Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year That Was Without Chocolate

I am looking forward to waking up tomorrow. I have just spent the whole year without chocolate.

YES! You read right > the whole of 2013 I did not put one piece of chocolate into my mouth. Including anything chocolate flavoured, no cappuccino's because of the chocolate sprinkle, no chocolate cakes, chocolate chips, nothing. The closest I got was accidentally inhaling some cocoa from Aston's chocolate flavoured milk.

It was really an interesting process, I learnt a lot about my own habits of enjoying this delicious treat. Needless to say, I am super proud of my achievement. I would never say "I can't believe that I did it" because my mind was so set, there was no way that I was not going to achieve it. This is a great way to enter into 2014 knowing that once I set my mind to something, I can achieve it.

#1 habit broken. You've had a busy day, you've been working, doing the kid thing, you pop to the service station or super market, and that oh-so convenient chocolate bar rack on the way out, well I learnt that apart from chewing gum or lollipops, your only option really is chocolate, and I used to love that little treat because it was so well earned. I stopped searching for other options about 5 months in. And don't desire 'a treat' at the cash register now. I don't even look twice now at the snacks available.

Desserts and cakes, it was nice being able to say no because it was made of or with chocolate. It was nice to have a reason to reject these things. It was nice to also explore a new world of baking without chocolate. Starting my healthy living journey in June also coincided nicely with my abstinence to the lovely chocolate treat. My mum never got used to the not-eating-chocolate thing, and only offered me one just the other day. "Maybe next year mum" was my response.

I had dreams of eating chocolate and freaking out about it. Easter was interesting and I did manage to get through it (can you believe it!!) mostly without freaking out. My monthly sugar cravings were fulfilled with jelly lollies. And eventually they have subsided too. I did also learn a lot about when I was craving chocolate and why. These regular cravings have pretty much disappeared too.

The hardest part has actually been the last couple of weeks. The joy (stress) of Christmas, and the family enjoying some chocolate lately, oh my gosh, I have felt some craving for the sweet stuff. BUT I am happy to say that I have a stash ready including some super special chocolate all the way from Belgium and the Swiss alps.

This was not a new years resolution, I made a decision to fast chocolate for a year. Fasting as part of my beliefs, to give up something as a sacrifice to build my Faith.

Right now I am not confident in myself to fully resist the regular temptation of chocolate. I was a 2 blocks in my grocery shop type of girl. I am a little scared to not have the restriction on myself and I really will have to administer self control now when it does come to the chocolate decision. With all the above said, I think I can do it! Here's to a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You Bad Little Thing

I am not one for 'drama' in my life. Sharing so that others can learn, again. Here goes.

I have been off the pill for a good year now, not because we were wanting another baby but because I was enjoying not putting drugs into my body. I actually really felt great! I have been balanced emotionally, no crazy downers, my libido returned (I do wonder where it goes? I reckon it gets pushed out after having babies or something) and I can't say that there were any obvious monthly dramas to deal with: pimples, pms, etc.

I started back on the pill under 2 weeks ago.  I am now off the pill again and am completely frustrated about the whole situation. Man, I am learning some strange lessons in life at the moment.

Before I go on, the things I am learning about my body are obvious to me because I am in a time in life where my focus is on my health and well being. It is easy to diagnose my situation because my children are at an easy age to deal with and my partner works away giving me time to think about things and focus on self. Hence, I am not disctracted with life's general runnings. Some women wouldn't think twice about these things and just get on with it because they don't have time to think about it, etc. You get my drift. I say this because it could be happening to you and you are wondering "what the heck is wrong with me?"

Once again, being naive has it's down sides. I used my old script from earlier in the year and jumped straight back onto Yaz. Yaz has been known lately in the media for causing of blood clots and deaths in young women. It is a multi-pill, so have a few different types of hormones/drugs in it. Mum told me to get off them ASAP.

Do you want to know what happened to me when I did go back on the pill?

Within the first week of starting back on the pill I had a general uneasyness. Just feeling uneasy about life and the circumstances coming my way. It was an odd feeling and I remember commenting a couple of times to my hubby about feeling that way. I couldn't put my finger on it.

Within the first week and up until lately, I notice my heart get a bit racy in the evening while I was relaxing watching tv. Just starts pumping a bit more harder for a short period of time. I am not concernced because I have dealt with palpitations in the past. But still, I do put it down to the pill.

Within the first week I started getting pimples all over my chest and neck. And no, not just a few but lots, and big and red and just everywhere. My sister actually commented that it was acne rather than just pimples. Gross. By this stage I was unimpressed.

After the first week I was bloated and chubbier than I have been for a couple of weeks. Because I have been clean eating and working out, I have noticed my clothes loosen and I had been feeling nice and slim. But to all of a sudden I got pudgey I was thinking "what the heck is going on?"

I have also been unenergised to hit the gym and feeling awefully lazy at work.
And dealing with more moodiness than I have had to deal with for a long time.

If you are on the pill I think that it would be a great thing for you to go online and just get a really good understanding of what the drugs are doing to your body. Sometimes the hormones drive us crazy and sadly we would blame ourselves for issues but really it could be largely due to the hormones you are feeding yourself every day.

Fancy me putting all that effort into eating well and working out hard, to have some little pill come along and make me feel crap. Grrrr....

My conclussion is that I cannot deal with the drugs in this little wonder thing called the pill. I much much much prefer a cleaner body without this stuff. I will go and see what my options are. Considering a mini-pill, which is a single drug of progestogen (spelling?).  I am aware of the many options and have read up on alot of the different types of pills. Also considering Mirena. Which I also believe is a single dose of the progestogen. Any feedback welcome?

Thanks for reading anyway, maybe a bit boring but I was annoyed enough to write about it.
Happy posts now. Recipes and pics to come!

I had to lighten the mood, I don't care for the 'fat arm' comment but this photo just cracks me up so hard every time I see it. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Bad Of Clean Eating Coming From A First Timer

My conscience is pretty switched onto things,
I really wish I would listen to it more!
I have learnt alot in the last 5 days of clean eating.
1. Smoothies are awesome.
2. There is an art to providing your body with the right nutrition
3. There is so much good information online about all things clean eating
4. A food diary is worth keeping.
5. Nuts really do have to be activated.

So far, the bad of clean eating has outweighed the good, unfortunately. The last 2 days I've been struggling with stomach cramps/spasms which I believe are to an imbalance in my diet. Lots of good food was going in but maybe too much of a good thing can do damage without the right balance. The doctor said my pain was "most likely due to diet".
Day 4 night I had to break the clean eating for a plate of yellow oven goods, not for satisfaction or craving, it was what my body was needing to deal with whatever was going on inside.
A couple of days ago my conscience asked the question, can too many nuts be a bad thing? I wish I stopped and Googled it then. YES! Too many nuts can be a bad thing. Most of my snacks were nut based (almond meal), nut snacks and nut filled snack balls. My interpretation of findings > Nuts can contain an acid called Phytic Acid. Small doses are ok, but in large doses nuts are not easily digested and can react badly in the stomach. This Phytic acid that gets released then consumes any good minerals that are coming into my stomach. Which could also explain my lacking energy.
I read a topic on the Lorna Jane MNB website about 'activating nuts'. What a drawn out process just to be able to eat some nuts. Overnight soaking in water, followed by hours of oven drying... I thought, yeh, no thanks... But now I get it :-/
Soluble fibre is important too, which if I have my facts right comes from breads, bran and grains. Well I pretty much had cut out all of this stuff too. I am pretty annoyed with the situation, the pain was uncomfortable. Frustrating that I was making a conscious decision to "eat well and eat clean", yet all the time spent investing into the decision was actually creating large amounts of conflict in my stomach. Hmmm....
I am going to continue a clean eating outline to the food I eat, but a little more balance and realistic nutrition because of the intense workouts that I do undertake. Balance of course is the key to everything.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Preparation For Clean Eating

I spent a couple of hours yesterday preparing for my clean eating transition. I think this will help me maintain good eating decisions and have plenty of variety on hand. There is nothing boring and bland about eating healthy and making good choices for your body.
On top of a super dooper food shop, I have prepared all sorts of food options, done plenty of research and have a few print outs of recipes to try at hand to make this all easier.
Recipes to come soon of course, I have banana bread and apple muffins portioned and ready to freeze for easy access to a breakfast or snack option. I love to freeze things to avoid waste, it seems odd to bake something fresh and then freeze it just after it cools. Surprisingly this is the only way I do things when I bake.
While preparing a roast dinner for my family, I have already measured out and prepared the ingredients for a pumpkin and lentil soup. These went straight into the freezer, ready for the day I decide to make the meal.
An enjoyable supply of snack balls: I have my own recipe energy balls. And a tahini and hazelnut ball. All no bake from raw ingredients.
Lastly, a pic of me. I am ready to make some more great choices to make sure that I am living the best life I can.
Over the weekend I started being aware of the food I ate and had already noticed a 1kg weight loss > which does make me feel a little uncomfortable about losing too much weight. Let's see how things are looking after 2 weeks anyway... no need to get ahead of myself.
Day 1 Clean Eating: I was feeling a little hungry and could have taken another piece of fruit to work. I think breakfast should have been more filling. Just had 3 of my energy balls and hoping they will give me what I need to go hard at Cage Fit tonight. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Clean Eating Challenge

I've set myself a challenge for the last 2 weeks in November. Clean eating, 'no sugar', minimal processed foods, closest to raw form possible. I've done the shop and I've prepared the goods. Ooh, I'm excited about the results.
I've found my new healthy living lifestyle good, the active side is fun and I am loving it. But food wise, I do eat well enough, although I haven't set too many standards. So for 2 weeks I'm going to challenge the food side of things and see if I can break some habits. 
I have already cut sugar out of my coffee completely Yay!
I am aiming to achieve nutrition and satisfaction out of the food I eat. By no means am I looking at starvation. No I am not cutting out fruit because of its high sugar content. And honey as a sweetener in sweets, that I do manage to make, is fine.
I hope I can inspire someone else to think about achiving a healthier lifestyle. AND please join me if you want to set a challenge for yourself. I would love to hear back from anyone else eating this way, recipes, encouragement, anything...
Jump through to SKY SEA SAND SOIL on Facebook
to have a chat, post your recipes for me to try, etc.
Don't forget to LIKE my page.
New Goals: I am trying to hit the next level of fitness, working on lots more cardio. Started Cage Fit and wanting to stick to it until it gets too easy (MMA style training workouts = yeh baby!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why Do You Work-Out?

I have been wanting to do this blog post for a while. It is important to have clear reasons why you do things, it helps to justify them and keeps you driven to achieve certain goals.

Why do you work-out?

Fitness and healthy living is certainly become more trendy now, well more now than ever in my adulthood. I remember when mum would don the lovely aerobic gear of the 80's, doing sessions on her mini trampoline. Jane Fonda was huge and Aerobics Oz-Style (Bring that one back!). I believe there was a nice fluffy blonde perm and toweling headband included. hehe.

I LOVE the fact that working out is the trend now! And if you are part of it, I know that you know, IT FEELS GOOD!

So, why do I work-out?
I'm in my early 30's and part of my family time line has a history of heart disease. Go back to the start of the year, I was feeling a little more tension in my heart than I would have liked too. Reason #1. Done.
#2. I have 2 boys, active boys. I also have a husband who has abnormal strength for his size, is fit, healthy and can run. A family of active boys playing sport and a mum who loves to bake just doesn't seem to work. I want to keep up with my family.
But my main motivator for why I work-out, reason #3. Earlier this year I felt like I was always surrounded by unwell people. Unwell with lingering stress, back problems, knee problems, growing old unfit, cancers, preventable deaths, general sickness, lazyness. The list just goes on. When you are surrounded by people who are always complaining, it does something to your phsychi, that is when I decided > I never want to be like that.

I work-out because I am committed to making the most of the one life that I have been given to live. I want to grow old with good health and happy memories. I want to play with my boys, I want to make my husband proud and keep him happy, I don't want to be lazy. I want to see my grandchildren grow up and I want to be able to run around with them too. I want to grow old in health not in a wheelchair.
Just as a side note, can I be honest? It was never about looks for me. *Weight loss and muscle tone are a nice side effect from working out. When you feel good, you look good.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mexican Beans

Beans, not the most attractive of blog posts but I am starting to explore this little world of tinned pulses and I am enjoying the results. The mexican bean 'dip' that I make just keeps getting better and better and I just need to write about it. This bean dip is great smothered on a plate underneath your nachos, great to add to any mexican mince dish and a nice addition to a pumpkin or tomato soup rather than cream.

Onion, Zucchini, Carrots, Red Capsicum, Garlic
Herbs/Spices - Paprika, Cumin, Salt & Pepper
Chilli Flakes only if your game
Tin of Red Kidney Beans 

1. Fry the veggies off till slightly softened
2. Add your drained beans, add a bit of water if needed
3. Add your herbs/spices to taste > Roughly 1 tbsp Paprika, 1 tsp Cumin, S+P to taste
4. Stew for 10 minutes or so
5. Put it all in a food processor (love my food processor), add a bit more water if you need to loosen it up a touch. And there you have it, yummo bean dip.

Variations: tomatoes, corn or grilled red capsicum would be awesome. Celery could work well too. I would also add some parsley or cilantro (hehe, fancy word for coriander). Chilli flake it up if you love spice. You can use a mix of beans too, looks like I added chickpeas, butter beans and bertolli beans (?) in this batch.

Closing word: FREEZE the mix into small batches in snappy bags. Flatten the bags contents before you freeze them! This makes is quick and easy to defrost, and also easy to snap off a smaller bit if you wanted to add it to some tomato or pumpkin soup instead of cream, etc.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Down but not out

It's not fun having a cold. I hate being held back from living life full of energy. But I'm being forced to put my feet up today or I'm never kick this nastiness.

I'm definitely enjoying this healthy lifestyle living and don't find it hard to be inspired.

Today I've checked out the Lorna Jane MNB website. I've tucked into some of my health and fitness mags. And there's something inspiring about getting around the house in my snazzy new runners.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mid Week Mid Section

Workout: I tried a new class this morning CXWorx. I have been around long enough to think I knew what I was doing, but I have just had a light bulb moment > Core strengthening.

When it comes to my body type I have a 'tank loaf' style mid section, nothing like a french stick, long and lean. My mid section is short, thicker than I'd like and with minimal shape. I have never achieved a super tight tummy and never actually thought this would be possible for my body type until now. Core strengthening might just be what I need, why did it take me 15 years to work that one out?

What am I sussing out right now: Core Strengthening

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The best thing I could do right now

And I know I'm ready for it. Clean eating.

1 body, 1 life. Why not treat it well and get the most out of it? I can't wait to explore a new world of recipes. And continue to see if this lifestyle change can become my family's reality.