My berry banana mango smoothie
My latest restriction was planned as 14 days with no sugar. To me, no sugar means NO SUGAR, including all sweeteners and fruit. I lasted 2 days then I had to have low-sugar fruits and honey. For those 2 days, I felt incredibly hungry and I didn’t sleep well. Since adding the fruit and honey, I’ve been fine.
In spite of this failure of mine, a friend called me a Discipline Master. I thought this term was so much friendlier than Control Freak.
Now that I have had all my test results back and there is nothing physically wrong with me, I wonder, ‘Well, what the hell is wrong with me?’
I do not have food allergies.
I do not have a bacterial infection.
I do not have a major hormone imbalance.
I do not have bowel polyps.
I do not have cancer.
I have read several times over the past few months about how restrictive diets are becoming a health trend but if there is no medical reason for the food restriction, you could be adding to your issues by eliminating certain food groups. I am so very guilty of this one.
Every time I restrict, I do it in the name of my health. And I do feel better, eventually. But now, I am beginning to think that all my restrictions are more about power over food, not about my good health.
So, I’m loosening up a little. I had pasta the other night and today I had one piece of chocolate.
All my restrictions started in 2005 when I was in search of relief for my chronic sinus problems (nasal polyps). I knew I had polyps but controlling them was difficult. My former boss had much success with Ayurveda, what Indians call the science of life, so I decided to give it a go.
Each week, I would drive myself from Te Anau to Queenstown (New Zealand) to see the practitioner. She would massage me to work out the toxins. I took many herbs in tablet form. I restricted my diet on her recommendation. I was Vata so I had to stick to a Vata reducing diet. I lost 4kgs (8lbs) rapidly but I was not overweight at all. She said it was toxins. I was now underweight and extremely thin (which I loved). Within a month, I felt great. It didn’t do much for my polyps, if anything but I felt and looked like a million bucks.
I stuck to this new regime for about 5 months before I caved. Two months after starting the Ayurveda sessions, I moved to Fiji which would be great for an Ayurveda diet. Did you know that half the population of Fiji are of East Indian descent?
I was very unhappy there. I was living and working with my new husband and it was not going well. I started to eat bread. Not all the time but I did have some. I also had the odd cocktail, those were the days when I rarely drank but alcohol was definitely not part of my Ayurvedic regime.
Not long after that, I got pregnant and once that was confirmed, I allowed myself to eat whatever my body wanted, including meat (I had been a vegetarian).
The first time I became vegetarian, I was 12 years old. My family had moved from the city to the country and my stepdad started to kill dinner. I was certainly influenced by an older sister who refused to eat anything “off the farm”. I remained I veggo until the age of 16 when I was a runaway and McDonald’s hamburgers were the cheapest things to eat, but that’s another story.
My issues with food are long and varied. I was a very skinny kid and remember being scrutinised for not eating enough. I was so shy, I didn’t like to eat in front of people, not even my family. I’m sure that is another story as well.
When I was 18, I got a job at Dairy Queen and became the Queen herself. I ate so much ice cream and chicken burgers, I gained 20 pounds (9kgs) in a matter of a coupe months. I had never gained weight before and eventually it got me down. It was gone by the time I was 23 thanks to stress and a prescription of Fluoxetine.
The next 7 years were food obsession free. I ate whatever I wanted, I drank like a fish (some of the years), I didn’t have a weight problem and besides my sinus and respiratory problems I was healthy.
When I lived in Sydney in 2001, I fell back in to the obsessive food wars with the added title of exercise freak attached, just for fun. The crazy thing about that is when I look at the photos from that time, I was puffy and not thin or healthy looking at all. I used to binge eat because I couldn’t cope with the restrictions I put on myself. When I think of that time now I think, that was crazy.
But is what I’m doing now any more sane and stable?
Mr M has “suggested” more than once that I have disordered thinking when it comes to food. When it all comes down to the hardcore facts, the truth is this.
I don’t want to be fat. I don’t believe obesity is a disease. I believe it’s the result of gluttony and disrespect to your body. This is not a scientific fact, just my opinion.
I don’t need to go to see a “doctor” to look at my history and see the signs that I have body issues. I certainly don’t need to go on some BIG PHARMA lab concoction that will keep me down and dumb.
So what is it I do need to do? I saw this on Facebook today and I think it sums it up nicely.
Last night Mr M and I had company over for dinner. I made a whole BBQ chicken, BBQ sausages, chicken gravy, steamed carrots and broccoli; a very dairy potato bake and two desserts: chocolate brownie sundaes with homemade hot fudge sauce AND creme brulee.
I ate everything except sausages (I don’t eat hotdogs or sausages), drank 2 beer and nearly an entire bottle of white wine. See, it was my last night of culinary bliss and over indulgence.
Today, I am on a strict diet as my body gets ready for the “procedures” on Tuesday. Today, I am allowed to eat the following and only the following:
I also must consume clear drinks every hour for the next 2 days. I am falling behind on this. Right now, I’m drinking a black Americano. I used to like black coffee but now, not so much. Since living “Down Unda” I have become very accustomed to flat whites (like a latte with more milk and less foam).
I am making chicken and rice soup for dinner. I will have 2 glasses of white wine – Hey, I’m allowed.
Tomorrow, I can have NO solids. None. Not a cracker, not a piece of toast…nada. But I must continue with the hourly glasses of clear liquids.
I will be admitted to hospital at 3pm and at 5pm the bowel ridding concoctions are begun. I must say, I am looking forward to the “clean out”. I hope I don’t miss too much of The Voice with all my back and forth to the toilet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to my bloated tummy. I am not going back to eating gluten.
Starting tomorrow, when I can have no food, I am going gluten-free for the sake of my body and overall health and wellbeing. It’s the only committed restriction I will have, though I will limit dairy as well. I find I cannot keep up with a long list of dietary no-nos and I think it is wheat and gluten that is playing a big part to my issues. I may be wrong. I may have something horribly wrong with me but I am confident that it’ll be nothing more than IBS. It’s not only the internal problems that are my concern. It’s also what I look like on the outside.
I don’t like having a protruding tummy. I like to wear form-fitting clothing. I like to wear bikinis in the summer, sometimes all day long if it’s really hot. I like to feel sexy. I don’t feel or look sexy with a gut the size of a 5-month pregnant mother-to-be. I know it’s vain but it is what it is. So it’ll be me and Tracy Anderson back at it later this coming week. I’m changing my mindset. I need to remember that I eat to live not live to eat. It’s so easy to confuse the two. I do love food though so I’ll never be one to be too fanatic about it. And chocolate is in my diet to stay.
What is the one indulgence you refuse to give up?
I’m back on gluten. It’s not by choice but I must admit, I am enjoying my freshly made blueberry lemon scones. Even though I said I wouldn’t over-do it, I already have. I feel fine – full maybe but nothing horrible has gone on or wrong with my body…so far.
The reason I am back on gluten is because my Gastroenterologist has suggested it. More than suggested it, I guess. See, I need to have a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy and he said that it is best for me to be on a gluten diet before the procedure. Which is fine, obviously I jumped right back to wheat when I found out. I love baking and I have been missing muffins and toast. Last week, I made a gluten-free loaf of bread (pre-mix) and it was good. Would have been better if the whole loaf had of cooked the entire way through but.
I can’t get stuck on gluten though. And I need to realise that after the operation, I will need to restrict it again. The specialist said that if nothing major turns up, it’s mostly likely going to be that I have IBS and there’s no cure all for that. Let us wait and see what happens.
I’m in the process of checking with my insurance and booking the hospital. I could go on the public wait-list but it may take up to 3 months and if I go public, I don’t get an anaesthesiologist. I think it worth the $250 insurance excess to go private and have the right people administering drugs.
I’m not looking forward to the procedure but I am looking forward to a few more gluten-based meals over the next few weeks.
It’s Friday people!! Have a great weekend. Let us eat cake.
It’s been 3 days since I gave up gluten and dairy again and I can feel the benefits already. There are other things that I avoid, like sulphites, yeast, food colouring and additives; and sugar but I’m not going all anal about never consuming a spec. It’s obviously that being really strict with myself doesn’t work long-term so I’m being a bit easier on myself this time.
With the change of seasons, I find myself not as motivated to stick to my fitness. I mean, I’m not jumping up at the crack of dawn and straight into my runners but I am still doing a daily work-out. Sometimes it’s 60 minutes but other times, it’s only 20. My bed is pretty cosy at 6am.
I’m sure that when my body is rid of all the excess gluten and sugar I ate in March, I will be back at it in full-force. I have a new Tracy Anderson DVD (dance Cardio 2) and 3 more dvds on the way. Plus I have a couple new Lorna Jane fitness/casual outfits so I can’t stop now!!
This is the life I want; the person I want to be. I know I am committed enough and already healthy enough to achieve my goals, which is to maintain my health and my petite figure and to be a health writer. I can’t really be a health writer if I am eating cake and donuts while sitting on my bum all day.
It’s not easy, I know. I’ve been doing this yo-yo thing for 8 years now but I finally “get it”. It dawned on my last week when I wrote How to set yourself up to succeed ‘s #6 tip – “If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it”.
Giving up gluten doesn’t make me feel bad. Eating gluten makes me feel bad.
Giving up alcohol forever makes me feel bad, so I haven’t given up alcohol. I just choose drinks that do not contain the things that make me feel bad. A cocktail makes me feel good and like I’m Carrie Bradshaw.
If I gave up all chocolate, I’d fall into a depression. That’s why I refuse to give up chocolate but again, I choose my chocolate wisely. Dark rules. The higher the cocoa %, the better.
It’s all about choice. We all make choices everyday that make up our entire lives.
Take today for instance. I made the following choices that have me pretty chuffed with myself:
It’s these choices that are working for me this Wednesday.
Anyone have any fitness or health regimes working for them today?
Today was the first ‘Baking Day Wednesday’. Every Wednesday, I will get up at 6am (as per my new normal) and because it is my one day off of my Tracy Anderson fitness regime (I go to Yoga instead). I will bake from 6-7:30am instead of dancing my ass off.
Today, I made muesli, date squares and a rocky-road like square. This baking is meant to be for Master T’s lunchbox (the muesli is for breakfast). I will freeze 3/4s of the date squares. The thing is, I like to eat freshly baked goods. A date square is not gonna kill me. Homemade muesli is yummy will yogurt. The rocky-road???? I do not need this in my life. I had a piece…..for lunch. And guess what?
It was delicious!!!
But seriously. I was extremely full and my mood turned foul within 20 minutes. I still feel irritable and grumpy but I’m coming right. And of course, my tummy is swollen and tubby looking. It feels like I just undid all my hard fitness training. This just confirmed, once again that my body and mind does not like too much sugar or wheat. And I have a whole pan of them in the fridge. The reason I made them was a rational one.
I had some left over graham cracker crumbs (North Americans will know these) left over from my last trip back from Canada. I didn’t want them going in the bin (I detest wastage) so I made the recipe from the back of the box. It’s not like I even want Master T eating crap like that but it is homemade so that’s one point for me, at least!!
I am really pleased that I am able to pinpoint the error of my ways soon after they happen. Now, to catch them before they happen…. that’s the real challenge!!
And, this is too early to say it’s working for me but I am off to do something I have never done tonight!! I’m excited and I’ll tell you all about it soon!!
This will mark the first of a new series of weekly blog posts. I’ve been inspired by Jo Tracey over at andanyways.com to do a photo post. I’m so much about food that I figure it suits Kai Chronicles (kai means food, don’t you know?) to feature photos of what’s going in my mouth. So, here’s just a visual taste of what I’ve been eating this week. Bon appetite!
A few blogs I read have a weekly themed post and I quite like the idea so I’m being a sheep and following them.
I want my theme to be positive. I don’t want to talk about what’s going wrong in my life, although I know people love to read that stuff. Now is a time to change attitudes and be more optimistic. All is well in my world. And so it is. (yes, I love Louise L Hay).
So, what IS working for me this Wednesday?
Carman’s fruit-free muesli, berries and Mundella’s Greek honey yoghurt. This is by far my favourite breakfast or lunch. Some people think that muesli (granola for you North Americans) is not good for you because it can be high in kilojoules/calories, which is true depending on the brand you buy. I only buy Carman’s and I actually make my own sometimes. But there are ways around overindulging.
So I don’t overdo it, I weigh my serving to be 45kgs which is 895.5kJ/214cal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not in the habit of weighing my food….I’m not that anal retentive but some things like muesli, nuts or yogurt can be easy to consume mass amounts because they are so good. Therefore, it’s better for me to put a limit on it.
Berries are not only great for your body; you can eat lots of them with no results on your hips! I’m loving fresh strawberries at the moment. I use frozen raspberries too…delicious. Blueberries are my favorite though. I’ll get some in me soon!
Although I often restrict dairy, I do allow a pro-biotic yoghurt because of the benefits to my tummy! Again, I use a local brand that is not full up of sugars and additives. I no longer eat the fruit variety for this reason. Keep in plain, keep it simple and add your own fruit.
This breakfast comes in under 1525 kJs/365cal and I reckon that is easy to burn off.
For today (and most days), this yummy, wheat-free breaky is working for me!!
What’s working for you today?
Since I recently took a dose of Prednisolone to help relieve my mystery illness, I am pleased to announce the re-birth of my sense of smell and taste.
Chronic nasal polyps often results in the loss of these senses. It’s easy to get used to not smelling anything so when it re-appeared, it was like being given a new toy. I wanted to smell everything! It was exciting.
It’s now been 2 weeks or so since the re-discovery and although I want it to last, I may be contributing to its demise. Now, I want to eat everything too.
I’m eating food I wouldn’t usually indulge in because I just cannot get over the taste sensation! I ate 3 pieces of cold pizza on the weekend. Bread, cheese and salami are not happy players with nasal polyps.
It’s like tasting food for the first time…what a dangerous time in my life!!
Chocolate actually taste like….chocolate!! Who knew?
Another thing I notice is the fact that the world smells so perfumy. Why do tissues need to smell like perfume? I think it’s irritants like this that may contribute to sinus and respiratory issues in the first place.
I am taking my western meds vigilantly and also have faith in the power of suggestion to prolong my new sense!
I have been healed.
I have had a miracle!
Returning to Banff after an 11 year absence was not a mistake. Banff holds many beautiful memories for me and I was fortunate to call it home from April 1993 to January 1997. Returning was like a home coming.
The tourist town in Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park, has certainly developed over the years but the essence is still the same. Sure, it’s full of damn tourists but its beauty must be shared with the masses. I am happy to be in the presence of others while I enjoy its mountainous embrace.
I was not in a rush to get going on my first day. I had a nice sleep in and casual breakfast in the hostel kitchen. By the time I got off the bus on Banff Avenue, it was nearly 11:30am.
I meandered up the main shopping street, peeking in windows and smiling at the towering mountains that surrounded me. My main mission was to find a coffee.
It didn’t take me long to stumble in to Evelyn’s – Banff’s main local cafe. It’s so popular, the town hosts 3 different Evelyn branches. I must say though, my decaf Americano was not the greatest. There are plenty of other cafes to experience.
From there, the shopping began. Yes, Banff is full of the tacky souvenir shops but some of them have really cool stuff. Like the onesie pjamas I got for Master T, my 6-year-old son.
At $30 plus tax, they were pricey for sleep wear but I couldn’t resist the one piece, bright red suit with the trap door!!! He’ll love the BEAR BUM print on the back.
From there, I wondered up and down Banff Avenue stopping in shops, browsing and sometimes trying on clothing! I really had no intention of shopping but the shops and products are so enticing that I couldn’t help myself.
Besides some souvenirs, I bought myself a pair of Jessica Simpson red jeans. They were 40% off and they fit me nicely. When I did a couple of rounds in Cascade Plaza, I passed a bookstore that had a display of the popular book, Fifty Shades of Grey. I had heard about this book at the I CAN DO IT conference, of all places, and I was intrigued by the comments about it. I had never heard of it before. I stopped to have a read of the back and instantly took it to the counter and asked the staff if they had read it. Both had. The Aussie girl gave her no holds barred opinion saying it wasn’t great literature but it was a page turner and quite sexually charged and racy. SOLD. I love a good smutty book.
Back on Banff Avenue I found a shop I had actually planned to shop at, Rocky Mountain Soap Company. What can I say, it’s the usual handmade soaps, bath salts, body butters, moisturizers etc. It was lovely and the “product adviser” was excellent. I even got a free mini pumpkin soap. I also spent $45. oops.
All that pacing and deciding made me hungry. My friend, Yui recommended I have a souvlaki wrap from Barpa Bill’s on Bear Street. When I arrived there at 1:30pm, it was not busy so I decided to eat in. I ordered the chicken and perused my new book as I waited. Ordering a wheat-based wrap that contains a dairy-based sauce would normally not be my first choice but I adore Greek food and since it came highly recommended, I had to have it. SO glad I did. Although I have no sense of taste or smell, the strong flavours of lemony marinated meat and the raw onions grooved all over my dulled taste buds like there was a dance contest in my mouth.
Satisfied and thoroughly spent (haha, pun intended!!!), I made my way to the Upper Hot Pools. I was stunned at the measly fee that was charged, only $6.20 with my HI/YHA membership. This is super cheap compared to the $23.50 NZD in Franz Josef, New Zealand where I just spent 7 months. The pool was a heavenly 39 degrees celsius. It was moderately busy with other tourists from around the globe. I spent a good hour or so soaking in the calm waters while the sun played peek-a-boo with clouds and at one point, it even hailed! Oh yes, it was apparent that I was in Canada.
Next, I walked for 5 minutes to the gondola station. I had every intention of walking up Sulphur Mountain and saving myself $17 (it’s only $15 if you buy a one-way ticket) but it was already going on 5pm and frankly, I couldn’t be assed. I was far too relaxed after my hour-long hot tub session too. I grabbed a decaf coffee from Starbucks (yes, they are bloody everywhere) and had the entire car to myself. Of course, the camera came out and I took photos of the ride up, even though I knew once at the top the views would be spectacular!!
And they were. I nabbed the first available person to do a photographer swap. He took 3 of me and I took 3 of him, with his own camera, of course. It was cold and windy so I did the run around the circumference of the building, stood in the blowing snow for a few minutes (yes, it’s MAY and it snowed) then went to the cafe for a beer. For the $32 (after 4pm) fare, it was worth every penny. You just will not get the same visual effect from ground level.
On my way back through town, I considered going back to Barpa Bill’s for dinner and that’s actually where I was headed when I strolled by the Magpie and Stump. This Mexican/Southwest pub and restaurant has been around for yonks and I’d certainly eaten here when Banff was my stomping ground. I glanced at the menu posted outside the entrance and made my decision: Mexican it would be – cheese, sour cream and all!!
I was promptly seated and ordered a traditional margarita. Why not, I thought? It came to me in a mason jar with a salted rim,,,yummy. I chose the bean and vegetable quesadilla to eat. I pulled out the BOOK and by the time my meal came, I was hooked. I read in between bites and sips of drink and with the John Butler Trio playing in the background, felt as though I could have stayed there forever. My waitress, Vanessa was friendly and attentive, so she got a nice tip…something that now erks me about North America. In the South Pacific, tipping is optional.
I did so much on my first day back in Banff. There is still more to do in this town, like a visit to the Banff Springs Hotel…another day. If I can pull myself away from Fifty Shades of Grey that is……LOL!!
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
It only takes one person to affect change in the world, and that person is each one of us.