Monday, 23 September 2013

Week 3 Whole30 + an eggy debate+That Sugar Film

Week 3 on the Whole30 and I'm cruising along nicely. I got over my crappy week 2 and have made some small changes to my meals.
I've cut out all the lovely bacon I was having for breakfast- it was making me feel a bit too greasy (if that's possible!), so I cut it. This is exactly what the program is about, listening to your body and working out what works for you. Everyone is different, and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another. Trial and error.

So now, upon waking, I have a shot of chlorophyll, followed by nearly 1 litre of H20, then I go and feed Jimmy. 30min later, I have a three egg omelette (2 whole eggs and 1 white), 2 cups of spinach wilted down, 1/4 avocado and 1 cup of mixed blueberries and raspberries or strawberries. I'll add in a banana if i'm going to exercise in the morning. Protein, fats, and carbs all there.

According to myfitnesspal (not sure if it's totally reliable, it breaks down to this:

You can ignore the fact that I have 'gone over' my cholesterol for the day (from my eggs)- just because you eat more cholesterol, doesn't mean your cholesterol will go up. Depending on your health and diet, your liver makes 3-10 times more cholesterol than what comes from your food
So if you're stressing your body with over consumption of carbohydrates (breads, wheats, processed foods which can damage your gut and cause systemic inflammation(stress)) and psychologcial stress, your body will produce more cholesterol to combat the cortisol (cholesterol and lipoproteins are cortisol precursors). 
Stress= an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) = increase in lipoprotein and cholesterol production. 
So eat right, and chill out and your cholesterol will be fine. 
I've got a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol (my skinny, fit and 'healthy' Grandfather dropped dead of a massive heart attack at age 68) my latest blood tests are perfect and I eat eggs everyday...

Many people ask me how I get my calcium if I don't eat dairy- well as you can see above- there is calcium in fruits and vegetables, and this is only one meal's worth.
I don't actually track my food like this everyday, I'm just using this as an example. And the goal are not what I aim for (they're based on a 1200cal low fat high carb BAD diet).
Anyway, I'm feeling great! My energy is level throughout the day, I'm sleeping wonderfully (thanks to Jimmy who sleeps through the night! Will love it while it lasts!) I wake up with a clear head and lots of energy.

I thought I'd share with you some of the reading I've been doing lately:
I've been following a blog by Damian Gameau, an Aussie actor/director  who's making a documentary on sugar titled 'That Sugar Film'. He is currently spending 60 days eating the same amount of sugar consumed by average American teenagers everyday (40 teaspoons).

That Sugar Film Pitch Teaser from DamonG on Vimeo.
During his 60 days he travels to an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory and explores the impact sugar is having on Indigenous Australians, and then to the US and finds a young boy with 'Mountain Dew mouth' getting all his rotting teeth extracted from drinking litres of soft drink everyday (a very common occurrence).
He also interviews scientist, and finds out how companies are actually doing research on how to get people addicted to sugar= consume more of their products (have you ever had just one lolly and been satisfied?). Kind of like what tobacco companies did- increase the nicotine in cigarettes so people become more addicted. I wonder if there will be lawsuits against producers doing the same with sugar...?
The amazing thing is that he is able to reach his sugar target by eating products that are marketed as 'healthy', 'low fat' foods.
eg Brekky was French toast and a chai. (I thought I would go out in style, sadly my 'style' was bloated and heart burn. 11 teaspoons.
One 'Honest kids' babies juice pack. It had raspberry and lemonade and contained real fruit juice. 8 teaspoons.
One small bowl of trail mix. 7 teaspoons.
One Peach, blueberry smoothie with low fat yoghurt and enema juice concentrate. Apple juice, apologies. 12 teaspoons.
One decaf with 2 sugars as I write this at the airport gate.
40 teaspoons. 

He is currently up to day 53 of 60, then he will go off and make a short film about his journey. So pop over and check out his blog, and keep an eye out for his doco- it will be very interesting viewing.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Whole30 week 2 and sweet potato chippies!

Another week down!
This week was tough. I was craving sweet food so badly!! I've eaten so many pears and apples this week it is crazy!! If I wasn't doing the Whole30 I would have made up a big batch of my chocolate avo mousse, smothered it on a banana and topped with it walnuts! OMNOMNOMNOM! But I am being good, and not going to do too much SWYPO (what the whole30 call Sex With Your Pants On- turning paleo foods into something that looks and tastes non-paleo)

The crap weather here is so depressing- getting stuck inside- I get bored...and then find myself eating...out of boredom. Argh. I'm beginning to recognise little habits that I have formed over the years relating to when I overeat the most, these are-
when it's depressingly bleak/ rainy weather,
when I watch a movie/ TV (hello popcorn!),
when I'm tired,
when I'm thirsty
and when I haven't planned my meals.
So as hard as it has been this week, I've also learnt a lot- and this is exactly why I'm doing the Whole30- a bit of self discovery!

I've also had my first experience of eating out- the waiter looks at me strangely when I ordered the vegetarian breakfast, hold the beans, with extra bacon instead, and no goats cheese!! The roasted tomatoes still came out with melted cheese on top (meh!) so that was a bit disappointing. I feel for the lactose intolerant people if this happens to them! No cheese means no cheese on anything!!

Apart from all my cravings- I am still feeling really good! I've had a couple of days where I felt really tired and lacked motivation to hit the gym- but really- I'm at home with a 10 week old baby and 3 1/2yr old, I'm going to get tired now and then.

So this week I'm going to try and plan all my meals ahead- pinterest have some great meal planner spreadsheets like this one here

Oh! And you must try making some sweet potato chips (a bit of SWYPO) but hey- it's all good!

Thinly slice sweet potato with mandolin or knife. The thinner the crispier they will get (but be careful not to burn them!)
Preheat oven to 150C
Lightly grease some baking paper with coconut oil.
Place thinly sliced sweet potato in single layer.
Spray with coconut oil
Cook in over for 10 min, or until edges crisp up, then flip and cook again for 10min. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Sprinkle with good quality sea salt/ himalayan salt.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Week 1 Whole30

Wow! I can't believe a whole week has passed. I survived my first week on the Whole30 plan- eating Paleo.
I went to a little afternoon birthday party, and a whole evening at a BBQ and didn't eat anything that wasn't part of a paleo diet. And no, I didn't starve! I had planned ahead- I brought my own meat to the BBQ (salmon) and a healthy big salad to share- like I always do. This one was just minus the cheese I normally would put in it. I was surrounded by lollies, chips, cake, dips, bread and potato salad.
Half of the food I can't eat anyway because it contains gluten, but keeping my fingers off the lollies was hard! But I really didn't feel like eating any of it- I've been feeling so good I didn't want to undo any of my progress.

But....last night I woke up after dreaming I was at a kids party and ate lots of chips and lollies. I felt so guilty!! And it wasn't guilt from eating the paleo foods- it was actually from the knowledge that I was only eating because the food was there in front of me. I was eating (in my dream) and I wasn't even hungry- it was totally emotional eating. I eat when I'm nervous/ stressed etc, and in my dream this is what I was doing! Argh! Clearly my subconscious is more addicted to that food than I physically am! Do you find yourself mindlessly eating party food- even though you're not even hungry?!

Why is this so bad I hear you ask- what is wrong with eating some lollies at a party- it's a celebration after all?
Well I'm trying to nourish my body. I'm trying to see food a nourishment- not a reward. And lollies and chips are not nourishment. They wreak havoc in my body- sugar highs, followed by crashes and mood swings. And I'm the kind of person who is all or nothing- so if I'm going to open that block of chocolate- I'm going to eat it until it's finished. Even if it makes me feel sick. That's how addicted I get to sugar when it comes in that form.
For me, the short term pleasure of those lollies and chips isn't worth the long term effects.
It isn't worth it for any of us.

But anyway- 1 week down, 3 to go. Here's what I've noticed-
1. A massive improvement in my sleep; falling asleep much easier and waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy.

2. Feeling full and satisfied after a meal. Realising I am full and not feeling like I'm hungry or needing to eat all afternoon or late in the evening. I use to get hungry at 10am- 3-6pm, and 7-9pm. Even after big meals I was still feeling hungry. Now I don't. Eating the right amounts of nutrients at each meal (protein, fats and carbs) keeps me satisfied.

3. More energy. I'm busting to get out walking/ running or to the gym. I'm already doing the gym program I used in preparation for Kokoda. Although I'm not as strong- but fitness wise I am able to complete it.

4. My clothes fit better. I'm not weighing myself each week- but I have taken before and weekly photos to compare. Even though I'm eating huge meals I'm still loosing weight, or changing body composition.

5. Mood! My moods are stable! I feel happy, full of life. I feel light, clear headed and inspired!

6. No more digestive issues- no bloating, cramps, or spasms.

7. I'm not craving sugary foods or comfort foods. I use to spend ages fantasising about foods I could eat, and then eventually give in and make an excuse to head to the local cafe and get a sugar laden gluten free sweet. Or make my own at home. Now I'm not a slave to the sugar!

8. I actually really like black coffee! It's amazing how your taste buds will change when you stop eating processed, sugary foods!!

So what am I eating?
Breakfast is usually eggs (as many and I can hold in one hand-3) poached or fried, bacon, mushroom and tomatoes all cooked up in a pan. Served with 2 cups of wilted spinach and 1/2 an avocado.
Lunch is usually a big salad with rocket and spinach with cucumber, tomatoes, roast sweet potato, avocado, roast beetroot and chicken or beef, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dinner can be anything from chicken curry with cauliflower rice; steak and roast veggies, salmon and salad, lamb shanks in my slow cooker, etc etc. Anything with meat and veggies!
Below is chicken curry with cashews and coriander (omnomnom)
But really you can eat anything at any meal as long as it has protein, fats and carbohydrates. Mixing it up is the key to success- I'm sure soon I'll get sick of eggs for breakfast- but not yet!

So stay tuned for a progress pic- I'll take one at the end of this week!
If you're after any info regarding the Whole30 click here or check out this other great website by Robb Wolf.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Whole 30

The past 6 months or so I have been a food journey, discovering healthy new ways to enjoy my food- 'have my cake and eat it too' type journey. I've been incorporating super foods into my diet, finding healthy alternatives to heavily processed, sugar laden desserts, and eliminating gluten from my diet. I've also slowly been eliminating diary from my diet- now only occasionally having greek yoghurt 2-3 times a week. I've been using soy in my coffee and almond milk on my oats. It's been an awesome journey- and I'm happily sharing it with all of you who follow my little blog (thanks for reading!)
I feel wonderful, my skin in the clearest it's been forever, my energy levels are good (not perfect- but hey, I've got a 2 month old baby!) and my moods are more stable. I also believe my healthy eating has contributed to my fast recovery after giving birth to Jimmy (after Jimmy was born I had a massive post partum haemorrhage and nearly died, but that story is for another day).
I feel it's time for a new chapter in my journey book. Time to get serious about how I view food. Sadly, like most of us out there, food and I, we have a pretty poor relationship. Food has a hold on me. We constantly fight. I've lost the 'I'm full' signal mechanism. I have cravings. I give in to them. Sometimes I binge. I feel horrible. And one bad food choice can leave me feeling guilty and shit for the rest of the day. I get grumpy, look for comfort, find something yummy, and it feels good for the first bite. But then it's followed by shame and guilt... and the cycle continues. This doesn't happen everyday. Maybe one or twice a week, and luckily the food choices in my cupboard are mostly healthy (but that is not the point). There was a time in my life where it was an everyday occurrence. Especially when I was stressed- like high school, UNI, new job... lets just say the first half of my 20's were spent eating disorderly and binge drinking on the weekend....
I know I'm not the only one like this. I may be the only on that admits it... I'm hoping this may resonate with some of you. 
This isn't how our relationship with food should be. It is not healthy. 
We should be eating to nourish our bodies. Because we love ourselves. And yes, we should love ourselves. It's not selfish. Like that old saying 'No one can love you if you don't first love yourself'. We need to love ourselves enough to want to look after this body we have been given. And the best way to do that is nourishing it with the best foods possible.
So I'm going to be doing a whole lot of self loving from now on. Starting by doing the Whole 30.

I'm not sure if you have read about the Whole30 before- but basically you eat real food. Yep. Real food. For 30 days. NO CHEATS. Nutrient-dense foods like meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils that have been raised, fed and grown naturally. Foods that are full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Read more about it here
Things that are not allowed are sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy- all of which may not contribute positively on your health- aka- sugar crashes, alcohol binges, bread basket overload etc. 
Also, the way these foods are broken down in your gut can be the cause of, or exacerbate a myriad of disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, skin conditions, PCOS, infertility, migraines, depression, bipolar disorder, heartburn, reflux, joint pain, ADHD, thyroid dysfunction, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, leaky gut syndrome, Chron's disease, IBS, Celiac disease, diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis.
It's NOT a diet- It's not about weight loss. You eat as much as you need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. 
I have some lagging IBS issues, even after cutting gluten, which I want to find the source of and eliminate (hence me already cutting back on dairy), but for me, the whole 30 is more about changing my long-standing, unhealthy patterns related to food, eating and my body image. Another bonus is that most people will see a dramatic reduction or elimination of food cravings, particularly sugar and carbohydrates. 
I've got a good start on the Whole30- since most of the no-go list I've already discovered for myself  negatively impacts my health- I don't drink alcohol (sober for 1 1/2 years) I don't eat gluten, I've minimised dairy and I don't eat much sugar. I will miss my healthy desserts (which although fit into the foods allowed- still psychologically have the same effect as naughty foods, so I'm steering clear for now). So hopefully I won't have as many sugar crashes/ carb cravings as people who eat all these foods to begin with and I can focus on my relationship with food- eg hunger cues (am I hungry enough to eat steamed fish and broccoli? No, then it's a craving, not real hunger).
Don't be afraid that I won't be getting enough carbs or other nutrients- all the foods I have to eat are full of everything I need. Vegetables and fruits have carbohydrates. Meat has protein, nuts and oils have amazing amounts of essential vitamin and minerals. Food manufactures just like to spin it that their bread/milk/chocolate is full of the best whole grains/calcium/antioxidants  around. It's a big money making scheme (don't get me started!!). 
So essentially it's about empowering myself again (do I sound like Oprah?! haha!). I want to be in charge of my wants and needs, not be a slave to food and how it makes me feel. I'm hoping this experience will be the learning tool to gain awareness of how the foods I use to eat were actually affecting how I look, feel, live and perform. I can then carry that knowledge forward, and use it to change the way I eat for the rest of my life (since it's a whole30, not whole365, you can incorporate no-go foods back into your diet if you like, after the 30 days).
The website is full of wonderful and interesting topics related to Paleo eating. The book 'It starts with food' is a wonderful eye opener and a must read if you want to try Whole30. Personally I'm fascinated by nutrition, so I'm very excited to see how my body responds to this primal eating.  
So I hope you don't mind, my next few blog posts will be about my journey on Whole30. I'll be posting recipes along the way too.