Tub on the Run


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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:


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Starting my third Whole 30

I’ve been giving my diet some thought recently. While it has improved massively since we moved out of our flat and into our own house, there is still a lot of work to be done. I can also feel some old bad habits beginning to sneak back in. While my takeaway consumption has reduced drastically since September 2015, I have been lazy and swapped the takeaways for microwave meals for tea and canteen fodder for lunch. It’s time for a reset!

Beyond the Sofa | Whole 30 Round 3

Whole 30 is a strict framework in which you cut out all processed food, dairy, refined sugars, grains and legumes. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.

Why am I doing this again?

Part of me feels like it hasn’t worked – I’ve done this before, lost weight, gone some way to improving my habits, only to fall back into old ones and pile all the weight (and more) back on. I’ve given this round a lot more thought about whether I should do it, bouncing from “I don’t want to be so restricted” to “it’s just 30 days”.  Then I’ve got to thinking – what’s the worst that can happen?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail

I could go back to old habits at the end of the 30 days and put on even more weight. I could really kick start my focus on health and make 2016 the year of healthiness. I know which I prefer!

Any changes?

I have a couple of changes in mind. In January last year, I logged everything in My Fitness Pal. Looking back at this now, I think it was the wrong thing for me to do. It took away the intuitive “am I hungry” foundation and was replaced by “how many more calories/macros can I have today”. That said, it was interesting to note that the days that I was lower on my calories tended to be followed by a more hungry day. Anyway, there will be no My Fitness Pal in my Whole 30 this time.

I’ve also identified that Nakd bars, while I do love them, aren’t very good for me psychologically and give me a crutch to lean on when I think I want something sweet. The reality is that I don’t need anything and that these lovely little bars can trigger a binge behaviour (I don’t care what food is in front of me, if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it). I’m not buying any at the start. The same applies for juice. Juice will be much more moderated this time – no sweet fixes from liquids!

I’m also going to limit my weighing in. In both of my previous Whole 30s, I weighed in a lot. I became more obsessed with it I think, especially in my second one. This time – there is a scale fast going on, which also means no Weigh in Wednesdays until February.

What about prep?

I haven’t cleared the house of non-Whole 30 foods (Matt is kind of joining in, but will be more flexible). I have re-read the programme rules. Muscle Food deliveries that we’ve stored are going to be used up first. Aldi is my friend (one of the worst things about Whole 30 is the sudden rise in food bills).

I’ve spent the afternoon today making up batches of Cincinnati chilli from Well Fed 2. This is an absolute favourite of mine, and while it takes a long time to cook, it is worth it. I’ve also made up some braised cabbage, and roasted some parsnips and carrots with rosemary and garlic. The fridge is stocked with cold meats for Matt, and there is a large amount of salad going on. The kitchen doesn’t look like a bomb site, which it usually does when I batch cook for nearly a whole month.

In the past, I’ve tried to make as many meals as possible so that nearly the whole month of evening meals is planned out. This has made breakfasts and lunches quite stressful because they’re much less planned. This time, I’ve gone for a couple of main meals, cooked up some more versatile ingredients and will do leftovers.

I absolutely do not want to be stuck in the kitchen every night prepping for breakfast, lunch and snacks the following day. Left overs will be fine.

When?

I’m starting tomorrow, 4th January. It’s my first day back at work and there are two birthdays in the office this week, and I’m off to see my friend on Friday for cider and Malteasers (which will be sparkling water and maybe some dates if I want them for me). Nothing like the present though!


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My Elevator Pitch – Whole 30 here I come!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I have been thinking about my diet lately, both in terms of what I eat, and weight loss strategy.  I have to admit, I miss Slimming World a little bit.  But… I like going weekly, but I don’t want to weigh in weekly at the moment.  I am also acutely aware that I get fed up of people asking each week about how to make “Slimming World Chips”, or “Rice Pudding” or “Scan Bran Cakes”, and that they aren’t motivated/too busy/can’t find anything to eat, and all I want to do is shout “haven’t you tried googling it?! or even looking in your book!?”.  But then I am that person (though I don’t ask about how to make proper chips or another Slimming Worldified foods). There are always plenty of excuses.

What I have come to realise quite recently, is that I am almost certainly addicted to sugar, and this has got out of hand lately.  I’m actually surprised it has taken me this long to work it out.  Sweet stuff totally derails me.  I’ve experimented at work a little bit – if I can’t see it (i.e. cakes or sweets are in the cupboard), I don’t want it.  But as soon as I have got a taste for it… well…  Did you ever watch Gremlins?  While I can be fed after midnight, exposed to sunlight and water (thank goodness!), I really think I might need to stay away from sugar.

Michaelangelo had pizza, Garfield had lasagne, Monterey Jack had cheese.  I have sugar. (Yes.  I am an 80’s baby, in case you were wondering).

So as I have been pondering on my diet options lately, I have realised that I need to kick this issue that I have with sugar.  It’s a crutch that I use to pick me up from an energy slump mid-afternoon, to comfort me when I am low, feed my depression and my boredom.  Offer me a choice between starters and desserts, desserts win every time.  Demolishing multiple bags of Haribo in front of the TV?  No problem!  I’m your girl! (And let’s not limit it to Haribo.  Let’s not forget chocolate, marshmallows, biscuits, wine gums, flumps, sports mix, fruit pastilles…. You get the idea!)

My focus has been on trying to find a way of eating that helps reconstruct myself.  A nutritional reset, if you will.  Something to help get me started back on the right track.  My reading has lead me towards the Whole 30 programme.  From what I can understand, it is a paleo diet – no grains or processed foods.  It is stricter than the standard paleo framework – no paleo pancakes etc, just whole, unprocessed, natural food.

Tub on the Run | Whole 30

It is just for 30 days, but the idea is to take out all of the unprocessed crap and reintroduce it slowly at the end of 30 days to see how your body responds.  Details about the programme are freely available online, though you can buy the book if you want to know more.  I’ve read a lot of the testimonials on their site, and also have a good hunt through the world of Google.  Bloggers that I follow have also documented their experiences, which have always been positive and have helped me make my decision.

What am I hoping to gain from this all?  A couple of things:

  • Making significant inroads into breaking my problem with sugar
  • Learning more about what I truly benefit from and what does me harm.  I know that milk is not my friend, and that I have to be careful about how much dairy I eat, but I don’t know about gluten
  • 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

I am not expecting this to work miracles, though I am fully expecting it to be a difficult couple of weeks to start off with.  Nearly everything I have read indicates that the first two weeks are the hardest, with headaches, mood swings and EAT ALL THE THINGS.  With that in mind, I am trying to plan as much as possible.  I am even planning to spend my day in the kitchen on Sunday, batching cooking things for the week ahead – our food bill is going to be higher than normal, so waste not, want not!

I’ve created a Pinterest board of recipes, inspiration and resources which I will be adding to, and trying to keep on track.

I have a clear 30 days coming up, which I am setting aside to complete the Whole 30.

I’ve never gone grainless before – wish me luck!

Have you completed a Whole 30 before?  Any tips or favourite recipes?