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Healthy braai alternatives I’ll be making this Braai Day

September 23, 2017

It’s almost Heritage Day, or as it’s commonly known Braai Day. I’ve been eating really unhealthily over the past week so this Braai Day I’ll be making some healthy braai alternatives. This doesn’t mean my meal’s going to be bland. In terms of the actual cooking, a braai is actually really healthy. Provided that you use fresh cuts of meat, no oils or added fats are added in the cooking process.

Healthy braai alternatives

Toss the marinade and spice it up instead

Braai meat is actually quite healthy, but marinades, especially store-bought, can contain bad fats (yes there’s such as good fats), sugar and other ingredients that are not good for our bodies (even though they taste so delicious). Using spices cuts down on calories, but make sure to read the labels to make sure there’s nothing hidden in the ingredients. A co-worker of mine sells a delicious homemade braai spice which can be used on nearly every kind of meat. I’ll be sprinkling this spice on my meat instead.

Have corn on the cob instead of bread rolls

What is a braai without a piece of meat on a roll with potato salad? It’s still a braai. Bread is probably one of the greatest inventions mankind has ever created.And braai bread is one of the best kinds of bread. But have you tasted freshly grilled corn on the cost with a dash of salt and a bit of butter? Delicious! Corn is a carb, so it can easily replace bread. And it’s a good carb (still needs to be eaten in moderation though). Try it with me, you’ll be munching on your cob long after you’ve eaten the corn.

Go green for a healthy braai

I don’t know about other areas, but in PE a braai should have 3 salads, being: potato, curried pasta and baked beans. As we all know, these are all carbs. Now add the standard braai rolls, the only none carb on the plate would be the meat! I will be replacing the salads with one salad, a delicious green salad with feta and avocado. Add some garlic vinaigrette and it is delicious!

I’m also thinking of getting some portobello mushrooms and grilling them on the braai. They’re also tasty with some cheese (in moderation). I’m not a nutritionist, dietician, so making use of these alternatives is at your own risk.

I’ll be sharing my meal on Sunday on my Instagram stories, so be sure to follow me on @osoinspired.

What are your plans this braai day? Let me know in the comments below.

Images via Pixabay

My journey

Move more, more or less

September 5, 2017

I haven’t done a fitness update in while, mostly because there is not much to update. I’ve been going to gym on and off. This is dependent on my school and work schedule. There was a point where I went every morning to gym for a week. Then I fell ill and struggled to get back into my routine after 3 weeks. And basically, since then I’ve been going to the gym whenever the wind blows in the right direction.

I also tried out the new Pound class at Virgin Active, and oh my word, it is so much fun. I went on Women’s day and unfortunately the only times that the class takes place is when I’m working, which makes me so sad. I’d really love to attend it regularly.

Run? Where?

And then there’s the running. Or shall I say lack there of? Since I’ve tried completing the 2017 Two Oceans Half Marathon, I probably went on one jog. How on earth am I ever going to complete a half marathon if I keep this up? I realised that the reason I’m not making any progress is that firstly I lack willpower, but mostly because I don’t have a routine. My gym routine consists of doing a few spin classes, a functional fitness class or two, or some cardio and strength training. I realised I wasn’t working towards anything. How am I supposed to reach my goals without having a plan? It’s like going on a road trip to Cape Town without following a map. Chances are you’ll end up spending 4 hours on a gravel road before you reach your destination, that’s if you reach it at all.

Ideally, I would love to go back to my personal trainer, I saw so much progress when I was with him. Unfortunately, my bank balance doesn’t allow for them at the moment. Apparently, I’m brilliant at making poor financial decisions.

The way forward

I’ve decided that the best plan for me would be to start from the bottom again. That means starting with a 5km plan. The Runners World 5 Weeks To Your First (Or Best) 5-K, plan is one that I’ve completed before.  I  feel that this plan would be a good place to start again. Once I’ve completed it, I’ll move up to a 10 km plan and from there to a 21km plan.  There are 6 months till the 2018 Two Oceans Half Marathon, and I feel that is sufficient. I reckon if I dedicate 5 weeks to 5kms, 3 months to 10km and the rest to 21km training I can make it.It would have been better if I had started immediately after the last Two Oceans, but time cannot move backwards. I can only prepare and plan from here and now.

I’ve been posting a lot of my workouts and meals (even if they’re not so good) on my Instagram stories, so be sure to give me a follow to keep up to date. I’m at @osoinspired.

Featured image via Pixabay.

My journey

My Two Oceans Half Marathon 2017 Experience: Reflections upon the race

June 28, 2017

Just when you thought I’ve moved on from writing about My Two Oceans Half Marathon Experience, here’s another post. Since the race took place, I have had a number of reflections and have learnt a lot from the experience. Before you continue with this post, I strongly suggest that you read up on “The Build Up” and “Running the Race”, and if you’re keen on learning more about my preparation for the race.

Have you read these posts? Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Incorrect pacing

As I had previously mentioned, I started off the race way too fast. I had forgotten my watch at home and got caught up with the speed of everyone around me. Eventually, I ended up tiring myself out. The first 2 kilometres are relatively flat, but I tried storming up Constantia Nek and that ended up tiring me out.

More time on the road

Here was probably my biggest mistake. I spent more time on the treadmill than on the road. Running on the treadmill is not the same as running on the road. I suppose treadmill runs are good for speed training, but half marathons are endurance races. Yes, there’s a time limit, but when training for the race one needs to ensure that you’ll be able to cover the distance. With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. We also focused on some speed work. And after my sessions, I had the endurance needed to complete the race. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

In my build up for 2018, I will focus more on speed training and outdoor runs, as I feel that I now have the endurance and can maintain it. This is also coming from a woman who has not run since the OMTOHM. My excuse is that it is winter and I can’t run alone outside. I need to get my butt into gear and at least do fun runs on weekends.

Fast food trips

I ended up being that person. The person who rewards themselves with food after a gym session. Sadly that was me. I have on more than one occasion made a trip to MacDonald’s after a workout session. Instead of nourishing my body, I feasted on hash browns and fries. To be straightforward, I wasn’t eating healthy.

No weight loss

Let me be straight with you. I am in no way saying that bigger people cannot complete or run half marathons. But in order for me to complete the OMTOHM, I need to run faster and losing weight will help immensely with that. In between the MacDonalds trips and workout sessions, I only lost 3kgs. I know I could have lost more if I ate better. Eating healthy would be easier if salad tasted like brownies and ice cream.

Also running is a high impact sport. So the heavier I am, the heavier the impact will be on my joints such as my knees and ankles. When I was fit and weighed, I finished every race I participated in. Granted they were 5kms and 10kms, but the fact remains I finished them within their cutoff.

These are the main reasons I did not reach my goal of finishing the OMTOHM, but they won’t be stopping me from completing the race in 2018

Images via Pixabay

Fitness

How to choose a gym in 5 easy steps

June 21, 2017
how to choose a gym

A few days ago, I received an email from the gym that I used to belong to. If you recall, I wrote earlier in the year that I joined Virgin Active at the Atrium, which is not exactly cheap (unless you’re a member via your medical aid, which I am not as my medical aid is not a part of VA’s programme) and quite a distance from my house. Even though VA is more expensive and further away than my old one, I realised that wouldn’t go back. Even if it meant spending more money. These tips on how to choose a gym, are basically the reasons why I chose my current gym.

The advice I give on how to choose a gym is not technical. I made a list of needs that the facility needed to satisfy and chose the gym that ticked most of the boxes. Here’s how to choose a gym in 5 easy steps.

Do they have good housekeeping?

With people getting sweaty all over the place, gyms can quickly get gross. From weight machines to the locker room, bacteria can spread quickly in a gym. Fortunately, I have a relatively strong immune system and do not get ill easily, but never the less. At my old gym, housekeeping barely made the list (if it was even on the list at all). It was not uncommon to stains from the previous day’s spin class under the spinning bikes (they only had one a day). And I never really saw anyone clean anything. No, wait that one time I saw a lady mopping the floors. I was a member for roughly a year and a half.

Is it close to my work or home?

My previous gym was a walk away from my house (not that I would walk, because of safety concerns). Okay obviously VA is not that close to me, but it’s okay for me.

Other important aspects with the location for me was whether the gym was in a high traffic area. I hate driving in traffic. Although Newton Park has a lot of traffic, I knew that at the times that I would be going there’d be no traffic, or it would be in the opposite direction. Other gyms that I looked at were in William Moffet and Lorraine, and I knew that I would be stuck in traffic on my way to the gym. So these were definitely not on the cards for me.

Are there classes and personal instructors?

I am someone who gets bored easily. So variety is key. The only classes offered at my previous gym was step and spin. So I got bored easily (look at me getting bored at exercise when I wasn’t even fit yet). I looked at all of the classes offered at the gyms I could find in PE.  Also some of the gyms only had interesting classes during working hours. Not only housewives want to do pilates. Gyms need to cater for us working people as well. In addition, I am not always 100% sure what I am doing. Which is why I wanted a gym with certified personal trainers.

Is it in a safe location?

I’d only be able to go to the gym before or after work, and it would often be dark, particularly in the winter months. I needed to be sure that I feel relatively safe in the gym parking lot if it is dark. Is it in a high crime area? Does it have adequate outside lighting in the parking lot? Are there a lot of people moving around in the vicinity or is it an isolated area? Are there security guards? As a woman in South Africa, these are important questions. I don’t feel safe attending a gym that does not have any safety precautions,  both inside and outside of the facility.

How comfortable is the environment?

When I say comfort, I mean “Do I as a woman feel comfortable in this gym”. When I fit got into fitness, I bought a lot of workout wear. My gym apparel consistent of cute tanks and sweatpants in bright pinks, corals and purples and some of my tanks even had catchy phrases. But let’s be clear, I never went to the gym and dressed up to impress anyone. I look horrendous while working out. No, really I do. I sweat so much, you’d think I threw a bucket of water over me. So wearing cute clothing was my way of feeling like a human being. These days I mostly wear black and white, but that’s mostly due to the fact that I can’t fit in my colourful clothes.

Also if I am wearing earphones, it means I am listening to my music and do not want to have a conservation with you. I need a gym where I could disappear amongst the masses and if anyone or anything made me feel uncomfortable, the gym environment should make me feel comfortable enough to approach one of the staff members for assistance.

How to choose a gym: The final decision

These were the main aspects that I looked at when I decided on a gym. I looked at a number of places and chose the one that ticked off the most boxes and for me, it was Virgin Active at the Atrium. The only aspect that it does not meet is that it is far from both my work and home, but I am willing to travel a bit further as it ticks the rest of my boxes. There are plans to open a VA at BayWest City. Once that one opens, I will be transferring my membership to it, as it would be closer to me.

This is not a sponsored post. I would share the exact same tips if I was at another gym that ticks most of my boxes. I hope this advice on how to choose a gym helps you find a place that meets all of your needs.

Are you a member of a gym? What did you take into consideration when you chose your gym?

I post on Instagram stories my workouts, if you’re interested in them, be sure to follow me on Instagram. To keep up to date with OSI, check out Facebook and Twitter.

Recipes

Super Easy & Delicious Banting Tuna Bake Recipe

June 7, 2017

For the past few days I’ve been trying to bant and I’ve actually succeeded to sticking to my eating plan (or lack thereof) for longer than 30 minutes. In order to stick to my eating plan (it’s not really an eating plan, I’m just trying to bant) I’ve realised that I need variety in my diet. It’s so easy to eat the same stuff over and over because of convenience. Generally my go to meals are omelettes, chicken salad or boiled eggs with salad. Eating the same things over and over can, and often does, lead me to temptation, aka sugar and carbs. I recently found a pasta tuna bake recipe that I tweaked and made into a banting friendly version. This Banting Tuna Bake Recipe is so tasty and delicious and easy that you’ll love it even if you’re not banting.

I like to think of this as a tuna bake, but it can also kind of be called a quiche. Tomato, potato, regardless of what you call it, this dish is delicious. Excuse the poor image quality, I haven’t been able to take decent pics of the dish as I normally make it at night, after work, when I am tired and the lighting is poor. So for the time being this will have to suffice.

banting tuna bake recipe

Banting Tuna Bake Recipe

This Banting Tuna Bake Recipe can be eaten as a meal on it’s own. But for this I’d cut down to four servings. It can also be served with a salad or a side of vegetables. It’s delicious with Honey Butter Cauliflower. It’s also super easy to make and can be made ahead and frozen (meal prep FTW!).

The cayenne pepper does not make the dish spicy, as very little is added. However, if you prefer it can left out. You can also change up the spices and add herbs (such as sweet basil) according to your preference. If you like you can also add a diced tomato, but that is once again dependent on your preference.

To keep up to date with OSI, check out Facebook and Twitter.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried out this recipe.