to be out of my comfort zone cooking ‘hot weather food’ (we usually have BBQs at least half the week in Summer!) but I’m going to give it a red-hot go.

I’m planning on trying more salads than the few that are in my current repertoire, and also even attempting a Thai Beef Salad (this could go either way). It’s going to be a long, hot Summer, so stay tuned for more…

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

It’s been hotter than Roger Federer at the Australian Open this summer, and I can tell you right now I’ve found it really difficult to cook anything at all in the heat. Couple that with being pregnant and therefore not allowed to eat feta, plus not being able to stand the smell of tuna (both of which have formed a staple in my salad ingredient repertoire for several years) and I’m not feeling very motivated to do much preparing of the old leafy greens.

Those were my salad days

Or so says Shakespeare…

However, I still do enjoy what has to be one of the easiest salads to prepare: chicken & haloumi salad. Here’s how it goes:

Ingredients:
Salad leaves (I prefer a baby spinach and rocket mix)
Tomato
Cucumber
BBQ chicken
Haloumi
Salad dressing of your choice (French, in my case)

Method:
Chop up tomato and cucumber and mix with salad leaves; buy a pre-cooked BBQ chicken from the supermarket or Red Rooster; cut a block of haloumi into pieces and fry in a non-stick frying pan with a spray of olive oil until golden brown. Then bung it all together, throw some dressing over it and voila – a perfect summer salad that tastes amazing and even a 6 months pregnant woman can eat!

Chicken & haloumi salad

Too easy!

If I can’t have feta, I’ll have haloumi goddammit (but in moderation). And the first thing I want brought to me after giving birth (after the wine of course) will be the creamiest, most delicious piece of feta I can lay my hands on.

I need some more salad inspiration – what are your favourite summer salad recipes?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

It’s summer in Oz and while summer is not my favourite season (try having pale skin prone to freckles and therefore skin cancer in Australia – it’s not fun), this summer I’m still finding things to love.

For starters, I’ve re-discovered swimming. And by swimming I don’t mean floating around looking mermaid-like (although that is quite fun too), I mean swimming laps at the local pool. Being pregnant means a fair amount of exercise is off the cards, especially in hot weather, so swimming is ideal. It’s a great workout as well as being a good stretch, and the perfect way to cool down when you sadly don’t have an air-conditioned flat or workplace.

Ashfield Pool

Ashfield Pool

I also quite like the feeling of lapping people who aren’t pregnant. It’s the competitive spirit coming out in me 🙂

swimming meme

It took me a few weeks to get my swimming fitness back, and get my breathing right. Now I’m swimming every Saturday and it’s become a really lovely ritual to start the weekend with.

I’m also LOVING watermelon at the moment. All the summer fruits are out in force here, but the one I’m relishing is watermelon. There’s nothing quite like it on a hot day. Thirst-quenching and sweet, I can’t get enough right now.

Watermelon

Summer lovin’

And of course the best thing about summer in Australia is summer holidays! I’ve had 12 days off so far, with another 5 to go and I tell you I could get used to this lifestyle. Pity about the bills that need paying… 🙂

Beach

Yeah, there’s always kangaroos on the beach in Australia … *cough*

 

What do you love about summer?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x