Tag Archives: New Zealand

Top 5 Movies of 2016 – A Year Full of Gold

As we get excited for our favorite part of the year (November and December) and look forward to upcoming movies and video games, we want to reflect on what we’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to so far this year. While there are certainly major challenges to living in LA, such as the traffic and rent prices, there are amazing benefits such as the exposure to cultural events and amazing cuisine. As a result, we have the ability to go to the movies and watch extremely limited releases. 

While you’ve seen a handful of movie reviews from us in the past, we missed some opportunities to review some of these films that you probably haven’t heard of, which is a shame! For that reason, we’re going to countdown our Top 5 movies that you probably haven’t seen this year. They’re all either on DVD or will be released so add them to your holiday wishlist or treat yourself to something special. You won’t regret it. 

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Traveling is Exhausting

Especially if the point of travel is a sad reason. Recently, I had a death in the family in New Zealand (my mum is from New Zealand). So not only was I in very low spirits, but New Zealand is a long way to fly. It is especially long when you’re buying a ticket for the night of and you’re looking for the cheapest one. The cheapest one usually has the worst travel times and worst stops. This is true, but it was not something I was concerned with when trying to get to New Zealand as fast as possible. With a frantic packing, I got to LAX February 17th, and arrived in Fiji the 18th. Time zones start to switch hardcore now, so I’m pretty sure it was actually the 19th in Fiji, but still the 18th in the States. The airplane was cramped, but I slept some 5 hours. I then spent $40 to spend about 7 hours in the lovely Fiji VIP lounge until my flight to Auckland, New Zealand. At one point, I was the only traveler in the Fiji airport. 

at LAX

at LAX

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New Zealand Candy Deliciousness

I’ve been aware of the unique flavors that New Zealand candy brings to the table since I’ve been getting them from my Kiwi relatives since I was little. Many of them you will find in the UK as New Zealand is still part of the Commonwealth, but all the same, it’s just darn tasty. If you ever get the chance to try Kiwi candy, don’t pass it up! And if you’re worried about calories, it’s all in kilojewels, so it doesn’t count right?! (Wrong…but we don’t have to think about that) Let’s list some favorites.

"Perky Nana"...one I haven't tried before but it's my nickname!

“Perky Nana”…one I haven’t tried before but it’s my nickname!

Chokito

This is Chris’ personal favorite along with one of my aunts, Raewyn’s. I must admit that it’s pretty delicious. I only discovered them during this trip and I’m glad I did! It’s like a softer chewier 100 Grand bar…yeah it’s that good. Chocolate-y goodness!

(Image source)

Pineapple Lumps

Now these are my favorite, perhaps of all Kiwi candy. It’s pineapple-flavored chewy piece covered in chocolate. I will literally eat an entire bag and look for another. I think this one is a love or hate type of deal. They make me happy

pineapple lumps

Crunchie Bar

Now this goes across all the Commonwealth, but for me, it’s a Kiwi candy. Oh, the crunchie bar. Growing up, this was probably my favorite candy from NZ. It’s basically like honeycomb covered in chocolate. This one is really hard to hate. Delicious crunch followed by that sweet chocolate melting in your mouth…well now I’m drooling.

Moro

Ooh, another favorite of mine. This is kind of like a crunchier milky way bar. You get that decadence of the chocolate and caramel on the inside but also a little crunch of the bits. We bought a huge mini bag of these for our drive from Auckland to Wellington and they didn’t last long.

Licorice Allsorts

Ohhhh, allsorts. They have gotten so much worse over the years, but we still know where to find them. Of course, licorice allsorts aren’t exclusively Kiwi, but they are for me! If you don’t like black licorice, it’d be a good thing to stay away from them. But since I’m a weird American with a Kiwi mother, I love them! It’s basically black licorice compiled with different flavors like chocolate, fruity, and vanilla. They are divine. Especially beside a glass of milk.

Jaffas

These are basically thumb-nail sized chocolate balls covered in an orange coating. These are so so good. Perfect alongside a cup of tea. If you serve them to others, they won’t last long. It has that wonderful crunch of the coating and then the creaminess of the milk chocolate inside.

Minties

These are what they sound like…mint-flavored chewies. Kind of like a minty taffy. Lovely to chew on and enjoy, especially after a meal or after other sweets!

Milkybar

I nearly forgot this one because I didn’t eat it on our last trip there. It’s basically just delicious white chocolate. I know some people aren’t white chocolate fans, but my mum and I sure am. We love this bar. Wishing I had one next to me right now!

Flake

I usually get these in the form of minis, but you can get them in chocolate-bar-size as well too. They are basically little bits of chocolate stuck together, creating a “flake”-like texture once you bite into it. It all falls apart in your mouth. It’s super good chocolate because it’s Cadbury and we all know they make the best. Great to crumble over ice cream!

I obviously can go on and on, but I will stop. I found a great website that lists all the NZ candy (or lollies, I should have been saying this whole time) here. Check it out if you want to find out more about Kiwi candy. It really is the best! Make sure you pick up and try each one of these when you visit New Zealand! Any of my Kiwi relatives can totally send me some right now!! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite international candy?

Air New Zealand Review

Wonderful, as far as I’m concerned. There are several factors to this. In my adult life, I’ve used Air New Zealand twice to New Zealand, and both times it has been fantastic. 12-hour flights aren’t easy, but Air New Zealand definitely makes it easier. I’m surprised at the fortitude and endurance the flight attendants have for the whole entirety of the flight. Let’s go over the reasons why Air New Zealand rocks.

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

1. 75 movie choices. Yes, seventy-five. Usually you have to pay for even one movie, but here you get 75! They range from Despicable Me 2 to Whale Rider to 2 Guns. My goal is to usually watch one or two movies before attempting a sleep and then finishing with one when I wake up. Chris unfortunately watches like four our five and doesn’t get sleep. Go team.

2. Meals of decent to good quality. I know this doesn’t exactly sound like a compliment, but it is! Usually airplane food is blargh! But Air New Zealand does it well. I never had a stomach ache and everything tasted good, especially breakfast! Oh and both are free.

3. An epic safety video. I mean epic. It was completely Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-ed out! Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits galore! Even Peter Jackson made an appearance! It was such a good surprise. We were laughing the whole time. One of the few times I actually pay attention to airplane safety features. Last time I rode Air New Zealand it was Richard Simmons, which was of course hilarious.

4. No baggage fees. Yep. I couldn’t believe this one either. We did have to pay them going from America, but not back! It was so nice! Especially refreshing after Frontier now charges for carry-on items! Can you say rip-off!

5. Wonderful attendants. How would you feel serving a bunch of annoying Americans for 12 hours stuck in a small space high up in the sky? I would definitely not be cheery and helpful as all the Kiwi attendants were. They show that they care about the service you’re getting and want to help you best they can. Like the Kiwi people, they are friendly, laid back, and good-humored.

6. Wellington AirportI know this doesn’t necessarily count, but still. Check out the post. It’s awesome.

7. Free New Zealand wine. I can’t tell you how upset I was when I realized the wine was free and I didn’t take it! I couldn’t help but laugh when they were carrying the leftover bottles in the morning, saying “Wine, anyone?” Plus, New Zealand wine is among the best I’ve had. Before I didn’t like white wine, now I do! Yeah if this isn’t a perk of an airline, I don’t know what is.

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Those are just a few reasons why Air New Zealand knocks it out of the park. And yet another reason to visit New Zealand. If you’re going to fly to New Zealand, choose your Kiwi airline and you won’t regret it. It’s the best way to spend those 12 hours locked in an aircraft. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

The Coolest Airport in the Southern Hemisphere

Wellington, New Zealand, of course! No really, it is absolutely awesome. And that’s mostly because of Weta Workshop (which you will see in a later post), which created most of the props, weaponry and armor, and lots of the digital effects in Lord of the RingsAvatar, the Hobbit and more. They are truly amazing. More on them later. Tolkien fans will love this airport. I think the shock factor is a big part of this airport’s coolness. You just don’t expect what you’re going to walk into. And my family did a great job not saying anything (shocker there).

So when you get past checking and get into the terminal, you are first blasted with three huge eagles with Gandalf atop one of them hanging from the ceiling. I was totally amazed. I mean these are huge props, huge. We estimate 20 feet in each direction. Yeah it was literally awesome. Side note: recent earthquake in New Zealand (as in 2 nights ago) actually knocked one of the giant eagles to the ground! Nobody was hurt but…woah.

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And then you walk by more shops and restaurants, and then…boom. Gollum comes reaching in from the ceiling. And I don’t mean Andy Serkis-sized Gollum. I mean freaking huge–42-feet kind of huge! It’s Gollum’s head and arms reaching in for a fish, with bubbles about too! It’s really hard to describe how amazing it is. You have to see it in person to really feel the impact. Especially for Tolkien fans.

HE'S GONNA EAT ME

HE’S GONNA EAT ME

The rest of the airport is definitely unique too. All the shops are Kiwi-focused from Haka shirts to Kiwi poo to Merino wool everywhere! If you leave your shopping to the last minute, this is a perfect spot for you! Food options are also excellent, better than the average as far as airports go. Keep an eye out for awesome statues like dwarves and sheep. In addition, as far as security goes, it’s a breeze. Don’t even have to take your shoes off! Take that, America! Just kidding…kind of. Anyhow, if you’re looking for yet another reason to head to New Zealand, do not miss out on the Wellington Airport. 

One of a few there...

One of a few there…

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baaa

  • Question of the Day: What is your favorite airport?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading...always

Nymeria kneading…always

Burgerfuel vs Burger Wisconsin (Kiwi Series)

No contest. Burgerfuel wins. In all honesty, I never got to have a Burger Wisconsin burger but they should not open at 5:00 p.m. at so many locations (they didn’t open until late!). Burgerfuel served me the largest item on their secret menu at 9:00 a.m. That won my heart. With that being said, I will say nothing more about Burger Wisconsin, to be fair. (Editor’s Note: after we left New Zealand, my brother was able to get Burger Wisconsin as it finally opened, and he said it was pretty tasty. Looking forward to trying it next time around)

The first Burgerfuel burger I had was in Taupo, New Zealand. It is a chain based out of NZ that has locations in Australia, Iran, UAE, Dubai, and Sudan. (I could be totally wrong about the last three… I think two are correct.) So was the second, no more than 14 hours later. That was the impression it made on me. And these are not inexpensive burgers… they cost a ton. And I still went back.

Part of the huge family at Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Part of the huge family at Lake Taupo, New Zealand

First course, The Bastard. This is the largest item on their public menu. Off their website, it contains, “1/3 pound 100% pure NZ grass fed beef, melted cheddar, bacon, beetroot, juicy mango, avocado, salad, relish and fresh natural BF aioli.” It cost about $13. I didn’t get fries or a drink but someone else in our group did. Their spud fries and kumara fries were both delicious. It is supposedly 1200 calories and went down easy. The meat was cooked well and the condiments made it one of the MOST DELICIOUS BURGERS I HAVE EVER HAD. The beetroot, mango and avocado were fresh and top-notch pieces. The trademark aioli and relish caused salivation.

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The Bastard

The Bastard

Second course, The Ultimate Greedy Bastard. Add a second 1/3 pound patty, a piece of their chicken, and an egg. There might have been one more item. This one is not on the menu, it is above The Greedy Bastard on the secret menu revealed by an employee after I complained The Bastard was too small. It was about $24 and was so good for a breakfast sandwich. I had a hard time finishing the last tenth of it. I have no ideas how many calories or grams of protein/carbs/fats it had. The employees had awesome customer service skills. The facility was clean and had an inviting but cool vibe.

EPIC! Ultimate Greedy Bastard

EPIC! Ultimate Greedy Bastard

Trying to get my mouth around it (Aunt Raewyn in the background)

Trying to get my mouth around it (Aunt Raewyn in the background)

Finally, Burgerfuel invented the DOOFER. A picture is below but it is essentially a burger holder so you don’t make a mess! What an amazing idea, plus they are made of 100% recycled material. Everyone else who got a chicken sandwich and fries enjoyed their meal. I would have liked the opportunity to sample more of their menu but so far I am very impressed.

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So if you are in any of the countries listed above try to stop by a Burgerfuel and let me know what you think of it! Five Guys, Smashburger, Bobby’s Burger Palace, and even In-n-Out doesn’t compare.(Alana will kill me for that last one!) This is just based off the quality of a single sandwich at each, not the meal as a whole. In-n-Out wins in that category. More New Zealand/Kiwi posts coming up! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

P.S. – Burger Wisconsin, if you want to compete, open earlier! Burgers should be available for lunch, says I!

If you want to see more of our New Zealand pictures, follow us on instagram! @nanatiger and @hungryandfit!

  • Question of the Day: Where is your favorite burger, whether its made of beef, chicken, tofu, or any vegan option!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah literally fell asleep between my feet last night in about 5 seconds

Sajah literally fell asleep between my feet last night in about 5 seconds

What I Learned from New Zealand

Sadly, we are back from our 2-week trip to New Zealand. This is my fourth time there (my mum is from there and her huge family), and Chris’ first time. Every time I think about how we aren’t there anymore, I feel like I’m going to cry…and I don’t really cry. There are going to be loads of posts about New Zealand coming up, about food, fitness, guides to cities and so forth. Lots of good stuff. I wanted to keep this returning post to the point. Here are a few things I learned on this trip to New Zealand:

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The people of New Zealand (the Kiwis) are incredibly down-to-earth. They don’t take themselves too seriously, for the most part, and are there simply to live and do what makes them happy. I think loads of people in the States and elsewhere could take a page from their book in this lesson.

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my aunt Raewyn and uncle Michael at Huka Falls (they’re twins believe it or not)

2. Family first. I already knew this one, but this trip hit it home once again. My mum is one of eight siblings which means I have a huge family over there. As I visit more and more as I am an adult, my relationships and bonds with them grow deeper. Chris, my brother and his girlfriend, and I toured the South Island together for the first time and it was wonderful. But sometimes I found myself wishing that we were back at Nana’s, sitting around, roaring with laughter. I miss them so much now. Seeing them once every few years is just not enough!

From left to right, top to bottom: Aunt Raewyn and I, Kai and Sophie, Aunt Carolyn and I

From left to right, top to bottom: Aunt Raewyn and I, Kai and Sophie, Aunt Carolyn and I

3. Live simple. This goes for many people of New Zealand, not all, but many. They may own huge pieces of land, but a lot of it is just that–land. The beauty of New Zealand speaks for itself and you would be a fool to miss it. It was always my end goal to end up in New Zealand (as I am a citizen there), but I find myself wanting to move there sooner and sooner to live that kind of life! I remember this place on Akaroa (beautiful spot on the South Island) of this fish stand on the wharf where the guy would go out fishing, bring in the catch of the day several times of the day, and either sell the fish raw or cook some fish and chips up. That life sounds awesome to me.

DCIM100GOPRO

Off the wharf in Akaroa

4. Don’t be afraid to spend money. This one is tough because we obviously aren’t all made of money. This certainly goes for Chris and I. We spent quite a bit of money down there and wanted to do even more! If you want to do something that you know you’ll regret later if you don’t, just cough it up and do it. You can always work more when you get home (as we are doing now).

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Food is expensive there!

5. Don’t judge others and just let go. So that side of the family…when everyone gets together we are incredibly loud and almost always make a scene wherever we go because of how ridiculous everyone is. That being said, we got looks from people everywhere we went! But not angry looks, more of amusement. Just realizing that should make people second-guess judging people just because they are a little loud and…different.

 

Chris found a big stick...

Chris found a big stick…

Just because I don't have the entirety of my mum's thousands of pictures yet, I have to show you a daily thing between my family (this is last trip in 2011)

Just because I don’t have the entirety of my mum’s thousands of pictures yet, I have to show you a daily thing between my family (this is last trip in 2011)

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A constant reaction from me and imagine that multiplied by about 10

6.Just sit down and look outside. This is huge!! If you don’t sit down and look outside in New Zealand, I have to call you an idiot. But this goes for wherever you are. Find beauty in everything. Find a moment just to sit down outside, look at the sky, mountains, plains, whatever you have. I did this lots of times by myself and with company to just enjoy mother nature.

Just before a sunset at Lake Taupo, North Island

Just before a sunset at Lake Taupo, North Island

7. There’s always a reason to smile. Even if someone is going through a rough patch in my family, they always find a way to smile or laugh. And I mean always. Whether it’s through pranks, family love, or just having a conversation, you will never ever ever see a lack of smiles on my kiwi family’s faces. And I honestly believe that it’s good for you. People don’t laugh as much here!

Us on the ferry to the South Island

Us on the ferry to the South Island

8. Do what makes you happy. This connects with a few other points. There are so many ways that we complicate life nowadays and strive for things that we think can somehow create happiness. Or sometimes happiness isn’t the goal anymore. That makes me crazy! I need to bring it to my own life as well. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, don’t make an excuse to go do something that will bring joy to you. That real happiness that is deep within. Get it!

Picking cherries with Sophie for instance...

Picking cherries with Sophie for instance…

9. Fresh fish is the only way to go. I didn’t have to worry about whether fish was farmed or not to the places we went to eat at, it was all caught that day pretty much with a few exceptions! I can’t even describe how good the fish is there. Probably the best fish and chips I had was some that my Aunt Pam and Uncle/Godfather John cooked. Absolutely amazing. Don’t know how much fish and chips I ate there. Go fresh or go home.

Drooling constantly.

Drooling constantly.

10. Switch off. I didn’t use my phone much over there (except for pictures) because I hadn’t unlocked it so I would get a billion roaming and international charges. On the South Island, there was rarely any internet. For Americans, it’s sadly tough to go without these things. But I found it to be liberating and really nice for most of the time. Sure we all swarmed the internet when we got it, but otherwise we forgot about it. We just drove through the windy hills, steep cliffs, and by the ocean and just looked out and enjoyed each other. I am personally going to try to avoid being on my phone all the time, and just enjoy what’s around me.

Not even accurate description of our sleep last night...brutal, jet-lag made us not fall asleep for a while!

Not even accurate description of our sleep last night…brutal, jet-lag made us not fall asleep for a while!

I can’t wait to get all the other pictures from mum, Chris, Sophie, and so forth. I hope you’ve enjoyed a little sample of pictures and what I learned while I was there. I could go on and on, but it’s time for me to go to bed. To all my family reading this, I miss you!! Can’t wait to head on back to my future home. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Although I am super bummed not to be in NZ anymore, there are two cats that make it a little better

Although I am super bummed not to be in NZ anymore, there are two cats that make it a little better

Safe and Sound in New Zealand! #travel

We made it! We finally arrived after 12 hours of flying and another of customs. We’re a little groggy (Chris is actually sleeping on the couch right now), but we’ve made it! Just in case you wondered where we’ve run off to…we are here in New Zealand for two weeks for a cousin’s wedding and to explore both islands! Some of you know I’m half-Kiwi, meaning that my mum is from New Zealand. We are very excited for this trip. My mum, dad, brother, and his girlfriend will be arriving tomorrow. My aunt picked us up and we are just getting acclimated. This post is going to be picture-heavy. Just of things we did in California and things we’ve just done in New Zealand! Here goes…

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In NZ at a park across the way!

Let’s start with Christmas in Santa Monica, California (my hometown). We arrived Christmas Eve and boy did it go fast. We saw lots of family and friends, ate tons of good food, and got in fun workouts. Christmas loot was incredible this year, some of the standouts were the Jawbone UP, a mixer, Star Wars CCG cards, Amazon gift cards, oh and…A GOPRO!!!!!! Yeah Chris went a little overboard this year in terms of presents, so so excited to use the GoPro in New Zealand. We actually got footage of us “surfing” (there were no waves that day), and you’ll see it once I learn how to edit it.

Just arrived in Cali

Just arrived in Cali

Star Wars cards...super rare!

Star Wars cards…super rare!

Jawbone UP...records movement, sleeping, and eating. A wrist band.

Jawbone UP…records movement, sleeping, and eating. A wrist band.

GoPro!!

GoPro!!

Joys of opening packs

Joys of opening packs

This was at a delicious Christmas Eve party with my family...Chris eating children of course

This was at a delicious Christmas Eve party with my family…Chris eating children of course

 

Gotta love Santa  Monica..

Gotta love Santa Monica..

In N Out...

In N Out…

Bay Cities!!

Bay Cities!!

Mum's homemade breakfast

Mum’s homemade breakfast

Japanese food with Sophie and Kai

Japanese food with Sophie and Kai

Epic Tekka Don

Epic Tekka Don

Time to move onto workouts...we did some improvising home workouts

Time to move onto workouts…we did some improvising home workouts

Some at the beach...

Some at the beach with friends…

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Rope climbing!

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He got all the way up

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And don't forget the surf!

And don’t forget the surf!

Beautiful picture from the GoPro camera

Beautiful picture from the GoPro camera

The five days in California went by incredibly fast, but I’m not surprised. Then on Sunday night, we loaded our stuff into a car, Dad dropped us off at the airport and we were on our way to New Zealand! We arrived to New Zealand Tuesday @ 5:30am. Yes, Tuesday…we skipped Monday! 18 hour time difference plus 12 hour flight will do that to you I guess. Here’s a few pictures from the journey so far…

Mum and I with travel pillows

Mum and I with travel pillows

Had to get this journal for the trip

Had to get this journal for the trip

Food at LAX

Food at LAX

Airplane food, not bad!

Airplane food, not bad!

Little itty bitty beginning of sunrise

Little itty bitty beginning of sunrise

They don't refrigerate eggs here!

They don’t refrigerate eggs here!

Chris' epic kiwi breakfast

Chris’ epic kiwi breakfast

Going for a walk

Going for a walk

New Zealand is just pretty

New Zealand is just pretty

We hope to update you as often as we can, depending on internet of course. Probably the hardest part of all of this is being away from the cats for so long, but it helps to know that they are in good hands in Boulder. We are in Auckland now but will soon be travelling south. So excited to be here with Chris and my huge kiwi family for this trip. We are going to have lots of great food and find fun creative ways to workout on the road. Happy New Years!!  As always…stay hungry and fit!

Staying Fit Over the Holidays

As some of you know, we are traveling to New Zealand at the end of December. Which also means it is going to be summer. Which means we can’t cover up our bodies with massive amounts of clothing like we are currently doing in Colorado (was -5 degrees F when I woke up this morning). Which then means that we want to look even better by the end of the month! Health and fitness are always top priorities for us, but throughout the rest of this month, I may not have pizza or creme brulee more than twice a week ;). Here’s my plan.

Actual picture I took of New Zealand last time round

Actual picture I took of New Zealand last time round

No thanks!

No thanks!

Usually, I go with whatever “workout split” I want. A workout split is basically how you are splitting your training of each muscle group. Usually I don’t structure mine and kind of do what I feel like or match it up with Chris. However, I decided for the month of December to create my own and follow it to the best of my ability. Here’s what it looks like:

photo 1As you can see, Core and Legs come up twice throughout my split. It’s a tough call but probably my favorite muscle group to develop (maybe tied with shoulders…and even back) is the legs group. Seeing my squatting weight go up and up is an inspiration for myself. Feeling the strength in my legs and the shape of my body change is exciting. Which is why legs are repeated. And core…sometimes I ignore it, so it’s best to focus doubly on it if I’m going to spend a good amount of time in a bikini. I plan to do strength workouts at least five times per week.

Armz

Armz

Human flaggin'

Human flaggin’

Now let’s move to the topic of cardio. My general goal is to do two forms of cardio per day of my workouts. This is most likely going to be running (always trying to improve something I’m weak at) and elliptical (a form of cardio I can always do due to non-impact and ease). For running, I want at least 20 minutes and elliptical for 30 minutes. I know sometimes I’m not going to get both, but I’m going to do my best. Along with strength training, I aim to do these at least five times a week. 

The awesome Stocking Run with Chris, Kai, and Sophie (will blog about later)

The awesome Stocking Run with Chris, Kai, and Sophie (will blog about later)

Some pump up tunes

Some pump up tunes

And now let’s talk about rest days. I’m allowing myself two rest days per week. That doesn’t mean I will always take them, but if they come up, I’ll use them if I need it. Rest days could include yoga, walking, hiking, or….nothing! Many people push a little too far and forget their rest days which leads to overtraining and in the long run hurts your goals! Rest when your body tells you to! Listen to it!

More workout pics

More workout pics

Armz

Armz

Now we turn to (dun dun dunnn) EATING. I love to eat! Love it love it love it. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that. However, if I want my muscles to really shine through, it’s time to throw a little discipline into the eating routine. I’m going to do a good amount of clean eating (but nowhere near the extreme version during my contest prep), with two full cheat meals a week. This means splurging on a 3-course meal including desserts or pizza, etc. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a square of dark chocolate when I feel like it, but I’m going to focus my efforts away from sugars and towards proteins (to make this body happy!).

A recent lunch

A recent lunch

And that’s my December health plan. If I follow this, the clean eating, strength training, and cardio should whip my butt into shape just in time for a New Zealand summer! Create a health plan to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the day: How are you going to stay fit and healthy this December?

BONUS KITTY PIC

zZZZ

zZZZ

Kiwi Recipe: Bubble and Squeak [Leftover Magic]

If you know me, or if you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know that I’m half-Kiwi (meaning half “New Zealandish”). My mum is from New Zealand and thus I grew up with a lot of different cultural things coming from her. As you know, New Zealand is a part of the Commonwealth, and so it takes things from England and either keeps it the same or changes it. New Zealand, by the way, is the best place ever with the best people ever, and we can’t wait to someday move there (dual-citizenship comes in handy). Alana, what’s this back story for?! It’s for the recipe I’m about to share with you, Bubble & Squeak

You can read that link if you’d like, but I’ll give you a short description here. Many mornings, if we had leftover mashed potatoes from the night before, mum would make me bubble and squeak. It’s a little different than the one you’ll read about in that link, because my mum would normally just use potatoes (if you have other leftover vegetables like carrots or broccoli, you can use them too). She would put the mashed potatoes into a cast-iron skillet and just continually let them cook, then scrape them, cook them, scrape them. This results in a delicious manner of browned mashed potatoes, as best as I can describe. Once it’s browned all over, you serve it on some toast and pour lemon juice over it. My mouth is watering as I write this and making me miss home! Alright, let’s get down to the details.

Yum, ready to go!

Yum, ready to go!

  • Prep Time: 0-2 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients

  • leftover mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes, that’s what is in these pictures. You could even have boiled taters and mash them for this specific meal if you really want)
  • toast
  • lemon

Directions

Take out mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any leftover vegetables out and mash them into the potatoes

Mashed up white sweet potatoes

Mashed up white sweet potatoes

  • You can salt and pepper it if you wish. Now cast-iron is best, but make do with whatever you have. Put that vegetable mix or mashed potatoes into the frying pan. You can put a little oil in if you wish, but really we just want to let it brown and keep scraping it and turning it. So, turn up the heat!

photo 2 (16)

  • Put on a piece of bread to toast 
  • Once you’ve gotten your mash nice and brown, go ahead and serve right on top of the toast. Drench it with lemon juice (we squeeze lemons on top).
  • You can cut it in half and eat it like toast or just use a fork and knife
Yum, ready to go!

Yum, ready to go!

It is sooooooo good. And it’s such an easy thing to prepare for any meal. The combination of tastes between the lemon and browned mash makes you want more and more. This is something I will continue to use and thank my mum for making it for me during my childhood. This is a sure-fire easy recipe to keep you hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah getting a nice bath

Sajah getting a nice bath