Final…Nepal Health Update.

The countdown is on…..not long until we set off on our adventure. The packing list is getting smaller and we have ticked off our medical check ups as well.

MK and I both went to the doctors to seek advice on what we would need health wise. We have both been to Asia before, we have had a lot of injections between the two of us over the years. The end result was a few booster shots to keep vaccinations active and our typhoid injection again (they only last 3 years). My advice to anyone traveling abroad is to always go to the doctors to make sure you are aware of any health risks on the country you are traveling too.  On top of the injections I also was prescribed altitude sickness tablets and Malaria tablets. I do like to make sure all my bases are covered so I took everything the doctor said on board and feel pretty set for the trip.

MK and I went to the chemist and bought tablets for nausea, cramps, headaches, the squirts and muscle pain. When we are on the trek we are really dependent on ourselves, we need to be a walking chemist for those just in case moments. We also have electrolyte tablets for hydration and a lot of hand sanitize wipes and gel to keep ourselves as germ free as possible. Our wonderful friend who is a nurse sent us a few pointers to get the right stuff…one great tip was to have vitamin C tablets with us as there will not be any vegetables or fruit on the way and we need to keep are immune system up (Thanks for all the help Em).

Our traveling chemist is ready for our trip and we have all our injections…now all that is left to do is to just make sure we are in good health before we leave. Both of us have given up alcohol for August and we are eating as clean as possible. Over the past year I have been exercising and eating well. I even did Optifast to shock my stomach into loosing weight and signed up to a gym and have been hitting the stair machine hard. We have both been hiking as well and have discovered some great walks through out NSW.  I am super proud of the effort we both put in and believe we will keep going when we get back as we have loved all our outdoor hiking and feeling in better shape. Personally I am super chuffed with myself as I have lost a total of 12KG this past year. Here is the photo proof below…

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I have finally realized the trick to loosing some weight…you have to want to change and you have to change your lifestyle. There is no hidden trick to loosing weight just a lot of consistent hard work. I am not perfect I have eaten biscuits and enjoyed a pizza but I have learnt how to do it in moderation. I have also rediscovered exercise. This year alone I have been to the gym, boot camp, hiking, F45, kayaking, swimming, climbing and yoga. It does not matter what you do as long as you keep moving. I will share the things that helped me along this last year, support from friends and family, Optifast, reducing my booze intake, take photos so you can see the difference, set a goal weight and don’t put to much pressure on yourself. I still have a way to go until my goal weight but I am pleased with my progress and hopefully hit my goal weight early next year.

Ladies who…

Winter is half way through. It is actually unbelievable that back home everyone is melting in the heat and here in Australia it is cold, wet and miserable. I am not going to let the weather keep me in. I have a few activities on the social calendar over the next few months and I wanted to share them with you all.

I think the activities below are a perfect way to get together with your girls!

Once I have been to them all I will review them and add them on to the Sydney Social Page.

Little Succers

I found this company on Instagram. They build there own super cute Succulents. It is a great new idea for a gift and as the website says minimal effort in keeping it alive. On top of buying one of there plants you can also go to there work shop and build your own Terrarium Bar. I believe they still have tickets for there July work shops.

The Rock Christmas Markets

The markets are on the weekend of the 15th July. There will be mulled wine, Christmas carols and market stalls. It looks so festive on the website. It will be a great excuse to get wrapped up and head down to join in the festive vibe at the rocks. Even a trip now to rocks feels festive with the fairy lights around the trees.

 Paint and Wine

Book in for a painting lesson. You will drink wine and come home with your very own master piece or your attempt at one. I received a pair of vouchers for my birthday. I can not wait for a night of painting and relaxing. When you book you get to see which picture you will be attempting as well. My vouchers are for Cork & Chroma in Surry Hills.

New Coffee Spots

Avoiding nights out means I have been on the hunt for a few new coffee joints. I have had a lot of coffee dates with my girlfriends so we can catch up. So far I have been to the Lindt Cafe in the CBD, The Ruby Diner in Waverly and The Tea Cosy in the Rocks. All serve a amazing coffee and I have seen my friends eat a great breakfast at each cafe. The Tea Cosy is ideal for afternoon tea, the pancakes are a must in the Lindt Cafe and I would try the Nutella on toast in Ruby’s Diner. I do love going into the city on the weekend its so peaceful and quiet. Try somewhere new for a coffee this weekend with your mates.

 

Nepal Prep Update.

77 days now until we leave for Nepal (less when this blog actually posts) so thought I would give you guys a bit of a update.

I am still on Optifast having the two shakes a day and a low cal meal for dinner. I have had a few nights out with drinks but very few in the past few months. I also feel I am in control of myself more. If I do go out I do not go crazy. The weight came off very fast at the beginning but now its crawling off so really need to put my best foot forward exercising. I have set myself a goal to have another 6KG off me by MK’s birthday, lets see how I go. MK has also given up carbs until we go now so as you can imagine our fridge is just meat and veggies at the min…the healthiest our fridge has ever looked.

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Exercise wise it is still running, swimming and hiking. Since the last update we have completed two more hikes Mt Kosciusko and Ruined Castle. We have noticed our bodies are not in pieces after the hikes and we can keep exercising. I have a few more hikes I would love us to get done before we go. I really enjoy the winter walks at the moment its great to be outdoors in the cold breeze and even see some snow. A lot of stretching is being done at home as well we are both being careful the last thing we want is to pull a muscle after our exercising. I also did my first F45 class which was so tough but so good and something I will look into after Nepal. I do have City2Surf in August as well which will be a cool challenge to complete before we go.

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I got a list from the travel company on what we need to bring and wow it is a lot longer then I imagined. At first it was a bit over whelming looking at all the items we need to take with us. After studying the list its not a lot of stuff its just a lot of stuff you would not normal need on a trip. I think I am going to hit up Ebay for a few items and also the Kathmandu store in our local outlet mall, it always has a great sale on. I currently have the list typed out in Excel and once complete I shall share it with all the prices and where I bought the items. I do find every time I buy something I want to go out walking to try it out, which is going to keep me exercising. Started to look for travel Insurance which is a bit tougher then I originally thought. Most sites I have been on so far only provide for EU residents. I am struggling to find a Australian company. I think it will take a bit more research to find the right cover for us. July we are off to the doctors to get all the jabs and pills we will need for the trip. I will blog on what we get once that has been completed.

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Blue Mountains Ruined Castle

Over the July long weekend we stayed in Sydney to save some pennies and to do a hike. As you all well know we are training for base camp trek in September. We have already done a few hikes over the past few months. The hike we did this weekend was to the Ruined Castle via The Golden Staircase.

The hike is located in the Blue Mountains just outside of Katoomba. You can actually hike to the Ruined Castle from Katoomba. We started from the Gold Case Staircase car park. It took a hour and  half to drive to the starting location. Setting off a bit later then planned in the morning  the car park was full when we arrived. We ended up parking up the road about 1KM from the carpark. The road down to the carpark is very bumpy and has huge pot holes I would not take a low car down this track, we saw a few people struggling with their cars. The weather was suppose to be dry during the day… do not do this walk in wet weather with the steep inclines it gets slippy.  Be careful and please read all the information provided on the NSW National Park website (link at the bottom of this blog). It had rained the day before making the ground still a bit wet.

The start of the walk takes you 800M down the Gold Staircase. This path is steep and has steep inclines and steps to tackle. There is a railing around most of it but there are parts without so please be careful. MK did slip on our way down as one of the rocks was slippy but luckily he didn’t slide anywhere. The views as you go down are beautiful ,I didn’t get my camera out as I was to busy looking where my feet where going. Once at the bottom of that section you walk 3.5 KM to Ruined Castle. This is a easy path its flat most of the way and no sheer drops. It goes through a rainforest type environment, it looks like how you would picture a enchanted forest as a child. When you reach the Ruined Castle camp site there is a toilet. After the campsite its a 600M steep incline up to the Ruined Castle Rock. There were lots of walkers on this path and on top of the rock . The rock was extremely busy with people having there lunch.

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We completed 10KM in 3 hours but I would advise 4/5 hours as we did not stop for lunch and were rushing to get back. Lucky for us as we got back to the car the heavens opened, so we missed the downfall. If you are a experienced hiker and good with heights you would enjoy this walk for sure. Below is the link to all the official information you need to complete this hike.

Hiking is getting easier for us and our legs are not hurting the next day either which is a great sign. Our hiking boots are getting warn in and no blisters which is another good sign. I have a fear of heights and I have been working to conquer this and control my fear. If you read the Mt Kosciusko blog you will know I froze when I had to climb over a snow bank…well I made sure on this hike I fought through all my fears and had no wobbly legs. I am extremely happy with how I handled myself on this hike as I was way out of my comfort zone height wise but kept a good strong grip on my fear.

information on the walk CLICK HERE

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What to do this weekend (Queens Long Weekend 2018)?

One plus to living in Sydney is there is never a long weekend to far away. The June long weekend for the Queen’s Birthday (we don’t even have this off in England) is just around the corner. I am staying in Sydney for this long week… I decided to put a list of some of my favorite things on this weekend.

Vivid: The light festival is still going over the long weekend. The bridge, the opera house, circular quay, the rocks, the botanical gardens and even more will be lit up with huge displays. Take a night to wrap and wonder around. Also have a go on the hands on exhibits in the rocks.

China Town: The China Town markets are on the Friday night. Go for dinner in one of the great restaurants and if you are feeling brave try out one of the karaoke rooms in China town. Recommendation for food would be the Noodle King.

Lunar Park: Go and be a big kid at the theme park on the harbor. Looking over the lights of vivid as you go on the Ferris wheel or play in the big fun house. There are the old fairground games as well if you are feeling lucky and want to win a big stuffed animal. There are lots of places to grab something to eat as well.

Cockatoo Island: It is your last chance to catch the 21st Beinnale of Sydney art festival. Catch the ferry over and wonder around the exhibits before having a hot drink taking in the city skyline views. There is a really clever mirror exhibit which is very trippy.

Watsons Bay Hotel: This long weekend the famous hotel is holding a Rose brunch. Grab a few of your girlfriends and head over to watch a winter sunset while sipping on some Frose.  Brunch and bottomless rose for two hours….a great way to spend afternoon with the ladies.

Merivale Bars: For all of June Merivale are offering 49% off drinks every day between 5PM-7PM. Check out their website to see were your closest bar is!

Newtown Chili Festival: The event is being held in The Bank. The day will consist of chill BBQ’s, chill cocktails and a chili eating contest. If you think you are brave enough. You will be warmed up that day for sure with all the chili activities planned.

Farmers Market: Inner West has a new farmers market. There will obviously be delicious food on offer throughout the market but they will have live music playing as well. The market has a pasta making demonstration this weekend. They run every Sunday 8AM -2PM and all of the market is under shelter.

Blue Mountains: Hiking in winter is possible. Jump in the care and head up to the mountains to do a bit of hiking. Some great trails to look up would be the Grand Canyon Loop and the Ruined Castle hike. Always prepare for hikes and make sure someone knows where you are heading and don’t hike alone.

Snowy Mountains

Last weekend we were suppose to be heading up to the Snowy Mountain’s for a weekend away and doing a hike. Well normal everyday life got in the way ( as it often does) and we could not leave until Saturday lunch time. We decided to go even though it would mean driving down Saturday afternoon hiking Sunday and driving back Sunday.  It was important for us (well me) that I did a hike in some cold temperatures. I have been working on my cardio and stamina and wanted to see how I had improved in a hike environment.

Mt Kosciusko Summit walk is the walk we took on. The Snowy’s are a 5 hour drive from Sydney. Mt Kosciusko is in the national park in the Snowy Mountains. We decided to stay in Jindabyne as it is only a 40 min drive to the start of the hike. I had a look online at hotels and because it was not Ski season yet we got a great deal at the Jindy Inn. Once we arrived in Jindabyne we got a quick bite to eat at the Mt Kosciusko brewery before heading to the hotel.

Jindy Inn had great reviews and a great price which made it a pretty easy decision. When you pull up to the Inn it looks very plain from the outside and a little dated. Once inside you feel like you are in a boutique local hotel. The reception is full of local art, candles and flowers. It really is a welcoming reception area, the community feel with locals business products is a great touch to the Inn. We had a triple room with a garden view. Didn’t make much use of the balcony with it being 4 degrees when we arrived but it looked lovely. I can imagine in warmer weather its a nice spot to catch some sun. The room was very clean, modern and full of local touches which again gave you a boutique feel. The pillows of the local animals on the bed to the great quality lotion and soap in the bathroom gave the room a swanky yet homely feel. There is a bar and dinning area downstairs with a fire place. We only used the dining room for breakfast the next day. Breakfast we included in the price and it was toast and cereal. It filled us up for the big day ahead. It was cosy and had again the modern mix with a community feel. There was beautiful art work on the walls and the staff were friendly offering tips and advice about the local area.  After a short but pleasant stay we left to head into the national park. It cost $17 for a day pass which can be purchased on the way in.

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The drive was beautiful twisting around the mountain landscapes and past the empty Ski resorts. Snow was on top of the mountains and as we got higher the temperature got lower. Once we had arrived at Charlottes Pass and rugged up we were off. I decided I wanted to carry the bag for practice. The first 6KM of the walk is flat and the back drop of the mountain’s is incredible. There is lots of mountain springs lining footpath and small patches of snow. When the track started to wind up around the mountain the snow got a bit worse on the ground. There is a hut up the mountain for day use and emergency night use. Inside the hut was a fire place, chopped up wood and benches around the edge of the room. Following the path up and round the snow had stretched and covered the path we were forced to walk on the grassy edge. I am not good with heights if I feel I can fall ( my dad and myself both have the same fear). I was okay walking on the grassy edge as it was wide and it wasn’t a steep drop. Then we reached a part where the snow had covered the whole path and built up creating a mound of snow which trailed off the edge. MK climbed over it and did try his best to persuade me to climb over. I had already freaked and did not like the fact I if I slipped on the snow I was rolling down the hill…even with MK offering to jump off and slide down with me if I fell. I decided to not go on. I was extremely gutted as I only had 1KM to do and felt good fitness wise. Passing the bag to MK I walked back down to the hut and waited for MK there. The clouds rolled in fast around the top and unfortunately when MK got to the top there was not much view just grey sky. After MK returned from the summit we headed back down the mountain. In total I walked 16KM and MK did 18km it took us 4 1/2 hours to get back to the car. I think the drive home could have been the toughest bit. Both of us where tired but we split the driving and powered through returning back to Sydney for 8PM.

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Despite our weekend being cut short we made the most of it. It was a great feeling to be walking in the cold battling the elements. We both felt like we were back home surrounded by mountains and snow. If skiing is not your thing there is still lot to see up in this area. This week we pushed through ache legs on Monday and kept up with the exercise because that will be our reality in Nepal. I also want to do more hikes and work on my balance and strength so I feel more in control of my fear when it comes to heights.

Head Space Review

I have used the Head Space app now for a week. I wanted to really try meditation and see if this could help me on my mindfulness journey. I did also ask on my Instagram story if people had used the app…and 25 percent of you had. I downloaded the app and picked the program that focused on anxiety.

I had talked to a few friends and some people at work who had used or were using the app, it seems to be the most popular choice. I decided to do it in the morning before I went to work. The first morning was a bit of a disaster as I was late to work as my jeans had tried to make a quick get away over the balcony. I did do my first meditation that day but it was in the evening.

Each day you do a 3 min meditation. A mans voice guides you through the 3 mins helping you focus on your breathing and your body. Despite the first day every other day I listened in the morning. I found it a really calm way to start the morning and 3 mins out of your morning is really nothing at all. I have even listened to the app on the train to work it really does set you up to face the day. I also turned on the mindful notifications. The app sends you a few messages through out the day of some simple mindfulness tips.

After a week of mediation and mindfulness reminders I do feel different. As already mentioned I feel like my day has started in a calm way. Even if I have a morning where I feel I have been running around and then do the meditation on the way to work it still brings  my mind to a peaceful state. I feel like I am more in tuned with my body doing the meditation and really listening to it. Listening to my body and being in tuned with it is helping me push forward with my fitness and knowing my limits. The mindfulness tips are all simple to perform during your average day. Even if I don’t do them just seeing the tip on my phone reminds me to take a minute and then return to what ever task I am doing. I always find when I stress at work I do not perform as well but if I keep my mind focused on the tasks I will perform to my best. I actually had a really busy day at work today and I did notice that I was a lot calmer then normal. I did not let the stress cloud the task. I am going to stick with the app for now and keep growing my meditation skills.

I would highly recommend this app if you have ever thought about trying meditation. It is easy to use and I found it very affective at showing you the way to get into meditation.

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