Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Tummy Busters: How I’m beating the bloat

no bloat

 

I’ve been on a free-for-all diet for the past 6 weeks or so and I must say, I feel happier emotionally but I won’t lie, physically, I’ve felt better.

I have not worked-out since early June. It’s winter and I just do not have the motivation. I’ve also been back in the swing of work and for now, I’m happy writing and achieving goals there. Mentally though, I am preparing to return to a regular fitness routine on September 1st.

Considering all of this, my tummy issues have mostly disappeared. The severe, daily bloating has stopped and I am convinced Inner Health is the reason.

Inner Health is a pro-biotic capsule that contains 25 billion good bacteria  per supplement. Any largeness to my tummy is now fat. Plain and simple. And a bit disappointing.

I used to take IH years ago and I don’t know why I stopped or had not tried it earlier this year when I was having so many stomach issues. Daily acidophilus yogurt is not enough but delicious so I still love to eat it.

Another thing that has been working for me it stepping away from the wheat. I’m not banning it anymore but when I begin to feel crappy, I reduce my wheat intake considerably.

I have also started to take a herbal laxative. It comes in the form of tea and it is easy to drink. The downside of this of course is the stomach cramps and need to be near a toilet. It doesn’t last long and it generally takes 10-12 hours to kick in so it’s all about getting the timing right.

Here’s what I believe is working for me to reduce bloating:

  1. Daily Inner Health Plus Dairy Free
  2. Starting my day with hot lemon and water (before anything else is consumed)
  3. Reducing wheat
  4. Drinking herbal laxative  tea – once or twice a week

I reckon once I return to my fitness routine, I will feel pretty darn good. And hopefully look like this again.

Jennifer April 2013

Taken April 2013. This is my inspiration. It’s not the best my body has looked but I’d take it over today’s mirror reflection.

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday: Choices

 

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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:

  1. I got up at 6am to meditate.
  2. I did a 60-minute dance cardio class (on DVD)
  3. I went to a yoga class (90 minute class)
  4. I bought some fresh mango and broccoli
  5. I made a delicious mango/banana smoothie (it was to die for)
  6. I made cream of broccoli soup for lunch (no cream needed)
  7.  I sent a 3rd submission follow-up to an editor who has ignored my previous 2. She replied within 10 minutes (she’s yet to read it but has said she’ll get back to me)
  8. After this post is complete, I will make a decaf coffee and read a book for an hour
apr 3 mango

Mango & Banana Smoothie: fresh mango and any juice it produces while cutting, 1 ripe banana, 2 heaping spoonfuls of natural or greek yogurt, 6 ice cubes and cinnamon to taste. Blend all together. Enjoy!

apr 3 broccoli soup

Cream of broccoli soup: saute fresh garlic and chilli in oil (omit chilli if you want). Add clean and dry broccoli (cut up, stems and all), salt & pepper and a bouquet garni bag or bundle. Add enough water to not quite cover the broccoli. Simmer until soft. Cool slightly. Remove the bouquet garni bag before blending to a smooth texture. So simple, so delicious.

It’s these choices that are working for me this Wednesday.

Anyone have any fitness or health regimes working for them today?

 

 

 

 


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How to set yourself up to succeed

As April 1st looms, I am considering my choices. I know I have to restrict my diet again. I know wheat & gluten especially are making me ill and pooing all over my life.

I know that I am being lazy and unmotivated, in my health and writing.

I know I feel soooo much better when I exercise daily and eat very little complex carbs.

I know I love a nice piece of cake or a really great muffin. And chocolate…goodness me, I love chocolate.

I know I don’t want to live without these things.

I know that if I restrict them, I will only want them even more in a month or two.

I know that my past “diets” have been successful for short periods only.

I know I need to make it a lasting lifestyle change. But how?

I don’t want to be a martyr but I do want to look and feel good  great.

The older I get, the wiser I become. I know myself fairly well these days.

Restricting all will only last a short time, this I already know so I’ve come up with some tips for myself (and maybe for you) to ensure my success and good health.

  1. Write down goals, dreams and desires for yourself. Post them where you will view daily.
  2. Make the commitment: Be true to yourself and fight (yourself) for a better life and way of living.
  3. Read and watch: Anything and everything that will motivate & inspire you to stick to your goals. This may need to be done daily!!
  4. Delay gratification: We live in a ‘I WANT IT NOW’ society and maybe that is why we are all so spoilt. Hard work, patience and determination deserves reward,  nothing less.
  5. Celebrate your wins: Preferably not with something you are restricting!! Choose a treat that will enhance your wellbeing: a massage, a day at the beach, a long walk or snuggle down with a book or your favourite TV show.
  6. If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it. Sounds simple, eh?
  7. Set aside time for quiet: meditation, reading, journal writing, a hot bath. Choose a time when you are guaranteed silence to just be.
  8. Be grateful for what you have: Being thankful for everything in your life, the good and the bad will turn every experience into a lesson, not a drama-filled crisis.
  9. Step out of your comfort zone: Do something that you have always been too afraid to do. This is a great way to boost confidence that will spill over to many areas of your life.
  10. Take a day off each week: Have one free day with no rules, restrictions or boundaries. If your one day turns into two, then three….you’ll have to start over from the beginning again.

I’m loving #10. I have decided that Sunday, the traditional day of rest will be my day off. It doesn’t mean that I will eat everything in the house or not exercise even if I feel like it. It means I will have a day to sleep-in, relax, be more casual with myself. I’m confident that these guidelines will be the way to a positive, life-long solution instead of the constant see-saw I have been living on for the past 8+ years.

Life is hard sometimes but often, we make it harder than it has to be. My goal is to have a happy family, stress-free career, care-free lifestyle, healthy and fit body and a creative mind. I’m nearly there…I’m so close to it. Any.Day.Now.

On my next big win (selling an article) I am booking myself in for a massage.

What are your favourite ways to celebrate a victory?


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWCommitment – that’s the word of the day today.

I am a person of routine and commitment. This seems to strengthen with age. I remember being young and trying new things and them not working out so I’d just freely and easily bail on the idea and plan that I had. These days, it seems to be my mission in life to make commitments and stick with them.

Being Wednesday, I have much on the go:

Baking Day

Yoga

Novel writing (3000 words today!)

Blog post (this one!)

Tap dancing

Yes, that’s right. Last week, I went to my very first tap dancing class. I felt (and looked) like a fool but I’m going back this week for more embarrassment and humiliation.

tap dancerI don’t have tap shoes yet but I am determined to get a pair within the next few weeks. For now, I’m in bare feet which is not really tapping at all but I’m still yet to perfect the moves.

This new adventure of mine stems from a childhood dream to be a dancer. I never ever told anyone that but it’s true. I used to dream about doing the entire Thriller dance session in the gymnasium of my high school. I loved Madonna’s Lucky Star video and Toni Basil’s Mickey.

This past weekend, I watched the documentary RIZE again. It’s about dance and how it can change your life. I love the music and I think Tommy the Clown is a hero. I also love reality shows like So you think you can dance but not Dancing with the stars. 

Now, I know I’m not going to be a famous dancer but I’m enjoying it and I thank Tracy Anderson for making me get up and feel the music.

I started to do her dance cardio workout as part of my January fitness push and I cannot stop now. I actually like getting up at 6am and dancing for 45-60 minutes! It’s inspired me and given me some body confidence.

dance

Dance, it’s what’s working for me this Wednesday!!! Now, I’m off to trip over my own feet!

Are you hiding away a dormant dream? Any chance of awakening it?

 


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What’s 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.

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Fresh watermelon….delicious.

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Decaf espresso…I refuse to give up my daily (twice..) coffee. I mix it will steamed malt-free soy milk.

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Fresh fruit in watermelon and mint puree

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BBQ salmon with steamed green beans and carrots.

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Prawn salad on lettuce with cherry tomatoes.

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Garden salad with tuna slices and fresh apple.

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Fresh juice made from carrot, apple, lemon, celery, beetroot and spinach

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Green and Black’s organic 70% chocolate…..yum

How’s your fitness or eating regime going? Have any good, wheat-free, low carb recipes to share?

 


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What I know about…resolutions

Ahh yes, it is that time again. The lovely Sarah Wayland at thatspaceinbetween is hosting another ‘What I know about’ series. The topic on discussion is what’s on the minds of many people who want to make a change in their life…resolutions.

Resolutions. That word that floats around in the air like hot, heavy humidity from December 31 until about the end of January, when it is then forgotten about until the next New Year’s Eve.

ny res

What do I know about resolutions? 

Resolutions are usually set to solve a problem. In my opinion (and experience), unless the problem is so severe that you absolutely cannot live with it any longer, you will not succeed in keeping your promise to yourself. Come on, breaking New Year’s resolutions are even more (in)famous then setting the damn things! But I do have a success story that I’d love to share….even if it is a cliche.

It was the eve of 2001. I was in Banff, Canada spending a beautiful white Christmas and New Year with my friend, Yui.

banff winter

 

Yui and I had met there in 1993 when we both were living at the YHA and had become close friends. I had left Banff in1997 and moved to British Columbia but longed for another mountainous white Christmas. And let me say this, I have never been anywhere more gorgeous than Banff at Christmas. It’s a true winter wonderland. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was my last Christmas in Canada and I hold the greatest memories of it in my head and heart for many reasons.

By the end of 2000, I had been smoking for over 16 years. I had tried to quit many times before but would often cave after 2 or 3 months. I had severe sinus issues and asthma but the cigarettes always ranked higher than my health. I didn’t even enjoy smoking anymore but the habit and addiction held me prisoner.

stop-smoking-tips

Even though Yui smoked as well, she really rallied behind me to quit. So I decided that I would have my last cigarette just before midnight on December 31, 2000. I remember Yui and I smoking on her balcony. It was freezing cold and my lungs burned and cooled with every inhale and exhale. The mix of the cold and hot made me cough and wheeze. It was time to look after myself. I made the commitment to myself and my health right then and there and have not had a cigarette since.

Now, 12 years later I find it hard to believe that I ever smoked cigarettes. I’m happy to say that Yui has also since quit and is now a non-smoker. We are both health-conscious people and I’m a lot happier and healthier for it.

So resolutions can work but you have to ask yourself……….how badly to I want it?

I didn’t really set resolutions this year. I chose to set goals for 2013 instead with my most challenging one on day 5 today. I am rising at 5:30am every day for 30 days to do 10 minutes of meditation before I gear up for  1.5 hours+ of  Tracy Anderson style fitness. It’s gruelling and today I felt completely shagged afterwards but hey, it’s 10:15am and I don’t have to think about exercise until 6am tomorrow and I’m loving that aspect!

The thing is…..I want the result of a toned body so badly that there is no way I will let myself renege on this deal. I’m even starting to crave it; I want to push myself.

So whatever your resolutions or goals are this January and beyond, remember to be true to yourself. I may not know much about resolutions, but I do know that much!

Be joyful.