Friday, 19 September 2014

Tefal Actifry 2 in 1 review plus {GIVEAWAY x 2 Actifry }

I've been participating in a 4 week healthy menu plan thanks to ActiFry 2 in1 by Tefal , created by Nutrition Australia. I'm just over half way through Spring cleaning my diet with the 28 day challenge .

It wasn't a weight loss diet because health is more than just a number on a scale. I've followed it as best I could with two trips to Sydney for medical appointments and other activities in the last 2 weeks. Just saying , nothing beats my Mum's cooking and sharing a Lindt dessert plate with a friend!

While this is a sponsored post and I was provided a Tefal ActiFry 2 in 1 to review, {and I have two ActiFry to giveaway}. I like to keep it real, so all opinions expressed are my own.

ActiFry is not a deep fryer - it's a healthy fryer. It's been many years since we owned a deep fryer (the kind you leave the oil in all the time) because of how tempting unhealthy they were and the waste of oil.

Often , I crave fried food (mostly hot chips or roasted potato) ; my downfall (right  to my bottom) . I rarely cook fried food because of the splattering mess it makes of my cook top and floor.

Since my parents' kitchen was set on fire by oil that combusted after chip frying - I would never use a pot of hot oil on the cook-top. It was a serious fire with fire brigade /truck attending - the station was1km away or it may have been worse (No-one was injured) . They had to move out of home for 6wks while the damage was repaired (drastic way to remodel the kitchen, Mum) and the rest of the house smoke and water damaged. Even the computers down the hall in a back bedroom had to be taken away for cleaning.

Oven fries are better for you than deep fried but it takes so long to heat the oven and then the whole house warms up.

First my husband was all - "What another gadget ...we don't need another gadget ! "

He was right , yet singing a different tune now. While I was in Sydney he re-arranged the bench so the ActiFry has it's own special spot and I use it most days.

The ActiFry can stir-fry, slow cook, grill (meat or vegies) , bake, reheat food (pizza , rice, pasta) and make your skinny jeans fit.

All the above is true. Except for the skinny jeans - that is up to you.

Seriously , I try to be a positive healthy role model to my boys and lead by example. I am very aware mothers of girls (especially) have a lot to worry about in this world where being skinny is ' uber ', eating disorders run rampant and fad diets change by the day.

Tefal's unique 2 in 1 cooker needs only one tablespoonful of oil to make enough tasty, homemade chip (or fries) using a continual motion stirring paddle for the whole family (4) One kid was not as impressed with the chips, there is no compromise for him. Eat it or starve I gave him extra baby spinach leaves and raw carrots.Win - win.

ActiFry reduces the amount of oil or fat you use ; while I decide the menu for my family - I know they love to eat healthy 'fried' food with flavour and it keeps everyone (well 3 of 4 isn't bad) happy without the unhealthy-ness of it.

When cooking a serving of fish and chips with Tefal ActiFry, not only can you save 80% of the fat content but the meal also contains 77% less saturated fat and 40% less calories. It really is the ultimate health cooker.

Would I be sacrificing my skinny jeans - no way. Though my skinny jeans were very snug last time I tried to squeeze them on. My excuse was having the radiation and surgery to my leg. 

ActiFry 2in1  can easily cook 2  dishes at once ! I love the smart digital timer, so the entire meal is complete at the same time and it won't burn to a crisp overcook if I get distracted.

I know the smoke alarm in my kitchen works - even when 3 adults (including myself) were sitting 3m away - burning banana bread went undetected. (It was warming in a different appliance)

ActiFry is not just for frying it can also be used to cook a wide range of other recipes: with dozens of time saving choices a bonus recipe book is included. More recipes available online too. I can create healthier versions of our favorite fried or grilled foods (I can't wait to try Chicken Schnitzel )

Endless possibilities at my finger lickin' tips ! There is an app for that too (iPhones and Android)

Plus you can spend hours entertaining your taste buds on you tube (just skip the ones where they peel the potatoes while you wait) getting some great tips and recipe ideas. I easily spent 1 hr today watching ActiFry cooking demos. Some T-fal Youtubers are hilariously funny.

My favourite is simple healthy grilled tomatoes in less than 5mins , frozen hash browns 10 mins and ActiFry roasted vegie medley like sweet potato, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrot and zucchini ~ so morish. No oil is needed for frozen food.

The risotto was fabulous even if I discovered while cleaning up I'd used Sushi rice. Chicken legs or wings mess , no fuss - no splattered oven to clean.

It grilled thick Angus Beef burger patties perfectly in the top section. As my husband thinks it's more important to eat than instagram food I have few photos.

My little video star wanted his dinner pictured -ActiFry Wedges , BBQ Steak and vegies steamed.
Other features
  • Removable non stick bowl and tray
  • Hands free cooking
  • 2 in 1 spoon for oil & salt measurement
  • Automatic stop
  • Large 2kg capacity – 1.5kg bowl, 0.5kg tray
  • Dishwasher safe

My only real issue is that the stirring paddle in the bottom bowl sometimes breaks up the food - like chips (and sweet potato) though it doesn't affect the taste , it looks rustic. They were delicious. It is a healthy swap and the real deal can still be an occasional treat when out for dinner.

Also, 'Browning' results do vary from real deep fried food , it's a healthier compromise for my family. There is still plenty of crisp and ActiFry preserves the nutritional quality throughout the cooking process.

I also used it very successfully for reheating leftovers because I will not use a microwave oven anymore (yes I'm weird but I've had enough radiation already with 7 wks to my leg , dozens of xrays , scans & injected radiative junk).

I mentioned dishwasher safe ?

Easy as 1-2-3 - the clear lid un-clips* , then you place it with the bowls in the dishwasher (or seriously I wash it all up in a few minutes - it wipes clean almost after a brief soak).

*It took me  a few days to figure that out !!! It took my 8yr just over a minute to pack it in the dishwasher.

Here’s how to enter via rafflecopter to win one of two :

Leave a comment below telling me why you want to welcome the ActiFry into your kitchen and/or what you first meal would be ?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: While this is a sponsored post and I was provided an ActiFry to review, and have two to giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own. After 2-3wks it's my 2nd favourite appliance after my juicer.

Disclaimer : The ActiFry was cold and just because my eight year id it - doesn't mean all 8yrs can or want to do it - use your own judgement before letting them.

RRP: $449 ActiFry 2 in 1

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Feast or Famine - A tale of two lunches

Lunch Monday = Missing are the brownies and another macaroon plus deluxe Hot Milk chocolate

Lunch Tuesday - Avocado, snowpeas, mushrooms, walnuts, pear, baby spinach, asparagus and carrot with a splash of balsamic.

The Guilt slays me ...#1 Lindt indulgence is rare !
#2 Totally a 4min toss together and it tasted great.

(I still have my two Lindor balls to eat)


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Not smiling now

Really bad wind blown and hat head hair !
A friend took this about 6-7km from the finish.
They ran (pun intended) out of Zebra Zoom medals - so I'm waiting for it to be posted out.
 "I run because it's so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realise you're capable of so much more than you thought." – Arthur Blank
I was never a runner though a fast walker. Two years ago I never thought I could run a 1/2 marathon and I have twice...still breathing !

There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream...
I may have quit putting off doing things tomorrow but that elusive Full marathon is about 2yrs away , maybe once I get over this.


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Cupcake lady runs and a good news update !

eat chocolate ...drink wine ... truth !
I finished my second - half marathon on Sunday ; Dubbo Stampede . The Zebra Zoom started inside the Taronga Western Plains Zoo before we exited the zoo main gates into 'the wild'.

We ran along Obley Road , then ran a complete loop of the picturesque Macquarie river circuit before re-entering the zoo. Then it got 'hard' and was warming up, as we had to run a complete loop of the zoo, past all the animals to finish at our starting point.
After an easy Father's day lunch with my boys at the Zoo cafe I went home to hit the wall.

Rather the bed , since the hammock though inviting - outside , was too breezy . So I slipped under the covers for a Sudoku . Then slept or rested for the next 2-3hrs.

Exhausted and happy because I’d had my doubts I would even make the start. The plantar fasciitis in my right foot was bothersome and so was a niggly and painful right hip. Consequently, I didn’t run much in the preceding 10 days leading up to the marathon.

I rode the stationary bike and used the rowing machine to stay fit. Sunday morning as I laced up, I dosed up on pain killers.

Fortunately, barely a km out from the start I fell into pace with a lady sporting a Running Mums Australia shirt. We said "Hi" and then she mentioned she was running with an injury too - shin splints.

So it was ; we ran the whole way together and high fived as we crossed the finish line simultaneously.

It wasn’t as fast as I would have liked or a PB , being the best wasn’t what it was about – rather doing my best. It was another milestone after my surgery and radiation (which finished barely 3 months ago) .

I knew that if I’d done all I could, prepared well, trained well and fought well – the result didn’t matter – it was 2:30:19 (19 pesky seconds) officially though my Garmin has me under 2:29 because I paused it at a few drink stations...especially the one my hub and 2 sons were manning, as I gobbled a few chocolate jelly beans down and took a breathe to say Hello for 30secs.

 My new running buddy and I appreciated the company as we ran, we were almost the same age. We kept each other going.

The best thing about running in a local ½ marathon was I had a fan club all the way along the 21.1km :  a parent of my son’s friend and with trumpet fan fare, lady from P & C singing my name across the street, two Dragon boat paddlers walking  the river, people from Church (on the race committee) , other half runners from Women’s running group, a teacher from school and a lady I met duration Radiation.

Monday I could barely walk and I hobbled everywhere. The railway station stairs were a killer – worst going down.

Today , I was a feeling a bit better. I know I can't complain it's self inflicted torture wounds , all for the love of wine, chocolate and cupcakes.

The best part of today was meeting up with my brave, inspiring friend Stephanie for coffee and a chat.

Then I had my follow up appointment with my oncology surgeon (Breast and Sarcoma) in Sydney. My Oncology surgeon , Assoc. Prof was quite impressed I’d run a ½ marathon on Sunday, he even wrote in his/my notes.

I still have some sensory nerve deficits down my lower left leg /knee and my left foot sometimes catches (makes me trip over air). He was pleased that nerves to muscles were all intact and my femoral artery was not affected by radiation. Everything is stable and other then my anti- hormone medication , I don't require any other treatment at the moment. Breast (less) wise - all is good too.

I’m staying on Tamoxifen (one type of anti- Oestrogen medication) till next March at least [The total Anti -hormone Course is 10yrs] and review a change then. Each medication has different side effects and since my body is tolerating Tamoxifen well – there is no reason to change and throw a spanner in (like increased joint pain, other mood and sh*ttier side effects)

In the worst of Sydney traffic, I managed to navigate back to Mum's - in the oven was her famous baked dinner. My brother complained Mum rarely cooks like that for them. My Mum is so awesome.
I walked 3.5km with my brother , his family, and their dog C Bear - walking is fine just moving after sitting, transitioning from sit to stand and stairs give me grief.  I also rolled my ankle tripping on the uneven road verge in the dark add sore ankle to my list of woe. I'll live.

Now, pass me a cupcake or two. Tomorrow , I'm back on my healthy eating plan.


Linking up with Jess #IBOT
Flogging by Blog With Some Grace

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Let's Hang Out

Not a single Koala hangs out on our farm but I do have a soft spot for them.

Does koala bear poop smell like cough drops?
(Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume")

The odd few of  these laughing larrikins. My favourite bird the Kookaburra !

Plenty of these around my joint... and I'd rather not run into them dead or alive.


Enter here to win $100 Woolworth's wish card and make Dad's day sans socks and jocks.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

$100 giveaway to make Dad's day with Woolworths

September has crept up quick , Father's Day is just around the corner.

Your Dad probably has enough socks and jocks to last him for years but wait I bet he doesn't have these jumbo knives from Jamie Oliver's BBQ Steak Kit – exclusive to Woolworths.

or other tools of the trade from Jamie Oliver ...

So Woolworths has prepared the ultimate Father's Day gifts that will leave 'dad' or hubby grinning from ear to ear ... fire up the BBQ like a Jamie Oliver pro welding a shiny new Gas Torch.
Comm'on baby light my fire !
After the family feasts on Dad's juicy, mouth-watering steaks – give him something to like his fire !
For those dads that like it HOT - the fun begins as dad takes on the Best Dad Chilli Chocolate Wheel challenge .
My Brother , is a top bloke who would love this not so my Hubby !

I know my hubby will start the day top off the day with tasty treats from Darrell Lea.

For Father’s Day gifting and culinary inspiration, see full product details available in Woolworths stores from 27thAugust.

To WIN $100 Woolworths Gift card  tell me if what you would buy Dad (or Hubby) and why ...if money were no object ?

This is a game of skill.
 Australian entries only
Closed :

PS : This is a Gift card giveaway only , I know my readers love to win generous prizes. I received nothing.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Ten years

Time will never erase the memories of her brief life. Days turned to weeks, weeks to
[ten] years. I hold on to her memory because if I forget then it will be as if she was never here.
As time goes by, the tears may roll less often, but each one still feels the same love and loss. Our baby Charlotte is loved, cherished and missed.

Remembering our Angel ~ Charlotte Rose ~ born still 1st September 2004 and all my special friends who have known the grief of losing a baby.

Grief : it's something Ive absorbed into my life , I know it has changed me as a person. My whole life in fact. My whole circle of friends. An online and real community of compassion - some became real life friends as dear as any I have known for years.

How did I cope ?

One moment, one day at a time.

Find a good psychologist or counsellor, (or good friends) talk about him/her with your spouse/partner and anyone who'll listen, allow yourselves to cry and cry and cry for however long it takes, get to understand the stages of grief (one step forward, two steps backward), give each other the space and time you both need to grieve as individuals.

Journal your feelings, write your child a letter, create an album for her, plant a tree,join an online community spend time with people who have walked the same paths ...the best advice someone gave me was to cry whenever I felt like crying. Don't stop yourself from doing this.

What Charlotte would look like now I will never know. I don't show it but it is there - a little despair at the fact my only daughter died. I doubt a day will pass me by that I won't mourn the day she died. Don't worry - I have 'moved on'. I rarely cry , though my heart is still broken and beyond repair , I carry it more easily now.

At the same time I wonder if Sam & Joel would be here if Charlotte had lived. Did she leave to prepare the way for them. They'll never replace Charlotte but they are my sunshine and I can't imagine a life without them.