Week 28

As I get closer to my goal I will be dedicating a blog post for each week.
This week I have had to make a few sacrifices but I wouldn’t say it was a hard thing to do.

This last weekend we had family friends arrive from New Zealand.  We had a busy day planned for Saturday and as much as I wanted to make excuses that I couldn’t go to the gym because I didn’t have time I knew I had to go…….NO EXCUSES!
I was up early and at the gym at 7 when it opened, given I am training for the Mothers Day Classic in a few weeks I have decided to just focus on the 4.5km I need to do and do it well.  I smashed it out and was just home in time for our friends to arrive even if I did have to give them hugs whilst I had my towel wrapped around me from my shower 🙂

We headed out to see some sights of Brisbane, sometimes its nice to be a tourist in your own City, we haven’t been up to Mt Coot-tha in a few years.  It was definitely a beautiful day for it, 27 degrees, a beautiful breeze and clear skies, perfect for panoramic views of Brisbane.
We had morning tea up there and whilst others indulged I had my 2 plain biscuits that I had packed and a juice. 
We headed down to Southbank and jumped on a CityCat for a cruise down the river, it was so nice and the boys loved being on the water. 
Once back at Southbank we had a beautiful picnic lunch in the park, whilst everyone else had hot chips and sandwiches I stuck with just my sandwiches but I was OK with that knowing that we had a beautiful roast chicken dinner with veges and a beautiful Apple & Feijoa Tart for dessert waiting for us when we got home.

Whilst on this journey I have learnt that I cant always have the nice things or what everyone else is having and I do have to go without sometimes so I can have a treat when I feel like one.
I don’t need to eat when others are, in the past I would eat at morning tea because everyone else was, not because I was hungry, now its a very different thought process around eating………….am I really hungry?

One of my goals was to fit into my size 14 grey pants by 30th April, lets just say they fit but they don’t fit well.  I bought them years ago, well before children and they are hipsters.  What was I thinking, my legs fit and my bum fits but there is a definite muffin top.  By the time they fit my hips they will be too big for my legs……….oh well.

Typically my Mondays and Tuesdays are my good days, I generally eat more over the weekends and to keep under my 9100 calorie goal per week its just something i need to do to make sure i achieve my goals.
Yesterday I met with Scott (my dietitian) who was extremely pleased with my progress, since seeing him last (4 weeks) i have lost 3.3kg.  Keep doing what I am doing he tells me.  He can see the difference from last month when I had started to let me weekly calorie total creep up over 9400.

Weekly Stats


Selfies are never great. 79.9kg

Start Weight: 104.2kg
Weigh in 01/05/13: 0.5kg Loss
Total Loss: 24.3kg in 28 weeks
Current Weight: 79.9kg
Current BMI: 28.6 (started at 37.4)
Total Percentage Weight Loss: 23.32%

Calories Consumed: 9120….a little over
Sugars Consumed: 326grams
Exercised: 6 times
Exercise Calories: 1195

YES, YOU READ RIGHT………….I AM IN THE 70’S!!! So so happy 🙂
 

Did somebody say CHOCOLATE

When counting calories, it’s hard to get a quick sweet fix but these three recipes will keep you going.  They are healthy but meant for a treat only.

Paleo Fudge
Thanks to Candice

Ingredients:
26 medjool dates (i used normal pitted dates)
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Raw Cacao Powder (from the health food store)

Directions:
Soak your pitted dates in warm water for approx 20 Min’s.  Drain and blitz until them resemble a thick paste, add your coconut oil and cocoa powder.  For those not wanting a really strong rich taste I would suggest less cocoa powder for your first try.
Press into a lined tin and cool in the fridge. 
Slice into small pieces (should make over 50) and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes:
For added flavour you can add some zested orange or coconut to the top.

Makes: 60
Total Calories: 1926
Approx Calories: 32 per small square

Chia, Date & Walnut Slice
Thanks to Women’s Fitness Magazine – May 2013

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
3/4 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 cup White or Black Chia Seeds
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tbsp Unsweetened Cacao Powder (sifted)
2 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 cups Pitted Dried Dates (chopped)

Directions:
Place the oats, walnuts, coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
With the motor running, start adding the dates a few pieces at a time, processing until you’ve used all the dates and the mixture begins to come together.  Now bring it together by hand, added 1-2 tsps of cold water if necessary.
Press mixture evenly into a round 20cm cake tin, smoothing the surface firmly with the back of a spoon.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes: 40
Total Calories: 2471
Approx Calories: 62 per small square

Dairy Free Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:
1 Ripe Avocado (straight from the fridge)
1 Frozen Banana (peeled and cut into chunks before freezing!)
3 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
2 tbsp Raw Honey (optional)
Squeeze of lemon
Water as required
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:
Blend all ingredients until smooth

Makes: 4
Total Calories: 482
Approx Calories: 121 per serve

Don’t eat too much now 🙂

No more soft drink


About a month ago I purchased a book “Skinny Bitch” By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, I couldn’t put it down.
It talks a lot about food and whats good for you and whats not.  The principal is that you become a Vegan but I can honestly say that I like my meat too much and wont be going down that path however there are a lot of things that I will be doing and the first is to cut out soft drink.


A bit of history….I wouldn’t say I’m a big soft drink consumer but it’s nice to have a can of lemonade or a gingerale out on a hot day or when you’re out having lunch etc.  We also used to purchase 2 bottles of diet tonic water a week and would have those with our dinner.  Yes they were diet but when I read “Skinny Bitch” and did my own research I made the decision that I wouldn’t be consuming soft drink anymore.  I spoke to my husband about it and he also made the decision not to have it, this in turn meant that when our older son would ask for “fizzy” next (which he doesn’t get a lot of, maybe 1/2 cup once a week as a treat) that we would have to explain to him that we don’t drink it anymore.

We armed ourselves with plenty of lemons “Lets talk LEMONS” and a jug and have got into the habit of making a jug of lemon water when we get home in the afternoons.  This helps with our overall water consumption and it also means we are not putting any excess sugar or diet substances into our body.

To start with I really struggled, what was I going to do without diet soft drink? 
We all know that normal soft drink is not good for calorie controlled eating with all that sugar.  Initially i didn’t really miss it but inadvertently I ordered a diet coke whilst out to lunch with a group of friends about a week into my soft drink ban, thankfully the barman was OK when I cancelled my order 1/4 glass in and asked for a lemon water instead. 
Not only is it healthy but its saving us money.  We would spend $3.60 a week on 4 bottles of diet soft drink and in addition possibly another $10 between the 2 of us whilst we were out and about on the weekends.
If we did that every week that’s a grand total saving of $707.20 a year.  It really does add up.


I have been soft drink free for approx a month now and I feel really good about it.

Here is an extract from “Skinny Bitch” about soda drinks – Please bearin mind when reading that the book is American.

“Braceyourselves, girls: Soda is liquid Satan. It is the devil.  It isgarbage.  There is nothing in soda thatshould be put into your body.  Forstarters, sodas high levels of phosphorous can increase calcium loss from thebody, as can its sodium and caffeine. [Cousens, Conscious Eating, 475]You know what this means-bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.  And the last time we checked, sugar, found insoda by the boatload, does not make you skinny! 

Now don’tgo patting yourself on the back if you drink diet soda.  That stuff is even worse.  Aspartame (an ingredient commonly found indiet sodas and other sugar-free foods) has been blamed for a slew of scarymaladies, like arthritis, birth defects, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, lupus,multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.  Whenmethyl alcohol, a component of aspartame, enters your body, it turns intoformaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is toxic andcarcinogenic (cancer-causing). Laboratory scientists use formaldehyde as a disinfectant orpreservative.  The don’t f****** drink it.  Perhaps you have a lumpy ass because you arepreserving your fat cells with diet soda. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more complaintsabout aspartame than any other ingredient to date. 
Want more bad news?When aspartame is paired with carbs, it causes your brain to slow down itsproduction of serotonin.  A healthy levelof serotonin is needed to be happy and well balanced.  So drinking soda can make you fat, sick andunhappy.
 

Unless you’refrom Mars, you’ve heard about the “eight glasses of water a day” thing. 

If you’re filling up on 16 ounces of liquidSatan at a time, chances are you’re not getting your 64 ounces if water aday.  Water is vital for keeping yourbody clean and detoxified.  It literallyflushes out all the s*** and toxins your body stores from your horrendousdiet. 

You mightbe fat because you don’t poop enough. Drinking lots of water can help with the elimination process.  If the taste of water bore you, try jazzingup the flavor with a slice of lemon or lime, or, if you’re feeling sassy, tossin a strawberry or raspberry.  Say goodbyeto soda and say hello to a sweet ass.” 
 

Here issome Australian information on Aspartame:

 
If you’re still with me, lets talk about sugar and in detail sugar in drinks, and what it does to you.
 
 
Most soft drinks and fruit juices you buy taste sweet because they contain a lot of sugar.
Can you guess how many spoons of sugar are in what you consume?
Type and amount of drink Sugar approx teaspoons/pack
Regular can of soft drink (375 ml) 9-13
375 ml can – Cola 9-11
375 ml can – Diet cola 0
375ml can – Carbonated mineral water 0
250 ml pack – Pure fruit juice 4-9
300 ml bottle – Fruit juice and mineral water 5-8
250 ml pack – Fruit juice drink 5-9
300ml carton – Normal, full fat milk 4
300 ml carton – Chocolate flavoured milk 6-8

Why should you say no to sugar?

Your body turns the foods that you eat and drink into the energy it needs to grow and function. Different types of drinks contain different levels of energy. The amount of energy in food and drink is measured in either ‘calories’ or ‘kilojoules’.

Soft drinks and alcohol are often called “empty calories”. This means they contain sugar, water and colour but very little else. They provide some energy for your body but contain almost none of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

Soft drinks will make you feel full but not for long, give it 30 Min’s and you will feel like you have had nothing and may even be hungrier.
 
Do you still want that soft drink with your meal?
 
Is there an alternative? Hell YES!
 
Stevia
I purchased Stevia for the first time approx 4 weeks ago when I gave up soft drink and now its all we use at home unless I am baking and depending on the recipe I may use normal sugar in smaller amounts.
Stevia is a plant extract which can be purchased from health food shops and recently it has been seen in many mainstream supermarkets.

If you are going to use sugar I would highly recommend using raw sugar as it is less refined.

Energy Balls

Recently I made some super yummy energy balls.  The recipe was provided by a friend of mine and is so easy to make.

Grab yourself a bowl and a few healthy ingredients and you will have a yummy snack that really does make you feel better.

Everything you need for a ball of goodness

1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter (from the healthfood section)
1/2 cup Flaxseeds (Flaxseed meal can be used as well)
1 tbsp Chia Seeds (Black or White)
1/3 cup Rice Malt Syrup or Honey
1/2 cup Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla Essense
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 cup Dairy Free Choc Chips (from the healthfood section)

Mix all ingredients and place in the fridge to cool for approx 1 hour.
With slightly wet hand, rolls into 20c piece balls and store in a airtight container in the fridge.

Makes: 35
Approx Calories: 61 per ball

These are perfect as a snack, my whole family love them.

Enjoy

Variations:
You can add more oats however you will need to add more liquid to bind.  You can either add more peanut butter, rice malt syrup/honey or more vanilla. 
You can also add regular choc chips if you dont want to use the dairy free variety.

Lunch on the run

I completely admit that its not always possible to have a healthy nutritious lunch on the run. 
Maybe you are out of the office in meetings or maybe you are at home with the kids and tend to snack all day or maybe just like me today I was a little unorganised and didn’t put much thought into lunch.
I thought I would share a healthy and nutritious lunch that should keep you going for hours and is under 300 calories.
There are a lot of convenience foods on the supermarket shelves but unfortunately a lot of them contain some nasties. If you get into the habit of reading labels you will generally be able to tell at a glance if something is good or not. 
Something that has taken my fancy of late is SunRice Quick Cups. 
I highly recommend the Stir Fry Brown Rice which is 236 Cal’s per cup.

 

If you are new to brown rice or just don’t like it, SunRice do have a white rice alternative.

You can add a few veges, a bit of chicken or better still I add an egg.  With a small boiled egg added it comes to a grand total of 296 calories for lunch, its also low GI so will keep you going for longer.
I boil my eggs the night before and then heat in a little hot water before adding to my rice once its been cooked in the microwave for approx 40 seconds.

Today i enjoyed my healthy convenient lunch of brown rice with egg on one of the fabulous bridges of Brisbane.  We are lucky that there are seating areas to enjoy the view.

 
 

Lets talk LEMONS

 

Saying that Lemons are a super food is an understatement. 
Not only do they add abundant flavour to a variety of dishes they also have a heap of health benefits.
Personally, I first discovered lemon as a health benefit whilst I was pregnant with my 2nd child.  I was told that it was great for heartburn……how ridiculous.  How can such an acidic fruit be good for heartburn.  When you are chewing antacids that taste like chalk in the dozens you will try anything.  I was shocked when the heartburn subsided and can honestly say that every other day following that wonderful day I had lemon water to help with heartburn.

Start your day with a large glass of water with the juice of a whole, freshly-squeezed lemon. While lemons may seem acidic, they have the opposite effect on your body as it metabolises them.

Below are a few facts about lemon:

  • Prevent kidney stones – Drinking half a cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine.  Studies have shown that this could protect against kidney stones.
  • Sore throat? – Mixing lemon juice with honey can alleviate the discomfort that comes with a sore throat.
  • Support weight loss – The key word here is Support, you need to be realistic, if you have a healthy diet with exercise than drinking lemon will assist with weight loss.  Lemon juice contains pectin which is a soluble fibre that has been shown to aide in weight loss.
  • Start your day right – Forget the coffee and start your day with a luke warm cup of water and lemon juice which will stimulate your digestive track and add much needed vitamin C
  • Got an itch? – Mix a little lemon juice with cornflour to make a paste for a sting
  • Bad digestion? – Dr. Oz suggested a mixture of lemon juice and flax seeds in order to eliminate waste more quickly from your body.
  • Balance your body’s PH – While lemons may seem quite acidic they will assist in balancing PH.
  • Drink too much last night? – Lemons provide a natural strengthening agent to liver enzymes when they are too diluted.

ARE YOU CONVINCED YET?

Here’s some more just in case………..

  • Are you a bleeder? – Lemon helps purify the blood and will also control a tendency to bleed
  • High blood pressure? – Lemon assists in lowering high blood pressure
  • A bit gross but Lemon reduces the amount of phlegm in the body
  • Lemon can assist in relieving the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems
  • Healthy Mind – Lemon nourishes the brain and nerve cells due to its potassium content.

I have a 2L jug of water on my desk at work and it has a whole lemon squeezed into it everyday.  I love lemon water and feel so good after drinking it.

Have you bought your lemons yet?

Run Run Run or should i say Jog

My 3rd mini goal was to jog for a least 30 Min’s at speed 7 on the treadmill by 28th Feb 2013.
How did I achieve this goal, i broke it down into weekly milestones so I had something to strive for.

  1. Jog for 15 Min’s out of 30 by 12th Jan 13 – done
  2. Jog for 17 Min’s out of 30 by 19th Jan 13 – done
  3. Jog for 20 Min’s out of 30 by 26th Jan 13 – done
  4. Jog for 23 Min’s out of 30 by 2nd Feb 13 – done
  5. Jog for 25 Min’s out of 30 by 9th Feb 13 – done
  6. Jog for 27 Min’s out of 30 by 16th Feb 13 – done

There is definitely no secret to running or should I say jogging.  I think it’s a lot of mind over matter.  “The voices in my head that tell me I cannot run are LIARS” is just one of my mantras that i repeat to myself when my mind tells me I need to stop. 
I can breathe perfectly fine (OK I’m puffing a lot and am as red as a beetroot) and my legs are keeping fine but my mind is telling me to have a break……MUST KEEP GOING.

My reward to myself if I achieved all of the above was to buy new exercise clothes.  I purchased myself 2 x size 16 Michelle Bridges tops and love them.