Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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My diet is making me sick

sick picIn January, I was feeling great and looking good! So good, that I reintroduced complex carbs, wheat and gluten, dairy, some caffeine and yeast.

It’s now March 25th and I have been feelings like utter crap for weeks now. And it’s not just physical. That part of it is always to be expected.

It’s the mental fog, apathy, loss of motivation and cravings that I am dealing with that is making me crazy.

I know it’s my diet.

I’ve been playing this on and off again game with my diet for the past 8 years. And for sure, I have ragged on about it here before.

Recently, I have been in and out of the doctor’s office, mostly getting blood tests to rule out various diseases, infections and allergies. Everything came back negative. That’s a good thing but I still have my issues.

  • Severe bloating 
  • Fullness after eating medium-sized meals
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion (occasionally)
  • Laziness
  • Mental fog
  • Apathy
  • Low energy
  • Unsightly skin problems (since Jan 2012)
  • Asthma (since April 1995)
  • Nasal polyps (since April 1995)
  • And lately, recurrent throat infections (since Aug 2012)

The severe digestion issues have been on the increase for the past couple of years.

Now that all my tests came back negative, the doctor has said the next step is for me to see a Gastroenterologist and he/she will most likely issue a colonoscopy because I am a high-risk patient.

I am now “labeled” high risk because my sister died of a rare form of cancer 18 months and another sister has been recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Oh, and I am over 40.  Seriously, if I were also coeliac all of this could be explained easier.

I’ve yet to make an appointment with a specialist. I don’t know if I will but the fact that my sister died only 5 weeks after her diagnosis is playing on my mind. If she had of gotten tested earlier, would she still be alive?

I feel I am in tune with my body and I know what I need to do: STOP EATING THE FOODS THAT MAKE ME FEEL BAD

And like I said, I have done this over and over again but then I feel good and think, ‘I can have a little…’, then BANG.

I am fat, bloated, farty and can’t even stand being me anymore.

wheat belly

No, I’m not 5 months pregnant. I just ate some wheat today.

But the more wheat/gluten items I eat, the more I want. It’s like an addiction and I can’t stop myself even to save my health.

But I will do it again.

April 1st is the day. I’ll be going back on my restricted diet which will include  many complex carbs too. NO GLUTEN, RICE, NOODLES, YEAST, DAIRY (EXCEPT YOGHURT), CERTAIN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (POTATOES).

I cannot just go cold turkey  instantly. I have to slowly work my way up to it. I tried it a few days ago and lasted 1 day. Then I baked a chocolate cake.

Thank goodness I am waiting until after Easter. You know I’ll be overdosing on chocolate and hot-cross buns this week (homemade buns of course).

Gotta go now. It’s pasta for dinner. I’ll just have a small portion but will saviour it to the last bite.

Are there any foods that you know you should avoid but just cannot stay away from ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m a cheater and I’m ok with that

As I write this I have a lollypop in my mouth. They were not on my list of what to eat when I set my latest (but not greatest) food challenge.

Yes, I’ve been cheating. Not great amounts, just small samples here and there. The thing is – I rarely do this. I am usually very diligent and reliable, especially when it comes to my health.

I set the 4-week challenge as a way to cut back on my over-indulgence and that has worked. My daily beer habit is gone but I did have about 6 beer over the past 3 weeks, which is nothing compared to the daily 3 I had become accustomed to.

I have had very little wheat, none to even speak of but I have had some gluten-free fruit toast over the past 3 days. And the only dairy I have is the probiotic yoghurt, which is a must for my gut. Oh…actually that’s a lie. Last week we had dinner at Dough Pizza in Perth (I had the chicken salad) and I sampled some chocolate gelato and tiramasu. YUM, they were both fantastic. And believe me, I needed the sweets badly. That was the day my Mac crashed. I was not in a good mood. And you know what? Eating that chocolate really boosted me up.

Halloween was the other night and Master T went trick or treating. I actually bought more treats to hand out at our door then he came home with but he had fun anyway. Yesterday I had a moment of weakness and consumed some potato chips. I didn’t even care. Sometimes I feel I’m too serious about this (and a lot of other things) so I just said, stuff it I’m going to have these and enjoy them! And I did until….

I then did my Thursday workout. I barely made it to the 20 minute mark. Gosh, it nearly killed me. I realised that I hadn’t eaten properly nor had I drank enough water during the day and then to eat potato chips just before hand??? Clearly, I wasn’t thinking!

So, the “cheating” consists of beer, lollies, dessert and 2 single serve bags of potato chips. It’s all good though. I’m not bothered by it because in general, I am sticking to healthy diet and (almost) daily exercise program. I’m coming close to balancing.

Plus, it’s November which means it’s NaNoWriMo month and I’m not sure restricting anything is advisable during this. So far I’m on target but it’s only day 2. I may have to call on chocolate again for mood enhancing later this month or tomorrow.

I have one more week left on this 4-week challenge then I can relax a bit and fall back into old habits….lol, no hopefully not. My in-laws are visiting next weekend.That was the reason for Nov 10th to be the cut-off. Really I’m still just trying to lay the foundation for permanent change and every stint helps me along.

On January 3, I will start Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method. I need the next 2 months to gear myself up for it. It won’t be easy – that I know. She’s full-on!! And there’ll be no cheating on Tracy!!!!

Have you ever cheated on anything?

 

 

 


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A(nother) new beginning

Day one of my 4-week health booster has been successful. I realise the day is not over but so far, I’m kicking ass…my own ass. Here’s a quick guide to my first day of the new(est) me!

Let’s get physical

I got out of bed at 6:30am, did my daily meditation, the 5 healing Tibetans and 2 rounds of khatu pranam (yoga). Wait, there’s more.

I then did 20 minutes of cardio in my back yard which consisted of a circuit of the following:

3, 2-minutes rounds of skipping

followed by 14 minutes of:

20 push ups

20 squats

80 punches

5 kicks

10 medicine ball lifts

20 medicine ball twists

5 backyard lengths of running with weight

15 stair jumps  (I jump to the second step)

This circuit list is performed as many times in the 14 minutes as you can manage. I did it 3 times. It’s meant to be 12 minutes but I usually cannot do all 3 rounds in that time so I’ve bumped it up to 14!!

I follow this (after a few minutes of  rest) with 3 rounds of a short cool down yoga sequence that I like, similar to a sun salutation.

I felt great after this early morning work-out!! I was so inspired and proud of myself that I went online and ordered myself a skimpy set of shorts and a crop/sports bra. I’m determined to look good in that get-up!!!

 
Just Eat It

Breakfast 9am:

45g of Carmen’s fruit-free muesli

1 TSBP greek yogurt

4 fresh strawberries

1 decaf soy flat-white (like a latte) sprinkled with cinnamon

WATER

Lunch 1pm:

Salad with a spray of balsamic vinegar

1 decaf coffee (as with breakfast)

 

soy coffee with cinnamon

Caffeine free detox tea at 2pm

Afternoon tea/snack 4pm:

Celery with hummus (homemade)

1 fresh date

cucumber slices

Dinner 6pm:

I’m in the process of making dhal. I love dhal and I make it from time to time. Most Indian food is a fantastic option for restricted diets.

I got this recipe from Radio NZ when chef Bill Granger was on speaking to Kim Hill. I modify it depending on what I have in the house so I will include alternatives. I always serve it with rice. Tonight, it will be with brown and wild rice..no white rice for me.

Dhal

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red/brown onion, finely sliced

2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 large green chili/chili flakes (decide how hot you want), finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/1 cup red lentils (I rinse first)

1 tbsp lime/lemon

Method:

Heat oil in pot, add onion, ginger, garlic, chili, salt and cumin and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Add the lentils and the water. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.Top with coriander leaves. Serve with rice and/or naan bread.

Dhal in the making. Step 1

 

 

Step 2

 

Last step..let simmer for 20 minutes

 

 

 

Homemade, healthy dhal ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lentil dish smells so good as all the flavors blend together. I absolutely love the smell of garlic and I’m so grateful to be able to experience it again!! Simply cannot wait to have dinner. I must say, I am famished!!! Water, I need more water!!!

This is the look I’m going for…lol…seriously though…Tracy Anderson is hot. I do own a DVD of hers and have managed to do it twice. It’s not easy and when I get it back (still have things to move from previous home), I intend to give it another go. Everyone needs goals…and for me, this one is within reach.

Tracy Anderson

As Mr M has another beer without me, I feel great here writing and inhaling wafts of garlicky dhal. I am motivated and inspired by skimpy fitness gear and Tracy’s abs to be the best, healthiest, sexiest woman I have ever been. Who’s coming with me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Give It Up

Just Say No

Today is the Catholic holy day of Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent.

The word Lent is derived from the word “lencten”or “lenctentid”  which means Spring. For Christians, Lent is an important time of year; a time of penance, prayer and sacrifice.

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday. It is said that Lent consists of 40 days but there are clearly more than 40 days from today until April 8th, Easter Sunday. It seems there were/are different rules surrounding the custom.

Some were strict and allowed only one meal per day. Some made sacrifices only Monday-Friday. Some allowed Sunday to be a free-day. In general, it was a time for fasting and sacrifice and no meat, fish or animal products were to be taken. Over the years, the tradition has changed and some may choose to make up there own rules.

As a child, we participated in Lent even if only loosely. I remember the thoughts of giving up candy but I can’t confirm if it actually happened. I remember having fish on Fridays but I’m not sure if we gave up all other meat entirely. My parents divorced when I was 4-years-old, which was considered a sin so I was not brought up in the church, although my older siblings were.

In summary, from Ash Wednesday Christians give up rich, luxury food and animal products until Easter Sunday when a feast of baked ham or turkey with all the trimmings and mountains of chocolate are served as a reward. Or is it to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus? That always confuses me.

In these times of overindulgence on a daily (even hourly) basis, the custom of Lent is one to be embraced whether you are Christian or not. It’s only six weeks or so and who knows,  giving up meat, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine may even change your life.

Will you give up something for Lent this year?


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You Are What You Eat.

This post marks the end of the first week of a new year and new regime. Although I did not blog everyday, by now you get the gist of what my daily diet will be: oatmeal, rice, fruit, vegetables,nuts, seeds,  fish, chicken, smoothies,  decaf coffee, rooibos tea(and more, of course) are all foods that are healthy and “clean”.

Clean eating is free of excess sugar, fats, heavy sauces and processed ingredients. Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat”?

Now that I have “survived” the first week with NO issues, I will aim to blog 2-3 times weekly about my personal journey. As time permits, I will include one health and wellbeing piece.For today though, here’s what happened.

Weight: 50kgs

Exercise: 20 minute walk after dinner

Breakfast:

  • Fruit smoothie with LSA and rice milk
  • A handful of toasted nuts
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk
  • Vit C 1000mg
  • Bromelain

Early Lunch:

  • Salmon and vegetable risotto
  • One raw carrot
  • Vit C 1000mg

Mid-Afternoon

  • Decaf soy latte

Early Dinner

  • Home-cooked roast free-range chicken with roast potato, beetroot, onion, garlic, carrot and steamed peas and green beans with a small amount of homemade, gluten free gravy.
  • Vit C 1000mg

Physically: I feel awesome.

  • I am drinking more water.
  • I am having daily bowel movements with NO issues.
  •  I am not having that afternoon tired feeling that I have when I eat excess sugar or bread products.
  • My sinuses are improving greatly.
  • I’ve only used my ventolin twice this entire first week.

There is so much literature out there at the moment about New Year resolutions and how they are set up to make you fail or how you can achieve them or whatever. I think if you are true to yourself and you are doing something entirely for yourself, there can be no failure. 2012 is going to be a great year; I can feel it.


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What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.

Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.

Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.

From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.

In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.

Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.

He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.

My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.

I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.

On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again.  I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.

Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.

After my third nasal surgery....attractive, eh?

A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.

When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.

Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.

Sinful

On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!

Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.

Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :

http://www.imnotfussy.com.au/JenniferMorton.aspx