(Video) Long-Tail Cast-On Tutorial

21 May


Burrito Bowl Recipe

11 Apr


  • Brown rice 
  • 1 can of Mexican chilli beans (I like Coles brand the best)
  • 1/2 can of sweet corn
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Light shredded cheese
  • Light sour cream
  • Moroccan chicken spice
  • Lime juice


1. Cook the rice with a cup of lime juice and Moroccan chicken spice.

2. Heat the chilli beans and corn in a skillet on high heat until most of the juice has been absorbed.

3. Serve the beans atop the rice.

4. Add a spoonful of salsa to the plate, sour cream, shredded cheese and diced avocado.

5. Pepper the dish with the moroccan spice and lime juice.

How to Get Back into your Routine

28 Mar

I’ve just pushed myself back into my fitness and health routine after a month and a half of basically zero activity. I thought about how many times I’ve underwent these lax stints before and what might have caused them; how could I stop this from happening again (at least shorten the length of time I allow myself to be inactive). I came up with a few key points that have definitely helped me get back into the swing of things as well as keeping me motivated for a long-term routine.


Fitness and health is all about commitment and routine but sometimes your stuff gets in the way. Life stuff, mind stuff – all kinds of stuff, really. For whatever reason you can fall out of your routine and you want to know something cool? It’s actually okay and it happens all of the time. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Don’t spend your energy on having conversations with yourself about how silly it was to stop working out or how disgusting eating that fast food was. Just accept that you didn’t go for that run, accept that you ate that burger and move on. It doesn’t have to mean anything about you at all so don’t make it mean anything about you at all. Don’t waste time beating yourself up for doing something you regret, the more convinced you are that you’re a failure the less likely it is you’ll come up out of your slump. Accept that you hit the pause button on your journey to better health and fitness and push through. Once you let go of all that self-deprecating negativity (well, most of it at least) you’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel about pretty much everything and how much easier it will be to commit to something important.


It’s so easy for people to convince themselves that they’re a failure, a lot of the time we’re just waiting for an excuse to come down on ourselves like a tonne of bricks. Here’s my proposition to you: quit it. There’s nothing negative about skipping one or even a hundred workouts. You won’t progress physically without putting in the hard yards but it’s not the end of the world. If your best friend stopped going to the gym for a month and was talking to you all about how stupid they were and how fat they’d gotten, would you respond with the most negative stream of comments you could think of? I don’t think most of you would, so don’t do it to yourself.  If you weren’t serious about getting healthy you wouldn’t have started in the first place and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this article. Remind yourself of all the positive things that came from your new fitness regime, remind yourself that you’re a human being who is flawed and brilliant at the same time. Remind yourself that you are passionate and committed and that you CAN do this. The more you dwell on the negetive stuff, the less likely it is you’ll actually return to what you were doing. Don’t use this as a reason to tell yourself you’re not good enough. You are.


Now that you’ve addressed the mind tricks your inner demons might play on you, it’s time to actually get back on your feet and start working again. Start slowly because you’re not going to be exactly where you left off, you could have lost some muscle and strength, perhaps your endurance has gone backwards a little. This is okay but you don’t want to overdo it, injure yourself and take yourself out of the game for another week or so. You don’t want to have a really hard time and compare yourself to the fitness level you were before your break, either, because that could lead to a lot of negative thoughts bubbling around in your mindspace. You want your workouts and your dietary routines to be positive experiences for you because that will help you commit to them long-term. Your relationship with a healthier lifestyle needs to be healthy in order for it to work so build up from where you’re at. Give yourself the best possible chance of success and progress and take care of your body – it will thank you kindly.


As previously stated: you are human. Chances are you’re going to have chocolate or skip a workout – that’s not a big deal. It’s just going to happen every now and then and, again, that’s okay. You don’t have to work like a monster in the gym for the rest of your life, you’ll find a comfortable medium that works for you sooner or later and when you do you might find that your breaks and your negativity surrounding this subject will be at last muted if not gone entirely. If you’re doing this to be happier, healthier and to have a better life it doesn’t matter if you’re not 100% committed to the action all 100% of the time. Believe in yourself, trust in yourself, accept yourself for who you are and where you’re at. Remember that beating yourself up for not doing what you said you’d do doesn’t get you anywhere; in fact, it’s a really backwards way of dealing with things. Be kind, remember that you’re human and repeat this cycle until you’re comfortable with it – sooner or later your routine will go from being a big deal to just a part of your average, every day life.


Work towards a goal and do what you need to in order to accomplish that goal, keep yourself motivated, forgive yourself for eating that cookie or that entire roasted chicken, remind yourself of all the fantastic things there are about yourself, give yourself a pep talk, get up and keep going. You can do it, really.

Enter the Fresh Freshies!

24 Mar

Today was the first training session since WSDD hosted their most recent freshmeat info session. There was an energy buzzing about in the gym that only new blood can bring and I loved it.

The best part about being with a league like Westside Derby Dollz is that absolutely everyone is on your side, whether you’re a freshie or bout-ready. Everyone wants you to have fun, everyone wants you to succeed, everyone wants you to feel welcome and just awesome in general.

As existing members of the league, we were asked to take care of the fresh freshies today. You know: introduce ourselves, be open and friendly and excited to have them on board. I remember when I first turned up for a freshmeat intake class I was absolutely terrified.

The kind of positive atmosphere that I experienced today was exactly the kind of thing I got into this sport to be a part of. It was a class specifically tailored to a variety of skill levels as well, to accomodate everyone who attended. It’s easy to forget sometimes that a lot of people who get into roller derby haven’t skated since they were kids, if at all.

Unfortunately I strained my ankle while practicing single knee slides (remember everyone, form is key). I spent quite a lot of today’s session sitting on the sideline with my leg elevated and my sock securing a pack of ice to my swollen ankle.

It was mildly embarrassing and also not the best first impression to give the newbies: “hey fresh freshies, keep at it and you could hurt your ankle, too!” Just kidding.

I was super envious of everyone on the track because they were practicing baseball slides, a move I’ve wanted to try since basically the beginning of my freshmeat adventure. The good thing about it was that a few different people approached me to check in and make sure I was okay, gave me advice on how to take care of my injury and comforted me when I earnestly admitted that I was embarrassed about it.

Yes, today was a perfect example of why roller derby is so great. When you lose confidence, someone is there to build you up. When you’re new and a little terrified you can rest assured that everyone in the room is really glad you came. When you fall over there will be people around to celebrate it and give you high fives.

How to Prepare for Freshmeat Intake, Part Four: Skates, Gear and Other Essentials

24 Mar

So you’ve been preparing your body and mind for your freshmeat intake classes for the past few weeks, but what about the rest of it? I know that I was pretty keen on getting my skating gear when I started contemplating getting involved in roller derby but I wasn’t really sure where to start.


When you’re just starting out in roller derby it’s not necessary for you to have the top-of-the-line skates. What you’ll be learning during your freshmeat classes will be basic and, while the quality of your equipment will contribute to your performance, it’s more important for you to just get used to being on eight wheels and falling over safely than it is for you to figure out what will make you go faster and what will make you more flexible on the track. Discuss your options with your local skate distributor – they’ll be able to give you advice on the product that will suit your needs and budget.

I was surprised when I discovered that there were all different types of wheels, and a little overwhelmed too. Here’s basically what you need to know about wheels as someone trying out for freshmeat: when you skate indoor you need indoor wheels, when you’re skating outdoor you need outdoor wheels. Indoor wheels are hard and generally smaller than outdoor wheels, they allow skaters to go faster on smooth surfaces. Outdoor wheels are larger and much softer than indoor wheels which allows the skater to roll over pebbles and cracks without causing them to fall.


Like with roller skates, you don’t necessarily need the most expensive gear available because of the basic nature of your initial training. You will fall over, yes, and you will need gear that will protect you when you do so; however, you won’t be participating in full-contact exercises yet. I bought the base model fresh meat pack from my local retailer and I’m happy to say that the gear has served me incredibly well over the past couple of years.

Don’t forget that you will need a mouthguard – most leagues won’t allow you to skate unless you’re completely protected and it’s fair enough. You need to protect your game-face smile as well as your knees and elbows.

ENLIST A FRIEND skate friend

Getting into something new can be really scary, especially if it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before. I think the older we get the more terrifying it can be, so I find it’s always a good idea to get a friend interested in coming along for freshmeat.

When you have a friend with you it kind of gives you this courage that you can’t quite get anywhere else. It’s important to have someone you can practice with during the week, to complain to about your roadblocks and celebrate your accomplishments with. Someone who understands how amazingly brilliant and hopelessly challenging roller derby can be for freshies, someone who can high five you when you pass or hug you if you don’t. Most importantly, you absolutely need someone to help keep you motivated when you’re working your ass off and you maybe don’t feel like you’ve progressed as much as you wanted.

Having a good friend go through the freshmeat experience with you is invaluable and, in my opinion, entirely underrated. Enlist a friend in your roller derby adventure – you’ll be surprised by the difference it makes.


Another entirely underrated tool in the roller derby freshmeat experience is having a special outfit to wear to class.

It can make you feel like you’re a part of something when you designate a special uniform (so to speak) to derby, whether  you’re pulling on your stripy knee high socks and cute little booty shorts or your workout leggings and sports tank.

When I started exercising, I felt about 100% more motivated and excited when I put on my sports bra and leggings, it was like marching into battle. I know that there are a lot of people who argue that fishnets and face paint takes away from the seriousness of the sport, but that’s not something you should worry about as a freshie – you can decide for yourself how you feel about that. Getting into roller derby is a lot of hard work, you will put blood, sweat and tears into your journey so find a way to make it fun and find a way to be a part of the experience in a way that’s unique to you.

Healthy Oat Banana Bread

21 Mar


  • 2 cups of oat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cups of raw sugar
  • 3 scoops of protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dark chocolate chips (I usually judge how many chocolate chips to add by sight)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg


*To create oat flour, place dry oats into a food processor or a blender and process/blend oats until they resemble a fine flour-like consistency.

Preheat conventional oven to 200 degrees (375 for fan forced ovens). Prepare a loaf tray using oat flour and butter or canola oil spray and baking paper.

Mix the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, protein powder, sugar and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the ripe bananas then mix the banana mash, egg and vanilla extract together.

Add the banana mixture to the dry mixture, adding your chocolate chips as you do so. Mix until  all ingredients are combined well.

Pour your mixture into the loaf tray and place into the preheated oven.

Bake for 40 minutes (to check if the banana bread is ready, insert a knife into the centre – if the knife comes out clean your banana bread is ready).


Fresh-Faced Freshie

17 Mar

Fresh-Faced Freshie

This is me at training after just over a month of being absent. Behind me you’ll see some of the awesome skaters from my league Westside Derby Dollz scrimming like a bunch of superstars.