Tag Archives: 12WBT

Monday Made – Spicy Lentil Soup with Pancetta


“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”~Abraham Maslow

This was probably the most popular item on the menu for our Food Revolution Day event held a few weeks ago. The competition was pretty stiff, I mean up against Irish Soda Bread or Venetian Carrot Cake, a lentil soup doesn’t seem like it has a chance!

But on a cold day, nothing really hits the spot like Tae’s soup…..

For this soup, red lentils are used as they cook faster. Tae also recommends a tin of cherry tomatoes because they are generally sweeter. If you can’t find them and think your soup is a little tart, add a couple of tsp of sugar.

Nutritionally speaking, this soup is great. Lentils are low GI, protein packed pulses that are a gazillion times better than putting pasta in your soup! It turns out that tomatoes actually improve nutritionally through cooking (must be one of the very few  vegetables that do)! This entire pot of soup adds up to 1000cal, so if  you even just had 4 GIANT servings from it, you are doing very well on the calorific in-take.

What you need:

  • 130g pancetta (about 3 thick slices)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 400g can cherry tomato
  • 800g can diced tomato
  • Pinch of chilli flakes

What to do:

  1. Chop the pancetta into small cubes and fry it in a large pot until the fat renders.
  2. Add the onion and cook until tender, then the celery, garlic, chilli and carrot and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Put in the stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the lentil and let simmer until they are tender.
  5. Serve with a really nice sourdough bread.

! (The Playlist Formally Known As) – Monday Made


“A person does not hear sound only through the ears;
he hears sound through every pore of his body.
It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation;
it either wakens or soothes the nervous system.
It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace.
According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced.
Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance.
This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body.
In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.”  ~Hazrat Inayat Khan (Mysticism of Sound) 

Over the summer my jogging slipped a bit. I could say it was due to me hating doing exercise in hot weather. It probably was. But I was also struggling with my music playlist.

Previously, I had this kick-ass list that got me smashing up the track. It was all girl-power-go-woman-feel-good stuff. But then I got tired of it (as you do when you listen to the same songs over and over).

My new playlist that came into action at the end of December just didn’t cut it. There was no zing song that made me want to run and extra 2km through a swamp. I didn’t feel the urge to sing along (and consequently forget about the searing pain of running exertion). It was just blah. And so was my will to run.

I had some ideas to make the running happen. I FINALLY got my treadmill out of storage and into the new place. I set it up in my workroom (which has a fantastic, inspiring view). I had crossed off one thing that was taking my running down-heat.

Anyone can tell you, running on a treadmill is physically easier than running on the road, but psychologically harder. A friend told me she couldn’t do it as “every step was an opportunity to step off”.  I needed some kind of entertaining distraction. TV was out of the question. There was no way to easily see the tv from the workroom. Next best thing? Audiobooks.

In theory, this is a great idea. I have often walked around the house doing chores listening to an audiobook. Running is not the same. Especially when you are listening to a complex story with a hundred characters all with obscure northern European names.

Treadmill fail was in full swing.

Then the weather cooled down. And I got on to Spotify and started listening to a whole heap of new music and TAH-DAH! I was back in business!

My new list is….ecclectic and fun. Here are a few:

! (The Song Formally Known As)- Regurgitator: This one has a mean beat, really funny lyrics and some of those excellent “oohhh oohhh” bits which are great to sing along too (and practically all the words I can get out when running full tilt).

Caught A Lite Sneeze- Tori Amos: I have a friend who says whenever he listens to Tori he ends up sobbing! Ha! What I like about this is the sort of industrial sounding beat and the harpsichord (whoa….did I just say HARPSICHORD??) which has a really driving riff–>key to running. I could care less about the words ;-P

Fireflies- Owl City: This might well be the Pop-iest song on my entire computer. It is so cutesy pie that I normally reserve it for turning up loud at home and dancing around the house with my kids to. But somehow that pure pop joy translates really well to running. Especially if it is one of those sunny days.

Marina Gasolina- Bonde Do Role: This song is probably familiar to people because of the Bonds ad in which it was featured. I’m not channelling hot girls running around in their underwear, I’m getting more of a tough girl from South America vibe. The beat is off the chart, so is the horn line and the “hoo-haa” and “uhhh” bits.

Pagan Poetry- Bjork: Unlikely contender for a running song. I don’t know what it was about this song. I think I have some distant, pre-Japan memories of listening to this song as I packed up all my belongings. It is a little hazy, but I get this really wierd feeling when I listen to this song. A sort of sad/happy/excited/scared resigned feeling. Also, when you are running in a copse of Pine trees with pine needles under foot, you get a bit of a woodsy magic feeling going on.

Default- Django Django: This is my new go-to song. It has a guitar riff to die for. That is all I can say. You need to listen to it for yourselves!!

I’m back on board with the running. I knocked 30 seconds off my km/min average last week. Lost some kg’s in the process. I’m really looking forward to the Run Melbourne event I will be partaking in next month. Want to sponsor me?

Geared Up – Monday Made


“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

It is a sad fact that I have had only three pairs of running shoes in the last 16 years. I’m pretty sure that you are supposed to change shoes more often than that. I guess it is an indication of my lack of activity in the exercise department, I don’t think I ever really wore them out.

When I was 27 I retired my teenage years’ Reebok X-trainers and bought some Asics in London (which I used for running around Hyde park at ungodly hours in the depths of winter). Those poor old runners have been doing it hard in all kinds of unforgiving terrain until last week! That is approximately 5 years of wear. I think I have actually worn this pair out. Fabric is pulling away from the rubber, I can feel stones through the soles as I run, I always end up with wet feet and they just don’t seem to be holding their shape as well anymore. Definitely time to get new shoes.

My first impulse was just to go get the exact same shoes again, but as I was talking to people I became aware that regular shoes maybe weren’t suited to the rough, country conditions I was now running on. I got me some Salomon trail running shoes.

These things are tough! They are very firm, made out of space age materials and have nifty quick lace up thingies. I heart them immensely.

While on a bit of a gearing-up rampage, I also came to the conclusion that I spent a lot of time adjusting my clothing while running.

Pants slipping down, tops creeping up. Getting too hot, getting too cold. It was distracting! So, I braved the fitness clothing stores and came away with something that I had always feared–>running tights!

My first instincts when looking at these tiny things on the shelf was that they wouldn’t have a size big enough for me. Wrong. The shop assistant came along, eyed me over and picked up —wait for it—- not the biggest size in the store!!!! When I tried them on i was afraid to look in the mirror at what was sure to be a wobbly, muffin-toppy, jumble of white skin and black encased cellulite. WRONG. I looked good! These crazy things actually made me look good! Unbelievable.

On a high from the running tights situation, I decided to try out one of those fancy space age tops that defies all logic and manages to keep you dry/warm/cool all at the same time. It also looked pretty good.

So I’d done it. I’d braved a Lorna Jane shop and come out not feeling demoralised by shop assistants that looked like Michelle Bridges, but excited to get home and put my new gear on.

The results? Oh my gooooooooodness!!! Why have I been struggling with the other stuff all this time? I have been running three times in my new stuff and felt like some kind of athletics queen. I didn’t “jiggle” when I ran (thank-you, running tights with your just right amount of compression), I didn’t over heat despite my top having long sleeves, I wasn’t too cold despite it being about 0 degC when I went out one night (with me headlamp on). It was a miracle. I jogged better. I felt like I looked good while out there. I had a confident step and lightness in my heart. Yeah.

Need some motivation to get exercising? Go out and get yourself some REAL sports wear. It is worth it.