So where has my weight gone!

I think I have finally discovered that the stone I have lost seems to have mainly disappeared from my face and ankles! There seems to be no difference to my middle which if course is where I need it to go from!

I posted a picture of TOH and myself and the comments from friends brought this realisation to me.

We had a night out in London on Friday and visited Oblix at The Shard for a couple of cocktails – expensive but well worth the experience and then on to Vertigo 42 another bar with fantastic views. Thank goodness for Amazon vouchers 😃 I have taken the view that for the same price as a night at the cinema with a meal beforehand and drinks and sweets (in the good old days! Lol!) we can have some really nice treats and of course amazon or groupon have some great offers!

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Salmon coconut oil and lime!

Looking forward to trying out this dish. I am marinating the salmon in lime juice and some coconut oil, it smells amazing!

Will cook with stir fry veg, ginger and garlic in a little coconut milk can’t wait! TOH needs to hurry back from the gym!

Feeling much more positive and seem to be getting back to where I was last weekend. Goodness only knows what happened 4 glasses of wine and 2 bits of cake and I seem to have put on 4 pounds!!

The Summer is passing too fast!

The first few weeks of the holidays have been strange as the YD has been away with her Dad and then with my parents to visit my brother and his family in Somerset. In between times we have visited Thorpe Park – success this time as she has reached the magic height requirement of 140cm (grown 1 cm since the last visit!). We did all the rides except Stealth and I probably screamed on them all more than anyone!

We also had a visit to the a Tower of London to see the poppy display – very moving and also have a wander inside. I don’t ever remember having visited before we saw the crown jewel the white tower, bloody tower and fusilier museum. You really need to spend a whole day as there is plenty to and see!

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon

#towerpoppies

This weekend I tried to bake cookies with Almond Butter which was not a great success! I had an urge for a treat but the recipes I used just didn’t hit the spot. I have bought some xylitol a natural sugar (very pricy) to see if this will improve my cookie recipe!

Still plugging on with the healthy eating plan but my body is not playing ball and the weight loss has stopped. Food diary from today for examination with Paul next week feeling a bit fed up!

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Do you think it’s odd?

It is strange isn’t it when you post a blog as much as you kid yourself that you don’t think about your stats that you do have a few sneaky peeks to see if you have had any views!

I have been super excited as I have had more than 20 views which is my highest view! Woohoooooo! Thank you for reading

It’s also a little scary that as bloggers we are anonymous and can hide behind our words and yet strangers stumble across our posts and can connect with us through their words.

I am enjoying my blogging experience although TOH and my family look upon me with amusement and of course have not read my blog but it’s odd I am not sure I would really want them to read it!

I read a post from someone whose friend had been reading her blogs and it got me to thinking how would I like it? I mean it’s like an invasion of privacy but that’s just crazy as this is a public domain and we are putting ourselves out there to be read……………….

Anyway enough musing watching a bit of Gavin and Stacey which I love!

The importance of water…..

Believe me I do like a drink of water but being faced with a pint of it first thing in the morning is quite daunting! I do manage to drink it but I confess it’s not easy!

My water levels are low according to the magic scales. I have battled with increasing my consumption and nearly everyday have had 2 litres at work plus a further two pints at home. So why is it my levels are low?

I know I do not sweat excessively – sauna last night TOH was literally melting and I just glowed! What’s going on maybe I am not that overweight perhaps it’s just excessive water retention! I have increased my water levels massively I reckon 3 fold but why are the results not showing.

So me and TOH are both doing well overall with our healthy eating, more concentration on strength exercises and an increase in protein and fat and hopefully there will be some better results in the next 2 weeks.

Healthy dinner tonight and taking in more broccoli in the stir fry! Go iron and calcium!

Lights out!

It was great to see yesterday how so many people remembered to light a candle yesterday at 10 pm on the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. The lighting of the candles was symbolic as a mark of respect for our fallen heroes and also for those who returned having fought so bravely for us in the First World War. It’s not just the act of fighting we remember war is a machine it has many parts that need tending. So many people participated women took on new roles at home to keep families fed and to contribute to the war effort.

My grandad signed up, he lied about his age to experience the thrill and pride of fighting for his country. Times were of course different I can’t imagine my TS being rallied enough to get out of bed at the moment (he had been working hard at uni and the summer is his break)

It’s frightening when you look back over the old footage times were very hard for everyone.

So with pride I lit my candle remembering you Harry Slade the war cost you a lung and you were one of the lucky ones! What a brave generation you all were x

Is sugar making you fat?

Since being more aware of what I am eating it’s shocking what you can discover!

“This generation of children will lead shorter lifespans of their parents, sugar has been pumped into so many low fat foods, the USDA has an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to US agriculture and setting dietary guidelines, big food doesn’t necessarily want us to know what we are eating, labels don’t tell the whole story, marketing to children is basically coopting their brains and wiring them at a very early age and we can actually do something about all of these things.” – Katic Couric (1a)

Katie Couric journalist, author and talk-show host is executive producer of her recent documentary ‘Fed Up,’ directed written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig a documentary which illustrates how sugar is impacting the health and well-being of American society. America is not alone, with obesity rates in Australia tipping near 30%, 31% in New Zealand, Canada is pushing near 25%, in Europe 23% of women and 20% of men are obese. These figures do not include the percentage of overweight people within these countries which pushes these numbers significantly higher. In some cases the combined percentage of populations that are either overweight or obese is almost 70%. For example in the UK 67% of men and 57% of women are either overweight or obese. Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar website outlines some of the health risks of high sugar diets and has links to some of the studies and research undertaken around sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Some of these include: sugar ages the body and causes wrinkles, increased risk of heart disease, increasing the risk of cancer and sugar increases your risk of diabetes A retrospective, worldwide study found small increases in sugar can lead to significant increases in diabetes rates. The white stuff makes you fat, a meta-analysis study published in the British Medical Journal shows increased sugar intake is significantly associated with weight gain and an increased risk of obesity in children having just one sweetened drink per day.(1)

‘Fed Up’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year which suggested Sugar may be the New Cigarettes? Fed Up traces back the last 35 years and makes a convincing case that big business is to blame. (When isn’t it?) The food industry responded to the McGovern Report by flooding the grocery aisles with “healthy” chips, cookies, drinks and cereals that cut fat while quietly upping the sugar. Since then, sugar consumption has doubled. It’s not because we’re pounding down the pound cakes — a breakfast of orange juice and a bowl of processed cereal maxes out our ideal sugar intake for the rest of the day. Sugar increases insulin, insulin increases fat storage. And it’s addictive. In a study Soechtig quotes, 93 percent of lab rats chose sugar water over cocaine. At this rate, in twenty years, 95 percent of the population will be obese, a crisis that affects every aspect of our country’s stability from health care spending to national defense. A group of retired military leaders is so alarmed by our out-of-shape society that they’ve issued a warning study called “Too Fat to Fight.” At that point in the screening, the slender actresses to the right of me tsk-tsked, but then Fed Up dropped a bomb: 40 percent of thin people are also fat, their internal organs padded with enough damaging blubber that they may as well be clinically obese. Behold, our new national paranoia: TOFI, or Thin Outside, Fat Inside. (2)

“The Government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic.” – Michael Pollan
Fed Up shows how the first dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government 30 years ago overlooked the role of dietary sugar in increasing risks of obesity, diabetes, and associated ill-health outcomes, particularly in children. Since these guidelines effectively condoned unlimited addition of sugar to foods consumed by children, sugar consumption has greatly increased, obesity has skyrocketed, and generations of children have grown up far fatter than their parents. These children face impaired health and shorter lifespans as a result. The film upends the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and lays bare the misinformation put forth on how to lose it. It reveals that far more of the American public gets sick from what they eat than anyone realized. The film traces the history of processed foods adding dangerous levels of sugar and sweeteners to their roster of ingredients. (It began in the late 1970s with the rise of low-fat foods and has intensified since then.) Doctors bemoan the rise of adult-onset diabetes in young children, as well as children suffering strokes and heart attacks at a very young age, due to their excessive intake of sugar.(3)

“There are 600,000 food items in America, 80% of them have added sugar.” – Dr Robert Lustig
“Fed Up” is a mixture of in-the-life coverage and a roster of talking heads that include former President Bill Clinton. Soechtig spent two years with a group of kids, documenting their efforts to improve their health through dieting and exercise. The tragedy, her film argues, is that the pervasiveness of the food industry and the misinformation it disseminates has stacked all the odds against them. Personal responsibility and freedom of choice has always been Big Food’s counter to accusations of public endangerment, but if the American people has been so intricately misled, where is the personal freedom to make the right decision for one’s health? If “Fed Up” is persuasive and passionate enough in making its argument, it could lead to a huge difference in how we view healthy consumption. (4)

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

Sources

(1a) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tHq4_a0y9U

(1) http://iquitsugar.com/science/

(2) http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2014/01/fed-up-sugar-documentary.php

(3)http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/01/29/katie-couric-documentary/5019841/

(4) http://www.indiewire.com/article/sundance-curiosities-will-fed-up-be-the-last-straw-for-americas-food-industry

Country Obesity Statistics

http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/Factsheet-Overweight-and-obesity.pdf

http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/obesity

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-s-obesity-rates-triple-in-less-than-30-years-1.2558365

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/29/uk-western-europe-obesity-study

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/11922-eng.htm#a7

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/data-and-statistics

Almond flour – if you are interested

Taken from a recent Facebook post

5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour
April 1, 2013 by Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance) Affiliate Disclosure

Almond flour is a little darling of grain free, Paleo/Primal, and low carb baking. It easily rivals conventional flour in its ability to produce tender and fluffy baked goods. Unfortunately, almond flour has numerous detrimental health consequences. It is important to understand these aspects of almond flour, so you can make the decision to avoid almond flour or choose to use almond flour with judicious moderation.

1. Almond flour skews perception about quantity
Get this: A cup of almond flour contains about 90 almonds! I calculated that by dividing 640 calories in a cup of almond flour by 7 calories in an almond. Almond flour disguises the consumption of the nuts.

For example, this ever-popular Almond Flour Pancake recipe from Elana’s Pantry calls for 1 1/2 cups of almond flour and yields about 4 servings (or 2-3 servings, if you have a hearty pancake appetite).

There are about 135 almonds in the entire batch, and 33 almonds per serving (for 4 servings). That is like 3 big handfuls of almonds, eaten at one sitting!

Imagine sitting down and mindfully chewing 33 almonds at one meal. After perhaps a big handful, your body would tell you “Okay. I’m full. That’s enough almonds for right now.” As you may know from experience, your body loses that perception and communication when consuming almond flour.

2. Almond flour is very high in inflammatory PUFAS
About 20% of the fat in almonds is polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 6 or PUFAs). Unfortunately, our modern diets tend to overburden our bodies with polyunsaturated fats which leads to numerous health issues.

Here are a few reasons why it is important NOT to go overboard with polyunsaturated fats.

PUFAS in suppress mitochondrial energy production. In non-chemistry language, PUFAS slow down the metabolism
PUFAS encourage an inflammatory response in the body
PUFAS cause digestive issues by impairing the action of certain digestive enzymes
PUFAS slow down thyroid function
PUFAS inhibit detoxification enzymes
PUFAS deplete antioxidants in the body
PUFAS inhibit production of progesterone and androgens while activating production of estrogen. This encourages estrogen-dominancy in the body and this contributes to many health issues like weight gain, PMS, hormonal acne and more.
Polyunsaturated fats aren’t inherently evil, only harmful when consumed in excess. According to nutrition expert Sébastien Noël at Paleo Lifestyle,

In an effort to optimize health and longevity, one should strive to keep a total PUFA intake under 4% of total calories and an omega-6/omega-3 ratio very close to 1:1. On an average 2,200 calorie diet, 4% PUFA means only about 5 to 8 grams of omega-6 per day to maintain the proper ratio with omega-3 fats. Read more.

The consumption of almond flour is an easy way to overload the body with a detrimental amount of PUFAS.

3. The fats in almond flour aren’t heat stable
Okay, quick chemistry reminder. Saturated fats have single bonds between all the carbon molecules of the fatty acid chain. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond replacing a single bond in the carbon chain. Polyunsaturated have more than one double bond in the carbon chain.

Double bonds are more unstable than single bonds. The more double bonds in a fatty acid, the more unstable it is (polyunsaturated is the least stable, followed by monounsaturated, followed by saturated being the most stable). When the double bonds break, the fatty acid undergoes a process called oxidation.

Processing, heat, light and pressure all cause these double bonds to break. Raw (or soaked and dehydrated) almonds have their polyunsaturated fats intact, and so the only fat issues are those discussed in the previous section. But putting almond flour in a hot environment–like an oven–is going to break some of those double bonds and create oxidized fatty acids.

Why are oxidized fats bad? In a nutshell, oxidized fats = free radicals. Free radicals = cell damage. Of course, we will inevitably have some free radicals in our body. Fortunately, we can consume sources of antioxidants (like fresh fruits and veggies) to combat free radical damage. But if too much oxidized fats, like from large amounts of almond flour, are consumed, our body is depleted of antioxidants and damage to body cells ensues.

Want to know what fats are safe and healthy to heat? Check out my Guide to Choosing and Using Good Fats.

Update: It looks like I may have missed the mark on this point! According to Sarah Ballantyne, scientist, author and a blogging friend,

If you were cooking with almond oil, this would be true. But, research shows that polyunsaturated fats are much more heat stable when part of the whole foods (including the unadulterated seed, but also ground into meals and flours). The best research into the heat stability of polyunsaturated fats in baked goods comes from the study of flaxseed meal and research shows that only an extremely small percentage of the fats are oxidized during cooking. Researchers speculate that the reason the polyunsaturated fats in flaxseed meal are resistant to heat is because they are not isolated but rather are present in a matrix of other compounds that the flaxseeds contain (i.e., when they are bound to proteins, carbohydrates, other fats, fiber etc. that are part of the ground up seed). In addition, the presence of antioxidants in the whole ground seed reduces fat oxidation. These natural antioxidants include lignin fiber (rich in phenols, see this post) and vitamin E which nuts and seeds are particularly rich in.

Furthermore, the internal temperature of baked goods rarely exceeds 160F, which is well below the smoking point of even the most easily oxidized and unstable fats.

Sarah and I share deep mutual respect but we disagree about the virtues of almond flour. She believes the pros outweigh the cons and I believe the cons outweigh the pros. We are happy to disagree about this point and now we leave you to decide how to incorporate almond flour into your lifestyle.

4. Almond flour is high in enzyme inhibitors
Enzyme inhibitors are concentrated in all nuts and seeds and, as a result, almond flour contains a significant amount. Enzyme inhibitors are problematic for digestion, since enzymes are necessary to digest all aspects of our meal from carbohydrates to proteins to fats. When we eat food, it is partly digested by stomach acid in the stomach. Then it travels to the small intestine where the acidity of the chyme (the food mixture) signals the pancreas to release digestive enzymes to further break down the food.

What happens when enzyme inhibitors are present in the chyme from the food we’ve consumed? Our own digestive enzymes can’t complete their job. The body senses a need for more enzymes, so it overcompensates and the pancreas releases even more enzymes. Unfortunately, extra digestive enzymes problematic and deplete the pancreas. The consumption of nuts and seeds causes enzyme imbalances and this often manifests as bloating and stomach pain.

If you enjoy nuts and seeds in any form – in snacks or for baking – soak them first to denature most of the enzyme inhibitors.

5. Coconut flour is healthier than almond flour
When it comes to grain free baking, coconut flour is my top choice. Unlike almond flour, the fat in coconut flour is primarily saturated fat. That means it is safe to heat and it is not toxic to the body. The coconut oil in coconut flour is a veritable superfood, celebrated for weight loss, candida control, metabolism boosting and more. While the fats in almond flour slow metabolism, the fats in coconut flour actually speed up metabolism!

Additionally, a littles goes a long way. Coconut flour seems pricey at first, but it stretches. One batch of my popular Coconut Flour Pancakes with Gelatin use only 1/4 cup of coconut flour for 2 generous portions.

Want to get started with coconut flour? First, here is my Coconut Flour 101 Primer.

Second, remember not to over-do the coconut flour. I limit myself to 2-4 tablespoons of coconut flour per day, mostly because it can be pricy when consumed in abundance. But more importantly, coconut flour is very high in fiber and that is not necessarily a good thing. Please read my post, Is a High Fiber Diet a Health Hazard? for more info.

Third, it is important to start with reliable recipes when using coconut flour. Two of my favorite introductory recipes are:

Paleo Cornbread Muffins
Onion and Herb Biscuits
What about phytic acid in almond flour?

As you may know, phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that prevents your body from absorbing minerals. Almonds, like all nuts and seeds, have high levels of phytic acid if they aren’t soaked and dehydrated. But in almonds, most of the phytic acid is in the brown skin which is removed before the almonds are processed into flour. So phytic acid is a minor issue when it comes to almond flour. You should, however, consider the health detriments of phytic acid if you are using another nut/seed flour that is not made from soaked and dehydrated nuts.

Almond flour and MODERATION

Almond flour should be used in judicious moderation. Perhaps that means one almond flour treat once a month. Maybe set aside the almond flour just for special occasions. I would also suggest giving your body a break from almond flour for a month, and see if you feel… different. You may feel more energy or have less pain and inflammation. You may not. We’re all unique, so you have to experiment and discover what best fuels your body.