The best kind of surprise. I swear.

ShuttingDowm

Here at Fashion Fitness Food HQ we’ve been working on something a bit special. However, because we like keeping you in suspense, we aren’t quite ready to share the results of our late nights, shakes-fists-in-frustration moments and excessive caffeine consumption.

Although I personally hate surprises (like, seriously, how are you meant to know what to wear if someone doesn’t bloody tell you what they are planning*), this one is I good one. I promise.

Unfortunately we will have to shut our virtual doors as the last lick of paint goes up, but don’t fret (I can see the panic in your eyes), we will be back up and running on June 1st. So do check back then.

I will make it worth your while.

**winkey face**

Yes. That is definitely blatant bribery.

Until then, have a great week filled with all the chicest clothes, tastiest noms and endorphins educing workouts.

See you all on the first (woop woop).

*The joy of this virtual date, is that you can literally wear whatever you like. Although, if you usually check us out at work I would suggest NOT pyjamas. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

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Mondayitis

MondayChrsitmas

You totes thought I had forgotten about being a moaning b**ch every Monday right? Well no, unfortunately the taste of halitosis combined with double shot espresso greeting me across my daily catch up of Perez Hilton (.com) is still, somehow, so much worse on this particular day of the week. So, instead of being a normal human and just instagraming a hilarious (or not) quote about how much I miss the weekend, I will write an exceptionally long posts about how much better my life would be if I had [insert materialistic item of awesomeness here]. Oh, and I also do the Instagram thing too. Duh.

This Monday my list is pretty long. Considering I’m professionally trained and paid to be an “editor”, when it comes to culling down the list of things I want right now I would be better labeled a “inability to prioritise-r” or maybe even “demanding”. (Who me?! Never). It goes a little something like this…

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A Normal Right Leg. Can someone please fix my knee? Seriously. Not only does it hurt like hell when I both bend AND straighten it, it has rendered me unable to do exercise (but, oddly, not unable to eat large quantities), but MOST importantly, it has swollen up to the point that I can’t fit in my new pineapple skinny jeans. So I need that to not be happening.

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A Wallet. More specifically, this wallet. Preferably with large wads of cash in it. The truth is, three weeks down and my coin purse (that was oh-so sweet and handy through out Asia) is now stuffed with one and two pence pieces (grumble, grumble, pointless ruddy coins, grumble), half filled coffee cards from Pret, and receipts (that I’m attempting to keep so I can start budgeting – ha). This bright, happy-making number has space for all those cards, a coin compartment, it opens out to fit all my pesky receipts (and large wads of cash), whilst being bright enough to spot in the bottom of your bag AND small enough to pop in your fave clutch when you head out for a drink. It’s totally more of a necessity than a want. Totally. (Stop rolling your eyes mum.)

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All Ruby Everything. I always talk about my love for this incredible kiwi brand, Ruby. It must be so boring for you. Because I actually have a super international readership (hey all you lovelies from all over the world) and you know what? It’s hella expensive to get Ruby shipped to anywhere but NZ. I know because I’ve looked. I’ve looked, I’ve weighed up the options, and I’ve decided its worth it. (Then I put down my wine glass and went to bed). No, but in all seriousness I miss this brand a lot; the quality is great, it fits me perfectly, I love the current collection and I seriously love the next collection. I’m pretty bloody upset that I no longer live nearby. Can someone please send me this? Oh and this? Maybe these too? Hell, just one of everything. (Told you I was grand and this “editing” business).

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The Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich. This girl is incredible. She’s a blogger who turned to wholefoods and general clean eating to help her daughter (who suffers from Gut and Psychology Syndrome, read her story here). She also went to my high school and I still get this weird how-can-someone-who-sat-opposite-me-in-maths-be-doing-so-freaking-well-at-life feeling every time I look at one of her recipes. Eleanor is one of the original inspirations behind the way I (try) and eat and I think her recipes are wonderfully simple, easy to achieve and always scrumptious. When the boy and I score a cute little London pad (cough, cough), the first thing heading to my kitchen will be this book. (Well, actually it will probably be boring crap like knives and forks… but you know… this is a close second).

I will stop now, even though I could go on forever. I’m starting to feel like I’m writing a letter to Father Christmas, and if I go any further with this fantasy I might start expecting things under the tree.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a good girl this year Saint Nicholas, so please cure my Monday morning blues and…. give me all of the cool stuffs. Ta.

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Icy mornings, bung knees and strokes. Lots of strokes.

Running

I once heard someone say “as long as you actually get moving, it doesn’t matter what you wear. Exercise, and all its benefits, can be achieved as long as you just go and do it”.

Well kids, that person was a big ol’ liar. For the last two weeks (since arriving in the UK) I’ve been trying (important word that, trying) to get back to my previous fitness level. With another half marathon to work towards, I’ve been strapping on trainers and heading out into the FREEZING London streets as many mornings as I can muster the courage (not many).

I’m pretty sure it’s the eight weeks of doing very little and the sharp change in temperature from my normal training that’s contributing to my… well.. diabolical running ability. But I also think that it’s because I’m in all the wrong gear.

You’ve heard me harp on about my love affair with Skechers. The GoRun is just a perfect match for me (and probably you too – seriously, give it a go). You can read my in-depth reviews/love letters here and here (I’m smitten). Unfortunately, with the boy watching over (aka lording over) my packing for our South East Asian adventures, they didn’t make the cut. A 10 year old, overused and muddy pair of Nikes did. With the convincing reasoning behind the boy removing my fave trainers from my pack being that “I wouldn’t mind if the others got lost/dirty”. All through our intrepid journey, the boy was right. But now I am here, and my runners aren’t, I’m in huge distress.

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Two weeks of shockingly mediocre runs with bad shoes (featuring none of the right support), and my knee has actually given in, I’ve strained my ITB (google it, its far too boring for me to explain here) and I am now BED RIDDEN*.

Luckily, my one true loves are slowly making their way to me via a shipping container full of other stuff that we deemed important enough to send to the other side of the world. I imagine (upon arrival) I will probably look at the painstakingly selected items in disgust, questioning why on earth I chose to spend actual money, time and energy sending it… all except my beautiful Skechers. I will caress them. Cuddle them. Love them. And yes, I will prob even give them a little stroke. (Stop judging me).

I’m pretty sure, once reunited with my GoRuns, I will be able to whiz through my training. Right? Yeah. Its definitely the shoes and not my lazy butt. For sure.

Gulp.

*Okay, so I’m not ACTUALLY bed ridden. But walking is tough, going up stairs is tougher and if I want to get any sympathy (and maybe breakfast in bed) from the boy I have to say things like “bed ridden”. Ok? Cool. Glad we’re on the same page.

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The month that was.

April

April was a blur of fantastic sights, exotic food and complete exhaustion. For the last 57 days, I have traveled across 20 destinations and through 7 counties. All while snapping up a storm (and not finding much wifi…argh). Now it is back to reality, back to primal living and back to you guys (yay).

Follow me on Instagram here for what has been a hub of adventure selfless, and what will continue to be full of food, fashion and (maybe) some fitness.

The month that was.

March

March has zipped by and I’m still not quite sure how I fitted everything in. Six different cities, eight modes of transport, one family reunion and (as always) way too much food. Follow me on Instagram here for what will continue to be a sneak peak of my adventures around Asia and India. With lots of food. Like lots.

Pimple cures, ego deflating and my (new) bestie.

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You know that phrase, the one featured in like every sappy 90s love song (or any love song at all for that matter), the one about not knowing what you’ve got… ‘Till it’s gone? Well I’m suffering from that a little right now. To friends and family back home – you can stop that head of yours getting any bigger, because I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about lemons.

Yup. Do you know how hard it is to hunt down a damn lemon in Asia? I don’t know if I’m looking in all the wrong places (and yes, I looked in fruit shops, supermarkets and even asked at restaurants), but I could barely find any. This doesn’t sound like much of a drama right? Well, I guess it’s not on the scale of life events (weddings, children and lemon draughts will probably make my obituary), but it has made me realise that lemons are one bloody brilliant fruit.

For the last 12 months in NZ I’ve been consistently guzzling a glass of water with the juice from half a lemon and a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar every morning (except a few hungover occasions that we won’t talk about). To be honest, I didn’t really understand the good it was doing me. I just kind of did it, because (like any good blogger) I read somewhere online that it’s super duper for all things digestive and helps out your skin too. (And yes, if the internet told me to jump off a bridge, I probably would do that as well).

Lemons

As much as I wanted to squeeze 9 weeks worth of lemons and ACV into my luggage, the boy had already been lenient with my packing quoter (he double checked the necessity of each item in my bag and even let me keep the third pair of shoes), so I decided to test my life – lemon free. Well, you know what? My life is oh-so much better with a little acid in the morning.

Even just a few days in from my morning ritual hiatus, I notices more spots. A week in and my skin tone was hella blotchy, and food was aching my tummy (this could also be because I’m traveling south East Asia… Or, you know, lemons are magic). Three weeks in and I’m reminded of my sixteen year old self, and not in a good way (in a hormones expressing themselves through my pores sort of way).

As well as doing wonders for your skin, lemons claim to boost your immune system (with all that tasty vitamin C), balance out your PH levels (aiding healthy digestion and knocking out toxins) and even reduce inflammation in joints!

So, when I stumble upon these citrus fruits on my journeys around the orient, Im buying as many as I think will stay good, and strapping them to the side of my already overflowing pack. I’ve even started using the juice directly on a pimple to clear it up quick (when I’m done drinking it obviously).

To all you people who are spending up large on fancy name skincare brands that promise to rid you of acne for life, save a buck or two and go to your local grocers* to pick up some lemons. Maybe some apple cider vinegar too – but that’s a love story for a different day.

*unless your in Asia, then good luck to ya!

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Wet therapy, tiny spaces and the worlds least active human.

Workout

My family and friends are still in disbelief that I actually write a blog with an element of exercise to it. I’ve gone from being the worlds least active human (when I was a teenager) to being addicted to running, boot camps, bikram and anything else that likely to make me sweaty (get your mind out of the gutter). I completely love it all. Exercise not only plays a role in my physical wellbeing, but a huge role in my mental wellbeing. It’s like therapy (wet therapy). So, traveling around, going from backpackers to small hotel rooms, has left me without my usual variety of incredible running and workout back drops! But I would never let that stop me – no, no, no.

I created myself a series of ‘small place friendly’ workouts before I headed off. So, if you find yourself in a tight spot – here are a couple of workouts to help you keep moving.

Indoor Cardio Booster

Cardio can be one of the hardest things to tackle in a small space. When there isn’t a gym full of treadmills or a vast open space to run around, people tend to just skip the heart rate rising cardio set. But you don’t have to! Try this workout… the key is to do each round as fast as you can and only rest when indicated. If you are competitive (like me) time yourself and try and beat yourself each round.

  • 10 x burpees
  • 10 x star jumps
  • 10 x mountain climbers
  • 10 x high jumps

30 SECOND REST

  • 25 x burpees
  • 25 x star jumps
  • 25 x mountain climbers
  • 25 x high jumps

30 SECOND REST

(Repeat both sets again, then follow with a nice stretch out.)

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Body Weight Strength Session: 10 to 1

Mix up that awesome cardio set with some strength training on alternate days. Don’t worry, no dumbbells needed… just you and your body. This one is super easy to change up depending on what you want to do. Fancy a full on leg day? Why not do squat jumps and lunges or kick backs and side raisers. Abs need a workout? Give v-sits and leg lowers a trial. Play around with it and have fun (very sweaty painful fun).

  • 10 squats – 1 push up
  • 9 squats – 2 push ups
  • 8 squats – 3 push ups
  • 7 squats – 4 push ups
  • 6 squats – 5 push ups
  • 5 squats – 6 push ups
  • 4 squats – 7 push ups
  • 3 squats – 8 push ups
  • 2 squats – 9 push ups
  • 1 squat – 10 push ups

To add an element of cardio, inbetween each set either sprint the length of your hotel room (if its long-ish) or do 10 x star jumps.

(Finish up with a nice stretch out.)

Top Travel Tip: One thing I made sure I found a wee bit of space for in my pack was a skipping rope. It’s not huge, it packs up small and its a great one for getting that heart rate up! Either break up one of the above work outs with 20 second skipping bursts or just go hard out for as long as you can – just you and your jump rope.

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The month that was.

February

February has been a crazy month. Between heaps of brunch dates, gearing up for the big move and an endless need for caffeine, I managed to snap some of my adventures. Follow me on Instagram here for what will soon be an account overrun with Asian inspired food, fashion and fitness.

One foot in front of another (then an arm, elbow and thigh), aka serious running fail.

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Running and I haven’t been the best of friends this last few weeks. 

A month or so ago I started following fit_trio on Instagram. I’m pretty sure the boy thinks I’m having a full blown affair with this woman abs. I mean have you seen them? They are better than Ryan Gosling’s face. (Yeah, I said it.) After asking the fit-spiration account how exactly she got the way she did… among other things it turns out she runs… a lot (think everyday for like an hour). Now, I don’t have time for stuff like that. BUT, in a effort to get my mid section more like the above and less like I had too much lunch (even though I probably did), I decided to commit to between 20-30 minutes of running every other day. It seemed reasonable, and when I was training for the half I was doing way more than that.

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Mostly I’ve stuck to it (read: mostly). Unfortunately running and me don’t seem to be the friends we used to be. Between bouts of sunstroke, sun burn (damn sun), dehydration and near misses with cars, no pavement pound has been easy (or particularly fun). Then, as the cherry on top of my paleo ice cream, on Saturday I had an epic fall. Think (literally) somersaulting down a main street. It left me with huge (super attractive) bruising and grazes down my entire left side. I may have to crack out the Thin Lizzy for my upcoming leaving do.

Basically it’s being really hard to get out the door. Each day, if the hot and muggy weather doesn’t hold me back, the fear of tripping over my own feet does. So blogosphere, I put this out to you – how the hell do you muster motivation? Because I need me some.

Like right now.

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Mondayitis

Fitbook

Having been out of the nine to five loop for exactly a week now, not only have my good intensions of running, keeping the house in tip top shape and having a home cooked (dare I say, paleo) dinner on the table for the boy each night, gone out the window… but so too have days of the week. They are all melting into one big pot of numbers. Weeks, days, hours and minutes that we have left to do all the things that need to be done (all the many, many things). So today is not Monday, nope, today is twenty two. Twenty two days (or 528 hours, or 31,680 minutes if you’re feeling really crazy) before I am standing at the departure gates of Auckland airport – totally shitting myself.

Now, for most, that might feel like ample time. I had a friend who moved to Europe on 6 weeks notice and worked right up until the day she left (yes, yes she is a little bit cray-cray). Well, ladies and gents, if you have ever met my mother (which I know most of you haven’t, but pretend you have for me) you will know that isn’t me. I am destined to be an organiser. As much as I kick, scream and stick my heels in, it will inevitably happen (as will saying “scissors always satisfy”, a family trait it seems – and a very true fact).

And, in line with my inherited organisation comes my absolute need to document things. I have special books dedicated to lists of specific kinds (think, “travel related to-dos” book and a “supermarket shopping list” book, oh and don’t forget my “daily to-do breakdown” book – which is different to my diary, but I do also have a diary). So when I stumbled across this little gem on the interwebs I knew somehow, sometime, someday it HAD to have it in my life.

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Now, before you start (boy, I am talking to you), I know I have the Fitbit app, and My Fitness Pal and roughly 84 other fitness trackers on my phone, but this one is different (I promise*). Look at those real life pages. Those weekly plans, and that ability to list, list and list some more. It’s like fitness meets food meets organisation (all it needs is a section to plan what to wear each day, and this book would be like my own personal 50 Shades Of Grey).

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The fitbook basically a nifty number that breakdowns a 12 week nutrition and exercise plan. You keep it with you when you are heading to the gym or to the kitchen and you keep track of exactly what you do. From my past experiences with food/diet related tracking, although tough, it is actually one of the best ways to keep on track (well duh). There is nothing more powerful to keep you away from that midnight temptation (aka Percy Pigs and/or, no wait just and, chocolate) than the thought that you actually have to admit it and add the calories into your diet plan, to make you stop, think and walk away. Food diaries and exercise logs not only help us to set goals, I’m a firm believer that they (in a silent, notebookey type way) support us. Any mistakes made will glare at us on the page (so no we can’t forget that sneaky TimTam or 10), but so do our results.

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So, if your Monday morning has you frowning at the idea of any form of movement past that short hike to the coffee shop for a latte and a cronut, maybe a fitbook will help? (After the pastries – of course.)

They even sell this incredible pack that comes with scales (for both you AND your food), body fat callipers, tape measure, the fit book and a pen so you literally have everything you need.

I’m pretty sure, hands down, if I had this in my life I would reach every and any fitness goal anyone has ever had. Ever.

Or, at least I would right them all down, and thats half the battle right?

*No I don’t, its the same. I will most likely diligently write in it for a week then put it down somewhere are forget it exists. But damn it  – for that week I will be incredible.

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