Tub on the Run


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Adventures in the South East

Phew! What a week!  Sore today, strong tomorrow has lasted quite a long time, and I’m still not 100% which is irritating.  It didn’t stop me enjoying my week off too much though!

It has been a week of indulgence and excess, and while I enjoyed it, I am also glad to see my kitchen and normal food again!

Mid-week, Matt and I headed across country to stay with his aunt and uncle in Sussex for a few days.  The plan was simple – go, relax and enjoy some time with them.  We arrived on Wednesday afternoon in their lovely little village, and spent the afternoon chatting away with his uncle while we waited for his aunt to return home from work.  When everyone had arrived home, dinner was prepared, and it became apparent that the cooking gene runs in the family.  Matt is a good cook, as is his mum, and so it seems, is his uncle.  He cooked the most delicious steak and veggies, and washed it down with plenty (too much?) wine.  Pudding was home-made tiramisu which was like heaven in a glass dish.  Needless to say, we went to bed full and content.

On Thursday, we all went to Hampton Court Palace.  I’d said quite a long time ago that it was somewhere I would like to visit, having never been there before.  It didn’t disappoint at all.  I was surprised to see such a beautiful animal so close to busy roads.

SAMSUNG CSC

There were free audio guides which worked in conjunction with a small leaflet that guided you through different parts of the palace.  Matt and I only managed the Tudor part, and didn’t get anywhere near the newer parts.  Matt’s aunt and uncle managed to cover a little bit more ground than us though.  I would love to go back and have a look at the parts we didn’t get to see, as well as the gardens which we missed out altogether.

Hampton Court Collage

A thoroughly pleasant day was topped off by one of the best Thai meals that I have ever had in a great little restaurant called Good Evening.  I’m not normally much of a fish eater, but even I thought the salmon dish was amazing.

Friday was a little slower paced, and we headed to Arundel for the afternoon.  The sun shone as we made our way around the various antique shops.  I don’t think any of us had a specific purchase in mind, but it was just nice to wander.  We didn’t stop at the castle, as we arrived a little too late to have a proper look around.  On Friday evening, we were joined by Matt’s aunt’s niece and fiancé, who had made the 7 hour trek down from Manchester.  Dinner was at the Rose and Crown.  I think my experience here was marred a little bit by my neck, as it had become increasingly painful during the day, so I didn’t enjoy the meal as much.  I also had food envy of Matt’s aunt’s meal.

I have never been to the theatre before, which Matt’s aunt and uncle thought was a travesty.  So on Saturday, ticket had been booked for a musical in London.  We made the train by the skin of our teeth.  I enjoyed playing tourist, watching the sites of Battersea, the Shard, the Thames and the Eye as we made our way in to London Victoria.  Matt’s uncle, despite having worked in the City for years, has only set foot on the Underground twice before.  I was amazed, as I have always travelled on the Underground when I have visited London.  We travelled in the means that I am accustomed to, and headed towards the Tower of London, as Matt’s aunt and I wanted to see the ceramic poppies.

 

Tower Poppies

It is so sad that each poppy represents a fallen soldier, and that despite the large amount of poppies already there, it isn’t yet finished.

Back on the Tube, we zoomed over to Regent’s Park for the Open Air Theatre.  This was a real highlight of the weekend.  The production was Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.  The weather was perfect, the show was moving and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  I’ve said to Matt that I would like to go and see something else there one day.

(source)

The weather couldn’t have been more perfectly timed – within 5 minutes of leaving the theatre, the heavens opened.  We made a swift exit towards London Zoo and headed towards the Feng Shang Princess for dinner.  It’s an interesting little restaurant, but I can honestly say that I have had much better Chinese food elsewhere.

I wish I had a little more time to have spent in London, but Matt and I have said we’ll try to spend a couple of days there during our next holiday.

We really enjoyed our few days away, but it is nice to be back to normal.


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Sore today, strong tomorrow?

Sore today, strong tomorrow?  Is that the phrase?  Well, Cross Fit, eat your heart out!  Cross Fit a bit expensive?  I have the solution!  Volunteer for house moving duties!

Mum and I drove a couple of hours east yesterday to help my sister move house.  This involved a lot of lifting and shifting of all sorts, down from the first floor of her old flat, up the 3 floors to her new flat.  Mum and I have stipulated that the next move must be in to a ground floor flat.  It was nice to spend some time with both my mum and sister though, and despite a couple of moments of fraying temper (mine), and some impressive bruises.

The three of us were completely pooped come yesterday evening, and knew the sore muscles awaited us today.  To make matters worse, I then pulled a muscle in my shoulder/neck in the shower this morning.

In other news, Matt and I have been half and half paleo since we finished the Whole 30, and it really is noticeable how eating sugar and rubbish impacts on us both.  With that in mind, we’ve decided to do another Whole 30 in September, ready to take a bit of a bigger step into a 90% ish paleo diet.  This time round though, I intend to exercise, reintroducing some running and kettlebells.  I won’t be doing much this week, as I have a week’s holiday, in which Matt and I will be visiting family and gallivanting.


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My #Whole30 results

Day 30 came and went without too much notice.  I had started to feel a bit anxious about what I was going to eat when the Whole30 was over, and partly for good reason.  Matt and I were due to go to the Silverstone Classic on Thursday 24th July.  We made it there in good time, but hadn’t really catered for a camping trip for the Thursday (our Day 30).  We’d already planned to eat whatever we could rather than try to find compliant food when we were out and about, and I had deliberately started the Whole30 when we did so that camping wouldn’t be a problem.

Thursday morning was a bit of a rush, taking photos and measurements before work, but we got it done, and I am certainly pleased with the results, and I know Matt is pretty chuffed with his too.  At the beginning, in my elevator pitch of Whole30, I wrote about what I wanted out of the 30 days:

  • Making significant inroads into breaking my problem with sugar

  • Learning more about what I truly benefit from and what does me harm

  • I won’t lie, some weight loss would be nice!

  • I’d also like to see if some of the skin problems I have are linked to my diet.  I imagine that they probably are

Looking at it in a bit of detail, I think it was a worthwhile exercise.

Energy

I didn’t think I was really one to suffer with mid-afternoon slumps, but one thing that has really made itself known since we came off of Whole30 is that I do.  My concentration is poor and I don’t feel like I am firing on all cylinders for a sustained period of time.  On Whole30, I felt great.  The world was my lobster and I felt ready to take on the challenges.

Sleep

I’ve never been a bad sleeper.  I’m a fidget and nuisance as I have restless legs and sleep walk and talk sometimes, but it rarely wakes me up.  Poor Matt, on the other hand, can often be the victim of a randomly flung leg or arm.  I wouldn’t feel like I would wake up refreshed and raring though.  Whole30 didn’t change this for me much.  I continued to sleep well, but I woke feeling a little brighter.

Sugar Addiction

This, for me, has to be one of the greatest successes.  I’m not “cured”, but these 30 days have helped me to sit out a craving, or find something else.  It’s proved to me that I don’t need the sugar and that I work better as a human being with less sugar.  I am still getting cravings every now and then, and although we’re not really following paleo or Whole30 right now, I haven’t slipped back in to my old ways of reaching for the first sweet thing I can find.  I feel like I have made a significant inroad on this particular aspect, and one that I am very keen to continue.

 (source)

Skin

My skin has never been great.  Ever since I hit puberty, the dermatology gods decided that I was destined to be plagued with breakouts and problem skin.  This has continued into my late 20s, though thankfully it isn’t as bad as it used to be.  That said, I am still unhappy with it and I find it to be a source of self-consciousness.  The Whole30 website says that improved skin can be one of the benefits of the 30 days, but I didn’t really find this to be the case.  I must make a point of saying that I have stress related breakouts and July was a stressful month, so Whole30 might have saved me a couple of nasty spots, but I’ll never know.

Weight

I don’t think there is a huge difference between the photos, but there is a good difference on the scales.  I started the Whole30 at 18 stone 9.5lbs and weighed in on Day 30 at 17 stone 7.5lbs, losing 16lbs and 8 inches.  Is it water weight?  Maybe.  I don’t really know.  I have really tried to make this more than just about losing the weight, but this is one of the best indicators for me. Something you can actually see.

Tub on the Run Side Comparison Whole 30

Tub on the Run Front Comparison Whole 30

Life after Whole30

Since finishing the 30 days, I have not stuck to any semblance of the principles of Whole 30.  This has seen my moods go up and down, my ability to cope with stress is compromised, I’m not feeling as efficient and I’m bloating.  I don’t feel great.  I actually feel sad.

Matt has seen a return to bloating too.

We’ve discussed what our next plans are in terms of diet.  We’ll be returning to a paleo/primal kind of eating soon, working on a 90% rule.  We’ve loved most of the meals that we’ve eaten and definitely want to keep them in the meal plans going forwards.  The issue is that August tends to be quite a social month for us, and eating out on paleo seems quite difficult, though not impossible.  With that in mind, we’ve discussed doing another Whole 30 in September.

I’ve got a few more thoughts on Whole 30 that I will write down at some point soon, but I thought this post was long enough, without getting in to the rest of it.


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Back to normal: #Whole30 Days 23 to 26

I am so pleased to report a return to how good I had been feeling, prior to my last post.  Day 23 just saw me kind of snap out of it and get back to what feels increasingly normal.

I haven’t really tracked my thoughts day by day to be honest, so I’ve just jotted some of my general feelings over the last few days.

I’m bored of salad for lunch now, so I am going to hunt out some recipes for soups, though it feels a bit wrong to have soup when it is so lovely outside.  Soup, in my world, is definitely a non-summer item.  Matt is quite happy to go to soups in the autumn too, provided that I make him carrot and coriander (one of the few soups I don’t like).

I’ve been productive during my day times, with no mid-afternoon slumps, and sugar hasn’t really featured in to my head, which is saying something as it was payroll processing this week, and that can be stressful and/or tiring mentally.  I really swear that the best thing I have done has been to make batches of main meals for the evenings, as this was definitely a trigger time of the month for gorging on junk food.

The only thing that I think I have noticed is that I am beginning to let the good habits drop a bit, like having a Nakd bar after tea, just for something sweet.  I don’t need it at all, so I will have to work on reining that back in.

Meanwhile… I’m dreaming of a cup of tea!

Post shopping cuppa

 

Only a few more days and I can have one!


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#Whole30 Days 20 to 22 – Early weeks catching me up?

I am wondering whether my relatively smooth ride early on in my Whole30 “experience” is catching up on me, given such a smooth start all things considered.

Day 20

I found today quite hard, as I was incredibly tired.  It felt a bit like a constant 4pm dip.  I was meant to be finishing off my big cook up with the meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo, but I just couldn’t face working away in the kitchen.  I just wanted to sit down and be quiet.  This is the first off day I’ve really had.

Day 21

Not much of an improvement today either.  Matt commented that I couldn’t have slept too well as I was tossing and turning a lot, and there were a couple of points in the night where he thought I might have fallen out of bed.  I don’t know what is wrong exactly, as usually I am a sound sleeper.  There hasn’t been much of a change in my energy levels either.  I did cook up the remaining mince, turning them in to the meatballs I’d planned to make yesterday.

Day 22

I am getting a bit fed up now.  While I slept better, my hay fever is properly up and active at the moment, I hate the summer* and I am feeling pretty bloody miserable.  Food is fine, I’m still enjoying it, but I am struggling to concentrate and I don’t like this lack of energy.  I’m not sure if it is Whole30 related to be honest.  I can feel my stress levels building, I am getting tetchy about going away on holiday next month, and I don’t feel very in control of anything.  That’s usually the melting pot that results in depression for me.

I am really hoping that tomorrow is a bit better.

I suppose my one take away from this is that I don’t actually want to console myself with sugary stuff or anything at the moment, which I would normally do.  Typically, the moment my mood starts to slide, my junk food consumption increases dramatically.  It isn’t this time, and I am pleased with that.

*I don’t actually hate the summer, I just hate being a fat person in the summer, and I really loathe the humidity.

Hopefully, this funk will go and I will be left feeling as good as I was a couple of days ago.


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Surviving BBQs and balsamic vinegar: Whole30 Days 15 to 19

It’s all downhill from here!  Not that it has felt like too much of a struggle if I am honest.

Day 15

Half way baby!  In the midst of BBQ waftings and far too much cake, I have survived to the halfway point.  It hasn’t been a terribly newsworthy day with the exception that I realised I am allergic to fresh pineapple.

As the BBQ permeated the office, I felt quite smug as I tucked into my salad followed by a pot of fresh pineapple.  As I got towards the end of my pot, my mouth had gone all tingly and my tongue had started to swell.  It wasn’t really bad, but it was quite uncomfortable.  I’ve never really noticed it before when I’ve eaten pineapple.

Sad times.  I guess I’ll have to go back to my trusty mango instead.

Day 16

I am sooooooo bored of balsamic vinegar being on my salad.  I am also feel like breakfast is a bit lacking in creativity so I will be putting my thinking cap on for next week’s breakfast.

I’m still having some tummy troubles, which I suspect is just a clear out (nice!) and will settle back down soon.

Day 17

All is forgiven, balsamic vinegar!  I didn’t put any on my salad today, and wished I had.  You can’t please some people!  I had some good post today – Well Fed 2 but Melissa Joulwan arrived today.  I love leafing through a new recipe book looking for inspiration.  It is quite similar in parts to Nom Nom Paleo (or NNP is close to Well Fed 2, I think WF2 was first).  I have missed a bit of spice in our meals so I have a couple of recipes earmarked for the weekend’s cook up.

Day 18

I have had a really nice day, relaxing doing some cross stitch.  I had originally planned to do some work, but my brain just didn’t want to play.  It was great to pick up something that was quite mindless and just be quiet.

Cross Stitch

We had a cooked breakfast which was fab and saw us through to tea time without any thought for lunch.  Tea was the final cottage pie, which was the last meal of my mass cooking session two weeks ago.

Day 19

I’ve been a busy bee with some work this morning.  I could have killed for a cup of tea or even a black coffee (I take my coffee with two sugars).  I guess it’s just a habit thing.  I am missing tea every now and then.  This afternoon has been all about cooking.  I even managed not to make a huge mess in the kitchen like I normally do!

West African Stew Tub on the Run

The pork is in the slow cooker to make pulled pork.  Cincinnati chilli is currently on the hob simmering away.  Taj Mahal Chicken and West African Stew (all from Well Fed 2) are currently cooling down in their boxes, ready to go in the freezer, and I have meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo left to make.   As something new to try for breakfast, I have made little eggy muffins.

Breakfast Muffins

They have smoked bacon, diced onion, yellow pepper and salt and black pepper in them.  I wasn’t expecting the back ones to get quite so big.  I think I used about 5 eggs.

All in all, I’m still feeling good, not the “tiger blood” (cringe) stage, but consistently good.  My sleep is sound, though I rarely have a problem with my sleep, and when I do, I know what’s caused it.  I’m less bloated, and I feel like I am cracking this sugar thing.  I haven’t craved anything other than tea over the last few days.


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Nearly half way through #Whole30 – Days 12 to 14

Hurtling towards the mid-point of the Whole 30 now!

Day 12

Apparently Day 11 is meant to be the worst day, and the day that most people fall off the Whole30 bandwagon according to the Whole 30’s website.  I have to admit, I didn’t find Day 11 as bad as today.  I just wanted sweet food.  Not just some sweet food, but buckets of it.  Instead, I attempted some yoga.  I really like the Ekhart Yoga series on YouTube, and found the full website.  It is a paid subscription, but there are quite a few free videos there, so I started with the beginner video of standing poses.

Unfortunately I can’t get the video embedded in the blog, but this is the link, and this is part of the video:

The yoga helped to distract from the sweet cravings, and I quite enjoyed the basics.  In addition to yoga and Whole 30, I have also spent a lot of the day reading up on a paleo diet.  It’s made for interesting reading.

Day 13

Matt is suffering a bit with cravings today, though I haven’t been too bad.  Our lunches haven’t been well planned and that has been a bit stressful.  I don’t like all salad leaves and our Tesco has only stocked the ones I don’t like.  Otherwise, it’s been quite a non-eventful day.

Day 14

Woo!  Nearly half way!  I continue to feel better.  Despite the ridiculous amount of cake that we currently have in the office, I feel good.  Ordinarily, at times like this, I would be rewarding myself each time I got out of my seat with a cake or doughnut (I know, I know, this is why I am the size I am!).  I would be okay until I had the first bite, but after that, it would just be sugary carnage.  But let me explain, that first bite would have been calling my name, crying out to me from the time I got to work to the time I indulged.  Right now, they’re not even speaking to me.

I am feeling a little restricted if I am not prepared for the day.  It is surprising how much stuff is added to food when you start reading the labels, including (very sadly) some Nakd bars.  I’ve found another one that isn’t Whole 30 friendly today.  Luckily, I stopped myself before I actually look a bite this time.

While I am feeling restricted in some areas, I am generally feeling very good, sleeping well, no energy slumps, and now I am just waiting for my skin to realise we’re on  a roll here and improve too.  I’m also really looking forward to meal planning the next two weeks.  This weekend coming will see me in the kitchen, creating 5 different evening meals for us to freeze and tap in to over the next couple of weeks.

The only other thing that has happened that has been a bit odd was that I had a dream about KFC.  In my dream, Matt and I had just gone a KFC binge and I just recall feeling so mad at myself for not completing the Whole 30.  That I couldn’t be good to myself for one whole month.  In all honesty, that feeling is so real that it is keeping me going and driving me to stay on the grain-wheat-dairy-sugar free streak.

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