New Zealand Dec 2015 124-001

Welcome to our new blog. Jack & I, are about to embark on a journey around Australia, not the whole thing, but a good bit! We leave the Central Coast and head South-ish towards Sydney and beyond. We are working along the way, running courses for the fitness industry. It’s a bit of a working holiday: we get to see some more of this beautiful country and we get to deliver fitness courses that we are passionate about.

Our biggest challenge is staying fit and healthy on the road. We’ll be travelling for 4 months.  A lot can happen in that time: weight gain, sluggish digestion, bad circulation, toxic overload. We’ve spent 20 years in the fitness industry, training other people, and ourselves – and holidays are a nightmare for most people! Lovely at the time, but we often come home feeling worse than when we left. By the time you get home, you are ready for some routine and your own kitchen, so you can regulate your food and drinks, punctuating your day with your favourite coffee, packed lunch, simple snacks and daily workouts.  When we go on holiday, it’s like everything flies out the window and we eat, drink, sleep and move in a totally different way, which is fun at first, until our bodies start rebelling and turning on us,  sending us physical messages: constipation, bloating, black bags under the eyes, a general flabby feeling, difficulty getting to sleep and a craving for  sugary, salty and fatty foods! Okay, if you come back from hols looking and feeling better than before, then ‘Bravo’, it’s rare!!

Our goal is to not let this trip change our routine, too much. We know we’ll be sitting in a car for long periods and potentially there could be daily ‘sundowners’, tripling our coffee intake, eating lots of processed and packaged, easy-to-get hands on food! We managed to have a bit of a ‘dry run’ at this in December, when we travelled around New Zealand’s South Island for nearly 3 weeks in a very old van, loaded with an eskie, 1 blunt knife, 2 plates, 1 plastic cup and a camp stove that caught fire very easily! 

We decided to cook every meal, as much as possible and stay as healthy as possible, whilst still enjoying some of the great ‘micro brewery beers’ and a lovely Pinot Noir each evening (economics had a lot to do with this, NZ is stunning but expensive to eat out). We used a lot of campers kitchens, but we also prepared heaps of food on our little wonky camping table in the great outdoors.  We bought fresh produce every second day, stuck to porridge with fruit, or poached eggs on toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and tuna salad for dinner, and we bought the best and healthiest soups we could find.  What was quite interesting for us, was the comments from our fellow campers in the communal kitchens. We would often get people checking out our breakfasts saying ‘Ooh that looks super healthy’ or ‘Wow, I can’t wait to get home to eat like that again’ and ‘Are you guys chefs!’. Ha! Chefs definitely not but they were amazed that we could rustle up poached eggs on sour dough with a side of goats cheese, sliced avocado, spinach leaves and tomatoes or a healthy tuna salad (okay, the salad did look pretty!). The thing we discovered is that we had time on our hands and we could do this.  Food, glorious food was available everywhere, from farm stalls at the side of the road, to local green grocers, and we even picked mussels off the rocks and cooked those in the beaut Abel Tasman area. 

Things to avoid will be the daily chips, dips and cheeses, (which go so well with a glass of wine); store bought cereals and muesli bars; any packaged sauces and ready-made meals; too many coffees (we’ve got our coffee cup plungers and we’ll buy local coffee wherever we are), too many ‘Aw, we’re on holiday drinks’; white and brown bread and also too much bread: we’ll try and find ‘real sour dough’ because that’s what we eat at home (anything else feels like a brick in our gut).  

Things we’ll embrace: local coffee, wine, beer and produce. We’ll eat what’s in season and what’s available.  We’ll try to buy local wherever we are; cook with good oils (macadamia, coconut and olive oil); stick to small meals at night (soup and salads) so we can get a good night’s sleep; drink heaps of water and apple cider vinegar; choose fruit and nuts for snacks (cheese is a luxury!).

We don’t need an excuse to exercise, it’s been something that has been part of us for so long that it feels unnatural not to exercise. In saying that, there’s that travelling feeling, where routine goes out the window and the days merge and meld into one.  It can happen so fast that before you know it, you’ve missed a week of push-ups and your last sit-up was 1000km ago.  We will use whatever is around us to get a daily workout and if we are not hiking or biking to see some great things, we’ll try and do a ‘workout’ which should take no longer than 30 mins and can be done anywhere. Them straps are coming with us!

Our blog is a way of ‘keeping us honest’, inspiring others to ‘stay healthy’ whilst travelling and letting our family and friends know what we are doing. Bon Voyage!