Carbs are back

I’m not sure exactly what it was.
I’m not sure whether it’s all in my mind.
I’m not sure if I was just having a bad week or two.
What I am sure about though is that the small intake of carbs between Thursday and Sunday certainly contributed to my increased performance over the weekend.

My last post described how I was feeling all at a loss about whether the low carb was right or not, and my thoughts on adding in small amounts of carbohydrates.

For those that may not have seen my latest Instagram posts, on the weekend I smashed my runs, without even trying. Actually I was trying harder to not go all out.  Not be too fast. Even on the downhills which are my favourite.
After a horridly hard treadmill run on Friday night – a piddly 3.5kms – I whipped arse on 7.5km Saturday, and 12.2 on Sunday. What’s even better, I did the 12k in record time, fairly easily, with a few stops. I’m feeling it now for sure, but to me that’s the sign of an awesome run, ran hard.

My thoughts now.  Low carb to the point of Keto or similar is not for me.  I will be low car, not next-to-no carb as I was.

So my running mojo and action improved drastically. How about my other feelings?  They are on a high also. I’m feeling much more comfortable with my decision after seeing for myself how my body reacts.  I had gotten to the point where I wasn’t believing that I would finish my next race.

Keep you posted, train well, and be safe.

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8 weeks – time to re-assess

Its been 8 weeks and I’ve discovered I need to change where I’m going with lchf. It might seem a bit ‘oh I love this, its fantastic’ one minute and the next ‘ugh, feel like shit, it’s not working’, I see that. I am in both of those camps right now. I figure eight weeks is enough time to settle into a new routine and suss out what and where it’s doing and how to change it, if needed.
I do feel fantastic. There are little things that are so good. There are also things that I feel I am doing wrong.
I do feel ugh. So very tired (and I’m not any more tired from work that I was when I began this).
My running was great initially. I felt light and fit. Now I feel like my legs are giving way, no matter how much I have stretched or relaxed they just don’t want to move – which then drags my body down. I know it is all mind over matter. The body will do what the mind tells it. But can the body tell the mind what to do?? I need to push through, to say, “it’s all good, I can do this, get moving”.  Sometimes though it’s just not that easy. You have to listen to your body.
By listening to what it says, it’s all about the fuel you put in to what you can get out of it.
I was so happy with this new way of eating that I went all in, I embraced the change, loved reading labels to say ‘no more of this, that and the other’.  I realised a couple of days ago, that part of my physical feelings is the lack of certain foods.
I don’t think I’m eating enough fats. I’m definitely not eating enough of the good veges, and I may have gone too low on the carbs for what my body requires. I know I haven’t been drinking enough water lately, which may be a contributing factor.
After a small crazy couple of days where I ended up with diarrhea due to some licorice, I was hesitant to eat some pasta and potatoes fearing the worst. When I did have small portions they tasted delicious, and thankfully, nothing happened.

My assessment this week is about making my own mash up of two eating lifestyles. I’m hesitant to use the word diet because of the connotations that come with it. Which is funny, because everyone has a diet, just some are better than others. I am changing my diet, I am not going on a diet.  I do want to lose a bit of weight. I do want to feel full and content with my food. I do want my running to feel pleasurable and constructive, not such hard work and awkward. I do want to feel better all over, inside and out.
My solution is going to be a mix of the goodness that is Weight Watchers and the current LCHF.
Weight watchers, because I know it works, just the last time I used it (a mere 6 months ago) I found it too restrictive with counting points.  LCHF, because it has been good for me to learn more about different types of food and carbohydrates – what is and isn’t acceptable for regular or binge eating.
Initially I will be strictish so I can get back into controlling myself again. The basis for my new regime will be more fruit and vegetables (which I all but got rid of unfortunately), have complex carbs (bread, rice, spuds, pasta) for one meal a day (will work on lunch time so I can ‘work it off’) and if I feel the need, then bread or a toastie for breakfast. I will still make my low carb cloud bread as it feels good like carbs without being too much.
There will still be lots of the high fat content, and eggs as I am doing now, because I really like the creamy coffee. Things like biscuits, cakes and lollies will be all but cut out. I have no real problem with doing this as I was never really a sweet tooth – give me a cheese platter any day. Even now, with working in a shop with lots of chocolate and licorice I can easily say no to them.
I will go back to doing my weekly menu plan and lunch prep – making my work day lunches heartier than just a salad, and making smaller portions at dinner time.

On another note with this new slash old diet, I did lose weight, and my shape changed.  There were not so many lumps and creases and looking back on pictures I took in September last I have definitely changed physically.  There was even a scales picture (I know we are more than just a number) and I liked that I was disciplined enough to get to that point.  There is a lot of work to do, but I  know that this time I will find it more approachable and easier to get into it.  I am not altogether unhappy with it, just my lack of energy is disappointing.
Where has my discipline gone. What have a lacked. Why am I so out of it.
The long hours and work load, or the diet. Or maybe both. Either way I know that this change-up will be a good thing.
I have just looked at all this and thought, why am I writing about diets, and body shapes, and the like. I wasn’t brought up like this, I prided myself on not giving  damn, so why now. Probably because with age comes a certain wisdom about ourselves and what we are and can be.  My goal now is going to be like my new goal for running. Show up, do the distance and finish. No pressure, no stress. If I get a pb then all good, if not then at least finish without an injury. For the food – the same theory applies. Eat healthy, enjoy all things in moderation (and some things very very rarely) and exercise regularly. Do it to prolong my life, to be young and fit and have energy. If I lose weight, even a modicum of it, then all is good.

Bring on the next stage, and the next race. In 2 weeks.
Keep healthy, and train strong,  Jennifer

Could You not eat carbs..?

It’s a semi rhetorical question. Every body is different and everyone has their own requirement and routines that determine what they eat. Seriously though, (for those not already on a lchf type w.o.e.) would you ever consider pulling up the roots on all those delicious carbohydrates. I have a love affair with potatoes, rice, pasta and to a lesser, bread (toast with Vegemite is a must), so for me to want to switch them out had to be a seriously considered thing.

For those of you who don’t already know, I have started on the LCHF way of life/way of eating (wol or woe) and after 5 days cannot believe how good I feel. There have been a few slip ups, but in essence I have not had any bread for 6 days, and other carbs (chips, pasta) that my family ate did not go near my plate.  Some days have been hard as I am completely re learning the whole food for energy knowledge. All other diets and eating plans have regular fruits, carbs and vegetables and  recommend low-fat dairy options. I have not had white bread for a couple of years, been drinking low fat milk for 20 years, and now I have to ditch that and go for the real cream, lots of eggs, and cheese..lots of cheese.

Anyhoo, I digress slightly from where I was wanting to go with this post. So I can keep a diary on my progress I have set up a couple of pages dedicated to this subject.

Head over to here to see a longer version of this and the results of my first week.

A second sub page will be added with my ongoing thoughts and results.

Has anyone taken a drastic change to their diet? Have you had to change directions for health or well-being reasons?  How do you feel now for the changes? Would you make the change?

jennifer

A week of food

What could be better than anticipating lunch time at work. Not for the break, but for the food. Most of the time I am just happy to get off my feet and rest properly, but this week it was all about the food.

My menu plan worked a treat and each day I enjoyed a scrumptious feast that kept me feeling full for most of the afternoon.  A 2.30/3pm coffee always works a treat.

I had one day where my subscribed lunch was below par, but I had over compensated that day so still had plenty to eat.  Laugh if you will, but sardines are really fishy, and not good in a salad. I will stick to my tuna or salmon in the future.

Most of my meals were meat free which was a lovely change even though I had meat galore in the fridge to use. I may keep this up, 3 or 4 of the five days to be meat free, but then again it may depend on what I have available and what needs using.

Not one for eating breakfast at 6am I usually take it to work – which would be a cheese sandwich for toasting or more likely yoghurt with muesli and fruit – otherwise once the first busy hour* is over I am hungry again and end up eating too much.

My menu this week consisted of two bruschetta, a ryvitta, fatoush and the failed fish dish. Next week I’ll do a ryvitta for sure, chicken salad, bruschetta and maybe a tinned tuna salad. I’ve never really been one for ryvitta but im now a convert (my boys have always loved corn thins and cruskits, devouring them like crazy).

It’s such a relaxant knowing that I can get up late (hello Friday, oops 🤭) run through the shower, and make a coffee (for take away 😕 prefer to sit at home), then grab my lunch and run out the door. No stressy  ‘what’s for lunch.??’ moments.

Clockwise from top left: fatoush with toasted ciabatta, ciabatta with ricotta, peas, rocket and dressed with lemon juice and chilli sauce, ciabatta with cream cheese, Roma tomatoes and rocket, ryvitta with egg and avo.bf70a129-4761-42a2-a6cf-dcec80bd5cc8

*we are busy anywhere from 6.45 to 9am before it calms down.

How are your lunch times working out, are you getting on the meal prepping bandwagon…?

Food prepping for better lunches

I wrote a short post on Facebook about food prep and how it is changing my mornings (and evenings) for the better, as well as my whole week. When you are organised in one aspect you can concentrate on others, and slowly you are organised in enough areas that the rest just falls into place. I’m staring with my food prep and the balancing act of getting all the essentials in place.

I am usually pretty organised, but that lazy after dinner time, and the rush first thing in the morning often means the important things are left to chance or the wallet. And that’s before you even think about adding little people in, (which in my case is null and void as they are all big) and you are left with most likely bad choices and/or the same same every day. Not good for you or your wallet – depending where you work and what the options are.  I’m usually up and showered by 5.45 and making my coffee. I don’t want to be rushing through emails and social media because I have to organise lunch and cutting up salads or boiling eggs. Or vice versa. I like that little time to myself to enjoy my coffee, before I head out the door.

I decided two weeks ago to give food prepping a go and see how it fared. It went ok, there were a few things I changed for the second week, mostly that my salads were a little boring and predictable, and one I have to revamp of get rid of completely. I discovered a couple of rules that I want to follow for my own peace of mind, wellbeing, enjoyment of lunches.

First up, one fish meal and two vegetarian. I don’t eat as much fish as I should so if I can get one a week at lunch then I’ll be happy.  A meat free day or two is not going to hurt either. We eat red or white meat pretty well every night, so meat free with eggs as my protein will not pose a problem. I’m not a legume person so beans won’t be in the equation, or lentils. Couscous and quinoa will be occasionally.

The second rule is to have things that I can eat over a longer period – my half hour lunch break sometimes takes an hour to finish depending on how busy we are and if I get interrupted. Hot foods will not always survive the break., and they usually end up being the overly filling sort of meal that I prefer to not have at lunch time – now that I’ve written it, they may be better then, than at night, but I like to feed my body well at night and do more grazing during the day, feeding when I can. Work can get busy so healthy snack are also needed. Grapes, blueberries, mandarin segments.

I’ve already decided my original tuna salad isn’t going to cut it so have to find something else – plenty of ideas are out there, and I don’t have to use tuna – mackerel, sardines, salmon.. The easy option is tuna rice which will get a tasting this week.

My other small problem is by the end of the week, the lettuce has browned a little and some things are a bit soggy and ick. The point is to have easy healthy meals, not a salad that will make me sick.
Note to self: more little containers for wet ingredients and not chop my cherry tomatoes til I go to eat.

Preparing my meals ahead of time has been fantastic, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to realise how good it is. The night before is one thing, but not having to worry at all each day is even better. My other issue, which is pretty small in the big scheme, is that I get bored easily, so I want to have at least 10 options available to choose from. No, I’m not making 10 lunches, just choosing from the short list. Each week becomes a multitude of choices, essentially I’ll never have to eat the same week twice.

My go to’s will definitely be my version of Fatoush with either chicken or bacon if I want meat and a basic pasta salad I found the other day – bacon, peas and onion (with long or broad beans if I fancy) and I added balsamic and garlic olive oil  dressing.  I use Praise dressings for all my salads as I find them tasty and you don’t need much to get a good coating without drowning the ingredients.

This week coming I will be testing out a few Bruschetta variations as well as Ryvita options.

Edit: After researching my options (I didn’t want the same boring salad every day) and making a short list of tasty, easy choices, I spent around two hours on Sunday afternoon making them up.

What do you do for work lunches?
Do you lunch prep, or keep putting it off?
What are your go to lunches for healthy eating.

Healthy eating and good training = strong body.

Cadbury 10k – 14/1/18

After a month or more off and doing pretty well nothing since Point to Pinnacle I was sorely under trained for this race.
I made an effort to get a few runs in and mediocre strength training, at least so my joints would be able to manage to movement.
Each run was tough and wore me out, but I knew I had to get back into it somewhere – and the first race of the year is the best place to test the waters. Well, kind of.
I certainly wasn’t worried bout a pb, if it happened then I’d be happy, otherwise, finish the race was the important thing.
Start the race, finish the race. Smile and have fun.

We arrived in plenty of time to do the usual toilet line up and leave me with the RMA’s for a photo.
I positioned myself in my regular spot – middle of the pack – and once we started I kept my eyes out for the 60 min pacer. While the time wasn’t overly important I like to have an idea of where I’m travelling. I was ahead of him until just past the 7k mark then he left me in his wake. Each kilometre was hard, and I felt like I was wading through mud. Cumbersome and un co-ordinated.
Catching up again at 9k he paced me up the hill and was waiting to push us through the finishing chute.

The race as whole was tough, but I managed a smile as I passed the photographer – resulting in one of my best race pictures to date.
The rest of them…yeah, I really have to work on my Kenyan/finishing face. Better yet, figure out how to get rid of it, replacing it with a huge smile.

I’m super happy with result of sub-60, narrowly missing my pb by 23 seconds. That’s not an issue, really it isn’t. I ran, I had fun for the most part, and I finished. My bonus, finishing under the hour and still upright. Smiling and happy.

My word for this year is Stronger, my hashtag #believebefinishstronger and that is exactly what I plan to do. I have started well, and I want to continue on this way.

Run strong

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Diet is everything

Twelve months ago I was running all the time. Loads of 3.4 – 5.8k. Every day almost I was running. I was fit. I was strong. And when I went on holiday, I was confident I could do anything because I had trained my body, I had changed how it functioned. I felt awesome. I felt sexy.

And then I looked at the photos. I hadn’t lost any weight. I was still roundish. Large thighs, super wobbly belly..happy enough, though not really happy with how I looked to how I felt.

Is this where the problem lies with a lot of our body issues.  That is a conversation for another place and another time.

February thinks year I decide to return to weight watchers, as has been mentioned here before, to kick-start my diet. Get me back on track.

Fifteen weeks later I look amazing. I feel amazing. And having seen some of those old pictures, feel that the body and my mind finally are on the same page. I’ve always felt more confident and comfortable in my skin when I’m about the size I am now.

I am so close to my goal weight, within a couple of kilograms, and with only more strength and weight type training need to firm up the wobbly bits. Namely the belly 😦
Diet is the all encompassing difference. You can do all the exercise you want, if you don’t change your diet then nothing much will change.  I know now I was eating the calories I ran off. I wasn’t really changing how I ate. And kept all the junky foods on the leash as well.
It’s about the portion control as much as anything. Smaller portions, more of the good stuff and limiting the other shit. And loads of exercise. Sport. Whatever rows your boat.
Exercise had to be taken regularly not seriously.
Yes and no. I think we get the idea behind that line though.

Before and after pictures I said I would share. I am feeling so good right now  and proud of myself.

Early October 2014. Fit and strong yes, but carrying extra weight.  I do miss my boobs. I also know where I would rather be.
Early October 2014. Fit and strong yes, but carrying extra weight.
I do miss my boobs. I also know where I would rather be.
Mid May 2015. 14 weeks after starting weight watchers and getting running again.
Mid May 2015. 14 weeks after starting weight watchers and getting running again.

All this exercise and diet. It’s all about becoming the best person you can be. Being the most awesome person. Being comfortable and confident within in yourself. No matter your size. We all know where we want to be, and where we are capable of getting to.

I look forward to seeing where I am in another 15 weeks. Toned, fitter and stronger though still around the same size I am now.

Diet. Lifestyle choices. Culinary intake.

Last night’s weight in was not pleasing but expected. A minor gain which is understandable given my body has been in recovery mode.
But now to my general diet and what I do. Yesterday’s post was highlighting the worst I can do.
Even being on a lifestyle plan. It’s not a diet, it’s a change of diet. An improvement of my culinary intake. Ok, a change of diet.
I am good with my breakfasts and my dinner – portion control. It’s the snacks and lunch I have trouble with.
And caffeine. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my coffee. I can’t (won’t) exist until I’ve had that first one.
I’ve tried the lemon juice in warm water and wasn’t impressed. I’d rather a proper hot lemon tea. Which I have started using as an alternative to that extra coffee, or if I want a soothing drink after dinner, mid morning…whenever.
So I can have two coffees in quick succession first up. Followed by up to 4 or 5 more. Depending on the day or my mood.
I digress. Back to food. Breakfast consists of many different things.
– Greek yoghurt with muesli and fruit
– eggs on toast
– straight toast* with jam and vegemite
– egg and bacon (with no bread)
– banana and egg no flour pancakes
– baked beans
All easy and filling meals.
*Toast. I am not gluten intolerant. I have no intolerance or allergy to any food. I have found however that basic white or wholemeal bread was making me feel bloated and sludgy. And giving me a little heartburn (which may be more attributed to my age than anything).
So I stopped eating it completely. And felt so much better. Then got those bread-carb cravings. Enter the bread challenge. Finding a loaf that would fill the void and not leave me feeling crap.
Only problem is now I am eating too much of it because it is so nice.

For snacks I try to eat fruit but sometimes I need a little sweetness or some savoury chips. I have ‘diet’ snacks, from weight watchers which I know are half decent for me. I try not to eat too many of them though.
Nuts are good, but I’ve never been good at nuts. I know I should, but just can’t get into it.

Dinner in my house really hasn’t changed  much, I am simply keeping an eye on my portion size. If my boys want to go the deep fried/super fatty thing I have one item and fill up on salad or vegetables.
Pasta is my killer. And rice. Do not put a bowl of pasta in front of me. I will want to inhale it. Self control. Deep breath in. And out. Leave the pasta alone.

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This was my breakfast today (2 eggs fried with a little cheese and bbq sauce) and lunch will be something very small. Maybe a cruskit with avocado or a salad. Dinner will be whatever is found in the freezer. Or the supermarket.
Saturday nights here is pizza night. Life wouldn’t be worth living if I chose to get rid of it.
I make my own bases (flour, water, oil and yeast) so they are free from preservatives and other rubbish. I am looking for a nice gluten free base to make for myself so I can still enjoy it without the after effects.

With an appetite as voracious as mine I have to work hard.

Training, commitment and victory – it’s all applicable no matter what the goal.

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(bad) Food! and exercise

I have a really good appetite.  I love food. Good food, Bad food.  Pretty much all food. I’m not overly fussy when it comes to eating. Give me a super sized steak and I’ll demolish it in no time. Complete with lashings of hot mustard.  I like desserts, but it’s not a sweet tooth I have but rather a salty one.  It’s the savoury (usually bad) stuff that rocks my boat. Tacos and nachos.  A bag of spicy crisps and a tub of sour cream..oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to share? Chips and dip full stop.  A decent pizza.  A block or two (who am I kidding, the whole platter please) of cheese and a bottle of wine and I’m a happy girl.

Back in the day I could eat what I wanted and it was no issue. Now, 20 years and 3 kids into the future, my metabolism has changed. I do still try though sometimes.

This is partly why I am doing Weight Watchers. Again. I need to lose weight. To change my eating habits. To kick-start the self-control, the discipline.  The good thing (for the most part) is that once I have a thought in my head of what I want to do, I can just get on and do it. I want to lose weight and get fit. Consider it sorted.
In 10 weeks I’ve lost a dress size and if I’m being honest but not modest, am looking pretty damned good. I still have a few more kilos to go, and am working hard to get there with no more gains, no matter how small the loss may be.
Reading this back and seeing the list of food up there ^, you could be forgiven for thinking I was a junk food fanatic that has had to undergo a huge change. Not so much. I love those foods, but know how to do the whole moderation thing. I just reach for those before a chocolate tis all. I love my veges and a good salad. Fruit and yoghurt.  Water is a hard thing for me to drink. I always have one or two after my runs, but have trouble outside of that.
For most of us, especially for those  who eat well generally, the problem lies with portion size. A little more of this, a little more of that. What doesn’t look too much in the spoon becomes a whole lot on the plate. And then we feel compelled to eat it all. And before we know it we have put on a few kilos, or a lot.
It’s really not that hard to control this. More veges and lean meats, less of the carbs. Grain bread, and things like cheese and chocolates in moderation. I find it easy enough, like I said, once I get it in my head, consider it done.
I was grumbling about my knee last night and having to go back to the chiropractor to get my ankle looked at (long story, but I’ll tell it another day. Just understand the knee problem is actually the ankle) and hubby said maybe I should stop running if I can’t do a 5 or 10k without the pain.
He said with all my exercises on the wall and a good diet, I should be able to keep trim. And that is true.
I said I wanted more than just losing weight and being slim. And I love the running. The endorphins. The accomplishment. The hard work and pain that comes with it.

                                                       I wanted to be fit and strong. Lean and healthy.

Not just lean, muscly and healthy.

So I continue on. I eat properly. I exercise regularly. And enjoy feeling my body getting stronger, fitter, healthier.
Tonight is weigh in and I will update my progress page with the details.

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