Monday, 30 September 2013

Clean Eating for Dummies

Where ever you are today there are people talking about raw food, paleo diets, quit sugar, low carb, high protein and anything else you could possibly think of.  For someone like me, it definitely is a complete and utter brain overload.  Searching on the internet and reading each plan as it's own merits, sounds good on paper, and unless you happen to be a trained nutritionist or have substantial knowledge in nutrition it is difficult to see the flaws.

"Clean eating", another phrase that is being thrown around a lot.  What is it really?  It is simply the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods.  Simple really, until you sit down and realise that generally everything that is consumed today is processed in one form or another.  Just like that tub of pavlova icecream, I nearly completely consumed.  100% processed but delicious all the same.  There is a market for people like myself, someone really needs to pen a book, "clean eating for dummies".   

I don't intend to be gungho and focus on clean eating and nothing else.  However I know that I am at a point now with my journey that if I want to see any more changes in my shape, I need to work on my diet.  Like I've heard many a trainer tell me 80% diet 20% exercise.  I can exercise until I am a crying heap in the corner but if I come home and then inhale every item of food in my house, then I will see minimal change.  For me I need to take small steps, make small changes.  I do know that I need to make these changes, I have seen minimal change over the last six to nine months or so and my focus to my exercise and diet are starting to falter because of it.


Breakfast and lunch are the two easiest meals for me to change, simply because they involve myself only, even then I still slip up.  However they don't require me battling my delightful Miss 7 fusspot, who refuses to try most things, so extreme baby steps on this one.  I have found some recipes which are not too far removed from our normal dinner time stables.  White bean burgers are one that I have on the list for this week.  If I get the blend and the look right, I'm sure I'll be able to get it past her.  Miss 5 on the other hand is my partner in crime, willing to try anything that I serve up to her.  When you do have two other mouths to feed, it isn't quite as simple.  You need to accommodate everyone.  I don't run a restaurant, so when I cook, the one meal needs to suit everyone's tastes. 

My plan for introducing a "more" clean eating lifestyle to my little family is simple -
1.  Small changes, such as changing the contents of Miss 5s lunchbox at school to be more fruit and vegetable based and limit the processed muesli bars that Miss 7 has in hers. 
2.  Ensure that the girls are involved with meal planning process, from selecting the meals for the week to helping prepare them. 
3.  Keep reading and learning more about what we are choosing to eat and what it has in it.  Knowledge is power.

Oh look at this, it appears someone has penned a book Eating Clean for dummies, found my new reading material.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

In the beginning...a quick history lesson on me

In about October 2011 I came to the realisation that I had spent the previous nine months, since separating from my husband staring down at the bottom of an ice-cream tub nearly every single night.  I may have joined the gym shortly after separating from my husband, searching for the new me, but I was yet to find my focus.  Sadly it took nine months and quite a few extra kilos before I got that light bulb moment.  It was a photo that did it, I saw myself for the first time as what I really was, overweight, unhappy and unhealthy.  Not the role model that I wanted to be for my girls.  Shortly after that I got myself a personal trainer and joined Weight Watchers to get the eating side of things under control.  A good personal trainer is worth their weight in gold and I have been blessed to work with a great bunch of trainers.

Once that light went off, I set myself some goals, firstly I wanted to lose weight.  I was pushing 90+ kilograms at my heaviest and I wanted to get down to my healthy weight range.  After some serious learning curves and what some would see as simple common sense I managed to control my intake and successfully reached this goal in February 2012.  Although my road may still be bumpy I have maintained my weight within this range ever since.  

Another goal of mine was to run 5 kilometres non stop.  This was a huge goal for me as I have never been a runner.  Truth be known, I despised running with a passion for most of my life.  With help from my personal trainer and sheer determination I started to run a little bit more each time.  Within 12 months I went from a person that was unable to run to the end of the road without stopping to not only reaching my goal of running 5km but completely smashing it by completing my first half marathon and running it non stop.  Absolutely exceeding all of my own expectations.

I will not lie, there has been bumps, there will continue to be bumps along my path, however through my gym, my trainers and the knowledge I have gained from so many amazing sources, I have gained so much.  Not only have I lost the weight, I am fitter than I have ever been in my life.  I am doing things that I would have never dreamed possible.  I'm more confident.  I'm running, even if we still continue to have a love-hate relationship.  I'm lifting weights.  I'm enjoying life and I am happy.  I see this has my biggest success so far, finding happiness with me and who I am.

But my story doesn't end here.  I still have so much more to learn and share.  I hope to inspire others by sharing my story.  Laugh at my mistakes along the way.  This is my story.
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