I haven’t kept up with posting regularly to this site and it’s been over two years since my last post. I will admit that at times over that two years I have been shocking with my eating and put on the weight I had lost in 2012. So I am here again to start eating right.
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In December 2015 my blood pressure was through the roof and my doctor told me to lose weight or be in hospital. So I got my head in the game and dropped 20kg between the beginning of December 2015 and April 2016. I struggled for the rest of last year with my dad being seriously ill and in hospital for half the year. Whilst he was ill we had my grandma ill in another hospital and we finally brought her home on Palliative Care in May 2016 and she passed away with the family surrounding her four days later.
To say these events impacted on me emotionally and my attitude to food is an understatement. I kept gaining and losing the same 4kg for months. In November we went on a cruise and I only put 2kg on and lost it within a week at home exercising and eating sensibly. However, upon my return to work after my holidays there was a lot of things going on and the stress levels were high. With Christmas, New Year and my birthday thrown in I totally let myself go again putting on 8kg of the hard lost weight! THIS STOPS NOW!
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So I will be blogging my way back to health. I’ve stopped exercising. I’ve stopped eating well. I’ve been allowing too much processed food to come in the house again for convenience. I feel horrible. I felt so energised last year with the right foods and the exercise. Even on the cruise I tried to make healthy choices however I kept up the exercise by going on a walk around the deck each morning and then using the stairs 90% of the time rather than the elevator.
So starting today I am back on track. I will go back and revisit the first weeks of the 100 Days of Real Food Challenge. A number of the things from the first few weeks of the challenge I am still doing, it’s just I am indulging in too many processed snacks and takeaway meals. I need to start following the reduction in processed food and takeaway not only for my health but for my wallet.
So revisiting Week 1:
“Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.”
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I have my meals prepped for work tomorrow. Breakfast is homemade muesli with seeds and nuts. Lunch is homemade tomato soup with fresh bakery bread. Snacks are grapes and almonds. Dinner will be Lisa’s refried beans and salad wraps toasted.
Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.
I am so bad at this. This challenge will be incredibly difficult for me as I’m very much an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m extremely happy. I binge eat. I am obese. I have major weight issues and illnesses associated with my weight. However, of all the challenges thus far this is the challenge I MUST take the most seriously. Even though I’m now eating much less processed food, I am still binge eating at times. I hoped by doing this challenge that I would lose weight but unsurprisingly that even binging on much healthier options still doesn’t necessarily mean weight loss.
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I also have a real problem stopping when eating a meal, because as most people of my age will remember “you must eat everything on your plate” which would have to be the biggest weight loss challenge we will ever face. I hate wasting food. I have that voice in my head saying “finish what is on your plate”.
With this challenge I promise to:
- Menu plan – the only foods on the menu plan will be clean, unprocessed foods.
- I will listen to my body and only eat when I am hungry.
- I will only put a small portion on my plate so that I don’t waste food.
- I will wait for 30 minutes after a meal before considering seconds.
- I will only have seconds if I am still hungry after 30 minutes.
Wish me luck…..
Well as I expected I struggled to find whole-grain flour this week. I honestly have no idea where to source this in Brisbane for a reasonable price. If anyone has any suggestions I’m open to hearing them.
However, whilst this week wasn’t entirely whole-grain we did have a brown rice meal and I did source the “best” of the supermarket bread to use for meals. We had the threat of a large amount of rain following cyclone Marcia this weekend and it has been really wet since Friday. I actually kept my daughter home from school as with the weather reports I wasn’t sure she’d be able to safely make it back home in the afternoon. This lead to us having a lazy, wet day which was lovely as I had to work dayshifts yesterday and today.
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One of the pluses of the rain on Friday was the much cooler weather and I decided to try making tomato soup from scratch. I found this Tomato Soup Recipe on Pinterest earlier in the week and whilst I’ve never been a fan of tinned tomato soup – I find it very fake – I thought I’d like to try a real food version. It turned out delicious although mine was slightly runnier than the picture on the recipe. However, teamed with toastie cheese sandwiches this was a huge hit with the three of us. So whilst I didn’t truly have a whole-grain week I did find a real food substitute for the fake tinned tomato soup – that has to count for something 😉
ALL grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.
I really think this challenge is going to be the hardest one so far for me. Not because I don’t like whole-grain but because what I’m discovering in the grocery market in Australia is that it is very hard to find whole-grain. Where I’m struggling is finding whole-grain flour.
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The biggest issue is that none of the major supermarkets in Australia stock true whole-grain flour. Aldi only stocks refined white flour and white rice so their out. Coles and Woolworths stock wholemeal but the reality is that isn’t whole-grain, however they do stock brown rice. I’ve already converted to brown rice and the kids actually prefer it.
My goal over the next few weeks is to find a source of whole-grain products that are affordable. Sometimes I am jealous of the Americans who are spoiled for choice when it comes to changing to a real food diet as they seem to have more options. Wish me luck on that because anything I’ve seen so far has been very expensive and quite out of the range of a single mum!
This week has been interesting. Getting myself in the mindset that full fat is really what we should be consuming. What I’ve found interesting though is by coincidence I’ve had a couple of articles pop up in front of me when I’m looking for other things. All the recent thought is starting to go, hey we got this wrong, it looks like fat isn’t the enemy it’s sugar.
I must admit though to feeling a bit down about the fact I haven’t lost any weight doing this challenge. I think the problem is that I’m loving the real food so much I’m eating too much of it so I really need to be more conscious of how much I’m eating. I’m loving the real meals that I’m finding that fit in with this new lifestyle.
Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
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Well here is the big one I’ve known for weeks was coming having read Lisa’s site over the past twelve months. I gradually started in January to reduce these low-fat type products but must admit it’s gone against everything I’ve been taught over the years and I have struggled with this concept of getting rid of the low-fat/lite items. However, what I’ve read of late about the low-fat craze, it would appear that everything we have been told for years is wrong. We’ve been told for years to reduce the amount of fat we eat. Buy low-fat, lite, light, reduced fat, non-fat products. That by doing this we will lose weight. That by doing that we will be healthier. I’m really questioning this school of thought lately as I am starting to think that we have been told the wrong information. I believe, in the beginning, that the professionals thought this was right but in the face of recent studies it is beginning to look shaky.
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I’ve been checking labels when purchasing my groceries since starting this challenge and am amazed at the sugar levels in the low-fat foods. It does seem increasing sugar is used to replicate the taste of the reduced fat in items. This seems to make sense that these items are the reason the obesity epidemic is as bad as it is. It is looking more and more to me that sugar is the current culprit of the obesity epidemic not fat that we’ve been lead to believe for the last few decades. I’ve always used low-fat and lite products and I’m still obese. I can’t seem to shift the weight. Maybe there is something in this line of thought. So whilst I am really struggling to change my thinking on this I am definitely open to the idea that we have been wrong.
I really need to do some more reading on this topic as I’m really starting to think this is the cause of the problem, not fat as I’ve believed all my life. I really think this statement I saw on Facebook the other day says a lot about what we’ve done to ourselves over the past century. This is really food for thought……..
Image courtesy of diabetichealthclinic.org
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Well I’ve made the most of the pomegranate and coconut we tried. On Thursday I had nightshift and my son had two days at school coming up (he only goes in twice a term as he does distance education) so I spent the day Wednesday preparing foods for us. I spent the morning chopping pumpkin for Pumpkin Risotto for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I made Banana Blueberry Muffins as the bananas needed using. I had leftover pumpkin so made some Pumpkin Scones and the rest was for the dog. I grated up the coconut so it was easy to throw into things. I also attempted making hommus from scratch – I’m not quite sure I got it right but it’s edible.
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My son enjoyed his grapes, carrot sticks with hommus, pumpkin scone, muffin, and Greek yoghurt for his lunches. And my work dinner and snacks consisted of Pumpkin Risotto, Greek Yoghurt with pomegranate and grated coconut (LOVED the combination), cut up carrot sticks to go with my fresh hommus, and one of my muffins. Also the combination of raspberries and grated coconut for our overnight oats has become another favourite for my son and I.
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I posted on Facebook the difficulty with accessing the coconut and one person commented with an easier way to open them. This is what she said:
Coconut doesn’t have to be difficult; here’s the secret: Heat oven to 375. Find the three eyes at top of coconut and drill them or use a hammer and large nail. Drain coconut in container and refrigerate liquid for later use. Place coconut on cookie sheet and put in oven for 15 min. Remove. Coconut should have cracked in several places. At this point it is super easy to pry away shell from the meat. Lastly, peel the rest of the brown husky skin with a vegetable peeler. Coconut is now ready to used in whatever application you intend: raw, cooked, shredded, etc. I learned this from Alton Brown, tried it at home and it works like a charm. It also made the best coconut cake I have ever made or eaten (before I stopped using sugar and white flour).
So I will definitely give that a go the next time I purchase a coconut because I’m loving the freshness of the grated one being added to yoghurts and oats.
Well we’ve tried our two new whole foods tonight – fresh coconut and pomegranate. I’ve had both along time ago as a kid so thought it was a good time to re-acquaint myself with them. My son and I were picking up fresh fruit and vegetables and I asked him to choose something he hadn’t tried before and he chose the fresh coconut.
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My daughter had tried fresh coconut previously but my son hadn’t. I now fully understand why I have never bought fresh coconuts – that was an event to get into it, although my daughter enjoyed bashing it with a hammer! I now know why they’re good for you, because you use more calories getting into them they you get from eating them. My daughter loved it, I loved it, but my son didn’t. He tried the coconut milk and fresh coconut but didn’t like it. As he is my child who is more adventurous with trying new foods I’m cool with that. I did suggest to him that we grate it and put it in our overnight oats with some raspberries and see how that goes and he was agreeable to that.
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The pomegranate wasn’t how I remembered it – isn’t it strange how things seem so much different when you’re older? I remember having a tree at some point in my childhood and picking and eating them. We all liked the pomegranate although I wouldn’t be able to eat a whole fruit on its own. Maybe I should have it in a fruit salad or add to some greek yoghurt.
This week try a minimum of two new whole foods you’ve never had before.
Well the challenge for this week is one that I will have to think about. I have always been quite adventurous with trying new foods and so have no idea what to try this week. Maybe I will look at trying something that I didn’t like in the past or haven’t had for a number of years. Watch this space.
Well this week didn’t go as well as I would have liked but I did make some small inroads. I promised to sit down and do a menu plan but that went by the wayside even though I did do an audit of my pantry, fridge, and freezer. I just never got around to sitting down and writing my menu plan. I did endeavour most of the time to make healthy meals although there was one fast food lunch – Nando’s. We ate their chicken wraps which are fairly good but paired it with chips which is not good at all. We did, however, only get a jug of water and didn’t purchase soft drinks with our meal. I will continue to try to make better choices in the future!
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We did have one catastrophe. The freezer was accidentally left ajar overnight on Friday and wasn’t found until about 3pm yesterday and everything had defrosted. I cooked up the meat and vegetables to make meals for the dog which she is loving. The kids and I became sick of bread as we endeavoured to eat the bread that had been in the freezer. We had to throw out a heap of food but given a good amount was processed food that I had intended to use up but not replace. I am choosing to frame this “catastrophe” as a blessing and not think about how much the food I threw out cost but to think that I have a lovely fresh and clean and only has non-processed foods in it.
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I’ll have to gradually fill it up again with meat and meals but I will do it with non-processed or minimally processed foods. At present there is only minimal amounts in there including frozen berries, frozen vegetables, homemade dog meals, and ice. I will be gradually filling it up over the coming weeks with homemade fruit and savoury muffins, leftover meals to take to work, meat, and full meals to use as “fast food” on our journey to cutting out quick processed meals.