Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Discipline Master or Control Freak?

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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?’

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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).

Eat-No-Meat

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.

Live it up

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Hospital, starvation, drugs and a good book

I checked into Joondalup Health Campus (Private) at 3:30pm on Monday as scheduled. I was not allowed any food that day but had to drink lots. This frequent liquid intake helped with hunger pangs but by early evening I felt like I was hallucinating. When the orderly brought my “dinner” I had never been so excited to consume artificial colours in the form of cordial and jelly (Jello).

june 13 dinner

Dinner…yum

I spent most of the evening reading A Fault in Our Stars by John GreenI had started it the night before and had to force myself to turn the light off and go to bed so I was less than 40 pages in when I got to the hospital. From 4pm until 730pm I sipped and read, sipped and read. At 730, The Voice came on but I must say, I was more interested in my book than I was the show. Of course, by about 830pm the laxatives had kicked in so I was up and down. I can hear someone yell STOP, so I will not go into those details. It wasn’t that bad though.

june 13 hos room

This is only half of my private room.

june 13 me reading

A selfie of me doing what I do best

I stayed up reading until 11pm but I did not get a sound sleep – too much back and forth or fear of going through my mind to really rest. Even so, my mini “holiday” was delightful. Sad to think that is how I find solitude and some ME time. FFS!!

At 6:40am I was woken by the nurse for yet another dose of laxative. Ok, Ok I’m not saying more. I drank it and picked up my book again.

This book, which BTW, is a Young Adult read is fantastic. I was hooked from page 1. It’s dark; there’s a lot of death and sadness but the love story is heart warming and hopeful. It’s beautifully written  the characters are all loveable creatures (well, most of them).  I can only dream of being as good a writer as John Green some day. I was lucky to be so engrossed that I didn’t have much time to consider the procedure that was upon me. Before I knew it, it was time to shower with the hospital grade antibacterial body wash and immediately afterwards, I was taken to surgery.

It’s quite confronting being wheeled through the ward, down the elevator and through hallways with all eyes on you as you pass. When we got to the holding area, I was left there for a few minutes before a nurse covered me with a warm blanket. How great are those blanket warmers? I was all warm and snug until the anaesthetist came and asked me a zillion questions before whisking me off to the theatre.

I saw my doctor, who I had only ever met once before and he spoke to me for about 30 seconds before the anaesthetist gave me the shot. It  entered my bloodstream through my right hand. I felt it slowly cooling my arm as the nurse asked me to open wide for the mouth piece. That’s it. The next thing I remember was the opening and closing of my eyes as two nurses stood by my bed back in the holding area. They were talking about something that had happened the day before or to another staff member or something. I struggled to hold my eyelids open then gave up and just enjoyed the inability.

I spent the next 2-3 hours in my room waiting for my blood pressure to come down and the drugs to wear off. I was given lunch (gluten-free) and read until Mr M and Master T arrived to get me. The nurse came and gave me a report to take home.

All I know at this point is this: “Normal lower GI endoscopy”.

I am still waiting for the biopsy report to be sent to my GP.

What I have noticed is this. On the morning after I had had no food for 36 hours, my tummy was flat. Now that I am eating again it is constantly bloated and I am not having any gluten. Mr M says that I’m obsessing and maybe I am.

Maybe I am. I’ve always been really good at that.

 


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Why I have to eat gluten

bountyOfBread

For the past 2 weeks or so I have been eating the occasional gluten product. Cookies, cake, flour tortillas, beer; I even had pasta last night.

It started off so innocently but has escalated to contribute to increased gastrointestinal issues, low energy, sore throat, heaviness, body aches, lack of concentration and motivation; irritability, bloating and laziness.

Last night was the wake-up call I needed. I way overate: 2 beer, angel hair pasta, carrot cake and anniversary chocolates. My belly was so swollen and bloated that I looked 5 months pregnant. I woke up this morning swearing off gluten again.

Then I remembered…I have to keep eating it!

I’m getting tested for coeliac disease soon.

My sister, Christine was recently diagnosed which gives me a 25% chance of having the disease. I already know that I’ve spent the past 8 years on and off gluten in an attempt to “cure” my sinus issues and tummy problems. Never once was coeliac disease ever mentioned to me.

It’s been 18 months since another sister, Virginia died of cancers that attacked her bowels then the rest of her body very rapidly. Could she have been coeliac? Could a coeliac diagnosis have saved her? I can’t help but wonder.

When Christine was diagnosed, I went into denial mode. I thought they (the doctors) were wrong and urged her to ask questions. I said that I wouldn’t be tested. I’ve changed my mind.

I already know I have issues with gluten.

I have major sinus problems.

I have had 3 miscarriages.

I have had gastrointestinal problems with included pain for years now. 

I have a sister with the disease and another one dead to cancer.

I’m preparing myself for a positive diagnosis. 

Although I have been on & off restricted diets for 8 years, I am the one in control of when & how much I restrict. I am resisting the disease dictating my diet. I can’t expect my family to go gluten-free as well and I don’t think they will. Obviously, Master T will need to be tested if I am positive.

With the impending tests, I must remain on gluten products for up to the next 6 weeks. It makes sense. If there’s no gluten in my system, it will be hard to see if my body is reacting to it.

What I hate the most about eating gluten (besides the bloated tummy) is how I crave it more and more. I haven’t eaten anything healthy today at all.

Gluten also makes me lazy and heavy feeling. I couldn’t even get up out of bed this morning to do my fitness regime. So, along with the over-eating last night, I’m pretty upset with myself.

Coeliac Awareness Week is coming up. This year’s theme is Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m learning lots about the disease and how it is still highly under-diagnosed. According to Coeliac Australia, 4 out of 5 people with the autoimmune disorder do not even know it!

Could you be one of them? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Listen to your body

 

I’ve just stuffed down a piece of homemade (by me) pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. I had to force it down because I am so full from dinner: 3/4 of a veggie pizza and 3 beer.

Yes, I’m on a binge.

No, I’m not happy with myself.

I’ve had a shithouse day full of disappointment and self-induced stress but nevermind that, the binge was premeditated.

See, tomorrow is the start of another health kick or health booster as I’m calling this latest stint.

I’ve fallen back into the habit of  drinking alcohol everyday, whether I really feel like it or not and my eating habits are getting slack as well.

I’ve been baking too.

Raspberry white chocolate muffins

Banana cake, chocolate chip cookies, muffins…and of course, I eat it! The muffins…yummy!

I’ve also had a hamburger and I don’t even eat RED MEAT!!! Damn, it was delicious!

 

Hamburger with homemade pesto and salad

 

I said it before. I love food. I like to have a beer or two on a hot day. I love homemade baked goods and I’m pretty good at making yummy things. But it’s now time to listen to my body.

I’ve had a few headaches lately and my respiratory system is becoming clogged up again. Thankfully, I still have my sense of smell and taste, which is great but also makes it hard for me to resist good food. And  when I hear the word resist, I think of Eckhart Tolle when he says:

“What you resist, persists”

 

I truly feel ill at the moment. I’ve eaten so much tonight that I feel sick but I am still thinking, ‘only 3 hours left of today, then it’s back on the wagon, what else can I eat?’

But I cannot eat or drink another thing tonight so for the next 4 weeks (minus Oct 27th when I have dinner plans in Perth), I will be on my health booster which will include the following guidelines:

 
On the menu

 

Protein: Chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds

 

Carbs/Starch: Brown rice, oats, gluten-free pasta

 

Oils: olive, sesame

 

Dairy: Greek yogurt, sheep’s feta

 

Veg: All except carrot, corn, potatoes

 

Fruit: ONLY berries, green apple, pear, lemon, lime

 

Drinks: Decaf tea/coffee, soy/rice milk, water – NO ALCOHOL or SUGAR Drinks

 

Limit sugar, fat, processed foods

 
Fitness (mind and body)

 

 

 

10 minutes meditation                                                  Daily

 

5 Healing Tibetans/yoga (15min)                             Daily

 

20 minutes (min) of cardio                                          4 times per week (M*, T, Th*, Sat)

 

1.5 hour yoga class                                                          Wednesday

 

* Training with Mr M

 

I do not need to lose weight, just tone and get rid of the beer bloat. I know for sure that I feel and look better when I cut out all the junk that my body doesn’t need. Gosh, I know I sound like a broken record and I truly hope that someday I will get to where I want to be. For now, I will get back up after I have fallen…again and again and again.

The thing is, I secretly look forward to these “restricted” periods. For some reason, I cannot go without unless I give myself a date and some rules. Control issues? Probably, but whatever works at the time.

October and November is a great time to get healthy before the Christmas season kicks off. Nobody in their right mind tries a health plan or restricted diet during that time!!

If you’re trying a new eating regime, remember this: it’s hard work and you really need to want it bad enough to be successful at it. (Yes, I’m talking to myself here…lol.)

 

 

 

 


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If I were a fitness freak…..

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.

3 2-minute rounds of skipping

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).

 

Ab work is a must

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.

Now I’m angry

 

I need to kick my muffin habit

 

 

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?


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I’m a control freak when it comes to food.

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).

 

The chocolate banana muffin (regular size not the mini version).

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).

 

 

  1. Mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add it to 2 TBSP of oil in a saucepan; sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Do not burn.

Step 1

2. Add 1tsp of dried basil or mixed Italian herbs (that’s what I use)

Step 2

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.

Step 7

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.

13. Serve.

Step 13….don’t serve with recipe card!!

14. Eat.
15. Enjoy.
16. Love

 

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.

 

Inner Health for ummm inner health

 

I love this yoghurt.It may be dairy but it’s good for the tummy!

 


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GET THAT BREAD AWAY FROM ME!!!!!!!!!!

hmmmmm…..bread

It’s day 16 of my NO wheat, dairy, yeast and alcohol fit and it’s not going well. It’s not like I’m “cheating” or anything but I’ve not been well, I’m sensitive and I find myself wanting to devour a loaf of raison bread or any other comfort food (mainly bread).

Master 6 loves raisin toast so it’s in the house most days. I am grateful that my sense of smell is dead and I do not have to be tempted by wafting aromas of cinnamon and warm raisins as I make his third piece. Meanwhile, I’m spreading another rice cake with chunky peanut butter.

It’s been over a week now since I contracted a cold that has shifted to my chest and considering I have weak lungs already, it’s messy. I also have a sore throat and the obvious sinus congestion but I am not willing to seek the help of western medicine….yet.

I returned to my weekly yoga class yesterday where I had to “take it easy” on the advice of my instructor. She made me realise that, YES I’m still sick and I need more rest. I do push myself physically on occasion, mostly when I shouldn’t do at all. But then, I got a wakeup call.

Whilst in a wide legged forward stretch, I nearly lost the plot. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and luckily I could bow to the tri-coloured carpet for solace. Some deep breaths took it all away. I stuffed the emotion down deep in my soul not even knowing where it was coming from. But later it resurfaced at the dinner table.

As per the norm, I made the menu for the evening’s dinner and prepared the feast alone: BBQ drumsticks, rice, sunrise carrots and steamed spinach. I like to cook and don’t mind preparing meals for my family. Dinnertime is not my favourite time of day because of the constant dramas created by Master 6. He’s one fussy bugger and kicks up a fuss at the table 90% of the time.

The dinner that caused my breakdown.

He did his usual whinge at the fact that I put a carrot on his plate but it was Mr M’s reaction to the BBQ chicken that set me off. Drumsticks are a bitch to cook on the BBQ because they take so long and usually burn a bit. I marinated them in a homemade teriyaki sauce before cooking so the sugars caused some additional burning.  When I told Mr M what the marinate was, he gave me, ‘Oh, that’s why’, with a look that was full of disappointment.

I could feel the tears brewing again as I forced a carrot in my mouth. As I chewed and tried to swallow, the bottled up feelings left over from the morning said, ‘Oh no, we don’t want any more of your suppression down here…get rid of it now,’ .  I felt the ugly cry invade my face and couldn’t sit there as Mr M ate and Master T picked and complained so I got up and left the room.

I had every intention of getting over it and returning to my meal but as I sat in the lounge overhearing a casual conversation that eventually escalated to a fight for an ice cream dessert, I couldn’t go back. I felt so unappreciated and tired that I just left Mr M to clean up and Master T to cry himself silly over carrots vs. ice cream while I showered and went to bed to read my MiNDFOOD magazine. Nearly 12 hours in bed did some good.

I woke this morning and felt slightly better. After my regular morning routine of mediation and the 5 Healing Tibetans, I made the boys pancakes for breakfast.

I’ve decided to forgo fitness training and other strenuous activities until I am better. I was considering starting a 2-week anti-candida diet this weekend but have also passed on this thought. Although I am trying to do what’s good for my body, sometimes it doesn’t work in your favour. Until I’m over this chest cold, nutrition; rest, relaxation and reading are my priorities.

My new regime.