Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Weekend, Temptation, and Reality

Its been 4 weeks since I decided to bite the bullet, and start my journey to becoming a better, healthier G C Peters. After two weeks post cleanse, I have to say I am missing the convenience of a prescribed eating plan, but on the positive side of things, I feel that I have developed some really healthy eating habits on the way. 

Kau's Green Smoothie
Eating habit number 1: I have now put more fruit in my gob in one month, than I have in the last 5 years. I am not exaggerating. I never used to be fussed on fruit, but this little thing has made a big difference to my day. It has meant that by lunch time I have usually eaten about 4 or 5 pieces of fruit, and when ever I get a little nag for some junk (food) I tend to reach for the nuts and dried fruits rather than the chips and chocolate. 

Eating habit number 2: Breakfast sets me up for a great day. I have been enjoying a smoothie breakfast even during the post cleanse phase, and onwards. I had porridge this morning for the first time in ages and I really didn't feel that satisfied so tomorrow morning its back to the smoothie. My friend Kauia posted in her blog today the Green Smoothie recipe. Read her blog here 

She gives a good amount of nutritional information about the ingredients too. Read it and Eat IT!! 

Eating habit number 3: I have really limited my dairy intake. I have black coffee now when I have it. Seeing that I am not eating cereal in the morning, milk is a thing of the past and when ever I am eating cheese it is generally feta or cottage and a small amount rather than the cups of Edam and Tasty that used to adorn my toasties and nacho's and spag bols.

Eating habit number 4: Bread in general is not being eaten. Bread I have read is generally full of hidden sugars. When I have eaten bread I have felt instantly bloated. Not good. Feel a lot better with out it. 
I have developed a few more goodies over the last couple of weeks which I will share later. 

Another break through is the fact that we hav thrown away the scales and celebrating the fact that as a whanau we are eating so much more healthily than we were four weeks ago. Now to get on to the exercise to help the healthy buzz continue.

So the challenge begins. I have a week by myself. The family are heading away and I will be faced with some pretty big temptations. No kids to wake to so a hangover wont be too much to worry about. I can do what I like when ever I like for 6 days but the big question is Will I??? I have heaps of time to exercise. I have a plan in place and I plan to stick to it. I will let you know how I got on come Sunday.

In the mean time stay amazing.   

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Weekends are champion

I have really enjoyed this weekend. I have indulged a little, had a few beers, cooked  and eaten a scrumptious roast chicken (hold the gravy, cheese sauce, gravy and potatoes) and even delighted in some brownie and ambrosia desert to finish it off. The beauty of this weekend has been that I have still eaten bucket loads of fruit, stuck to my smoothie breakfast regime and exercised vigorously on a couple of occasions, and eaten relatively healthily. Chicken broth served on Barley, Humus and Lamb mince with toasted pita bread, Pumpkin chili soup, but the best of all fruit!!!!

 healthy meat option as long as you don't drown it in Gravy!!
The week is unfolding before me and the choices to eat healthily are becoming easier and easier, and with the two week break I gave myself has really given me some clarity on the sort of food choices I need to make, for myself and the sake of my family. My boys are really fascinated by the idea of a smoothie for breakfast. If anyone out there has some great toddler smoothie breaky recipes I would be a grateful recipient. My kids eat really well but I am keen to see what limiting dairy will do to a little guys health.. especially in the throws of an unusually cold Dunedin winter.

The next challenge on the horizon is to knock off a half marathon with  view to completing a marathon with in 12 months after that. I have approximately 10 weeks to get my arse into gear. Currently I can run about 10km and so really the next bit of training that I do will be extending that range out a little and regularly running with my running peeps, get back into the gym and get stronger and take the challenge one day at a time.

I am sure that my new found eating habits will be helpful, and I will write about the ins and outs of how I get to the start line of 21kms and hopefully how I finish the bugger. Short one tonight. In closing I love drinking coffee, and beer, and I love the fact that I can choose to drink or eat anything I like. I especially like the fact and am enjoying immensely the choices of food I am making today. I hope your weekend was choice. Arohanui

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cheat (Treat) Night

 When I started the cleanse and started blogging, my friend Emma shared her story with me and introduced me to the concept of the cheat night. Tonight I can easily say that it was cheat night, and I can't say I enjoyed it. I am 4 days through the other side of my 2 week cleanse, and am facing so many challenges now, than I did during the initial cleanse period. The cleanse seems like a dawdle, in comparison to the 4 days passed.

I want to share with you all a few things that have occurred for me over the last 4 days that are really excellent lessons that I have learn't about food and eating for myself in that they might help you if you are thinking about eating rubbish food. Thats right folks!! I have been a guinea pig for you all in the name of "Finding Health" and I can definitely say that the tests I have been conducting have been a win and a big fat old FAIL.

As I write this, my level of energy is extremely less so that the last two weeks based on the fact that my dinner was RUBBISH this evening. I have been at a pot luck dinner and disco at my sons Kindy. Claire made a beautiful quiche type dish, packed with veg and egg. Un/fortunately we were able to bring home half of it! The fact that there was half left over meant that all of the chicken and pizza and hot chips and deep fried treats were readily smashed down the gate. As a consequence of the lack of healthy food options (and I wasn't prepared) I indulged, filled my boots and now my tummy is paying the price. I feel bloated, I feel grumpy, I have an awful taste in my mouth and a very good lesson learned. 

Lesson 1 - Shitty food is not worth the energy it takes to lift it from the plate to your mouth and it does nothing good for your body.

The other thing I have discovered is that the refined sugar in food tastes so artificial and fake. I have eaten this week 2 oat cookies, 1 small slice of chocolate cake, a peanut slab and a wee honey ricey's cake (home made). The two cookies and cakes were eaten along side of fruit and the fruit won as far as taste went. I had a small slice of cake this morning at break and the sugar nearly blew my head off and the headache that came after was a pain in the arse. Sugar highs are mud, and it made me think of what they must do to kids. I had a peanut slab last night. This used to be an old favorite. After being quite excited about eating it, I can honestly say that I was under whelmed with the over all experience.

Lesson 2 - Sweet food doesn't taste as good as the idea that its going to taste amazing. I am better off snacking on a couple of dried apricots, dates and some almonds. 

The good work that I have done prior to now has yielded some really excellent results for me. I am sleeping better, I am feeling less lethargic (although tomorrow might be a little different), when my body is hungry I am reaching for fruit and veggies and nuts and seeds as opposed to chocolate bars and cookies, and I still haven't felt the need to caffein-ate myself at all. I am even craving a nice fresh RAW power salad, with carrot, beetroot and the likes. WIN

Tomorrow is always another day and I am looking forward to getting back on track, and not that I have deviated that far off it to begin with, I am kind of walking on the grass verge of healthy street today. Time to stop being a health tourist and get amongst it. Cheat day has been interesting,  a learning curve and a day that I can commit to the past. Tomorrow is another day, ending in Y, and I love days ending in Y. Be kind to yourself, eat some tasty fruit

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Done and Dusted.. For Now

I have bloody well done it. I can't tell you that I didn't enjoy it.. in fact I have loved it. The hard work starts now though and I am feeling a little bit nervous about tomorrow. So many choices, so many obstacles and so many CHOICES!!!

It is interesting the word "choice". Often it is attached with such battles and trepidation. Choice is such an existential concept, easy to understand and one that is the most powerful thing that each and every human being has. Its almost like a muscle that needs flexing to combat and strive against all of the learned and automatic behaviors we possess, unless of course those choices are all ready being helpful to us in the way we are living our lives, each and every day, hour, minute and second.

One thing that I learnt over the last two weeks is that conscious choice has been a helpful allie in the face of adversity. Too often in my busy life I have been guilty of just taking the easy option, with out taking time to consider the consequence of which path the easy option was taking me. And it is ironic that I took a similar journey nearly four years ago when I decided to stop smoking.

Like anything, conscious choice takes a bit of practice and you have to want to get to know your self in relation to what your doing and why you are doing it. In the last 14 days during the cleanse I had already decided months before starting, that I wanted to give my body and mind a bit of a food vacation, and a rest from the daily unhealthy routine I had been subjecting myself to. Practicing conscious choice really starts with the moments just before doing something and pausing a moment before acting, to see if it fits with what you are doing (over all speaking). If it doesn't then you can chose to either change the action or continue with the original action. Simple as.....

Tomorrow I am definitely practicing a conscious choice to eat meat (and i cant wait), to drink plenty of water, to be mindful in my interactions with people I meet in the day, to be grateful for everything that is good, bad, and indifferent, and the list of conscious choices I will commit too tomorrow, goes on and on. Some of the choices I make how ever, will be automatic and thats just they way it is aye?

On a couple of notes on the last 14 weeks.. I said I was going to post some before and after measurements of me, and unfortunately I completely forgot. I can tell you though that I have shed a little under 4kg s, my jeans are telling me I may need a new pair that actually fit. I need a new belt too which is pleasing. I am definitely experiencing a better level of energy, and as a consequence feel like I have been more productive, spending less time on the couch and more time keeping things going, and getting schtuff done.

I said yesterday that I was going to post some links to some web sites and that, the first one I have found useful has been this one.  If you can get passed the American cheese and get through the trailer, I think you ill find the movie an interesting watch. It certainly piqued my interest to start investigating what I have been eating and what I could potentially be eating and what my body could be missing out on. More links will follow in the next few days

The absolute best thing I have gained from my 2 weeks health experiment is that I have rekindled my love affair with nutritious, healthy food. That has to be good for not only me but my family too. I am going to have a couple of days off the writing the blog thing so I promise to post something on Wednesdayso see you then.  Oh yeah and the wonderful Kauia will be starting a blog soon too.. She has some amazing ideas and I am eternally grateful to her for sharing with me, her brilliant food knowledge and ideas. Could you have a brilliant Monday please? would ya? Please..

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Nearly done.. easy does it

I am sitting here keeping an eye on the code and reflecting on a near successful 14 day challenge and am feeling pretty chuffed. I have managed to cut dairy, bread, and meat out of my diet for 2 weeks. I haven't had a coffee in two and haif weeks. I haven't even had a beer. And I know for absolute certain my body has really appreciated the break.

There is definitely a change in the wind in my home now. When we did the family shop today we spent bugger all time in the aisles, and avoided all of the processed stuff, bar a couple of tinned items like chick peas and tomatoes. Spent some time at Veggie Boys in Dunedin today as well and saved a good $20 on fresh veggies. I would suggest checking them out. The fridge is fully stocked again and It is choice.

I have discovered that it is really easy to get into the habit of eating well if you give yourself the chance and stay focussed on what you're trying to achieve. Focusing on that objective (what ever that may be) in the face of pies and chips and chocolate has helped immensely. I urge you to give a week a go... and if you do make sure you get some time to prepare and stock your cupboard with some healthy natural treats. When you have a pantry full of good food, you can't balls it up unless you make the choice to take your hand to pick up the shitty food and move that food and put it in your mouth.

I am looking forward to my first beer next week. I think I am going to make it an Emmersons Pilsner. And getting back to some normal eating, the key is going to be, to just introduce a bit of meat and dairy back into the diet gradually. I am looking forward to it. I am unashamedly a carnivore. Another thing I am looking forward to also is my cholesterol test. At the beginning of 2011 it measure in the low 8s and this was concerning. Through exercising regularly I was able to get it down to just under 5 over a period of 6 months. It will be interesting to see the difference. I have lost approximately 3 and a half kg s. and when I can get to exercise a wee bit more than I am  now I expect that to improve too.

Tomorrow is day 14 and I am going to have a wee treat with some poached eggs on mushrooms. In my final post tomorrow I will post some links to some helpful websites, some recipes and also some links to information on some of the super foods that are lurking around, and that I have been trying to eat as much of as I can. Happy Saturday people, hope you get a lie in come the morning.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

More of the Same

Exciting today!! I managed to get through another cleanse day unscathed, and in tact and feeling better as the days get on. I felt tired for the first time this evening when I sat down after a day in the office and a couple of hours behind the gat and mic. The cool thing I have found tonight though is that I know i need to get  my arse into gear and be ready.

There is nothing much to report today other than I have been around party food and beer tonight and I had soda water and took a few snacks with me, and that challenge was easily aced. The habits of eating well are starting to cement and I am happy to see that the bi product of shedding a couple of kg s has happened too.

I am missing meat. Last night Claire had roasted the boys some chicken. the pan was sitting there on the bench with the little bits of left overs in there. It took all of my strength and will power refrain from picking and gobbling up that bird. I am happy I stayed true to the cause.

Any hoo... thats all I have to say today. I am on track to blitzing the 14 day cleanse challenge and am feeling amazing as a consequence. No energy spikes and lulls through out the day. I am still getting the odd sweets and carbs (chips) cravings while I am at the office. The difference to the 3 week ago Graeme is that I can recognize them for what they are, just cravings, and they eventually go.

Lastly if you haven't already, and your a music lover, check out spotify, and if you love good music, check out this bloke. He is bloody good at what he does. Take it easy people. Its Friday tomorrow!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Phase Two Complete!!

I have completed the 5 day raw food phase of the 14 day cleanse (4 days to go!!) and celebrated with a little bit of roasted pumpkin and beetroot on top of my Raw Power Salad. It was very yum!! I have run into a bit of a panic this evening though, with the ensuing gig tomorrow with the close of evening rapidly approaching and no idea of the menu for tomorrow.

Throw together salad when your in the poo
As I have been saying all this time is that preparation is key and tonight I have been the very least prepared for tomorrow. Two weeks ago me would have pulled up a chair and had a wee sook about it and feel like a bit of a failure. It was time to think quick.

Briefly surveying the fridge, I spied some leafy greens, peppers, some red onion and silver beet. In the cupboard some seeds and dried fruit, a tin of chick peas and a few spices. Basically I was going to pinch bits and pieces from the recipes I had and make a frankendish.

I have cooked the chickpeas off with a little cumin and chilli and and wilted the silver beet in the pan. I chopped a little dried fruit added some seeds (sunflower and chia) and threw the lot in a wee container. I am going to dress it with a little salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. I am well chuffed with myself, only because my culinary skill is limited to the odd roast, Nacho's and stir frys. Not tonight!! Tomorrows lunch and dinner is sorted!!! and it only took a matter of 20 minutes to throw together. I can honestly say hand on heart I have never eaten this much fruit and veg ever, and I think it is going to be very difficult to go back to my old ways. Time will tell of course. I am going to not worry about that now. What I will do is mindfully enjoy what I have achieved so far and sleep well. Go well..