Category Archives: Goals

Lent (no sugar) recap

Happy Easter!

Benn far too busy for anyones liking but I thought Easter would be a good way to get back into the writing swing.

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Right, lent was interesting. I cannot say I was 100% processed sugar free all the time but it was a big eye opener. I thought numbered points might help with the recap (all of the following points are my own opinon or observation and not medically or scientidically proven in any way):

1. Processed sugar is in everything! – we (as consumers and producers) rely on it far too much and to really cut out all processed sugar I would have had to cook every little bite from scratch!
2. Processed sugar is the cause of a lot of the body issues I have. This may be the case for most people but I cannot generalise – processed sugar makes my skin oily and spotty; my overall skin condition is better without it; my mood is more consistent without it; colds feel easier to handle without it; and I seem to drink more water!
3. Everything tastes really sweet now. Fruit teas are lovely and sweet and I even have to water down my smoothies and fruit juice! Chocolate is lovely but extremely sweet – no choccy overload for me!
4. My mid morning or afternoon cravings have been reduced – either through less sugar or more fresh fruit and veg.

Those are the main points I could think of but overall I will definitely try and reduce my processed sugar intake on a daily basis as I feel so much better for it!

How did your lent go? And I hope you had a fun Easter!

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Super breakfast!

It’s a shame we don’t always have time for super special breakfasts on a weekday but there’s no reason not to have sometjing really tasty.

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This quick breakfast was sliced avocado on seeded toast and a bowl of baked apple pieces with sliced banana and blueberries. I ‘baked’ the apple in the microwave by cutting it into bite sized pieces and zapping it for 5 minutes while I was doing the toast. The bowl had 2 whole apples in – skins and all. Super tasty and super healthy!

Baked apple has continued to be a saviour during lent as it tastes so puddinh-like without the processed sugar.

Talking of lent, I may have gone overboard at the weekend. No excuses: I just didn’t avoid sugar when I could have. So today (as well as yesterday) it’s back on the no-processed sugar bandwagon!

Give me all of the baked apple!

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Hobbies

I know I keep telling you how busy I am with everything but I thought, for mainly my benefit, that I would list what I actually do:

Day to day:
– Full-time job
– Bento making for 5 people
– Running and the gym

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Hobbies:
– Gaming
– Cooking and baking
– Bento
– Blogging
– Growing vegetables and gardening
– Music (playing drums/singing/recording/mixing)
– Surfing
– Arts and crafts (mainly sewing and drawing)

I also have a part-time flexible contract with the Youth Service, am currently sorting the transfer of module credits to an open university course and I like to spend time with my boyfriend!

I do all of those things as often as I can and love every single one of them!

Do you think I have got too many hobbies?
What hobbies do you have?

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New Years Resolution!

Yes I said it! Jumped on the bandwagon! But it’s not a New Years Resolution for me, it’s for you!
I have a lot of hobbies, and I want to have time for all of them. I will always have time for bento, but not always for blogging.

My New Years Resolution is to blog consistently, for all of you. I want my blog posts to happily appear in your reading feeds at least once a week.
My work and other hobbies have caused me to be incredibly busy recently but I just can’t give anything up!
So…
I will post frequent, yet perhaps concentrated posts, mainly about bento, because, my blog is called sushisushibento!!

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And a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!!

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Forgive me

I am slightly annoyed with myself for not posting in a while. I say slightly because I have been extremely busy. I want my busy-ness (I wrote it like that on purpose) to include my blog.
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Here is a picture of my family dog ickle Brewster (he went in for an op the other day). Cute dogs always mean you forgive me right?

I have been back on track with my running – going to start to train towards 10k soon.
Foodwise has been good, although I normally have soup or leftovers for lunch so no pretty bentos for me. Im still doing my family bentos though πŸ™‚
Ive tried fasting again but (silly excuses) its cold season and, with my digestive system being sensitive anyway, I havent managed to get down to the required 500calories a day on fast days yet.

Well, apart from still having 2 busy jobs, that’s all the updates from me for now!

Speak soon!

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Exciting news!

First, we all need a foodie picture to start the post off with a bang πŸ™‚

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This is a lovely picture of my lunch on Saturday, enjoyed in the glorious spring sunshine. The picture is sort of to make up for the lack of bento pictures today (I had a salad again, so boring to look at!). The lunch above however, looks fantastic πŸ™‚ and tasted even better. I had carrots and cucumber with hummus (under the veg), Rivita with cream cheese (2 of them), sliced chicken, and rollmops (pickled herring) with the onions from the rollmop jar πŸ™‚ I know rollmops aren’t for everyone, but I love them!

Also, I did say I’d posts about my exciting news on Monday but I am a very bad person and I didn’t, sorry!!

Another picture for you! Cookies!

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I made yummy cookies at the weekend πŸ™‚ cranberry, chic chip and flaxseed shortbread. Quite crunchy but yummy πŸ™‚ I made some for my (spoiler alert) Foodie Penpal this month, and my cousin (who’s just had a little baby girl). Not too indulgent as a replaced almost half of the sugar with milled flaxseed πŸ˜€

So, finally, my exciting news, which may or may not be completely uninteresting for other people, is that I have signed up for my first 5k running event thingy.

Yes…run :S

It is completely unrelated to Bento, but it is starting to be another hobby of mine. And I want to share my exciting hobbies with you guys and girls πŸ™‚ And I have shared food photos with you today to make up for the extra non-bento related info πŸ™‚

I’ve signed up for my local Race For LifeΒ event and I’m going to be running the 5k circuit. I could have signed up for the 10k, decided on a fun run idea rather than a proper run but I know I can complete a 5k and I want to push my time to the best ever πŸ™‚ This Race for Life, for me, isn’t just about fund-raising (although I am fund-raising for two charities – Macmillan and Cancer Research) its about a target date. It will be the date that I will be at the peak of my fitness (and health) and will have fulfilled all my health and fitness goals.

The date for the run is July 7th. Halfway through July last year I had my gallbladder removed. I was pretty ill beforehand and although I was only consuming mainly vegetables (due to the problem gallbladder), I was not healthy or fit. After the op, I have been improving my health and fitness in leaps and bounds and currently, I am at the healthiest and happiest I have been in my teenage/adult life (I’m only 21). We always want more though don’t we? I want to improve my fitness and health further. And the target date of the Race for Life event is a perfect goal date for me πŸ™‚ So, stay tuned for mini updates on my new health and fitness goals (I promise the next updates will be smaller!).

On a side note, I’m pretty sure that Bento has been the primary focus and drive behind my health goals. If I didn’t have the increasing passion for healthy, homemade food, the love for Japanese food, the love for creating new and exciting foods for my family and sharing my love with as many people as possible, I’m not sure that I would be as healthy as I am now. So give it up for Bento. Three cheers for the humble, but lovingly prepared lunches that fuel our day. Spread the love for Bento!

Ok, end of post now πŸ™‚

What health/fitness goals are you working towards? And what has Bento done for you?

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Intermittent Fasting Muses

Afternoon all. I thought I’d let you know whats on my mind…as it’s, well, on my mind πŸ™‚

Today is a fasting day, and I have done things differently again. This lead me to thinking of any extra pointers I’d give someone that was going to start doing, or is already doing the 5:2 fasting diet:

Don’t try and limit yourself to as little as possible on the fast days (you can use all the 500/600 calories). You’ll get hungry, and grotty and may end up breaking the fast for no reason.

Listen to your body – If you are ill, and feel you need to eat something to get through the day, then fast tomorrow. Just don’t get used to saying that everyday!

– If you usually get really hungry on fasting days, try and evaluate what your eating and try to get “more for your money.” For example, I can have an egg, or two egg whites for breakfast (if I’m hungry), half a box of Passata (sieved tomato) with salt and pepper for lunch, and steamed veg and tuna or salmon for dinner. This sounds like a reasonable amount of food for a ‘fast’ day, but it totals at under the calorie limit for the day, bonus! I would’t try and survive on one pasta dish, or sandwich which would be on the limit for the day with only one meal. I will do a post on food ideas for fasting days soon.

Listen to your body – Again! On both fasting and non-fasting days, do not eat whatever is on the side/cupboard, or whatever is in the fast food joint, listen to how your body is feeling. So far this year, with the fasting, I have learnt that my stomach appreciates lighter meals, more vegetables, and less sugar. The fasting days have given me chance to ‘hear’ what my stomach says when I eat certain foods, helping me eat what makes me feel the best. That does not mean I always avoid the pizza ( I love the pizza!) or donuts (Krispy Kreme!), but I now do not over stuff myself on a regular basis.

 

So, I hope my thoughts have provided a little advice to someone πŸ™‚ I feel better for sharing.

Bento and Fasting, what could be better?

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Intermittent Fasting

Before Christmas, I began trying to get used to the idea of intermittent fasting. Yes, a lot of you may be thinking ‘fad diet’ and I wouldn’t blame you, if you haven’t read up on it. I am not a fan of fad diets, or any diet for that matter. What I care about is fitness and health. I know that what I put in my body affects how I feel, so I try to eat what makes my body and insides feel the best. I also love keeping fit and exercising as I know that the fitter my body is, the better I feel.

I wanted to look into fasting for while, but I was skeptical, and only used to the idea of fasting for Lent and other religious holidays. I also did not want to go without food at all, my body does not cope well without food, even for a day. So, I found out the few basic facts, and started to plan a possible trial of it prior to Christmas.

Here are the basic starting points for Intermittent Fasting:

1. Fast for 2 days out of 7 (5 normal days and 2 fasting a week)

2. For the two fast days, eat a quarter of your normal calories (so 500 for women, 600 for men)

3. Exercise as you would normally every day of the week

4. For the remaining 5 days of the week, eat as you usually would

For my Intermittent Fasting trial, I decided to try it 1 day a week, to see if I could cope with a full day of reduced calorie intake (once again, my body does not cope well without food).

Here was my ‘menu’ for those trial fasting days:

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs

Lunch: Mug of miso soup (with wakame seaweed)

Dinner: Steamed vegetables with either salmon, or in miso soup (I love miso soup!)

Snacks: Mug of miso soup, raw veg (cucumber) and an emergency banana (if needed)

I’m not sure exactly the calories of the ‘menu’ but I know it is a greatly reduced amount of calories from my usual eating day.

Verdict: I completed 3 trial days, getting better each time. I am looking forward to continuing it this year and increasing the trial 1 day a week to 2 days a week.

I did not measure my weight over the period of trial days, as weight loss is not my aim, but here are a few pros (and cons as you can’t have one without the other) that I observed.

Pros:

Did not feel bloated once on any of the trial days

I was still able to exercise (had the same amount of energy) whenever I wanted

I did not feel deprived of food during those days

I ate when I was hungry, not for the sake of it, on both the fasting days an the other days

One less lunch to pack!

Cons:

I craved sweet things on fast days (fruit)

I’m the only one in my house that would do the fasting so on some of the fasting days, I would still have to cook for everyone else

I am now staring to do the intermittent fasting for the full 2 days a week. I will keep updating you all on my progress (only on how I am feeling – no weight loss goals), and let you know what I think of it πŸ˜€

Have you tried Intermittent fasting?

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Recap of goals

As Christmas has been and gone, it is only right that I recap on myΒ Goals for Christmas!

1.Β Start up sessions with my personal trainer againΒ – Done πŸ˜€ I have a PT session every week πŸ™‚
2. Beat my current record for a 2K treadmill run – I wanted to beat 12 minutes, which I didn’t, but I have been getting better and better and my fastest time is now 13.37 πŸ™‚ If I keep it up, I’ll be below 12 minutes in no time πŸ˜‰ (haha).
3. Continue with encouraging my close family to eat healthier – Both my family and I have been really good with eating healthy. The main thing I’ve found with encouraging people to eat healthier is portion size. I also have been making them eat more Quorn πŸ˜› If I cook, I don’t really enjoy cooking meat, it takes too long 😦
4. Increase the amount of dinner and lunch prep I do – I did some, and I still used fresh stuff too! It is definitely something I will keep working on πŸ™‚
5. Reach my savings goal – Definitely πŸ˜€ I’m so happy with my savings so far! I love un-openable pots! So easy to save when you can’t reach the stuff inside!
6. Make/bake most, if not all of people’s christmas presents this year – Ta da! Did so much baking, I almost ate solely biscuits and cakes over Christmas! They were so good though, shortbread, cupcakes, cookies, fudge (my mums), yummy!
7. Read more – Yes, and no. I got some cool books for Christmas – ones on cupcakes πŸ™‚ allotments and gardening, and a Jamie Oliver Cookbook!!
8. Update my blog more frequently – What do you guys think?? I think (part from Christmas) I was bang on form πŸ™‚ I am going to keep the posting up, and hope you guys like it πŸ˜€
9. Organise my room – I didn’t over Christmas, but last weekend, I tidied a whole half of my room! It’s so clutter free!!…Except the cluttered half πŸ˜›
10. Be optimistic – I’m better, but I could be better πŸ˜› Ok, I’m amazing πŸ˜€ haha.
Did you reach your goals in 2012? And have you made any new goals for 2013??
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Autumn Fitness

I had my first Personal Fitness session in 4 months last night.

Wow..

Firstly, I amΒ soΒ tired! Everything hurts! I forgot that before fitness comes just a wee bit of pain.Β But, it is the second point I am going to tell you, that really made the difference to me.

Ready?

…I could do it.

I could run 2k, row 1km, do a reasonable amount of man press-ups in a minute and a great amount of squat jumps in a minute.

Ok, I have been back to the gym since my op, but not undertaken a significant amount of tasks, especially running. But I could do it. Even my PT trainer was impressed πŸ˜€

Ok, I have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals before Christmas. They are, however, very achievable. I am so excited about that πŸ™‚

So, I have achieved Number 1 of my Goals For Christmas:

1. Start up sessions with my personal trainer again

Easy peasy πŸ™‚