Tub on the Run


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A good weekend

Back in October, I had a week off. It was lovely. I got the chance to catch up on a load of things, but importantly, it was also the week that the rugby unions released their Six Nations tickets. I tried to join two online queues – the English queue, and the Welsh queue, trying to get tickets for either Wales v Scotland at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, or England v Wales in at Twickenham. I wanted a Welsh match, as Matt is a staunch Welsh supporter, having decided that he was an adopted Welshman when he studied at Cardiff University. I, on the otherhand, am happy to support any and everyone.

An hour and a half later, I had successfully bought two Wales v Scotland tickets. I tried to book up a hotel at the same time, but that was where my luck ran out. Not a massive problem, we decided, as we would just catch the train in.

Yesterday, we set off at just gone 8am, drove to Worle, and caught the bus replacement to Bristol Temple Meads to head to Cardiff. I honestly don’t think I have seen so many kilts in one place before. The platform started to get quite crowded with a mix of scarlet and tartan, all very good natured and friendly. The trains were absolutely rammed, but we’d managed to find a relatively quiet carriage and settled in for the ride.

Arriving at Cardiff, the atmosphere ramped up tenfold. We’d been in the city on a match day before, but this was something else entirely. When I lived in Sheffield and Chesterfield, I ended up out and about when the local derbies were on, and it felt intimidating. I freely admit, I don’t get the lure of football at all, never have. I don’t really like catching the train back from Exeter when there is something on at St James’ Park, as again, it just doesn’t feel as good natured. Cardiff was completely different. Scottish and Welsh (or supporters thereof) walked hand in hand or side by side down the main streets, and there was a real buzz.

Cardiff Streets

As Matt and I had arrived so early (kick off wasn’t until 4:50pm), we headed to the WRU shop so Matt could pick up a new shirt. Shirt bought, it was time for lunch. Last time we were in Cardiff, we saw loads of places that we wanted to stop at, one of which was Red Hot World Buffet (Matt’s choice, mine would have been one of the steak houses). It was a good idea – our non-paleo meal of the week could be literally any cuisine we fancied. It was an interesting lunch. I decided to start with some salad stuff and sushi, which was pretty good. For mains, I visited Tex Mex, Indian and Chinese. It was okay. Nothing to blow you away. I had a pudding course too, which was fruit and some small (bite sized) pieces of tiramisu, chocolate peanut cheesecake thing and a mango-y cake-y thing. The whole thing was just “okay”. There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I ate a bit too much (which is silly, as it was probably less than half of what I would previously have eaten, and I wouldn’t have touched the salad). I was definitely glad to get out and walk shortly after lunch. Matt felt similarly, though didn’t have the salad and went for two rounds of different cuisines.

After lunch, I bought a back up SD card, having left mine at home in my laptop (plonker!), and then we headed back towards the stadium to check where our gate was. We still had a couple of hours to kill, so took a walk in Bute Park.

Bute Park Collage

There were quite a lot of dogs being walked, and I decided that humans could definitely learn a thing or two from spaniels. Now, from experience, I know spaniels are the craziest. Blue smartie crazy. So it came as no surprise that this cocker spaniel raced around at a million miles an hour, checking everything out. He looked so happy to just “be”. Puddles? Great! Mud? Brilliant! Humans? Epic! Squirrels? Totally! Life? Amazing! Despite appearing completely scatterbrained, he was also trained (I’m a strong believer that you should invest the time to train a dog well if you’re going to make the commitment to have one). The quietest of calls from his owner, and he was at heel. When asked to sit, it was immediate.

Spaniel

Eventually they headed off in a different direction to us and we carried on up past the fitness trail. It was a really nice walk, despite the chill. I can’t remember when, by my UP3 buzzed to say I had hit my steps target, and by the end of the walk I had clocked up around 13,500 steps. I was pleased about that, as I had decided not to do my Fitness Blender workout on Friday. I was also pleased I’d managed so far, as I had bought some new boots on Friday. My trusty Merrells had started to get a hole in the back of them and I would have cut my heel up something awful if I had worn them. I was in two minds as to whether to try and break in new boots for so long – I like to live dangerously…

We started to head back and got to our gate at about 3:05pm, then waited for the gate to open at 3:20pm. After a bag search and a small queue, we were in just after 3:20pm. Our seats were up in the gods. I don’t think my legs were quite ready for the number of steps we had to climb. It was definitely worth it though – the view was great!

Principality Stadium

The pre-match entertainment got underway, the roof closed (thankfully – it was freezing!) then the anthems were sung, and the match started. I really enjoyed it and sang and chanted my way through with both the Welsh and Scottish supporters. I’ve had Bread of Heaven and Flower of Scotland stuck in my head ever since.

After the match, we headed back to the station via a long (voluntary) detour and hopped on the train back to Bristol. The replacement bus service was still in effect. This was definitely the longest bit of the day. Anyway, we arrived back home at 11pm and hotfooted it to bed. My last look at my UP3 step count was 20,882, which I think is my record since wearing the UP.

UP3 Steps 13 Feb

Today has been mostly about recovering from yesterday with some pottering around the house. I ended up with a blister on my toe, so I haven’t wanted to put shoes on today. It has been a really great weekend though – I haven’t had such fun in a long time. October will see me sat at the computer waiting in a virtual queue for Wales v England or Wales v Ireland tickets next year. In the meantime, we’ll be back at Millennium Stadium for Judgement Day in April.

Have you had a good weekend? Do you watch the rugby?


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Soapbox time: Habit forming

The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change

It’s soapbox time.

One thing that I have found really grinds my gears in the world of health related articles, including all the New Year’s Resolutions articles masquerading as help, is the “it takes 21 days to form a habit”. That’s right, 21 days and I will be an early morning riser, super productive, healthy eating, good wife/sister/daughter/friend, yoga guru, gym bunny.

This might seem a really small and trivial thing to get wound up about, but let me explain. I have three reasons for this being a soapbox rant target.  I call bullpoop on 21 days.

First up…

Where is the science?! I studied psychology at uni, and while that makes me so far from an actual psychologist, it did give me the desire to see things back up by, y’know, science. Ask most people how long it will take to form a habit, and the stock answer is probably going to be 21 days. Where has this mythical 21 days come from? Interestingly, from what I have read, it actually started off being an observation of a surgeon called Maxwell Maltz in the 1960s who said that he noticed his patients adjusted to a physical change from 21 days onwards (it is the “onwards” bit that is often missed off). In 2010, a health psychologist called Philippa Lally published a study which suggests that it is more likely to take 66 days to start forming a habit. A bit of a difference in timescales there! Importantly, she also said that it depends on the type of person and the habit they’re trying to form. It’s going to be much easier to form a quick and pleasurable habit (eat a piece of cake a day) versus remembering to wash the car on a weekly basis.

Secondly…

Maybe this is just me, but habits do require some maintenance. Suggesting that your habit will be formed after 21 days and will then be forever ingrained is just daft. Okay, brushing your teeth may not require as much thought, but trying to adjust your eating habits, or exercising habits, speaking from experience, can be hard work. Not physically hard, but mentally tough. I find myself having to be in a constant state of vigilance, lest I find myself falling into my own personal danger zone of apathy because I have decided I have failed at whatever I am working on.

Lastly…

I think it can be damaging to bandy around the idea that in three weeks, you’re cured! Your bad habit has been broken and replaced by a good habit.  Congratulations! You’ve succeeded in three whole weeks, and no more do you need to think about it! Again, if it’s a nice habit (like eating cake every day – that would be lovely right now), it’s not going to take much effort to get into that kind of routine. This is where it gets personal for me. Telling me that it will take me 21 days of healthy eating to reform my habits psychologically doesn’t do me any favours. Have I failed to form a habit successfully if it takes longer than 21 days? Yes, according to the unreasonable and illogical part of my head, I have. Forty-one days later into a different way of eating and I can’t understand why this doesn’t feel any easier. That’s lie. I can understand it. I said before that it’s a constant state of awareness, and questions, and reasoning, and logic. I went to a workshop for work this week, and there were pastries. I cannot tell you how amazing they smelled. Little pastry slices of sweet and buttery heaven. Before the workshop started, my internal dialogue was “Do I feel hungry?”… Yes. “Okay, are you thirsty?”… Yes. “Have you tried having a drink first?”… No, okay, glass at the ready. “Is there an alternative?”… Yes, there’s fruit. “You’ve done really well, will the pastry set off a binge type response?”… Probably. “Is it a good idea to have a pastry?”… No. All of this over a pastry. And right now, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

So, at the end of all that? I think it really depends on who you are and what you’re trying to do, and of course, how much it really means to you and your motivation and engagement in following it all through. Just please, no more “21 days to make a habit” rubbish.


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Weigh in Wednesday 10: Danger Zones

Weigh in Wednesday 10

It’s my first proper Weigh In Wednesday of 2016! Obviously, I had weighed in at the start and end of my Whole 30, but they weren’t Weigh In Wednesdays.

Since finishing my Whole 30 last week, I’ve stuck to a mostly paleo way of eating. There have been two notable exceptions. The first was a pizza at Comedy Club on Friday night which I had pre-ordered the week before. When it arrived, I looked at it and really didn’t fancy it. I thought that (as had been the case with my previous Whole 30s) I would definitely want it, and it would be the best pizza in the world. I even ordered my favourite – pepperoni. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was – I’d “wasted” my non-paleo meal on that. It was greasy, tough and just disappointing. Within about 15 minutes, I had tummy ache too. So uncool. I could have forgiven the pizza if the comedians had been hilarious. Sadly, only the final act was.

The second non-paleo meal was pancakes. I love pancakes, but try to restrict how often I have them otherwise they just become an everyday food. Pancakes are special. Much like hot cross buns and mince pies. Ordinarily, I make the batter and Matt cooks them. Last night, I gave making the batter a go, and while it was a good batter, my arms were… well… battered! I’d done my Fitness Blender video, which was upper body focused. I literally couldn’t whisk and had to concede defeat. Matt valiantly took over and produced some excellent pancakes, so it turns out I wasn’t all that necessary to the process!

Fitness Blender Home Set Up

Anyway. Danger zones.

This week, I lost half a pound. It isn’t a great result, though it is a loss which is always welcome in my house. I am frustrated. I have eaten mostly paleo (of the 7 days of meals, only two meals haven’t been, though yes, one of them was last night). I have worked out more than I think I ever have, and certainly worked out more in terms of using weights than ever. To combine both the exercise and the eating, I feel a bit cheated with a half-pound loss.

Looking at the more holistic view rather than just the exercise and food fronts, it hasn’t been a good week for me in terms of sleep. I’ve somehow managed to be really late to bed and not slept brilliantly when I have eventually got there. That’s something to work on. I’ve also not kept as well hydrated as perhaps I have in recent weeks. Also, it’s that time of the month.

I’ve tried to think more proactively about it, as I know this is where I am likely to throw the towel in on everything and huff and puff and declare that NOTHING WORKS, and I’M GOING TO BE FAT FOREVER. I will then get more miserable as I console myself with some sort of comfort food. Probably Reese’s PB cups. Probably not pizza. Looking back, I think this is why I haven’t stuck at an exercise programme for longer than a couple of weeks, as the scale doesn’t budge, or worse, has gone up. In those cases, I may not have had my food down to pat (the “I’ve been spinning, I can eat whatever I like today” syndrome).

This is my danger zone – giving up and stropping about too soon because I am not seeing the results I want as quickly as I want. All that being said, I think this is the first time that I have been aware of it. Now that I am aware of it, I can decide to ignore it and just keep on going. So that’s what I’m going to do!

Are you a pancake fan? What’s your favourite topping?  Mine is lemon and sugar (more lemon than sugar thanks!)


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Ultimate Coffee Date | February 2016

On one hand, it feels such a long time ago since I wrote my last Ultimate Coffee Date post, but then at the same time, I’m not entirely sure why January seems to have passed by so quickly. Anyway, it’s the first Saturday of the month, which means that it is coffee catch up day! Thanks to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting!

 

If we were having coffee, I would definitely have wafted my favourite new thing in front of you (provided that you also like coffee!). As I mentioned in my Whole 30 (Day 25 to 27) post, I have a new love, and oddly (for me) it’s an instant coffee – it’s Little’s coffee. Even for a bit of a coffee snob like me, it really is good. So good, in fact, that I braved the torrential rain today, and practically swam across the car park at Darts Farm to get another version. My original find was the vanilla flavour, and today’s purchase was chocolate orange. I’m really looking forward to trying it tomorrow morning.

If we were having coffee, you may have noticed that I am two things today. Firstly, that I am a little slimmer than I was when I blogged at the start of January. On 4th January, I started my third round of Whole 30, which I really enjoyed, despite a couple of tricky patches. Since finishing, I’ve made a decision to remain mostly paleo for the time being (it’s working for my weight loss at the moment, and I feel so much better). The second thing is that I feel much brighter in my outlook right now. I feel much more chirpy and motivated than I have done in, well, I can’t remember how long!

If we were having coffee, you would also probably have noticed that I am moving a bit stiffly and slowly. DOMS is no joke, my friends! Before Christmas, I’d been thinking about joining my local gym. I was teetering on the do I/don’t I for what felt like ages. Financially, it is a commitment, and it’s a wasted investment if I find I don’t like it. I miss my spinning, though I don’t miss the gym itself as it’s always been a cardio torture house for me. I decided that before I jump into a 6 month gym contract, that I would do something more low key but would fit perfectly (I hoped) into my routine, and gave me some structure. I’ve done a few Fitness Blender videos in the past and really enjoyed them. I then found that they have an 8 week programme for just over £10. I’ve just completed the first week of workouts, and while I don’t remember finding them super sweaty at the time, I have definitely noticed that a couple of days on, I am sore and very grateful of my two rest days! I have also come to realise just how weak my core is. I literally cannot do the core workouts right now.

If we were having coffee, I would let you know that Matt and I rejoined the National Trust a couple of weeks ago. We have plans to get out and about this year. The top reason is that it gets us out and about with a real purpose. I definitely suffer from the “wasted weekend” feeling on a Sunday night if I haven’t made it out of the house that much. I like a purpose to go out (especially when the weather is so grim right now), and National Trust offers both properties and land to explore. So far, we’ve been to Saltram House, but Killerton House (which is also my local parkrun) is close by, as is the Jurassic Coast. I feel that for the last few years, I have been a hermit and lived indoors most of the time. My vampyric pasti-ness is testament to this, and I would like to change that! Bring on the vitamin D (when the spring rocks around!).

National Trust Collage

Lastly, if we were having coffee, I’d have been on time. Random? A little! I bought a Life Planner from Lollipop Designs, and I absolutely love love love it. I have gone sans diary for a year, and found myself forgetting things or appointments. My phone calendar is okay, but there’s nothing quite like having a proper diary. The beauty of this particular diary is that there are three columns each week, which I have put as work, home and blog. I’m not great at remembering where I am meant to be on a weekly basis and whether my work and personal stuff clash, and this diary has already helped me spot (and avoid) a couple of clashes already. I’ve also started to map out some blog stuff using it too. When I end up going AWOL, it’s usually because I forget to blog for a while as I don’t have much to say, then struggle to get back in to it again. My plan is that by actually knowing what to blog about in advance, I will stand a much better chance of blogging regularly.

How has your month been? Any favourites to share?


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Wrapping up my third Whole 30

finished-the-w30-fb-cover

Well that’s it. I finished my third round of Whole 30 on Tuesday.  It’s been quite different from my previous experiences, and I think I made some good decisions after learning the hard way in my previous two rounds.

What did I want to get out of Round 3, and did I achieve it?

I really wanted to give this Whole 30 my all. As I mentioned in my first post about this round, I wanted to curb some of the bad habits that had snuck in since we moved house at the end of summer last year. While Matt and I had already done a lot of cleaning up of our diet, we were beginning to get lazy and buying ping meals.

The thing is, with a Whole 30, you just can’t do that. It won’t work. I had to get back to cooking, and actually I’ve really enjoyed it. I don’t really know why I hadn’t started cooking again sooner. I can only put it down to the nightmare that was my old oven, which had a mind (and temperature gauge) all of its own. Hurrah for my new oven!

My main aim was to kick start my weight loss this year. Melissa Hartwig recently posted on the Whole 30 blog that the scale shouldn’t be the only measure of success on a Whole 30, and that you shouldn’t rush to find out that number, lest it take away from the other good stuff (the many, many other non-scale victories). To a point, I completely agree. I have definitely achieved more than just succeeding with a weight loss (clothes fitting better, slightly better skin, healing of my scalp which had been really sore before Whole 30, less windy, less PMT – for the most part!). But at the same time, when you have more than 100lbs to lose, finding out that number is such a good step in the right direction, which I find really motivating. It’ll come as no surprise then that I achieved a weight loss. While my loss wasn’t as staggering as Matt’s whopping 25lb loss, mine was a 15lb loss, which I am happy with.

Generally speaking, how did it go?

I think this has been my easiest Whole 30 in some ways. Despite struggling at a few points, I really do feel ten times better than I did when I started. I’d made some decisions, such as not eating Nakd bars (which I really do love – rhubarb and custard all day, every day!), and not using My Fitness Pal to check my calorie intake. These were good decisions. I haven’t binged once in the last 32 days, and more importantly, I don’t have the craving to right now. I think that I have been able to control that by not eating foods (healthy or otherwise) that I need to develop a better psychological relationship with. Also, by not using My Fitness Pal (or any other tracker), I really tuned in to whether I felt hungry, and found myself not just eating because “it’s lunch/tea time”. I kept on top of my water intake quite well, which I definitely think helped.

I think the hardest point for me in this round came at Days 16 to 18, when the moodiness, grumpiness and issues with concentration hit. I seemed to be a few days behind the Whole 30 timeline anyway, but where they reckon most people give up at Day 11, it could have been Day 17 or 18 for me. I think the hardest part for Matt to put up with was Day 8 or 9, where I did seem to have a real PMS style moodswing akin to a gremlin who had been fed after midnight.

The best part? By far, for the last week and a bit, I’ve felt really good. My energy is nice and consistent, and things just don’t feel so difficult and hard to start. I definitely think I have procrastinated less, and I think my ability to handle stress and recover from any incident has been easier. All that being said, I think I am fighting off a bit of a cold at the moment. I know it was too good to last after having been lurgy free for a significant amount of time, while those around me have coughed and snotted their way through December and January.

It’s also been nice as people have commented that I look like I have lost weight, which has been great to hear. It’s all very well losing weight and knowing that the number of the scales is going down, but having people notice is definitely motivating for me.

One thing I really wish I had done at the start of this Whole 30 was take a “before” photo to be able to compare it to a “now” photo. I didn’t take my measurements either. I’ll definitely make sure that I take a before and after photo at my next Whole 30. It’s not the end of the world though, as I know my clothes are beginning to either fit better, or have too much room in them and I’ll need to move down to the next dress size (specifically my work trousers and my jeans).

What’s next?

I’ve been giving this some real thought. In my previous two Whole 30s, I have found the post-Day 30 really difficult. I have literally gone from eating a full blown paleo way, to going back to old habits very quickly. I want to do it differently this time. So what I have decided is that I’ll keep eating paleo for the majority of the time. It’s working for me right now, and as the saying goes “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. However, from my previous weight loss attempts, I know that as soon as I deny myself [insert any food], then that thought becomes all consuming, and I give in, and I give in big style. I don’t want that. What I have decided is that I will have a non-paleo meal (and pudding) each week, and that meal can be whatever I want, but should (ideally) be made from scratch. If I want the amazing Hairy Biker’s super indulgent cauliflower cheese, then that is what I will have. If I fancy something from one of my paleo recipe books, then I’ll have that. I’ll also be having proper tea at the weekends. It also means that I won’t be that one awkward person who can’t or won’t eat out at certain places. I enjoy food. I don’t want to stop that, but I do want to put a framework in place where I can exercise more discipline to achieve my weight loss goals.

In July, I will also be having another clean up in the form of a Whole 30. July is a pretty quite month for me usually, and hopefully we’ll be able to have a few BBQs for a bit of variety!

My first non-paleo meal? It’ll be tomorrow, and it will be pizza as I’m out with friends. I’ll stop when I’m full, and drink plenty.


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Whole 30 Days 28 to 30: Round 3 complete!

finished-the-w30-fb-cover

Happy Day 30 to me! I am going to get my thoughts down on how all of my Whole 30 went during round 3, but for now, I’ll carry on with my previous format.

Day 28

Breakfast: Fruit and almonds

Lunch: Beef stew with carrot and swede mash

Tea: Chicken korma with cauliflower rice

How I’m feeling: I have to admit I feel pretty sad today. It isn’t food related, but I was shocked to hear about the passing of Terry Wogan. As a self-confessed, and perhaps premature Radio 2 listener (a TOG if you will), Terry Wogan, Deadly Alancoat (Alan Dedicoat), Lynn Bowles and Boggy Marsh accompanied me on all of my commutes to work when I lived in Chesterfield. There were a lot of times that I had to stay in the car just to hear the end of whatever they were talking about, often belly laughing about snorkers or a poem. Incensed when Chris Evans joined, I reconverted back to Radio 1 with Chris Moyles, but it wasn’t the same (I don’t dislike that many people, but I really don’t like Chris Evans). Instead, Terry then accompanied Matt and I when we went on Sunday morning journeys. It was fitting then, as I was at Mum’s for lunch, that we ate and listened to her CD of Janet and John stories (please check them out if you haven’t heard of them before, they’re pure genius).

Anyway, back in Whole 30 land, Mum very kindly cooked a beef stew and served it with swede and carrot mash, which made it completely Whole 30 compliant. It was really tasty too. I had a lovely afternoon catching up and putting the world to rights with Mum, and providing a warm lap to this nutter…

Harley

He’s so gorgeous. It’s been another good day, plenty of energy despite the late night last night. I definitely feel that I’m riding the crest of the wave.

Day 29

Breakfast: Fruit and almonds

Lunch: Salad with a couple of slices of beef

Tea: Pulled pork with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: I am pleased about the return of sweet potatoes! It has been quite a long time for us to have gone sweet potato free. It was another late night, and all things considered, I don’t feel bad at all. I’ve had a really productive day at work, which continued in to the evening. I had some stuff to do when we got home, then had tea, and then made up a meatloaf and prepared a stew which will be cooked tomorrow. It does mean that we’re eating meatloaf for the next few meals, but I don’t mind that too much. I also prepared breakfast. I can’t believe it’s Day 29 already!

Day 30

Breakfast: Eggs with pancetta and tomatoes

Lunch: Meatloaf

Tea: Meatloaf with carrot noddles and cauliflower rice

How I’m feeling: I am feeling excellent. I had a long team meeting this morning, and I felt that I was alert and able to contribute without any mental fug or distractions about feeling hungry. I have kept back up on my fluid intake again, though I have noticed I’ve started to get a sore throat. I am hoping it’s nothing and I’ll be able to fight it off quickly if it does develop in to anything. Matt weighed himself this morning, and he reckons that he has lost a whopping 25lbs! That is really fantastic, and I couldn’t be more pleased for him! He’s ready to go down the next jeans size too, so he’s pretty chuffed with it all.

I really can’t believe how quickly these 30 days have gone and how different this Whole 30 has been compared to my previous two efforts. As I said, I will be doing a full recap of all the 30 days over the next couple of day, but if you want to catch up with my previous days, they’re all here:


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Whole 30 Days 25 to 27: Maced by Cayenne Pepper

After 24 days of eating sweet potato every day, we’ve actually gone sweet potato-less for the last few days. Matt was getting a bit fed up of it. On the other hand, I can eat sweet potatoes until they come out of my ears.

Day 25

Breakfast: Egg with pancetta and cherry tomatoes

Lunch: Pina Colada chicken

Tea: Pulled pork with carrot noodles

How I’m feeling: I’ve had a random headache most of the day. I don’t think I’ve been as good as I have been with drinking my water today. I’ve easily been finishing my litre bottle at work, with a refill and a couple of cups of (fruit/herbal) tea. I haven’t even managed three quarters of my bottle today. I’ve also done a lot of computer work which probably hasn’t helped. Lesson learnt! Food wise, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for lunch. Luckily I found the last Pina Colada chicken in the freezer. Matt had a “mystery” curry (I couldn’t even remember when I made it, so I suspect it came with us in the house move). Aside from this stupid headache, I’m still feeling good, everything is settled and I just feel a bit more alive and “with it”.

Day 26

Breakfast: Didn’t have any

Lunch: Leftover pulled pork with carrot noodles

Tea: Spiced chicken with veggie couscous

How I’m feeling: I hadn’t prepared anything for breakfast, but I wasn’t actually too hungry and survived until lunchtime. I definitely seem to be coping better with going without for longer. Right now though, I’m feeling recovered! I may have got a bit sprinkle happy with the Cayenne pepper over the chicken and forgot quite how spicy it can be. I cooked it on the skillet, and literally maced both of us. Runny noses, runny eyes, coughing fits, and having to breathe through my jumper. Cooking was quite the ordeal today. Also, my mascara is definitely not waterproof. Even the cats retreated upstairs. Once my eyes and nose had stopped streaming and I’d stopped coughing, the chicken tasted pretty good – just the right amount of kick to it.  Matt and I were talking about how we’ve found this round of Whole 30, and he said he thinks his portion control is  a lot better. I actually thought it was similar to our pre-Whole 30 portion sizes, but I guess they may have got a little smaller.

Day 27

Breakfast: nearly a Whole 30 disaster

Lunch: Salad with chicken and balsamic vinegar

Tea: Chicken korma with carrot noodles

How I’m feeling: It’s been quite a busy one today! First up, it was a mass hair cutting day for Matt and I. Matt was beginning to get lost under his mop, and I was shutting my hair in the car door when I was getting in as it was too long. We were running a bit late, so I thought I’d have the Nudie coconut chips that I bought from Muscle Food. I grabbed them without looking at the ingredients list. Big oops. I started chewing on a couple while I looked at the back, and ended up spitting them out. No way that I was restarting my Whole 30 at Day 27! Anyway, on the way back from the hairdressers, we stopped at Darts Farm. My parents-in-law and grandparent-in-law were coming over to see the house for the first time since we moved in. Normally, we would have all gone out for lunch, but Matt had explained that as I was on a strict Whole 30, he doubted we would find anywhere compliant. I was having a bit of a panic what to feed people – it’s lunch, so you don’t want to go too heavy, but a salad seems un-wintery. Despite that, we ended up buying salad stuff with some quiche. As usual when I go to Darts Farm, I came out with more than I’d originally intended to buy.

This stuff is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not normally a fan of instant coffee at all, but this is lovely. What’s even better – Little’s Coffee is just down the road from us. Will and Caroline from Little’s were at Darts Farm, explaining about their products. Unfortunately we were in a bit of a rush to get home in time, so after a very brief chat and Caroline’s recommendation, I picked up the vanilla infused coffee. At home, mad last minute hoovering ensued, and then everyone arrived. Mother- and father-in-law brought us some beautiful flowers, while Nan very kindly bought a veggie and fruit box for us. I made a start on lunch while Matt did the grand tour. Matt worked the sales pitch on the Whole 30 to Nan, and showed her Nom Nom Paleo. She would now like a copy, so I ordered one to be sent to her. Lunch went down well (phew!) and we had a good catch up. They left at about 3pm. For tea, I cooked the korma from a paste packet I found at Darts Farm, and we settled in to watch Straight Outta Compton for the night.

Flowers

Anyway, I’m feeling good. I’ve had good energy, I’m sleeping well, my skin is clearing up nicely and my jeans are too big.

A lot of people will have finished their Whole 30 on Saturday, so congratulations to those who have made it through – hope the reintroduction phase goes well! I finish on Tuesday.

My other Whole 30 Round 3 posts are here:

 


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Whole 30 Days 22 to 24: Up, up and away

Since my last post, my Whole 30 goodness has really started to come in to its own (at last!). A couple of irritating breakouts aside, the summary is – I’m feeling great! For me, ignoring the grumps and grottiness from earlier in my Whole 30, this is what it’s all about.

Day 22

Breakfast: Didn’t have any

Lunch: Prawn stir fry

Tea: Chicken in tomato sauce with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: I feel really good! I had the day off today by myself as I was owed holiday from last year. I had quite a relaxed start, made a cup of tea but didn’t really feel like having any breakfast. Despite being technically on holiday, I had some work that I needed to do so cracked on with that, interspersed with doing the washing. By lunchtime I was quite hungry so I made prawn stir fry which was really lovely. It did use the last of my cashew butter though (sad times). I definitely want to cook something with chillies in it soon as I am missing some heat in my food.

Prawn Stir Fry

As I came towards the end of my work and the laundry pile, I remembered that Matt said he needed some chopped tomatoes and passata for the sauce for tea, so I decided to go out for a walk. Instead of heading straight to Tesco, I went the long way, before deciding the go past Tesco and walk to the bottom of town to Aldi. I bloody love Aldi. I’d not really shopped there before December but I’m a convert. I don’t think you can taste the difference either!

Leat Walk

I got home and set about doing some washing up, clearing the surfaces down and also sorting out the cat litter (the joys!). All in all, it’s been a good day. I’ve had plenty of energy (so I haven’t spent the whole day sat on my bum as I probably would have done two weeks ago) and I’ve been quite productive. When Matt came home, we had tea and settled in to watch Legend.

Day 23

Breakfast: Two poached eggs and some thick cut ham

Lunch: Chicken in tomato sauce with veggie couscous

Tea: Steak with sweet potatoes, onion and carrot noodles

How I’m feeling: My lack of planning is getting the better of my breakfast. I ended up eating from the canteen this morning. It’s been another pretty good day. I’ve had a good level of energy, my skin is beginning to clear a bit after a breakout last week and I’m doing well on the concentration front. I’ve also had more ideas for blog posts than I have had for ages, which I think is a combination of Whole 30 concentration and focus courtesy of my new Life Planner from Lollipop Designs x Blogtacular which is all kinds of awesome. I’ve spent a lot of the evening filling the diary up with my life and whatnot. I am not a great blogger in that I don’t plan posts very much. I think this is why I end up going AWOL for a bit, as I struggle to think of things to blog about if I leave it too long. I’m going to give the planning thing a go, based on what I already know is going on in my life. I feel like I am winning.

Day 24

Breakfast: Pistachio nuts

Lunch: Marks and Spencer’s egg and new potato salad

Tea: Piri piri steak hache with onion and sweet potatoes

How I’m feeling: I was unprepared for breakfast or lunch today.  Big oops.  A combination of lack of sleep, unpreparedness for breakfast and lunch and a couple of dull meetings has been no fun. I don’t even know why I was so late to bed which makes it more annoying. Despite being tired, I don’t actually feel too bad (just not as good as I have done for the last couple of days). Early to bed for me tonight! On the plus side for food preparation, my HUGE Muscle Food delivery arrived today. It was almost too heavy to carry, and I could feel the bottom of the box bulging as I was carrying it, so the first thing I did when I got back to my desk was re-tape the seams.

Muscle Food

I have some batch cooking to get on with – first up is pulled pork as we haven’t had that in absolutely ages. We’ll also be having Cincinnati chilli and meatloaf (all made Whole 30 if they’re not originally paleo). I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do with the chicken. Quite possibly I think Fiona’s green chicken might feature, and I might attempt a curry. I’m not sure what sort of curry yet though.

So, after what has felt like a really slow start to my Whole 30 round 3, I’m onto a winner now.

Fancy catching up with the rest of my Whole 30 so far? Here you go:

 


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Whole 30 Days 19 to 21: on the up!

After a pretty miserable few days, I feel like I am on the up again! And about time too! It isn’t (cringe) the “tiger blood“/superhero feeling, but I am feeling more together.

Day 19

Breakfast: Diced bacon, hard boiled egg and sweet potato

Lunch: Chicken in Matt’s amazing tomato sauce and veggie couscous

Tea: Steak with onions and sweet potato

How I’m feeling: I am glad it’s Friday, that’s for sure! It was one of the busier days in the office again today, and I didn’t end up eating my lunch until nearly 4pm. I had planned to have it earlier, but a meeting overran and then I had a couple of others to go to. One thing that I was pretty glad of was I didn’t get ravenously hungry (or grumpy). Yes, I was hungry, but I wasn’t chew-on-your-arm kind of hungry. I also noticed I seemed to keep a better concentration level going. All in all, it’s been a pretty good day.

Day 20

Breakfast: French omelette

Lunch: Ham and a juice

Tea: Chicken stir fry with sweet potatoes

How I’m feeling: Refreshed! Finally! I woke up, having had nearly 9 hours of sleep and felt good. Over breakfast, Matt and I were talking about what we wanted to do in the day. His nearly-Whole-30 is going really well, and he decided his treat would be a new Xbox 1 controller (how it’s different from the other one, I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve been told it is MUCH better than the other). Unfortunately the only place that had it was an Argos in Plymouth (which is about an hour away). We’d also been talking about rejoining the National Trust, so decided to do it today and stop by Saltram House on the outskirts of Plymouth on the way back from Argos.

Saltram House

It was a really murky day, but the weather is clearly confusing the plant life – the daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses were all out in force. We didn’t get to go around the whole house, as only the east wing is open at the moment, but it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. We’re going to go back in the spring (when hopefully the sun is shining!) so we can go around all of the house and gardens.

Gardens at Saltram

Around 3:45pm, we headed home, stopping at Tesco to see if they had a magazine that Matt was looking for. Because we hadn’t had lunch either, we picked up a couple of things to munch. I picked up ham and a juice. It wasn’t the best thought out meal, but it filled a hole until tea time. This evening, I’ve put in a big Muscle Food order, which will hopefully be here on Wednesday. I’ve included a couple of their paleo snacks to see what they’re like. If one thing that this Whole 30 has told me is that I can’t be prepared all the time, so having a back up plan is a good idea.

Anyway, it’s been another pretty good day today – the Whole 30 goodness is beginning to come through!

Day 21

Breakfast: Banana, melon, apple and orange juice

Lunch: French omelette with ham, followed by dried apricots and pistachio nuts

Tea: Prawn stir fry with carrot noodles

How I’m feeling: Another good long sleep, and I’m feeling good! We decided to get a juice for breakfast in the Guildhall in Exeter rather than eat at home. I realised that the smoothie I usually like (Banana Boat) has yoghurt in, so I asked for one without the yoghurt. It wasn’t quite the same, but it was a nice change. It wasn’t an exciting shopping trip (conditioner, deodorant, lip balm), but it was nice to get out the house for a bit. I definitely think I am procrastinating a bit less than I have done in the recent past.

Fancy catching up on my January Whole 30 so far? Here you go:

 


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Whole 30 Days 15 to 18: Riding the struggle bus

 

I am wondering how bad my diet really was before my Whole 30, as I seem to be getting a bit behind in the timeline now. I know the timeline is just a guide though, and actually, looking back on my previous Whole 3o experiences, I think these few days are probably the worst in terms of mood for me.

(Source)

Day 15

Breakfast: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mixed nuts

Lunch: Pina Colada Chicken from Well Fed 2 and some cashew nuts

Tea: Beef stew

How I’m feeling: Woohoo! Made it half way! After the gross-ness of yesterday’s tummy trouble, I’m glad to report that there has been no reoccurrence. I have felt a bit out of sorts today though with food, as I haven’t been as prepared. Luckily, we have a couple of frozen meals left, but I do need to have a couple of productive evenings cooking stuff up. Today has been the first day that I’ve really felt “look at all this food that I can’t eat”. Going in to Tesco to pick up some bits and pieces (more sweet potatoes!) probably didn’t help that, as the Easter chocolates are now out, and suddenly all I can see is crackers, breads, and so much stuff that I can’t have. I’ve tried talking myself out of it and concentrating on all the food I can have, but I’d be lying if I had said it worked. I think I’m in mourning.

Day 16

Breakfast: Two poached eggs with ham

Lunch: Pina Colada Chicken

Tea: Bacon braised cabbage from Ministry of Food with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: The mourning hasn’t stopped yet. I’m tired, a bit cranky and feel like I have regressed a bit. A friend got a KitKat in the post today from a supplier (yes, random), and I could have given up there and then. I didn’t. I don’t even want want it (it isn’t a specific craving). It’s like my brain has cottoned on that certain foods are off limits and suddenly, I want ALL THE FOOD. To counter all of that though, a friend said that she thought my face was looking thinner, and I have noticed my trousers have got a little longer, though I don’t think I look thinner.

Day 17

Breakfast: Two poached eggs and a slice of bacon

Lunch: Egg and potato salad from M&S, cashews, grape and blueberry pot and a berry smoothie

Tea: Bolognaise with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: First off this morning, I was a bit annoyed. I’d made breakfast last night to bring in to work today, and left it on the side. After having had a fair few days of not being organised, I was looking forward to that. Two poached eggs later and I was okay. It turned out to be an absolutely manic morning at work anyway and I didn’t get out for lunch until gone 2:30pm. I decided rather than struggle through trying to find something compliant in our canteen at lunchtime, I would walk down to our local petrol station which has an M&S Food. Yeah. Turns out that all of the cold meats for sale in this M&S had some sort of sugar in them. I spotted a plain salad and picked it up with a load of fruit. Lunch was rescued! It was also good to get out of the office for a walk which I definitely need to do more of when it isn’t so wet outside.  In other news, I’m feeling a bit “can’t this be over yet”. It’s tinged with some grumpiness too and I am definitely still on the struggle bus. I’m definitely not swinging from the rafters, full of joie de vive that’s for sure!

Day 18

Breakfast: Sweet potato, two hard boiled eggs and some ham

Lunch: Bolognaise with cauliflower rice

Tea: Chicken in tomato sauce with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: I really do feel like I’m flip-flopping between feeling pretty good and a miserable “can’t I have a brownie” state of mind. The thing is, physically, I think things are going pretty well. I cut my nails back after I took my Shellac nail polish off on the 5th January, and they’ve grown really well, they’re shiny and strong. My hair is getting to the point of being too long for me anyway, but it feels a little longer. My manager said to me this morning that she can see that I have lost weight (though I still don’t see it right now). As for my sleep, I’m not a bad sleeper anyway, and I’m trying to get into a more consistent bedtime habit (which is going well so far), but I’m sleeping well with no problems. Anything mental though? That’s a different story. I’m struggling to concentrate, my levels of motivation waver from total productivity and efficiency to couch-dwelling slob (there is no happy medium), my moods are ebbing on the higher side but with some crazy grumpiness (which is usually for totally pointless reasons). I was talking to a colleague though, who is “cutting” for a competition and eats largely low carb, higher fat, and he said that sometimes it will take longer than a month to feel like you’re firing on all cylinders. It’s all just a case of bearing with it I suppose!

On the plus side, I am not absolutely sick and tired of eggs at the moment, which does usually hit me at half way. That said, I do like some of the recipes in Whole 30’s eggless breakfast post – food for thought for the weekend.

The plan for the next few days is just to ride it out, and hopefully I’ll get to the consistently good feeling. Anyway, want to catch up on my previous days? Here they are: