I’ve been on a bit of a binge (meaning I’ve been eating more than my usual) this past week. I blame PMS. It’s shocking how the prelude to that time of the month can affect eating habits!! I’m all good now….until next month that is!
Aside from that, I am doing well on the 80/20 regime. That is 80% of my intake is very healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, alcohol-free and yeast-free and the other 20% is carefree and guilt-free!! This does not mean I eat donuts, cakes, fast food or drink beer, not every day….anyway! Even my guilt-free 20% is fairly healthy stuff. I do eat a little chocolate everyday.
So, here was some (just some) of what’s been going in my mouth.
It’s been a week of good food, good coffee and good chocolate. Yes, even though I am on a very committed and strict fitness regime, I am eating chocolate. It’s the whole reason I’m getting up at 5:30am and working out for 1.5 hours each and every day.
Today was day 18 of the 30 day challenge (Tracy Anderson Method) and I really struggled. I’m dealing with the mental side of it now and my mind is saying, ‘stay in bed this morning, it’s Sunday.’ But there’s no way I’m going to let the negative side of me win this time.
Today was day 8 in the second series of moves. I feel I’ve been a bit slack because I’m only up to 40 reps in the leg movements but 60 in the ab work and my standard of 1 minute for the arm work. I am proud of the fact that I’m doing 40 minutes of dance cardio EVERY day now though. This, I won’t bother upping to the max time of 60 minutes…..who has time for that in their day!!
I’m still experiencing belly bloat after most meals, which really upsets me. To have a flat stomach is a major reason I’m doing this (vanity? sure). My legs and ass are looking FAB and during my workout, my abs look pretty damn fine (minus the tiny muffin top). Maybe my meal portions are too large or I’m eating too much chocolate….? Oh well, I’d rather eat the chocolate and live with a tiny tummy roll then not have the chocolate.
Here’s the other, less chocolatey things I’ve been putting in my mouth this week.
How’s your fitness or eating regime going? Have any good, wheat-free, low carb recipes to share?
That’s our tiny tree hiding behind the ridiculous pile of
gorgeously half-assed wrapped gifts. Most of them are not for me. Actually, the only gifts I am getting are the ones I bought for myself, wrapped myself and stickered To: Wife From: Husband.
It started off with a few things I was buying online and because it was so close to the big day, I figured they may as well act as Xmas gifts. When I told Mr M, he seemed to relish the idea. The more I did it, the more he gave up on having to buy me things just to cover in colourful paper and play a game of give/receive just because everyone else is doing it.
So, I know ALL of my gifts and quite frankly, I like it that way. I couldn’t care less if I got nothing. I live a kind of life that I don’t need to wait until December 25th to get something I really want. If I want something, I buy it. Spoilt? Maybe. Privileged? You’re damn right.
But, I do get excited about Christmas because I love the food and drink and I do have a (very nearly) 7 year-old boy who is beside himself with the mystery of it all. I remember being his age and peeking at gifts under the tree (influenced by older siblings of course) but although he is fairly touchy and feely with his presents I don’t think he’s peeked into any. So, Christmas morning will be filled with the sounds of paper rips, squeals, oooohhh, aahhhhs and laughter (one hopes). Aside from the other obvious stuff, my Christmas plans are as follows:
Happy Holidays to you all!!! What are your plans for December 25th?
I missed the last 2 weeks of WWW. I had too much working for me those past weeks because I was on holiday in far north Queensland!!! This Wednesday though, I am back to reality and back to writing. Believe me, I was surprised to not have written at all during my holiday. That was not my intent at all.
I’m on day 3 now of my healthy eating and all is well. My diet consists of dairy-free smoothies, vegetables, some fruit, probiotic yoghurt and protein(nuts, free-range chicken, salmon and eggs)..and decaf coffee..lots of coffee. I have been wanting something sweet so today I made a flourless chocolate cake. It’s more like a brownie and very yummy. It’s definitely what’s working for me this Wednesday!!!
I found the recipe in the pages of a past House & Garden magazine. There was a 3-page spread by Teresa Cutter on chocolate treats that are good for you. She says
Chocolate comes from the antioxidant-packed cocoa or cacao bean, which is also a source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, chromium and iron.
Great news, Teresa!!!
So far, I’ve tried 2 of the 8 chocolate recipes that she provided and both have been easy, healthy and delicious. The cake has very few ingredients and I whipped it up in less than 10 minutes. Even Master T liked it. I just wish I could have had a glass of cold milk with my piece like he did!! If you want to try it, here’s the recipe.
280g quality dark chocolate ( I used 70%)
2/3 cup organic coconut oil
4 free-range eggs
2/3 cups almond meal
2 Tbsp cornflour or arrowroot flour (I used potato flour)
Preheat oven to 180. Grease and paper a 20cm springform pan.
Place chocolate and oil in bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.Stir to melt the chocolate.
Remove from heat and whisk in eggs.
Stir in dry ingredients and combine well.
Pour into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. Cool slightly in tin then refrigerate for 3 hours (I did 1 hour and it was fine). I sprinkled the cooled cake with pure cocoa powder before serving.
Keep in mind that this cake is very, very moist and quite oily. It does taste of coconut and has a mealy texture due to the almond meal. To me though, any dessert that contains chocolate and no gluten, yeast or dairy is a winner!!! Maybe I really can have my cake and eat it too….
Are you one of those people who exercises every day and loves it?
I have gone through many phases of committing to fitness over the years but really, it’s not my favorite thing to do.
Even yoga, although I’m committed to it, I have to force myself to do it.
Starting in July, I have been training with Mr M. It’s something I never fancied because he has heaps of experience with martial arts and kickboxing and he can be quite intimidating. I feel embarrassed to be punching a bag when I don’t really have the proper technique and to watch him do it is scary because he has so much physical power. I do have some experience because when I lived in Sydney in 2001, I went to a boxing gym twice a week but did not keep up my work. But, now that I’m over 40, I notice my body changing.
I’m tired of my bloated and fat stomach; I figure exercise is the best way to combat it. Now, I have taken to it and even when Mr M is not training, I am doing it on my own (once I get passed my mind resisting it).
I am now doing some form of fitness up to 6 days a week, even if only 20 minutes each day. When Mr M is training with me, we do 60 minutes of mixed training (cardio, strength and boxing) twice a week. I also attend an Iyengar yoga class each Wednesday and do Pilates and the ‘5 Healing Tibetans’ at home. It’s never enough.
I wish the results were instant. My body seems to want to resist this help and I don’t see much change happening. Maybe my diet has something to do with it? Ha!! I know it does.
I seem to be stuck in a rut with food now. I can be so healthy & diligent at times and destructive at other times. When Mr M is away, I don’t like to cook for myself. I often give Master T something easy; something he will actually eat and I’ll eat whatever is quick, like homemade chocolate chip biscuits.
I need to stop baking. I gave away 4 chocolate banana muffins yesterday because I didn’t want them in the house anymore.
If I were I fitness freak I wouldn’t have to be bothered with food issues. It’s my belief that fitness gurus never consume anything that is not healthy. Fact or fantasy? It doesn’t really matter. However, it made me happy to read that celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson works-out like a maniac so she can eat chocolate.
I do respect my body and believe that if I treat it well, it will treat me well. It’s soon lunchtime and I think tuna salad is on the menu today.
Do you exercise so you can indulge in your favorite foods?
So, I’m not on my restricted regime anymore. The demise started last weekend when I was feeling like absolute crap.
I was taking Panodol just to stay upright but still felt the effects of a mysterious internal infection. The day before, I made chocolate chip biscuits for Master 6 and the kids I was looking after for the weekend. Well, I decided that I wanted to try one…just one to perk myself up a bit. One wasn’t enough. However, I did stop at two. They were delicious.
The next morning, I made bacon and cheese tea biscuits (similar to scones) for the boys’ breakfast and lunch boxes. I had one. I could not resist it. Today, I made chocolate banana muffins. I thought about resisting but I choose not to and had 2 mini muffins ( baby size).
It was the third time in 10 days that the word resist came to my present moment. When asked by my yoga teacher why I did not go to the doctor I said, “I resist western medicine.” As soon as I said it aloud, I knew I had to reflect upon it.
Then when I thought in my mind ‘I can’t resist that tea biscuit’, I knew it had to end; the controlling relationship I have with food. I remember what Eckhart Tolle said, “What you resist persists.”
It doesn’t mean I went on a binge and devoured all restricted items. I did not. But I’m over with being such a tight-ass. I don’t do this strictly because of my health condition, although that has always been the premise. I think I do it out of the need to control a situation that only I can. I know this sounds vaguely like the mind of someone with an eating disorder. I am now on a mission to change my thoughts about food. I know I have conditioned myself enough to moderate food now…in the name of my health.
That is why I made an amazing dinner tonight including one thing I normally would not eat and haven’t eaten in 8 months: Wheat Pasta. I normally insist on eating only gluten-free pasta.
The dish I wanted to create is nicer with a fresh egg fettuccine. The Garlic Lovers Pasta Sauce is a recipe handed down to me from my very good friend, Gillian McKenzie. She used to make this when we were flatmates in Vancouver, Canada. Now, it is a regular menu item at her restaurant,The Seaside Shanty in Chester, Nova Scotia. It is easy, fast and yummy! Here’s how to make 2 servings (or 3 small).
2. Add 1tsp of dried basil or mixed Italian herbs (that’s what I use)
3. Add 1/5 tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper. ( I use a little less)
4. Add 1tsp each of salt and pepper.
5.Add 2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes. (I use chopped)
6. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take lid off pot half way through.
7. BBQ 2 free-range chicken breasts. I season with salt, pepper, and olive oil only before cooking. Cut into slices when cooked.
8. Cook a package of fresh fettuccine pasta according to the package instructions. Or make your own if you’re real keen. Sometimes, I am that keen.
9. Twist pasta onto a large plate.
10. Top with 2 large spoonfuls of sauce.
11. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the sauce.
12 Top with sliced chicken.
One item I am not ready to resume is alcohol. I love a cold beer on a hot summer day so I can wait until those days arrive. My goal is November. I will try the moderation thing with alcohol again. I used to do it so there is no reason I can’t again.
I know I have said all these things before and then I go and stick myself back on a restricted regime that I don’t really enjoy.
I love to cook. I love to bake. I love to eat the foods I make out of love and joy. How can that be wrong?
I do have a respiratory condition that I need to monitor but I am so grateful that I am not celiac or diabetic or have a condition that calls for me to never have the foods I love again. I think it’s time I let go of my control freak ways and just enjoy life. Isn’t that what we are all here for?
By the way, I finally gave in and saw a doctor on Friday, August 24th. I am now on 2 medications: prednisolone (which is great, I’ve been on it several times over the past 17 years) and clarithomycin tablets, which I believe is an anti-biotic*. The doctor said 17 days with a cold or flu is not the norm and he even took some swabs of my throat and nose for testing. Two days on and I am feeling much better although I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep. I’ve been awake since before 4am this morning and it’s now 9pm. My early morning coughing fit has not subsided yet. Maybe tonight’s the night.
If you are maintaining a new eating regime or trying out a restricted diet for weight or health reasons, I urge you to stick with it for a minimum of 3 weeks. Often new habits are formed around this time and you just may not even want the “bad for you” foods as much or again. If you fall off, get back up there the next day. I have been up and off that wagon so many times now that more often than not, I will choose gluten-free, dairy free, yeast free and alcohol free items first anyway. It’s about your conditioning and priorities. If your health is in question, then it’s a no-brainer. Yes, it’s damn hard especially when you’ve lived your entire life eating the foods that are making you ill.
The question is: Are you living to eat or eating to live?
*always take a probiotic supplement or have some live culture yoghurt daily while taking as away to maintain good bacteria in your tummy.
Now I really know what it is like to be a lady of leisure!
My day started with a big sleep-in. That was not planned. I woke up at 10:47am and had to sprint into action because I had an appointment at 11:15am. So much for eating breakfast. I did manage to throw some clothes on and brush my teeth before walking 2 blocks to Burrard Street in search of a taxi. From then my day went like this:
11:10am – A Fleeting Moment in a Taxi to West Broadway
Total Cost: $12
11:15am – Pleasure and Pain at Optaderm Skin Care Clinic, 1244 W. Broadway
Total Cost: $200 (including take-home products)
When I lived in Vancouver, I used to have facials here. It is an actual skin care clinic, not a beauty salon. You will not see any lotus flower paintings, Buddha statues, crystals or Aphrodite pouring waterfalls here. There are no fancy store front signs to entice you off the street or flashing neon signs to get your attention. I’m sure most of their customers come to them via word-of-mouth, like I did in 2000.
When I opened the door, my eyes blinked rapidly. I felt like I’d just walked into a laboratory; even the staff are in white scientist type jackets.
After some small talk about Australia, one such male staff member showed me to the
lab room and told me to undress from the waist up and put on the terry cloth towel/dress. He even gave me a little envelope to put my jewellery in.
Polish born Elizabeth was my skin specialist. She turned the overhead lamp on mock 10 and got to it. My head bounced back and forth like a ping-pong ball as she examined my pores. I layed there; quietly ashamed.
After some chitchat about my skin care regime (I don’t have one, ok??), she began. First she cleaned my face with cleanser then the mega face began. She lathered oil across my already oily face and broken-out neck. Over and over she wiped her hands, walked her fingers and slapped my skin as part of the gentle and relaxing facial massage. With every sigh and exhale from her I wondered if it was because she was disgusted or bored.
Next came the pore excavation. With tissues in each hand she pressed my pores together a with gentle force. From my pores came dirt and puss, from her mouth, tut tuts. She acknowledged the volume of the job and said she wouldn’t do too much as it would be too painful for me. Thankfully, next came the mask and 20 minute rest….alone.
Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth knows her stuff. I was happy with my new face and her regime recommendations. The is the best place on earth to get a facial and when in Vancouver, I always will return there! Plus, they give out cute little travel/trial size bottles when you leave.
12:45pm – Yes, Very Pretty at Exquis Nails, 1932 W. Broadway
Total Cost: $24
On my way to the bus stop, I passed one of those Asian nail salons. I’d never been and they were not busy so I went in. My hands were in desperate need anyway. It was semi planned; I was carrying my own Brisbane Bronze OPI nail polish in my purse.
Vietnamese Kim, was friendly and precise. She got right to work on my nails and didn’t over-talk (though her English was perfect). At the end, my nails sat under a dryer for 10 minutes, leaving them dryer than a nun’s……nevermind. Basically, this small closure to the manicure was worth every penny of the $24. Because of this, I did not screw up the paint job the minute the manicure was done. I’m still looking at my nails with glee!!
2:30pm - A ‘I’m Totally Starving’ Lunch at Nuba Cafe – 1206 Seymour Street
Total Cost: $13.44
Obviously, I did not have time for food yet. I did grab a banana on my way to the taxi but by the time 2pm rolled around, I was very hungry. I had dinner at Nuba on my first night in Vancouver; the falafel plate and I loved it so much I vowed to return. Being as famished as I was, I couldn’t think of a better place to indulge.
I chose the Chicken Tawook plate. 2 skewers of spiced chicken were served with roast potatoes, a huge fresh salad, black olives, pita and hummus. OMG!! I was in heaven….again. I have always loved Middle Eastern food but it’s hard to find really great stuff. This Lebanese cafe has proved to be a winner with me and there’s no doubt that I will go back. When in Vancouver, it’s a MUST.
3:30pm – I need a fix!! Coffee & Shopping on Robson Street
Tim’s: Considering I had not had a coffee yet, my first stop was actually Tim Horton’s on Alberni (one street down from Robson). Tim Horton’s is a very famous donut and coffee shop that has been around since the 70′s. The coffee has not changed but the sizes have!! What used to be a medium is now called a small. So my order was a small decaf with double cream. Yes, this is my re-introduction to dairy. So far, no worries. And, I was not tempted by the donuts…not yet anyway.
Total cost: $1.50
La Senza: I have a thing for girly knickers. I love La Senza and have even gone as far as paying $50 AUD postage to have their products posted to me in Australia. When in Canada, I must feed my fetish.
I’m 41 years old and have not been properly fitted for a bra since I was 19!! Yes, it’s true, I’ve been wearing ill-fitted bras for over half my life. No bloody wonder, I hate the things. But finally, I’ve been fitted. The young Aussie girl from the Gold Coast was excellent in making me feel comfortable about this kinda embarrassing task. She made sure I had the right sizes and styles without being pushy or too forward. It’s no wonder I bought 2 new bras and 5 pairs of knickers.
Total Cost: $56.28
I spent a few hours just browsing Robson Street casually. I popped into Chapters, which is supposed to be a book store but there is much more than books in there. Of course, there’s Starbucks – they’re everywhere!! But Chapters also has kitchen wear (to go along with the cookbooks, don’t you know), yoga and fitness props (you guessed it, to buy along side a fitness book or DVD), housewares, chocolates, biscuits, LOADS of Apple product trinkets (for Ipods and Iphones etc), lotions, potions and all the things you would expect: books, cards, journals, writing stationary and the like. Wow, I could have spent all day in there. Luckily, I escaped with only one $7 item: a gift for my son…….yes, I was sucked in and got an Ipod accessory. He’ll love it.
So, I enjoyed my big city experience. All the pampering, lunch out, shopping and the taxi ride made me feel like Carrie Bradshaw, except I did everything alone, which is not like Carrie at all….does she ever do anything on her own??
Tired and exhausted, I returned to my accommodation at 6:30pm. The evening was spent writing and doing laundry. Too tired to go back out to eat and not all that hungry anyway, I ate an entire block of Green & Black’s Organic Cherry Chocolate for dinner……And damn it was good!
I ate some chocolate today.
Easter was always about the chocolate for me. Today was the first time since Dec 31, 2011 that I had chocolate. The best part about it though was that I didn’t totally binge on it. I had a few small Easter eggs and a couple marshmallow eggs and enjoyed them without the guilt or feeling like I was a failure. It was good, but I’m not hanging out for the next piece.
Today is also my birthday. There was no big party, no dinner out, no ice cream or chocolate birthday cake either.
I made my own dinner: salmon, sauteed carrots and cabbage and basmati rice. I even added a bit of butter to the rice and veggies. It was simple yet healthy and delicious.I really would not have wanted anything else.
My birthday cake was also made by me: lemon polenta cake with lemon syrup. Not quite the same as a double chocolate mousse cake or ice cream cake but it was still yummy.
Having some dairy today did nothing to my sinuses. I felt no ill health from the bit of dairy that I consumed. This, I’m very happy about!
Maybe 3 months on a strict, healthy diet is enough to set a new pattern. “Everything in moderation”. I used to hate that saying because I couldn’t achieve it.
Now, it is where I aim to be. In the past, it was not something that I was capable of; it was all or nothing for me. But now I feel that I am quite capable of having things in moderation but I guess time will time.
All in all, it was a great day. Happy Easter everyone! Eat chocolate and enjoy!
Michelle Holland - Writer. Mummy. Blogger.
Reflections on Life and Loss
Service Industry Stories and More Since 2012
Replacing rosé with running... my two year adventure off the booze and changing my life
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