Friday, 31 August 2012

Day Seventeen - Freshness

John and I have become super efficient at choosing and chopping fruit and vegetables, and daily visits to buy fresh produce is the norm. We're getting through so much fruit and veg I wish we grew our own. Unfortunately my fingers are decidedly not of the green variety. We're also including far more in the way of herbs to enhance flavour, as everything's being made entirely from scratch. Ninety nine per cent of bought sauces and pastes include hidden sugars so the use of them is prohibited for me. Herbs provide all of the flavour enhancement you need, along with garlic and ginger, to make a meal really tasty.
I love a really simple tomato salad drizzled with olive oil and basil, and coriander is my other favourite. I make a mean salsa!
I'm finding that I'm really properly tasting food at the moment, and being grateful for it. I've always eaten reasonably healthily but lapsed/got lazy every now and again. Now I'm refocusing on what's great for my mind and body and it's feeling really good!
Today's food:
Breakfast : Protein shake (Emma recommended) with frozen berries and fish oils added. Hot water. Chamomile tea.
Lunch : Tomato and basil salad, with iceberg lettuce. Avocado. Prawns in garlic and ginger. Hummus. (This was a prepared picnic eaten on a large rock at Brimham Rocks).
Followed by strawberries.
Sparkling mineral water.
Snack : Two squares of Xylitol sweetened dark chocolate.
Mineral water.
Dinner: Stir fried chicken in garlic, sesame oil and ginger with pak choi, courgette, spring onion and red onion, bean sprouts, and broccoli . Divine!!
Dessert : Melt In The Mouth - Chocolate Delight.
Peppermint tea x 3.
Total fruit and vegetables today : a whopping 13!!!!
Day seventeen down! 25 to go!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Day Sixteen - Make It Ten A Day

With careful planning it's so easy to get your Government recommended five fruit and vegetables a day. This is actually the minimum we need to eat to stay in optimum health; ideally it should be doubled to ten! This gives us antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, carbohydrates in abundance. This ensures that a large proportion of your diet is made up of natural, living foods and not chemically enhanced processed rubbish.
Breakfast: Mackerel fillet with poached egg and watercress. Peppermint tea.
Lunch : Cold turkey slices with left over ratatouille. Pau D'Arco tea x 2
Snack : Fake key lime pie, leftover from yesterday. Green tea. Coconut water- can from health food shop.
Dinner: Bolognaise sauce - John made it and it contained five vegetables; grated carrot, peppers, tomatoes, onion and spinach. Get your five a day in one meal!! Instead of spaghetti, I had ice berg lettuce straight from the fridge(full of minerals) and used the leaves to make 'parcels' with the bolognaise. Yum!
Dessert : Baked apple (exploded in the oven because I forgot to prick them so no picture but they tasted amazing!) stuffed with ground nuts, butter and coconut oil served with egg custard. All home made. No Sugar. Coconut water and mineral water mix to drink.
I felt SO full after dinner and for the rest of the evening- probably on reflection didn't need the two courses this evening!! Piggy!!
Day sixteen down- 26 to go!

Day Fifteen - A Third Of The Way There!

Yeah! I'm just over a third of my way to my six week goal. I'm really getting into experimenting with food, particularly desserts and puddings, as I've said before I do have a sweet tooth. Probably the worst thing you can say to someone with a sweet tooth is that they must give up sugar! But, it is possible to eat healthily and still get the 'sweet' taste that most of the world crave!
I was asked today if I'd lost weight doing this eating plan- yes I have. I've lost four pounds which takes me back down to what I call my 'fighting weight'.I'm happy with this.
If you have excess weight to lose taking processed foods, alcohol and sugar out of your diet will release weight, guaranteed. Your body loses empty non nutrient foods so can concentrate on using nutrient rich foods as its fuel source instead. Try it for a week! I've also found that my nails have grown longer and stronger, and my skin feels more nourished. My moods are still a little irrational and my sleep patterns too but I'm sure this will even out given time. Emma says it's important to feel grounded to get good sleep. I'm a little hyper most of the time, so walking barefoot on the grass or sand is a great way to calm, soothe and ground me. I walked a long way on Filey beach and at Robin Hoods Bay today, both barefoot. It was bliss to paddle in the freezing water and feel the sand between my toes; here's to a great night sleep tonight!
My food intake today:
Berries with coconut flakes and a few nuts with peppermint tea(in the hotel).
Lunch: hummus with olive and tomato salad with peppermint tea(in a cafe at Robin Hoods Bay).
Snack: Coconut yoghurt with black currants, sprinkled with cinnamon (ordered from Goodness Direct, they make a great, creamy, tasty snack and are just sweetened with a little Xylitol- most yoghurts are just liquid candy! Check the sugar content!)
Dinner: Swordfish steak with home made ratatouille.
Dessert: Fake Key Lime Pie - John and I made this up! Very proud. It tasted so delicious I have to give you the recipe to try for yourselves.
Walnuts and brazil nuts, dessicated coconut.
Coconut oil and butter.
Creamed coconut
Fresh lime juice
Grated Xylitol chocolate to sprinkle on the top.

Put the nuts and coconut in a blender, and blend to a 'dough'.
Melt butter and coconut oil in a pan and add the nut mixture.
Press into an oven proof dish and bake for approx 15 minutes on 180 degrees to form a 'biscuit' base.
Blend the coconut cream, avocado, and lime juice until smooth.
When the base is cooled pour the topping over the base and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours.
Just before serving sprinkle grated chocolate over the top, and add a couple of slices of lime for decoration.

All of the ingredients in this pudding are from natural food sources and it contains no harmful non-nutrients. Eat it knowing your body and mind will thank you for it.
Day Fifteen down, 27 to go!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Day Fourteen - Preparation

To keep on track of my eating 'programme' I'm having to be well prepared, and that's the case with any 'diet' (don't like that word as it suggests denying yourself, and as soon as we deny ourselves we crave what we've taken out).
A trip to the coast today needed careful thought; we packed drinks and food so that I know what I'm eating. Tonight's meal will be in a restaurant so careful choice will be needed but lunch and snacks are catered for!
I'm missing Green and Black's Dark Chocolate big time but the Xylitol sweetened stuff is kind of doing it for me even though I can only have it occasionally as a treat (Emma's rules).
I'm reading an amazing book just now called Timeless Secrets Of Health and Rejuvenation by an American guy called Andreas Moritz. He talks about the benefits of Xylitol versus processed sugars "Xylitol is a sugar alternative that looks and tastes like real sugar but contains less than 40% of the calories. It does not rob the body's nutrients and energy resources. Xylitol contains calories but its slow release into the blood gives it a much lower glycemic index. If taken in moderation, Xylitol is unlikely to pose a problem".
This plant based sweetener is available in most supermarkets, and health food shops, and can be used in cooking and baking just like normal sugar. It adds a whole new dimension to the kitchen!
Xylitol is used in some chewing gums, making it more healthy for the teeth and gums. I discovered several brands of chocolate now use it too, available either from larger health food shops or on line. It tastes remarkably good too! More on healthy websites later.

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs , aloe Vera gel.
Lunch: Avacado, prawns in garlic with spinach, home made salsa, hummus.
Left over crumble and sheep's yoghurt
Snack : cashew nuts - sat in traffic on the A64!!
Dinner: At Desi Spice, Filey. Sea bass tikka with salad, chicken in coconut, ground almond and tomato sauce.
1 piece of mint chocolate (xylitol sweetened) with peppermint tea back at the hotel.
Fabulous day, fabulous company , fabulous weather and fabulous food. Smiling.
Fourteen days down, 28 days to go!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Day Thirteen -

John and I are having so much fun experimenting with food just now. He's being so supportive, and virtually following the same eating plan as me apart from the odd glass of red wine, and a bit of bread.
We'd planned to spring clean the house and I knew he was less than inspired at the thought, but did put one hundred percent effort into our dietary requirements!
Breakfast had become a little predictable for me, either bacon and eggs or berries and yoghurt. So today John made tortilla - with tomato,spinach ,bacon and red onion - amazing!! So tasty and set me up for the spring clean!

I had a protein shake mid morning, and was so busy on my mission at lunchtime, and John had fallen asleep (to get out of helping me!) that I skipped eating.Bad, bad move - my blood sugar had dropped so low by dinner at 7pm that I was physically shaking, and shovelled food in as quickly as possible. It was delicious!
I'd asked John to replicate a dish I used to eat in the Flying Pizza years ago and what he made was equally as good:

Food :
Breakfast : egg,spinach,tomato tortilla
Mid morning snack : protein shake
Dinner: cod in tomato and garlic sauce with buttered asparagus, and mange tout.
Snack: chocolate covered cashew and pine nuts (Xylitol sweetened chocolate- no processed sugar to alter blood sugar)

Dessert: home made (this was a joint effort) mixed berry crumble with a blob of sheep's yoghurt.
Ingredients: dessicated coconut, pumpkin seeds, ground almonds rubbed into soft butter to make the 'crumble'. Sprinkled over mixed berries and baked.

Day thirteen done, 29 days to go!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Day Twelve- Experimenting

John and I had some fun in the kitchen today! I'm missing having desserts, other than berries, which seem to have become part of my staple diet (even though I love them to bits!). So we flicked through some recipe books and in the end made our own healthy version of *chocolate mousse. You may be put off by the list of ingredients, but honestly the overall look, taste and texture was spectacular, and really finished off the meal so well.
Coconut water
Macadamia nuts
Raw cacao powder
Coconut oil
Vanilla pod seeds
Blend them all together in a food processor, pour into a bowl and put in the fridge. Just before serving sprinkle with dessicated coconut and raw cacao nibs. Delicious! And NO sugar in sight; it's power packed with nutrients instead.

Today's Food :
Breakfast: protein shake
Lunch: lentil soup with egg mayonnaise and salad (at Fodder, Harrogate) . Very tasty!
Dinner: Chicken casserole (again home made by John).
Dessert: *Chocolate mousse, with dedicated coconut and cocoa nibs.
Day twelve down and 30 to go!

Day 11- Tracking

A few weeks ago I came across the app , MyFitnessPal, through a friend who has lost weight through using it. I have never been into calorie counting but decided to take a look.
It allows you to track exactly what you eat on a daily basis, and the exercise you partake in. You can scan foods or pick from their extensive list, or add a brand. It calculates calorific value as well as fat, carbs, fibre, sugar , salt and protein.You can also add your own notes (moods, feelings, sleep etc).
I'm hugely impressed as one of the first activities I get new clients to do is to fill in a diet sheet for a week. Every single morsel must be included. Not only is this useful for me to look at the overall picture but it makes the person doing it way more accountable for their intake of food and drink.
It's SO easy to have a cup of tea with half a dozen biscuits, and conveniently forget you ate them. Similarly with alcohol, it's easy to drink more than you intended. If you're recording it ,though, your awareness levels are heightened and you are more likely to stop and think!
I was staggered by some of the calories and sugar and fat content of foods especially Starbucks and Costa muffins, cake etc that millions of people tuck away, in addition to meals, on a daily basis. A chocolate muffin for example would take up almost a third of a women's calorie intake - and guess what? They are all empty. There is NO nutritional value to a chocolate muffin. Our bodies can exist quite happily without them!!
Obviously for this six week period I'm making a note of all that I eat. It's fascinating me and it's keeping me on track. Especially as I'm blogging it as well. I'm tempted to cheat if I'm honest, lots of times a day, but my health is at stake here and what's more important - me sorting my gut out or a moment's pleasure whilst eating something 'bad' for me. Food for thought.

Food I ate today :
Bacon for breakfast, and a protein shake (prescribed by Emma, more on this later)
Lunch: spinach and feta tortilla slice, with an avacado, and lots of tomatoes.
Dinner: pork and bean casserole (home made by John- delicious) , with mange tout and broccoli.
Coconut yoghurt, berries, and cinnamon.
Snacks: cacao nibs and 2 squares of chocolate sweetened with xylitol. 2 fruit sweets made entirely of berries, and fruit juice (ordered these for the kids from a health food site and to be honest not sure if they're ok for me. Will check with Emma before I eat any more).
Day 11 down, 31 days to go!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Day Ten- A Good Nights Sleep

Great nights sleep again last night, the sea air is literally wiping me out. As we get our physical repair sleep between 10.30pm - 2.30am it's a good thing. I'm usually a night owl but Emma's rules are that I have to be in bed for 10.30pm and wound down before hand. Chilling in the evening; unheard of! I'm normally rushing around doing a dozen jobs after the kids have gone to bed. This week I'm going to bed at the same time as them!
Sleep is also one of the ways to make carb cravings vanish or dissipate, according to Connie Bennett ( Beyond Sugar Shock).
Sleep deprived people are more likely to reach for 'quick fix' foods during the day to keep them going. Fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, sweets, cakes, bread products - all give you that blood sugar rush that will lift you temporarily. And I mean temporarily. When you eat foods with little or no nutrients in them it sends a signal to your body that you need to eat more. It's asking for something healthy, something it can utilise properly for energy.
That's why some people have the capacity to eat enormous amounts of CRAP foods ( caffeine, refined, alcohol , processed) and not feel full.
Ideal fuel for your body is food that will regulate blood sugar and sustain us throughout the day; keeping our minds and body's on an even keel.
That energy 'slump' in the middle of the afternoon can also more than likely be traced back to a poor food quality breakfast such as refined cereal, or white toast ( go back about eight hours if you feel this way, at any time of the day and check out what you ate).
Cutting out sugary, refined stuff and eating more dense proteins and complex carbs will regulate blood sugar; helping moods, energy, weight, stress, sleep and making you an all round nicer person to be around.
Over the next 6 weeks I'm looking forward to being that nicer person!! No refined anything for me!
My food today:
Breakfast: Local , grilled organic bacon. Local organic egg. Green leaves - lots of them. Aloe Vera gel and hot water and lemon.
Lunch: left overs from yesterday. Hummus, carrots, tomato, avocado.
Dinner : at St Petrocs, Padstow: Prawns in garlic and chilli to start. Followed by lemon sole grilled, with bearnaise sauce, green salad, and courgettes in garlic.
Dessert: strawberries and clotted cream ( I know, I'm not supposed to eat cream. That's the last time I promise! It was local Cornish clotted cream; gorgeous!)
Day ten down, 32 to go!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Day Nine-Committed!

Woke up feeling much better than yesterday, after a good eight hours sleep.
Did some resistance body weight stuff, followed by some yoga flexibility work.
Ready for my day!
Took Ben for his surf lesson at Harlyn, giving me a couple of hours 'me time'. Yeah! I'm sure anyone with children can relate to craving 'me time'. I don't get much so today I enjoyed a walk on the white sands, shell hunting and some reading.
Felt really spacey by midday and am having lots of 'down' moments. Feel quite flat and Emma says that,of course, it's from withdrawal of ALL sugars. Sticking with it though, nine days down and I'm proud of myself.

My goal is to sort my gut and that's what I'm focussing on. Long term health is way more important than a sugar fix, and if I don't sort it now it will only get worse and develop into who knows what.
Bad news - Emma emailed tonight to say cream and cows milk yoghurt are off menu!! She wants me to leave dairy alone as well as everything else!! But I can eat coconut cream, so my berries don't have to be lonely! Too late today though, will start tomorrow.

Today I ate :
Two baked apples for breakfast with organic probiotic yoghurt, almonds, and cinnamon. Yum!
Lunch : sliced roast turkey, cold. Left over salsa (home made) from last night.
Dinner: bolognaise sauce (home made) with lettuce and rocket leaves, and grilled courgettes.
Snack : blackberries and cream
I'm drinking lots of water with slices of lime in , feels and tastes like a treat! And my usual vat of peppermint and other herbal teas.
Day 9 down, 33 days to go!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Day Eight - A Discovery!

Dreadful night last night, had lots of negative thoughts and couldn't shake them off! Don't know if that's anything to do with having no sugar or just one of those things? Ended up getting about 4 1/2 hours sleep.
Went for a brisk walk in the sun down to the harbour , and up to the coastal walk that overlooks the Camel Estuary. Felt better already!
Cycled the Camel Trail today with the kids; beautiful. The countryside here is just amazing, and the weather couldn't have been better.
Had a wander round Wadebridge after lunch and went to my favourite health food shop. To my delight found they had a dark 'chocolate' with no added sugar, only Xylitol ( a sugar substitute that doesn't spike blood sugar). I bought a bar after checking with Emma that I'm allowed it - she said YEAh!!!!!! But, only as a treat a couple of times a week and only a square at a time. So I had a square and sucked it until it disappeared. Tasted great, but the aftertaste wasn't so good. Actually don't think unwrapping a bar of chocolate was a good idea. Think I'm better just avoiding anything to do with it altogether, as now I want more.

Eating berries are enough of a sweet 'rush' for me now and I can eat as many as I like- a whole punnet of strawberries won't spike your blood sugar, at all. How cool is that? And I can have yoghurt(plain) and coconut milk and dairy cream, all of which go really well with berries. Happy with that!

I've definitely noticed that my tummy is flatter, and I have a lot less discomfort than I was getting. My skin is less dry but my moods are a little erratic. My nails have grown amazingly; they used to snap off when they got to a certain length and are way past that length already and feel so much stronger.

Today's food :
Breakfast : blackberry coulis, full fat probiotic yoghurt and mixed nuts and cinnamon. Aloe and lemon and water.
Lunch : ( in a restaurant - this took some doing!) Tiger prawn salad, with no dressing and no croutons- basically prawns with leaves and tomatoes. Lovely but I could have eaten it three times over!
Snack: After bike ride - three squares of Dark Xyltiol Sweetened Chocolate. Few macadamia nuts.
Dinner: chicken fajitas- without the tortillas!! So, I had chicken breast, avocado , tomatoes, onion.
I need to come up with some interesting recipes as I feel like I'm eating the same group of foods all the time.
Day 8 down! 34 days to go!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Day Seven - Into The Swing Of It!

Hey! Feeling great this morning ; lazy morning with the kids: tickling, juggling and skateboarding.
Honestly not craving sugar at all and know I can do the six weeks now no problem! That feels so good.I'm in charge of me and not any weird and wonderful cravings controlling what I do!
I have tried to do this in the past but obviously my mind wasn't in a strong enough place. Right now my world is great and I feel I can conquer anything, including a gut issue which has hampered me for years, and years.

I think a lot of food choices are connected to childhood memories. My mum, auntie and gran ALL made puddings and sweets. My sister and I used to walk to the village shop with 10p to buy 'penny sweets'. That was the purpose of the mile round trip! Not to get fresh air, or just a pleasurable walk through a delightful country village! So consequently sweet things became part of my diet.
I've never, ever had a weight problem though, so thought it was ok to eat lots of sugar.
I now know you can be slim and still be unhealthy. If the composition of your food groups is wrong, your body cannot function optimally. My eating habits, combined with a heavy use of steroids (for childhood eczema) resulted in gut, and in turn ,skin, issues. That's what I'm battling with now, aged 45.
If I can impress upon anyone reading this the importance of reducing their added sugar intake, I'll be happy. It's a potentially toxic substance , more so than fat, and is strongly related to our current health epedemics.
If you're on either oral or topical steroids please, please take extra care with your tummy. 70% of our immune system is housed inside our gut so treat it with the care and consideration it needs and deserves. In turn you will be rewarded. Check the side effects of your medication; do you need to take it every day, really? Is there an alternative?
Did you know the OTC laxative and antacid market in the UK is worth more than 182 million pounds a year!!!! And do you agree that if we all looked after our diets and lifestyles to a higher standard this market need not exist to anywhere near this extent?

We are what we eat; we are even more what we absorb. It seems to be of no consideration to most people that what they put into their mouths on a daily basis has a direct effect on their gut, and therefore their health.

So, if you're taking antacids as a matter of course, why not try changing your diet? If you need laxatives to make you visit the toilet every day, maybe increase your green veg and fibre intake as a starting measure, and reduce the refined stuff.
Sugar contains no nutrients, let alone fibre to help keep you regular.It's empty calories and in excess has to do more harm than good - by the way, alcohol is included here!
Your body treats alcohol as a sugar. It increases your blood sugar and your body will use it for energy before anything else. So if you're consuming a bottle of wine a day, your food is primarily being stored as ......FAT.
I know this is not what most people want to hear, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Today I ate :
Breakfast : aloe Vera gel and hot water with lemon . Bacon and a whole bag of spinach.
Snack : Macadamia nuts
Lunch : Fresh roast turkey with avocado, and tomatoes
Snack: Macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds, toasted. Gorgeous!!
Dinner : freshly caught lemon sole from Rick Steins fish and chip shop- grilled rather than battered, asparagus and green beans, and broccoli
Blueberries with cream and cinnamon.
Day seven down, 35 days to go!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Day Six - Carbs and Exercise

Amazing day and a great distraction from food and my lack of sugar and other carbohydrates! We drove to Fowey and spent the day on the tidal river , rowing in canoes. Awesome! I felt it after about twenty minutes ,though, and realised that's a lack of carbs for six days. Wouldn't recommend as strict a diet as this unless for medical reasons (as mine is). I would highly recommend taking out unnecessary added sugars by 80%, though . I work to the 80/20 rule with clients; eat healthily 80% of the time and your body can cope admirably with 20% 'treats' , or whatever you want to call them! Treats for me has become berries, nuts and coconut cream!

Anyway, got into my stride with rowing and thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, the surroundings, the sunshine, and the delight on the kids faces! We stopped at a pub for lunch and I managed to find something I could eat amongst the chips!

Very jaded this evening; it was early evening when we got back to the house, so we had a quick BBQ and flaked on the sofa. Bed by 10pm, with Bared To You, my new, as good as 50 shades book, and wow did that feel good.

Today's sugar fact : sugar in foods comes in many guises. Beware of : glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, golden syrup, glucose fructose syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, dextrose, honey, treacle, molasses. You will find a type of sugar in all sorts, in fact most, processed foods. Even stock cubes!!!

Today I ate:
Breakfast : blueberries, coconut milk and cinnamon. Aloe and lemon in hot water.
Snack: hummus and carrot - in canoe!
Lunch :ham and eggs - in pub
Snack: mixed nuts, small handful
Dinner:BBQ, chicken with garlic, asparagus in butter, and green leaves
Dessert: strawberries and cream.
Drank lots and lots of water, peppermint tea, and Pau D'Arco tea.
Day six, 36 to go!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day Five-

I shopped at Tesco for basics; even more carefully looking at labels. This 'exercise' that I'm doing is making me more aware of the whole food and drink thing and I was pretty obsessed before!
Minor discussion with my ex husband over the children's diet. He favours buying white bread, I prefer whole meal or brown. The kids like packet cereal, mainly because they've seen the enticing commercials for them in TV. I prefer them to have porridge, home made pancakes, or boiled eggs for breakfast, with at least a portion of fruit. Ummm going to be an interesting week.
Standing in the queue at the checkout I took an interest in people's trolley or basket contents. The majority were stacked full of packets, and boxes, and cartons. 'Non nutrient' foods that have been 'man made'. I wondered whether these are 'holiday treats' or whether this is their normal diet.
I hope it's the former!
Another sugar fact that should concern us: "sugar habits can cause and/or aggravate nearly 150 serious health problems, including fatigue, osteoporosis, arthritis, Chrohn's disease, migraines, emphysema, kidneys disease, memory loss, cancer, food allergies, asthma, gallstones, cataracts, sexual dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, depression, eczema, and even fertility . Sugar can also speed up the ageing process". Connie Bennett, author of Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock. I'll explain why at a later date but hope that's given you food for thought.
I worked out a long time ago that sugar and alcohol made my skin and my gut worse, but it didn't stop me consuming the stuff, in all sorts of forms. Why? Because we are "tempted, bombarded, teased, barraged incessantly, to purchase and overeat cheap, calorie packed, energy depleting foods". Connie Bennett, again. And a lot of it tastes good too! It's obviously made that way.
From an early age most of us are introduced to sugar, and love it! We're programmed to; after all breast milk is sweet! Sugar makes us feel good, it gives us a lift temporarily, it gives us more energy, temporarily, its a sociable thing to do, so why wouldn't we want to eat it!
Nat keeps asking me "mummy why do they make sweets taste so good when they're bad for us?" good question. Answer: so we'll buy more!!
The sugar industry around the world is gigantic, it's seemingly unstoppable. I for one believe sugary products should be taxed heavily ( I can hear your protest shouts from here!) because people just don't know when to stop eating them.
I heard a story about a lady on the research panel for an ad agency who admitted to eating large amounts of shop bought gâteau. Not as an occasional treat but for breakfast!!!!!
Morrisons currently have an offer on - buy one gateau, get THREE free! And they only cost a pound! CRAZY!!!
We are being actively encouraged at every turn, to buy sugary products- and it's the sugar that's the problem not the fat! More on this later but our health problems, a large proportion caused by sugar, are draining the NHS resources. Our obesity epedemic means hospitals have to have a proportion of larger, re-enforced beds to accommodate people- where will it end??
Better get off my soap box for now, but I will return.
Oh one more thing! Just read this in Men's Health Magazine: avoid putting sugar in your tea to cut your risk of a heart attack by 20% (based on a average six cups a day) American Heart Association.
Went for a brisk walk this morning, early, before the kids woke up, along the coastal path in Padstow. Such a treat and something I do every morning when I'm here. At the war memorial overlooking the Camel estuary I stop to do body weight exercises: squats, lunges (forward, back,side), press ups,and tricep dips etc. It's my favourite place in the world and sets me up for the day, clearing my mind and energising my body.
My diet today:
Breakfast: Aloe gel, hot water with lemon) two poached eggs on a bed of buttered spinach. Love this!
Lunch : hummus, carrots, turkey breast, tomatoes and leaves from the local farm shop. Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries with almond flakes and a small blob of cream. Yum and very filling!
Coastal walk this afternoon to walk off lunch, and a couple of hours on the beach in the sun. That's my Vitamin D stores replenished for a while.
Dinner: another challenge as we went to Rajanos, Italian restaurant in Padstow. We sat in full view of rows and rows of bottles of wine, and to watch people on the other tables drinking it was a tough one I have to admit. I'm not a massive drinker since having my kids. Can't metabolise it anymore, can't deal with kids with a hangover but also am acutely aware of what it's doing to my gut and skin (and other parts of my body that I'm not so aware of). So had sparkling water with a slice of lime - I can feel the halo above my head! Ha ha.
After pestering the waitress to ask the kitchen whether various dishes contained sugar, I settled on pollack in garlic and olive oil, with a large salad.
Back at the rented house I had blueberries and coconut cream for dessert.
Very, very sleepy by 9pm- lack of sugar or just sea air?
Day 5 done! 37 to go!

Day Four: Holiday- No Ice Cream

Headache gone thankfully, and spacey feeling. Set off for Cornwall this morning for a week with the kids. Nat's really concerned that mummy won't be able to eat famous, fabulous,creamy and delicious Cornish ice cream. Told him I'll survive!!
I feel already that my gut is improving, it's much calmer and making me want to persevere. I grew up thinking it was normal to have tummy ache, so to eliminate it forever will be tremendous.
Yesterday I read in one of the CHEK health books that taking sugar out of the diet for someone with skin issues will improve the condition dramatically within 48 hours. Just thought I'd share that as I know eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne in particular are so common.
So,this week, away from home I'm going to be negotiating my way around restaurant menus which will be fun. My kids are used to me asking for "off menu" food to get what I want, so there will be more of that going on.
Packed liquids, and breakfast and lunch to eat in the car though, the more I'm in control the better!
A few more facts about sugar : we don't need added sugars (as oppose to natural sugars) to survive. Sugar provides no nutritional value other than calories. Soft drinks and other sugar sweetened drinks are the number one source of added sugars in the diet (as I quoted yesterday there are approx 6 teaspoons in each can)Source: American Heart Association.
Eating more than three teaspoons of refined sugars at a time "will throw your body out of balance, suppress your immune system, and attack your body like a foreign invader". Nancy Appleton, American Nutritionist. Wondering if that explains mood swings in many people?!
Today's food :
Breakfast : aloe gel, water with lemon. Sheeps yoghurt, macadamia nuts toasted with raspberry/strawberry purée and cinnamon (one of my fave flavours).
Lunch : large organic chicken leg,cherry tomatoes, spinach and home made guacamole (shop bought has prohibited ingredients but home made easy to do and more tasty)
Dinner : at The Rock Inn: struggled to find anything- the chilli had sugar in, the prawns were in tempura batter, and everything else came with heaps of carbs,or a glaze,or sauce. Ended up with scallops, and a big pile of green leaves with tomato and onion.
Pudding back at the rented house was raspberries, almonds and cream - yum!!
Feeling good but left it too late this afternoon and was starving by the time we ate this evening.
Day 4 down, 38 to go.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Scary Sugar Facts

Day three of absolutely no sugar, grains, or alcohol . I have to say I'm feeling it today. I woke up with a headache and had that spacey 'hungover' feeling- but without the pleasurable evening on the booze the night before! I've been told to expect to feel worse before feeling better, so I'm guessing that's what this is. I'm feeling sleepy too..... just want to lie down and snooze.
I decided to google some negative stuff on sugar to help keep me focused instead. Wow! Scary facts:
- there are 7 tsp of sugar in a can of cola(not that I've ever touched the stuff!)
- young adults drink an average of 6 cans of fizzy drinks a week!!
- the UK consumes around 2.25 million tonnes of the white stuff a year , about 3/4 of this is sold directly to industrial users such as manufacturers of soft drinks and confectionery
- each year British consumers munch their way through 10kg of chocolate per person!!! More than any other European country.
And I bet most people are blissfully unaware of all the health challenges too much sugar can produce.
My food intake today :
Breakfast: Aloe gel, and hot water with lemon. Mixed berries and Sheeps yoghurt with cinnamon, and almonds
Lunch: chicken breast, roasted with vine tomatoes, roasted with garlic, and spinach
Mid afternoon: mixed nuts, handful, few berries
Dinner: small steak fillet with asparagus,roast carrots and purple sprouting broccoli
Drinks : lots of water with lemon, peppermint tea, and sparkling water with lemon
Symptoms : tiredness, headache and itchy skin.
39 days to go!!

Day Two : Chocolate Cake

Last night I was irritable, most definitely due to a lack of the sweet stuff; thank goodness John is so laid back he's falling over!
Better this morning. My day started with a glass of aloe Vera gel, followed by a large mug of hot water with lemon. Aloe soothes the gut with its anti inflammatory properties, amongst others, and the lemon water kick starts the digestion after its night fast.
My digestive specialist, Emma Lane (I'm not worthy!) works to CHEK principles and is totally holistic in her approach. I am CHEK trained by her to a more basic level. She had debilitating illnesses and the CHEK institute in California got her back fighting fit, and she now has a long waiting list of people all over the country, with gut issues, whom she helps from her Wakefield and Harley Street Practices. She's advised various natural supplements to add to my diet which I'll cover in more detail later- suffice to say I have a 'protocol' to follow!
A visit to my cousin Ali, and her new baby, Noah, proved challenging today in that my auntie had made the most enormous chocolate cake covered entirely with Maltesers, for visitors.
I grew up in a family who always ate puddings, sweets between meals (or 'kets' as they called them in the North East) and cake at any and every celebration.
As an adult, and having trained in health, fitness and nutrition I understand the toxic nature of sugar on the body - however, as we all know old habits die hard, and although I moved onto dark chocolate ( full of flavonoids) and less than daily puddings, cake, and alcohol, my body is wondering what's going on!
Grains, most fruits, some dairy, and some vegetables are seen by the body as a type of sugar therefore they're out for the next six weeks too.
What can I eat you may ask?!?!?!
Well, lots and lots of green vegetables , nuts and seeds,organic meats, coconut
, fish and shellfish, eggs, carrots, onions, avacado, tomatoes, berries and green apples, good oils such as avacado and coconut. A caveman diet! Nothing from all of those middle aisles in the supermarket; the packets with a list of ingredients that are unpronounceable, but most definitely include less than natural substances designed to entice us into believing they will a) do us good, b) add fibre to our diet, c) fortify us with vitamins and minerals, d) increase energy levels, e) boost our health, f) help us lose weight because they're low in fat , and many other claims made in advertisements.
So today I ate :
Breakfast: two poached eggs and a packet of spinach.
Lunch : hummus, carrots and salsa left from last night. Coconut flakes, toasted.
Dinner: poached salmon, broccoli, green beans, and asparagus with butter.
Mixed nuts in the cinema- whilst others tucked into vats of Diet Pepsi and enormously unnecessary tubs of popcorn.
Feeling virtuous! Forty days to go. Rx

Thursday, 16 August 2012

My Biggest Challenge Ever

I've swam across lake Windermere, cycled hundreds of miles in a day for charity, abseiled down a tower block, climbed the three peaks in twenty four hours, and had three children naturally without any pain relief. To date I consider these things to be my biggest challenges. Until now..... yesterday, I completed day one of my Six Week Sugar Free Diet to finally overcome a digestive disorder that I've suffered with since childhood. A disorder that continues to be fed by sugar consumption. It's heavily suspected to have been caused by excessive use of steroids prescribed for childhood eczema (side effects are many but gut issues common). That's why I'm a big campaigner for the use of natural products for the condition ; and how we control my daughter Lauren's eczema.
So I'm going to blog over the next six weeks, primarily to help keep me on track,but also because the majority of the population consume too much sugar in one form or another. So hopefully it'll be interesting to others, and perhaps a bit of an eye opener. It's very easy to 'overdose' without realising - sugar is in virtually ALL processed foods, including mayonnaise, ketchup, cooked meats, pasta sauces,crackers and crisp breads, even some crisps and other savoury snacks. And then there's the obvious: cakes, biscuits, alcohol, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, squashes, fruit juice and yoghurts and yoghurt drinks.
So, today my diet went something like this :
Breakfast : 2 poached eggs, with rocket leaves and grilled vine tomatoes.
Lunch : organic beef burger (just meat) with broccoli, and onions sauted in coconut oil.
Dinner : prawns in garlic, with avocado and home made tomato salsa. Followed by sheep's milk probiotic yoghurt, mixed berries and cinnamon and coconut flakes.