• Link love (Powered by sugar cookies and new faces)

    It’s slightly strange being on the opposite side of the fence from everyone in the northern hemisphere. You’ve all just switched your clocks around – we changed ours over a month ago (while we were on our road trip, actually. I wasn’t sure when it was all happening, but when we arrived in Queenstown and walked into the centre, the town clock displayed one time on side and another time on the other, so we figured it was all on from that night forward).

    I have to say, I’m loving the long daylight hours. I went for a post-work run the other day for the first time in months (it’s dark by the time I get home through winter). I’ve blogged before about running being the one thing I do. Getting back to it was painful, but it always is.

    And in another boost to my exercise/fitness routine, I’m finally back in the game. T only recently went back to work – a story for another post – and was off for weeks after returning from our trip. Weekday mornings, therefore, were for long lazy cuddles, rather than stretches and situps. Now, he’s gone by the time I wake up.

    This week’s links:

    Ashley has turned A Story of Debt into an e-book. Hurrah!

    Budget and the Beach guest posts at Making Sense of Cents about how being in a rush costs you money.

    The Joy of Caking has some ideas on making gifts to give.

    Athena writes about what it’s really like working for a nonprofit.

    A sappy but excellent post about blogging by Stephany.

    Musings of an Inappropriate Woman sums up things I didn’t even know I felt about writing in the first person professionally, vs writing in the first person on my blog.

    Finally, thanks to Marissa for hosting the latest carnival of personal finance and including my post on dealing with the rising cost of living.

    Happy weekends!

  • Finding your healthy balance

    I don’t drink coffee, and I don’t smoke. I rarely drink alcohol, energy drinks or fizzy drinks; I don’t eat lollies, and I’m not big on meat.

    Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

    Image via Wikipedia

    That said, I’m a fiend for sugar in most other forms (baked goods and anything chocolate), carbs and many fried foods. And I’ll confess to a weakness for Yum Yum shrimp-flavoured noodles. .

    I walk to and from work every day (20 minutes each way). I usually run twice a week (anywhere from one to 15km at a time) although this month I’ve been replacing one run with Zumba – one of my good friends is teaching free classes at Rocket Park in Mt Albert every Wednesday from 6.30pm if you’re keen. A lot of people have asked that same question so many times in the light of their hopes to finally get rid of their OCD for good. Nature Made Cures are something really coveted as it offers natural ways to cure OCD and that would entail without having any side-effects. Fortunately for you, you came into the right place here. In this article, you are going to be able to read through accounts of other OCD patients on how they were able to deal with their OCDs using natural methods that came from not-so-known medicine therapies. In this article as well you will be able to uncover ways to deal with OCD without ever having to get out from your house. Just by simply following the instructions straight and right, you will be able to get rid of your OCD in no time. Unless you have a decent tolerance to the stacks, there is no reason to increase them. Always remember that muscle mass are not more important than your life. If you have any idea about SARMs, then you should probably know that they are not equal in terms of potency, or their effectiveness in your body. Each SARM is capable of building a great physique in any way, but each of them is beneficial for a particular workout. For example, LGD4033 (Ligandrol) is very much effective in bulking whereas GW501516 (Cardarine) is regarded as the best best sarms stack for cutting. Hence, this article is divided into three different stacks that depend mainly on the results you are searching for.

    Natural health supplements are often found during a sort of different places. Become informed on holistic alternatives: digestive enzymes, thyroid, fats and oils, women’s hormones, anti-aging, digestion problems, allergies, enzyme nutrition, natural health supplements, herbal remedies, diet and far more. Auto Flowering seeds from autoflower seed banks act as a natural health supplement that has been used everywhere the planet to treat coughs, toothaches, earaches, fungal infections and poor circulation. When looking to shop for natural health supplements, leading the list should be the daily vitamin/mineral/nutrient supplement that’s the idea of your supplement program. Learn the maximum amount as you’ll before you purchase natural health supplements and therefore the natural tonics for health and wellness you will be taking a day. You will get health supplement for stoppen-met-roken with reasonable rate. 

    Making the correct choice in all natural health supplements is very critical when deciding what multivitamin you should take. You need to make an informed and wise choice to insure you are getting the benefits you desire.

    Do not flush your hard earned money down the toilet by purchasing ineffective supplements. You can not just grab the easiest available bottle off the shelf or the cheapest and expect to get great results. Many people become discouraged with the results because they don’t feel better after taking a supplement over a period of time. This is due to the wrong choice of what they are taking.

    For instance, when the ingredients from a lot of the tablet forms of mutivitamins are released in the stomach, they actually end up being destroyed by stomach acids or are passed right through your body. If your body is not absorbing the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you are not receiving the benefits you should.

    Remember, the FDA does not regulate health supplements, so the manufacturer alone decides what is actually put into their products. Virtually anyone can slap a label on a bottle and sell it as a mutivitamin, regardless of the contents.

    So what do you look for when you are ready to start taking all natural health supplements?

    High nutrient absorbability is the key to reaching your main goal of getting good results. The ingredients must be bioavailable, meaning they can actually be absorbed by your body. Capsules and liquid health supplements are your best choices over tablets for the reason previously mentioned.

    The Sunergetic Products are virtually complete containing a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Why use 2 or 3 supplements when 1 should provide everything you need. You should start by carefully reading the label and taking note of each specific ingredient. Also check the percentage of the recommended daily requirements contained in the supplement for each item.

    As a minimum, you should receive 100% of the daily requirement for most of the following vitamins and minerals. Look for vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. Minerals should include calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. You want to find these possibly combined with amino acids, antioxidants and herbs in a blend that provides above and beyond your daily requirements.

    All of the ingredients of course must be all natural. Make sure your choice of a supplement is free from any dyes, allergens and artificial preservatives. Many supplements contain additives that supposedly are required to increase effectiveness. Obviously, all natural health supplements should contain no additives that are not intended to be absorbed by the body.

    You can live a healthier, fuller and better life by carefully choosing the correct all natural health supplements. Not only will you feel better, your body will be better prepared to ward off illness.

    As with most things in life, I could do more. I could exercise every day. I could give up meat entirely or go vegan. (In theory. I love cheese and yoghurt too much to seriously contemplate the latter.) Finally give blood, as it has been my goal for so long. I love detox drinks too which I am passionate about a lot. You can read this amazing guide on detox drinks for weed at 420highstreet.org .

    But I’m happy.

    What’s right for me and my body may not be right for anybody else.

    I’m one of those hateful thin people who can eat whatever she wants, so weight loss has never been a tangible motivator for me. (Apparently it’s okay for people to yell backhanded compliments at me while I’m out pounding the pavement.) I’m still yet to achieve my goal of giving blood because of my weight. So it’s got to be all me, all internally driven.

    I run to tone up and because somewhere along the way, I realised that between the panting, air-sucking and burning in my lungs, sweating it out physically felt good. I’m not saying it’s easy. But it’s worth it.

    Maybe I’m not a serious runner in some eyes because I can wear $20 Warehouse trainers and get away with it, and sometimes I only head out for a 15-minute jog. I’m okay with that – with admitting I really have no motivation to get my sweat on more often.

    I eat dessert almost every single day. And I usually have home-baked something or other for a snack at work. I still, more often than not, fail to make 5+ a day. I don’t like very many fruits and I prefer my vegetables cooked – and I need my carbs in order to keep my ridiculously fast metabolism up so I’m not scrounging around for more food every half hour. I’ve learned to like greens about 1000 times more than I did two years ago, but plant matter alone inevitably leaves me feeling hollow before long.

    Right now, this is my life. This is what my balance looks like.

  • Link love (Powered by pizza and Page One)

    This week, for the first time, I used iMapMyRun to track a run.

    The pause function didn’t work, which was annoying. I recoded two separate workouts, one pre-traffic light and one post.

    What felt like a decent 30-35 minute run? Was 3km in 19 minutes. Sigh. (I kinda made up for it on my next one – 15km in two-ish hours.)

    Knowing that I was measuring my progress definitely spurred me on. But my low data cap and my approach to exercise (keep running fun, basically) means I probably won’t be busting out this app all that often.

    Linky time!

    Freedom 35 explains the secret power of multiple incomes.

    You Have More Than You Think lists 10 things we love to buy but hate to use.

    Can I pick your brain? Here’s Urban Muse Writer on paying it forward vs being a sucker.

    Decluttering tips from Leo himself at Zen Habits.

    Here’s some seriously good advice on rocking the first day at a new job at Bullish.

    Dollars and Deadlines breaks down her 2011 freelance income.

    Stuff new homeowners never think about. Via Budgets Are Sexy.

    Awesome advice from an MIT alum to a struggling student, at Study Hacks.

    Geek in Heels on social capital and tapping into the expertise of friends.

    Kyla Roma blogs about eating well as a lifestyle.

    Cate shares a recipe for creamy stovetop mac and cheese.

    Dinner: A Love Story offers four culinary strategies for nervous newbies.

    Neurotic Workholic explains who and what she doesn’t want to be in five years.

  • How do you fit in exercise?

    The Tulip Stairs and lantern at the Queen's Ho...

    Stairs are your friend! Image via Wikipedia

    It’s easy to slack off in winter. Now that it’s not pitch black when I leave work, I’m hopeful soon I can start jogging home a couple of times a week. I’m not sure how much higher my odds are of being a victim of crime in the dark…but I just don’t like the dark, full stop. Nor the cold.

    It was definitely easier finding time to run when I didn’t work 9-5. Here are three ways I’m trying to get more movement into my life”

    At home: I used to do crunches religiously in high school at one point while watching TV. Nowadays I’m more likely to lounge in bed while watching movies or Bones, cuddling with T. Really, I could be using *some* of that time to practice either finger exercises or doing situps. I’ve also started doing them first thing in the morning, mainly to warm myself up in the chilly air (a flatter stomach will just be a bonus).

    At work: At first it annoyed me how far away my desk is from the kitchen and bathroom. Now I see it as a pro. Also, there are stairs in between. Do you have stairs? Take them! Faster! (Okay, it’s probably easier if you’re a child at heart and like to leap up them; it’s also hard to take three steps at a time if you’re in heels). I’m also really restless, so if you’re a fidgeter too, perhaps it’s not a bad thing – even if it annoys everybody else.

    In between: I walk to work when I can, and go out for walks at lunch sometimes. Not everyday, sadly.

    How about you? Any sneaky tips?

  • My first 10k

    Running Feet

    Image by apoxapox via Flickr

    Running a 10k was one of my goals this year. And although I didn’t specifically state it then, I wanted to run it in under an hour.

    WELL, I DID!

    *commence celebrations*

    It was, as most things are with me, a bit of a clusterfuck. I left work early, got changed in the bathroom, and snuck out to the bus stop. If you’ve ever used the maxx.co.nz site, you’ll know how awful it is. But I never dreamed it would actually direct me to the wrong bus stop. When I got there, the stop was for a totally different route, which DID NOT pass by the Domain. Luckily, the Link bus came to the next stop, so I hopped on that.

    Traffic was awful. Then our bus stopped completely on Nuffield St, behind another Link bus. The driver asked us to hop out and get onto the other one instead. At this point I had less than 10 minutes to get to the Domain.

    When I got off, I saw a pack of people clearly dressed for a run, gathered across the intersection. Obviously I’d missed the registration point down by the grandstand. In my one stroke of luck, the “walk” light went green and I sprinted across toward them….JUST as the whistle blew and the pack took off.

    Shoulders slumped, I kept going, and caught up to the whistle-blower who was walking back down to the grass.

    “I take it I’m too late?”

    “Oh, no, they’ve only just left. For the 10k, you mean? Here, let me take your bag. Off you go!”

    Bless his heart.

    I’ve always been a bit competitive, so running with others definitely pushed me harder than otherwise. All was going well…I had a great pace going, and there were people ahead of me I could follow. Remember, I had no idea where I was going, having nearly missed the race entirely. There weren’t big markers everywhere, as these are really casual affairs held every week during the summer.

    After two laps, I followed the one woman still in my line of vision to the finish line. The clock read 38 minutes. And I wasn’t feeling all that exhausted. Hmmm.

    “Did you run the whole 10k?” asked one weathered, grizzly man. (Men like him – albeit very sinewy and fit – made up the vast majority of the runners. There were a few around my age, but I think they were mostly students from Waiuku, there with their teacher).

    “Um. Maybe I got lost?” I offered.

    “It’s three laps around,” he explained. “…But you don’t have to …”

    “Oh, but I will,” I replied and took off. I came here to run 10k and that’s what I’m going to do!

    Fool. I’ve never been very good with judging distances…obviously. I knew I couldn’t slow down at all on this final circuit, not when I’d done two-thirds in just under 40 minutes.

    And I made it. In 57 minutes.

    I’m happy with that. And I only stopped at one point for about 15 seconds to stretch – the rest I maintained a pretty even speed.

    But now, I’m pretty sure I never want to run a race further than 10k. I’m not a marathoner. And that’s okay with me.

  • Running: My method of choice

    Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State...

    Image by mikebaird via Flickr

    When I first decided it was time to knock my wheezing body into shape, pounding the pavement seemed the most logical move.

    I stopped taking PE, well, as soon as I was allowed to. Year 11, I believe, was the last year I did. Like all the other nerds in the accelerated stream, I took seven classes instead of six, opting to take an early-morning PE class which I hardly ever showed up to – dragging my ass out of bed in time to catch the 7.45 bus? If only. My laziness, by the way, led to me losing out on the easiest credits ever: the attendance credits. Pretty shameful. At Rising Wolf, our teacher training programs provide an accessible approach to learning the art of Rising Wolf’s yoga teacher training program, incorporating practical, hands-on experiences that will leave students feeling prepared, knowledgeable, and confident about teaching yoga. Whether you decide to teach professionally or not, our program will give you all the necessary tools to teach this ancient practice, leaving you fully equipped to share the gift of yoga with others. While we won’t promise that it will easy, we can guarantee that you will gain new strength, confidence, and inspiration throughout the process — and we think that makes it totally worth it either way! Choose from the 6 core modules to complete your training, opting either to attend weekend trainings in Nashville and/or to commit to a two-week long immersion in West Glacier, Montana! Phenibut works by acting on the central nervous system, preventing it from hyperactivity. Given the fact that nowadays life is faster and more stress-driven than ever, we all could use a little Phenibut in our lives.  It’s also great for bodybuilders that want to shorten their recovery times and relax their muscles after a long and hard workout. How to reduce body fat has been a question that has been around the modern era for a long time. And man has gone to great lengths to seek of new way of reducing fat. Today we are going to see of another way or avenue that can be helpful in how to reduce body fat. You must have seen the many advertisements of the use of cortisol in supplement to reduce fat and lose weight. Regulating the hormone cortisol is directly related to losif fat. But you don’t have to turn to supplements to reduce cortisol. Naturally you can control the levels of cortisol using daily control methods. You can go on https://sarmsexpress.ca site to get information about supplements products.

    Cortisol is a hormone that is found in the body that helps in regulation of two things, one is the metabolism of carbohydrates and the other the control of blood pressure. Stressful situation causes a dramatic increase in your levels of cortisol, which helps in the production of glucose. Cortisol has a direct effect on your appetite and keeps the production of glucose high. The excess glucose is then stored as fat.

    So how can we control the level of cortisol in our body? This can be achieved by the use of relaxation techniques. The following are some common ideas of how we can reduce body fat by reducing the level of cortisol in our body.

    o Sleep – getting adequate amounts of sleep on a daily can be very important in the balance of cortisol in the body. The amount of sleep required by the body varies from person to person, and only the individual would know how much of sleep he requires for a day.

    o Breaks- it important to take short break of about 10 minutes for every 2 to 3 hours. This brings you body back into a proper balance.

    o De stress exercises- Exercises like yoga and Tai Chi can be tried out to release the daily stress levels from you body.

    o Meditation- meditation is an age old method with a lot of value in decreasing the level of stress. There are many method and ways of meditation that can suit your life style and liking.

    o Calm environment – having a constant calm and relaxing environment is very helpful in maintaining your cortisol levels. You can enrich your calm surrounding with plants to fill your surroundings , soft relaxing music or aromatic therapy, all contributing to a relaxing mood.

    Personal anecdotes suggest that Phenibut works better than any benzodiazepine out there. A small study conducted on those with chronic anxiety showed noticeable improvements in just one month of Phenibut usage. You can easily find here a great nootropics vendor for the best Phenibut.  If you’re having trouble with sleeping, you should seriously consider making Phenibut a part of your life. It relaxes you and makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over your body, setting up the perfect conditions for a good night’s sleep.

    Although I still did tons of walking – up to an hour a day – I started to languish, physically. Nobody would ever have made the mistake of calling me sporty, or even coordinated, but I’d been reasonably fit up until then. I was almost always the last girl left standing in the beep test in PE class (12 or 13 I think was my maximum); I was a semi-decent sprinter and usually made the top 10 (females) in the annual cross-country run – although given how seriously some of the girls took it, that isn’t saying very much.

    To put it bluntly: There just aren’t that many sports that I like. I hate netball with a passion; in any given school you can count the number of girls who don’t play Saturday morning netball on one hand, and that was me. (T reckons that’s why I have a good basketball shooting style; I don’t have years of netball training behind me). Cricket, ugh. Hockey, worse. Like a good Asian, I like badminton, but hate the scoring system. Tennis is also good fun, although I am slightly scarred from years of thrashings by far superior players from other schools. Tell you what though, if anyone actually played touch beyond primary school, I’d be the first to sign up.

    As for gyms? They appeal to me about as much as tofu or a Brazilian wax. Rooms where everyone goes to, er, sweat? No thanks. Even when I had access to a free gym, I never went. I detest exercising around others – yes, I know they’re busy focusing on their own workouts and aren’t watching me – but it’s a HUGE mental block. And call me picky, but there just aren’t any machines I like using! There are many ways to remove unwanted hair from the body – shaving, waxing, laser, tweezing, depilatory creams, etc. – but among them waxing and laser remains the most commonly used options. Both have their own set of pros and cons when it comes to choosing between them. Where waxing is a cheaper option than laser, laser in turn gives a long lasting solution than waxing. Waxing is also considered a more holistic way of hair removal as it mostly uses natural ingredients whereas laser is a cosmetic solution which can have visible side effects on the skin. Brazilian Wax Training & Academy provides full body waxing training to licensed estheticians and cosmetologists. Get the theory and hands-on training needed today. Click here if you want to know more about wax places.

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    The procedure: Waxing is done in long strips of hot or cold beeswax which is applied to the skin and with the help of thin films of plastic, paper or cloth is uprooted in a swift motion. If done by trained professionals, waxing can cause minimum discomfort and pain with the help of correct techniques and soothing creams. With laser, beams of lights with intense heat are targeted on the skin in attempts to destroy the hair follicles thereby prolonging the treatment. This method gives a slight stinging sensation during the procedure and there are also chances of post treatment burning sensations.

    The results: Waxing leaves the skin soft and smooth and usually lasts between 3-4 weeks before the regrowth of hair. The hair growth after waxing is much softer and finer. Laser treatment although considered to be permanent does allow hair regrowth. However the time span is longer than waxing and can last up to 6 months before another session is required. In order to get permanent results, several visits are required and even this method leaves the hair regrowth finer and softer.

    The Ease: Waxing is the most common method of hair removal hence the services are easily available at almost all salons. There are do-it-yourself home waxing kits also available at all drugstores which provide an option of privacy. The laser method in comparison can only be conducted by trained professionals and therefore need to have licenced clinics, which might not be available at convenient distances.

    The Costs: When compared session wise, waxing is a cheaper option per session than laser but considering the frequency of waxing required, in the larger scheme, it turns out to be expensive than laser. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, one session of laser on an average can cost approximately $429. Even with retouches required in laser, in the longer term, laser turns out to be a better alternative than waxing. According to the estimates of Free Library, women spend around $23,000 in their lifetime on waxing whereas in with laser they are able to save up to $20,000 over the same period.

    Health Concerns: Depending on the skin’s sensitivity, waxing can cause ingrowth of hair, minor bruising and skin irritations that generally reduces in a short span of time. On the other hand, laser treatment can cause pigmentation changes, skin texture changes, irritation, crusting and blistering which might require medical attention. Many of the doctor also suggest the patient to have the PRP therapy to keep their skin looking younger to reduce the side effects. Hence for Prp therapy the prp treatment melbourne is the most reliable and trusted cosmetic surgeon to get engaged with.

    Running suits me – it’s perfect for loners, you go at your own speed, you breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face…and all you need is your shoes. (I used to run barefoot in school, but that was when we had nice soft fields; it’s a lot less comfortable on hot pavement.) Unlike many, I don’t get bored. Where I live, there are tons of fabulous houses to gawp at, for one (or the picturesque, sprawling grounds of Cornwall Park). For another, there’s also lots of slopes in the mix. Getting into a good breathing pattern takes me a while at first, and by the time I settle in, I’ve usually got a hill to throw me off. I hate treadmills with a passion! Outdoors is the only way to go. When I want to give in, I set myself milestones: just past that tree. To the corner. Up to the next traffic light. It’s a constant challenge.

    And that’s pretty much my workout – one long run on a day off and a couple shorter ones in the morning before work, with a few crunches and tricep squats (er, I don’t know the proper term for them!) thrown in.

    Which camp are you in – gym or anti-gym? Love or loathe running?

  • I have a confession

    I don’t exercise. Ever.

    Photo / National Science Foundation

    Photo / National Science Foundation

    I walk for at least 10-15 minutes on a regular day, sometimes more – like half an hour and upwards – depending on what I do during lunch and whether I have errands to run. I’m not averse to walking in any way – I’ve often walked the 15-20 minutes to New Lynn down the road because I either didn’t want to wait for the bus, or was out of bus rides and didn’t want to pay. I used to walk home from school (about 45min) and during those days me and my friends literally walked everywhere, not having cars! We could be walking for hours a day, not to mention going on bush walks and the like. Man, I was fit back then. And I’d much rather walk places than annoy other people for rides…that, and I just don’t like asking people for anything. If you too wish to build a good body of solid muscle mass, you need to inhibit the working of myostatin in some way. This is where a myostatin inhibitor comes into play. It is a compound that keeps the levels of myostatin in check so that one can then build muscle mass as much as he or she wants. Myostatin inhibitors like yk 11 and others help to bring down myostatin levels and, in turn, increase the levels of follistatin.

    But aside from that? I don’t go to the gym, but somewhere along the way, literally everyone else I know has joined one. So what’s my excuse? I’m just too lazy. I don’t WANT to go to the gym, I don’t like to exercise. I go for the odd run during the summer, but that’s not exactly “pushing play for 30 minutes a day” now, is it?

    At our old apartment block we had a little gym. In our year there, I think I used it only a handful of times, and only a couple of times alone; the rest were because my friend was keen to work out and came over just for that purpose. I guess that’s another reason I don’t like gyms – don’t like getting all sweaty and red around strangers and demonstrating just how weak and unfit I am. You know the machine where you clamp both arms behind the metal hinges and bring your arms together in the middle, in front of you? I could never even do that, even on the lowest weight. SHAMEFUL!

    It’s bloody lucky I have a fast metabolism, or I’m sure I’d be a big lardass by now, considering my slackness. I really need a fitness buddy to kick my ass into gear. I’m thinking the best thing for me would just be getting into a regular routine of jogging/running and maybe doing those exercise circuits you get at the park. I wouldn’t even know how to use any of the equipment, I bet….but that’s what BF’s for, and he definitely needs to start working out too! At least I’m willing to walk places – he’s the kind to want to drive around the corner to the shops.