Chile adventures on foot

After arriving in the town of Puerto Natales after a long 14 hour bus ride from Ushuaia our trekking adventure in Torres Del Paine national park was next on our agenda and the part of our trip we were both so excited for!

This trek involved carrying our tent, sleeping bags, mats, sleeping gear, wet weather gear, stove, gas, cooking utensils, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners all on our backs for approximately 85 kms. Our hostel room was a bomb before we left.. 20121015-120610.jpg

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning – but not early enough. Our phones were on the wrong time zone setting and thinking it was 630am it was actually 730am. Luckily the bus driver agreed to come back for us! We took a bus to the park and then a catamaran to the starting point of the W-trek which we were about to begin. Ready to go with bright orange wet weather gear- tick! 20121015-120623.jpg
From the very beginning of the trek the views were breathtaking. The terrain was so diverse from devastating desolate fire affected areas (caused by a tourist in January), to lush greenery, snow capped mountains, aqua lakes, glaciers and beautiful valleys and streams. With little to no wind the reflections of the mountains on the lake were incredible.
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Luckily we didn’t have to carry water with us. Any running stream of water was good to drink. And good is an understatement 🙂 water never tasted so fresh and crisp! 20121015-120641.jpg
Day 1 we walked towards Glacier Grey. It was so cool seeing the icebergs and the different shades of white and blue caused by the reflections of the sky and the surroundings.
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Got to love a few selfies 😉
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We camped right by the glacier the first night. We woke up thinking there was a massive thunder storm when in actual fact it was part of the glacier chipping off. Nature and its surprises.

For dinner we enjoyed devoured mushroom risotto from a packet. Our conversation went something like this.. “This could honestly be served in a 5 star restaurant”… “Maybe its just cause we are hungry”… “no i’m serious i don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so good”. Lol.
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Next day we were all packed up and off to our next campsite. Crossing big, unstable bridges with signs like these are enough to make you a bit concerned. 20121015-120821.jpg

On day 3 we were blessed with beautiful blue skies which we did not take for granted after hearing horror stories about Patagonian weather.20121015-120829.jpg
A day of picturesque scenery.
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Panoramic 360 degree view. Feeling a bit low on the energy side of things, this definitely raised the spirits!20121015-120845.jpg

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Occasionally we would just stop, pinch ourselves that we were actually here and have a moment to take it all in.20121015-120914.jpg

This was by at our favourite day of scenery. Patagonia was really showing off what it has to offer 😉 20121015-120924.jpg

If mushroom risotto was 5 star quality, then 2 minute noodles AND creamy spinach soup deserved 3 hats!20121015-120930.jpg

Pitching our tent on a wooden board at the next campsite was luxury! A flat surface, unlike the previous night prevented me waking up squashed to the side of the tent on the hard cold ground (with Josh soundly asleep and oblivious) haha 20121015-120936.jpg

We had a relatively good night sleep and were ready the most difficult day of the trek. 22 kms and steep inclines. But after a hearty bowl of delicious hot oats- you know about my love for them– we were ready and pumped! . 20121015-120943.jpg

We reached our campsite way earlier than we expected, pitched our tent and decided to trek up to Torres Del Paine thinking it would just be a stroll. How wrong we were! Steep and rocky- but well worth the view! 20121015-120951.jpg
The cow mountain.
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After a lovely evening at camp we woke up for our last day, dosed up on the oats and coffee and off we went! 20121015-121006.jpg
We made it our tradition to run as fast as we could down hills (yes, with our massive backpacks on)… Such fun! This also meant our 10ks down to our end point just flew
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After a fun and relatively easy day we arrived at our final destination feeling good, accomplished and satisfied!20121015-121024.jpg

We enjoyed coke and coffee and a clean bathroom with oh so sweet melting soap!!!!20121015-121034.jpg

After finally returning to our hostel, returning our hired gear and scrubbing up like never before we headed out for a post-trek feed to a place recommended by our friend Bortzy, La Picada de Don Carlitos. a20121015-121103.jpg

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What an incredible journey we shared together! We crossed many boundaries that should probably never be crossed, spent hours chatting about random topics from trigonometry to economics to singing random songs, playing rhyming games, predicting passer-byers’ itineraries and enjoying kms of absolute silence.

Today we are taking a day to unwind, relax and rest the feet before taking a a bus early tomorrow morning to El Calafate back in Argentina.

Until next time, hasta Luego!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Friday Favourites

1) Food favourite

Tomato, Basil and Bocconcini Pizza on wholemeal pita
Great for lunch or dinner idea!

Ingredients
-Wholemeal pita
-Tomato paste
-Bocconcini cheese
-Fresh tomato
-Basil
-Red onion

Method
-Cut pita into it’s halves
-Grill one side of the pita until nicely golden
-Spread tomato paste and add toppings
-Place under grill for approximately 5 minutes
-Enjoy (with salivating eyes staring at you!)

2) Fitness favourite

My blogging friend, Gina from Fitnessista introduced me to a great high-intensity interval training workout called ‘Tabata’ that takes a minimum of 4 minutes to get the heart racing and the whole body working.

What I love about this type of training is that you don’t need any equipment, it can be done in the comfort of your own home and it is not time-heavy, making it easy to squeeze into a busy schedule.

Tabata works on intervals where there is 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated 8 times, which makes for a total of 4 minutes. Check out the videos bellow for a guided workout.

Gina’s Tabata video
(she also has a lot more detailed information about the workout)

Mindy Mylrea’s videos on YouTube are great resource 

3) Family favourite

My grandpa ‘kissing’ a photograph of my brother who is currently overseas working on a cruise ship.  We all miss him terribly, but no one more than these 2!

Happy Friday friends!

Be sure to let me know what you think of Tabata training if you give it a try.

What are your favourites in food, fitness of family this Friday?

What I Ate Wednesday #2 – Food, Fitness and Fun!

Thanks again to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting WIAW, a great blogging initiative to share ideas on food, fitness and fun!

My day began bright and early with a chilly, but sunny breakfast on the balcony.  On the menu was my special oats with banana, peanut butter and honey. Rich and satisfying. Always hits the spot.

Next I was off to the podiatrist for orthotic scans. Apparently, I am extremely flat footed and the fact I don’t suffer from sever foot pains is a mystery..  Have you ever worn orthotics? Have they helped you?

My commute to work was very pleasant. Blue sky and just-rained-on greenery.  My best.

Early to work again! I enjoyed a coffee while I watched the passing traffic.

Lunch was a toasted tuna and salad sandwich on multigrain bread, with an English breakfast tea.

Afternoon snack @ home… banana smothered in crunchy peanut butter. Perfect combo!

Afternoon tea with my aunty Norma. I love spending time with Norms and what I may even love more is her beautiful tray 🙂

Next on the agenda was Body Step. I hadn’t done this class in ages.  The coordination element to it really challenges me, but our instructor Leisl was great as usual. I always enjoy her classes when I get a chance to go to them.

Here Anna (who happens to be one of my awesome Body Attack instructors) and I pose oblivious to the chaos surrounding us… in the same shoes of course 😉

After gym I popped by Liv who greeted me with THE most delicious homemade orange juice.

And soon after we headed off to dinner @ Tenka, a Japanese restaurant in our hood.  I had the Udon noodles with salmon and vegetables.  Was yum, but I prefer the Udon noodle soup. There is always next time!

What a full and busy day. Just how I like it. Not long until school holidays are over and life returns to being more structured…

On another note, for those Sydney siders interested I have just released my Breast Cancer social walk/run and breakfast next month and here is YOUR personal invite.

Grab a few friends, RSVP by commenting on the blog or Contact Me page and come along! All fitness levels and ages welcome! It is for a great cause and a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy good company, a sponsored breakfast and fresh air.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

What food has fuelled your Wednesday? and…
How have you been active today?  

xxx

Bondi Farmers Markets picnic

What a gorgeous morning spent at Bondi Farmers Markets!
A few friends gathered here with picnic rugs to celebrate Loren’s birthday.

I always love walking around markets and checking out what the different vendors have on offer.

We bought some of the delicious bread. Freshly baked and full of all the good stuff

Pink Lady apples (my favourite) en-mass

Tomatoes, avocados, cheeses, peanut butter, jam…

I enjoyed a slice of bread with home-made jam and deliciously strong cheddar…

As well as a slice with peanut butter and jam (first time combo for me, yum!)
And a cappuccino

All had in good company, with relaxing background tunes

It was a great morning spent in the sun and a well organised picnic, thanks Girls!

Happy birthday Loz (and Jared for Wednesday)!

And congrats to the lucky girl out there..

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing with Liv @ my all-time favourite cafe ‘Gertrude and Alice’.  It is slightly annoying to pay $4 for a cup of tea but I love that it is served in a china mug and in a pot… and nothing beats the atmosphere in this place.

On the topic of books, I just ordered ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on my kindle.
After all this hype it is time to see what the fuss is about.

Hope you are having a chilled out Saturday wherever you are in the world!

I leave you with 2 questions today
1) Have you read any good books lately? and

2) Would you like to be proposed to in sky writing???

Sunday PR and Baking

Sunday morning is usually my Bondi beach run day… however due to the miserable weather this morning Josh and I ended up running around the shopping centre instead.

Whilst Josh was checking out IPads, I used the opportunity to (sneakily) publicise my blog

Lol. I only managed to upload it onto 2 computers… before shame got the better of me.

I then headed home and decided to do a bit of baking.  A seeded-nut loaf seemed like the perfect idea. I called my mom for a rough ingredient list and she enlisted the help of her baking-guru-friend, Ilana.  Thanks Lanz 🙂

It is a pretty simple recipe and a slice of this loaf is the perfect way to fuel a workout.  It is loaded with nuts, seeds and wholegrains; making it high in fibre and protein.

To begin, turn the oven onto around 180 degrees.  Grease a loaf tin and set out all the ingredients, 2 large bowls, measuring utensils and a mixing spoon.

You can choose to use whatever nuts and seeds you like; I went with pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas and linseeds.

To begin you add all the dry ingredients together in 1 bowl.

  • 2.5 cups wholewheat self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • large pinch of salt

In another bowl, add the wet ingredients.

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk

Wet mixture and dry mixture

Combine wet and dry mixtures. Add nuts and seeds to mixture.This is what I added to mine (however you can be flexible in quantities and nut/seed selection here).

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup linseed
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

Pour into loaf tin.

Pre-decorating

Combine 1 egg and a dash of water, and brush the loaf. Then sprinkle nuts and seeds to decorate!

Post-decorating, ready for the oven!

Place in pre-heated oven for about 1 hour (keep an eye on it!)

And then my friends… just wait patiently.  An aroma of deliciousness will fill your home and tease your taste buds.

Take out the oven and allow to cool, before enjoying with a cup of tea and your favourite spread.

Ready to be eaten

Happy Dad

Tea time is over and well enjoyed by all. I am off to squeeze in a body attack class @ the gym now. Happy Sunday everyone!

Whats’s on the menu for tea at your place?

Eating Well and Feeling Satisfied

Food is a big part of my life. It is a big part of my culture and a massive part of my social life. I like to eat and feel satisfied 🙂 I love to share good food with the people I love.

Fig, Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

Sushi Salad – Fresh, Delicious and Fun!

Some tips for eating well and feeling satisfied:

  • Never deprive yourself of anything. If you want something, have it and enjoy it a small portion of it.
  • Fill your fridge with lots of fresh, colourful produce. How can you possibly turn down a good salad or a juicy piece of fruit when it is staring right at you?
  • Embrace the grains! Carbs can be your friend if you choose the good quality, wholesome wholegrains. Complex cabrs including oats, wholegrain bread and brown rice help to keep you hunger at bay and provide you with energy to fuel your exercise.
  • Try to include a protein in all your meals. Protein, found in foods such as eggs, chicken, meat, nuts and fish is vital for the growth and repair of cells.  Protein also helps with satiety, as it digests slowly and does not cause massive spikes in your blood-sugar level.  For more info on this check out this article from the Livestrong website –The Advantages of a Protein Diet.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and herbal teas.
  • Finally, the very best tip I have to share is one I learned from my late Grandfather.  That is,  to eat slowly, savour every mouthful and share your meals with the people you love 🙂 

My Cousins and I sharing one of many special dinners with our late Grandfather

What is your best tip for eating well and feeling satisfied?