Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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What is restricted?

It’s day six and all is well. I skipped the past 2 days of “logging” for 2 reasons:

  1. On day 4, I simply forgot
  2. On day 5, I chose to watch a movie

So, it wasn’t at all because I ate something I shouldn’t have or anything like that!! Which reminds me, I didn’t even tell you what I am restricting!!! So here it is:

RESTRICTED FOODS/DRINKS

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Pork
  • Sulphites

Along with this list, I am also “limiting” processed foods ( must read all labels) and sugar. People often ask me, “What DO you eat?”

Hence, this blog.

I want to show people that there are plenty of food choices available. Yes, you will have to work harder at making your meals and even pre-plan but the results are staggering. I already feel so much better. I have no feelings of deprivation or starvation. I even ate dinner at a restaurant tonight so let’s start with that and work backwards to breakfast.

Dinner

  • 3 chicken satay sticks (dairy-free)
  • White rice
  • Green salad
  • Water

This was a perfect wheat and dairy free meal. One you could make at home too.

Afternoon Snack

  • Banana and berry smoothie with LSA and rice milk
  • Decaf soy coffee

Lunch

  • Whole brown rice cakes with peanut butter
  • 8 fresh pea pods
  • 4 pieces of crystallised ginger
  • water

Morning Snack

  • 1 apricot
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 plum
  • water

Breakfast

  • Plain Oatmeal with seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh boysenberries (YUM)
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk

Breakfast was on the run as I slept in today. I had to work too and had no issues with energy and this diet. As you can see, I am eating plenty.

Physically: I feel great!! No issues, but I need to keep up my water intake. I struggle with this but I know it’s important.

Now, I going to have a spiced Rooibos tea with rice milk before bed. Life is good.

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The World’s Most Popular Drug

Did you have a coffee or tea this morning?

Caffeine laced drinks and products are consumed by millions the world over. Does that make us all drug users…..and possibly abusers?

The truth is: Caffeine is a drug.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola and cocoa beans. This, of course, does not mean caffeine is limited to these products. There are countless other soft drinks, lollies, ice creams, energy drinks, chewing gum, supplements and medications on the market today that are enhanced with caffeine.

Many people consume hundreds of milligrams worth of caffeine per day and would never guess they may be dependant on or addicted to a stimulant.

What happens when you stop –  cold turkey?

There is a very high chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, nausea; feeling light-headed, tired, moody, depressed and irritable. These symptoms may continue for 2-8 days so it is easy to reason why so many people just continue with their daily caffeine fix.

How much caffeine are we talking about?

  •  250ml cup of instant coffee (1tsp)  = 60-80mg
  • 1 oz espresso = 90mg
  •  250ml cup of black tea = 40-60mg
  • 250ml cup of green tea  = 25-40mg
  •  375ml can of Coke = 50mg
  • 100g chocolate bar = 20mg

It is hard to pin point the safe levels of caffeine without doing a scientific experiment first-hand. It all depends on who you ask.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand say:

“There is currently no recognised health-based guidance value, such as an Acceptable Daily Intake, for caffeine. However, a FSANZ Expert Working Group analysed the available literature in 2000 and concluded that there was evidence of increased anxiety levels in children at doses of about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight per day. The anxiety level for children aged 5-12 equates to a caffeine dose of 95 mg per day (approximately two cans of cola) and about 210 mg per day (approximately three cups of instant coffee) for adults.”

Is there any reason to stop?

According to the Havard Health Publications, caffeine is not only safe, but may also have some benefits.

“Studies show that the risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”

There are some health conditions that will not benefit caffeine intake: like candida. Caffeine can feed candida and would aggravate excess candida symptoms that may: abdominal pain, thrush, depression, urinary infections, rashes, acne, white coated tongue and food cravings.

Some people may not tolerate caffeine very well and experience over-dose like feelings such as: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.

Although there is no proven evidence that says caffeine is harmful to an unborn fetus, it is widely known and accepted that caffeine should be limited to (the equivalent of)  one or two cups of coffee per day.

I personally have “gone off” caffeine several times. Each time I endured 2-3 days of physical pain in the form of severe headaches and nausea.

I am currently off caffeinated coffee but have been having small doses of caffeine in decaf coffee and chocolate, occasionally. I do not drink green or black tea at all.

Yesterday I was unwittingly served a caffeinated coffee  and was not aware of this until 1-2 hours later. I  noticed that I was jittery and scatter-brained and couldn’t figure out why. When I was told of the coffee mix-up, I rationalised my confused state to the excess caffeine.

There’s no denying it: Coffee and caffeine products are big business and keep getting bigger. It does make me wonder though….

Do we need to be stimulated all the time? And are we just trading off one drug for another?

Cigarettes are no longer in fashion and are now a known health hazard but coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks are very sociable, acceptable and consumption is on the rise……for the moment.


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Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.