Feb 28, 2014

Sultana Bread From Scratch. SAHM Fitness.

As luck would have it, I'm writing this post about my SAHM fitness regime on the greyest day of my break.  After endless days of soft sunshine and pleasantly warm evenings, Friday's been a bit of a bust.  I reckon the weather is as gutted as the rest of us that summer's officially over.  Perhaps I'll just start with what's been going on today and hopefully when I'm done, I'll be motivated enough to talk fitness and maybe even walk my talk and head out the front door for an afternoon stroll.

Basically, Toddler SSG and I have had our wings clipped with this cool weather and rain.  I didn't even have a wet weather contingency plan for today, so convinced was I that the lovely weather would just go on and on.

Thinking on my feet required coffee.  In whatever form I could get it.  Nescafe Gold, you will forever remind me of swot vac at uni.  Whenever I spoon your granules out of that curved jar with your chunky, fake olde gold screw on lid, I can't help but get flashbacks of the textbooks of my arch nemeses.  There was  one for each year of my degree, actually - organic chemistry, pathology, biochemistry, stats, physiology, the neurology section of clinical methods (neurology anything....).  

PJ leggings set - Target, soup ladle - second top drawer to the right of the gas cooktop.

Toddler SSG was unfazed by the change in the weather.  He was dressed for the cool morning in leggings that promised sleep on their waistband and beeps from car horns down both legs.  As the morning wore on, we actually got a bit of both - much to his delight.  

The coffee kicked in and I decided that this was the day to bake a sultana bread.  I've used this recipe and the smell of the dough haunted me all morning.  I'm trying to resist the scent of the freshly baked loaf that's just popped out of the oven.  It's a sobering thought, isn't it, that you need so few ingredients to make a loaf of bread yet the ingredients list on your average supermarket version runs into the high teens.  Yet the one thing all those numbers and compounds can't deliver is the smell and feel of real bread.

As part of the liquid component of my dough, I used a cooled jar of tea.  I've always wanted to eat or drink something out of a jar after seeing all the tempting photos on blogs and instagram and I've realised that dream in a roundabout way.

I did the usual back of the car to prove thing with my dough.  Because it was so cool today, it sat there for twice as long as when I made the pizza dough.  I even drove it to a late morning coffee catchup with a friend.  Thank goodness for humid underground car parks!  I kneaded for about five minutes before resting the dough in a loaf tin until it expanded to reach the top edge of the tin.

I baked my loaf for 25 minutes at 250C (fan forced).

And just like the recipe said, it had a hollow sound to it when I tapped the top.

I've just ducked out to cut my bread and sneak a bit for the purposes of updating this post.  It is good.  I just used regular non bread making flour and it managed to be both chewy and dense as well as crisp at the crust.  The bread itself isn't sweet which makes it a perfect foil for the dried cherries, sultanas and apricots I used.  I might try my next slice (or three) with honey as well as the butter I lightly dabbed on my first slice.  I may not have any left to freeze.....

During this week off, I've been doing circuit training using the driveway, a chair and a skipping rope.  The circuits borrowed heavily from fitness videos on YouTube and feature exercises I tend to put off at the gym - lunges, squats and push ups.  I'll be interested to see if this has any impact on how I go back at the gym next week.  Will a week of weight bearing exercise using my own bodyweight be any match for all those fancy machines at the gym?  I've really enjoyed this change in routine and the chance to feel fresh air on my face.

Toddler SSG locking up for the night after we've gotten home from a jog (me) and a nap (him).

Cardio has been evening runs and brisk walks with Toddler SSG in the Baby Jogger Summit X3.  I'm really happy with this pram and it was well worth the price and shipping via Amazon.  When I first used it, we were in Perth and a particularly flat and wide footpathed area of it at that (slightly off topic but my home town is in the New York Times, people!!!  Not as Dullsville but as a contender for best hipster city in the world.).  Toddler SSG was also around 8 kilos.  The pram was great to jog with and easy to use when walking casually.

Over here in Sydney and Toddler SSG is around 11 kilos and 80 cm tall.  The terrain where we live is pretty hilly and the footpaths are often narrow, winding and uneven.  The Summit X3 still does it all with ease.  The seat size still fits Toddler SSG well (with room to grow) and it's been surprisingly easy to push him along as I run.  He also still loves sleeping in this pram as I run.

Strap on stroller caddy by Jolly Jumper.

I've accessorised with a couple of things that have made my running life much easier.  The first is a strap on stroller caddy.  It's by Jolly Jumper and available at Toys R Us and Big W for under $15.  I like that the central zip section is big enough to hold my keys safely and that there is a deep pocket that fits my iPhone.  Nothing falls out as I run.

The other thing I've found handy is a mosquito net with some UV protection.  This one was again under $15 from Toys R Us.  It's basically a huge shower cap that you drape over the front of the stroller.  It's got enough grip in the elastic to not fly off when you run into the wind.  It's a good option if you've got a toddler like mine who hates wearing hats or sunscreen.

And with that, my staycation is just about over.  I'm back on for work tomorrow.  Have a lovely weekend and if you're hoping dip your fingers into some bread making - why not give Rachel's sultana bread a go?


  1. Hello SSG, love your blog. Don't mean to disrespect your right to anonymity here, but a post about your career would be so interesting.

    1. Hello Anon,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I will have a think and see what I can come up with.

      SSG xxx

  2. Body weight exercises are very effective... My trainer uses them a lot.
    I may bake some bread today.
    Have a lovely day my dear x


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