Have I really found my mojo?

When you have a considerable amount of weight to lose its easy to give up, not stay focused and make up excuses. I think I have been doing that for the last 23 years! My eldest child is 23 and really since that pregnancy I have not worried about my weight. Maybe not worrying isn’t the right thing to say as I was lucky enough to play lots of sport which kept my weight down, I ate normally but not excessively I worked in London and I would have toast for breakfast and then a sandwich and snack for lunch and whatever evening meal I fancied. I didn’t really think about weight I wasn’t super slim just average (I would love to be there now) some things were tight on me but I never slimmed into clothes.

I did go on a diet after having my son and probably lost a stone That was with weight watchers. Thinking back that’s probably the only time I have ever been successful at a slimmimg. Club and got to target. The trouble is staying there!

Thinking about why this has been the case over the last few weeks has been a revelation to me. I think It’s so much to do with confidence. My first marriage broke down when my son was coming up to 8 years old but for 3-4 years before that I was not happy in myself and with the relationship. 

I didn’t feel valued or confident and that’s when I will have a few extra wines pick at food etc… 

After that breakdown I crashed with another unsuccessful relationship and breakdown and now bear the burden of feeling guilty from the effects of that breakdown! The blessing was a lovely child but sadly for her she didn’t have her parents together. Just feeling good about myself did not come naturally.

It’s easy to blame others for your problems and difficulties and not address the issue of your weight gain and I think that is something I have buried.  I haven’t wanted to face it, well the underlying unhappiness which I think is part or the cause. Well I have faced it and need to do something about it for me! I need to feel confident that I can be successful on this journey. 

Acknowledgingi that it will be a journey is important as I need to realise this won’t be a quick fix but may take a year or more.  God knows it took 23 years to get here!

So I have read a lot of books, diet plans and articles.

 What is key in so much of the celebrity articles is that X has lost so much weight in a certain time and they have lots of energy but what they fail to mention is they probably had a dietician, cook and personal trainer helping them.  Your average Jane doesn’t have that support or unlimted funds so I am going to do this but my way and with luck this time I will be successful.
The principles I will be taking with me on this journey and food plans to follow for the first months at least is trying to steer clear of traditional processed carbs, bread, cereals, pasta rice etc? I do cook from scratch but my aim is to to eat cleanly.
So to report on my initial days

Day one I haven’t been shopping in a while so had to make do. I had 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Took an apple to work for a snack and homemade soup for lunch.

The soup was made in a new soup maker (fantastic buy) with 1 onion, 2 sweetpotatoes, a red pepper, a chilli and 2 slices of butternut squash cut into chunks. All veg peeled and chopped. I had a hearty bowl of soup! 

When I got home after the school run I went to my gym and did a short spin class for 30 minutes then came home (from small acorns!)

Diner was simple I chopped 2 onions, a pepper, courgette, half an aubergine and again a couple of slices of squash onto an oiled tray (olive oil) seasoned and put over herbs cooked for 30 minutes and had with a small seasoned Turkey breast.

Desert was some Greek yoghurt, not lo fat with defrosted cherries.

Oh and I did make another soup for today, curried squash with onion and a red pepper, I had a bowl of it too

!Feeling inspired!

#healthyeating #recipes

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Calcium – are you getting enough?

Been looking at my break downs of food on my app and horrified to see my calcium is so low!! I need to address it so had a quick bit of research and found this article which may be of interest.

18 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium

ByLaura SchwecherlApril 7, 2014

Fun fact: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and is found naturally in a wide variety of foods and beverages and added to many others! (Hellooo orange juice.) But whether lactose-intolerant or sick of wine and cheese parties, there’s no need to rely only on dairy products for that daily dose of calcium. Here’s why we should get enough calcium—and all the unexpected ways to get enough of it.

Beyond the Dairy Aisle—The Need-to-Know

It’s no secret that calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth, but it goes beyond that. This mineral also helps the body maintain healthy blood vessels, regulate blood pressure, and even prevent insulin resistance (which could lead to Type 2 diabetes) [1]. Adults should consume about 1,000 mg of calcium per day (which translates to about one glass of skim milk, one thick slice of cheddar cheese, and one cup of plain yogurt), yet most Americans still fail to meet the mark. According to one survey, only 16 percent of females ages 20 to 29 get enough calcium [2]. The main calcium contenders are milk, yogurt, and cheese, but dairy shouldn’t be the only dietary pit stop to fill up on this nutrient. Leafy greens, seafood, legumes, and fruit also contain calcium and many foods and drinks are fortified with the mineral. Just remember to try and pair non-dairy sources of calcium with vitamin D: The body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium!

Craving Calcium?—Your Action Plan

Here’s a list of foods and beverages filled with calcium (no cows required), along with recipes to help make them an everyday occurrence in a variety of meals.

Natural Calcium
Since most Americans aren’t getting enough nutrients through natural foods alone, they often rely on enriched foods and supplements [3]. Sail down the grocery aisle and stock up on these items, au natural!

1. White Beans: 191 mg (19% DV) in 1 cup canned
Creamy and light, these legumes are a great source of calcium and iron [4]. Add them to a pasta dish with veggies, or skip the chickpeas and make your own hummus with white beans.

2. Canned Salmon: 232 mg (23% DV) in ½ can with bones (which provides the calcium!)
To avoid putting a dent in the wallet, canned salmon is a great way to go. Here’s the catch: It’s the bones in canned salmon that hold all the calcium, so they need to be mashed up right along with the salmon meat for all the benefits! But don’t get turned off just yet — the canning process softens the bones so they easily break apart and are unnoticeable when mixed in with the rest of the can’s contents. For a boost of calcium and omega 3’s, try these salmon cakes.

3. Sardines: 321 mg (32% DV) in about 7 sardines fillets
There’s nothing fishy about sardines—they are one of the healthiest fish to munch on! Along with calcium, they also provide a hefty dose of omega 3’s and vitamin D. Try adding them to a Greek salad or eat ’em straight out of the can.

4. Dried Figs: 107 mg (10% DV) in 8 whole dried figs
For a sweet treat, this dried fruit packs an antioxidant, fiber, and calcium punch [5]. Eat them as a mid-day snack, or turn these delicious dried fruits into a creamy jam.

5. Bok Choy: 74 mg (7% DV) in 1 cup
This versatile Chinese cabbage provides a hefty dose of vitamins A and C, along with calcium and fiber. Stir-fry bok choy with garlic and olive oil for a perfect side dish.

6. Blackstrap Molasses: 172 mg (17% DV) in 1 tablespoon
When the sweet tooth strikes, it’s best to go natural. Blackstrap molasses is darker in color and richer in flavor than regular molasses, and is filled with calcium, iron, and other vitamins. Plus, it’s a great sweet and flavorful addition to many dishes. Drizzle some on pancakes, or use it to make brown sugar.

7. Kale: 188 mg (19% DV) in 2 cups raw (chopped)
This superfood is filled with calcium and antioxidants, and is perfect to use as the base of any salad when shredded into thin strips. A kale salad with apricots and avocado is a perfect springtime dish.

8. Black-eyed Peas: 185 mg (18% DV) in 1/2 cup canned
I gotta feeling this is not just a band. These beans are filled with calcium, potassium, folate, and more! Skip the fat-filled mayo and whip up this black-eyed pea spread to pump up any sandwich or appetizer.

9. Almonds: 72 mg (7% DV) in ¼ cup dry roasted (about 20 nuts)
You’re “nuts” if you don’t grab a handful of almonds every now and then! They’re the most nutritionally dense nut, packing a crazy amounts of nutrients per calorie and ounce. Aside from calcium, they also contain potassium, vitamin E, and iron. Sprinkle on a salad or make your own almond butter. Just watch out for portion size!

10. Oranges: 65 mg (6% DV) in 1 medium fruit
Orange-you glad we included oranges?! Full of vitamin C and calcium, enjoy this fruit as a mid-morning snack, or use its citrus flavor to brighten up any dish, like these honey-orange carrots.

11. Turnip Greens: 197 mg (20% DV) in 1 cup cooked (chopped)
This leafy green comes from turnip bulbs, and is filled with calcium, antioxidants, and folate, which could help improve mood. Sautee them as a side dish, or spice things up and make a turnip tart.

12. Sesame Seeds: 88 mg (9% DV) in 1 tablespoon
These unassuming seeds are more than just a hamburger bun decoration. Sesame seeds can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and may even fight against certain cancers. Use their nutty crunch in a salad, or add to this sautéed spinach dish.

14. Seaweed: 126 mg (13% DV) in about 1 cup raw
Fish aren’t the only, well, fish in the sea. Seaweed is full of calcium, fiber, and iodine, which helps with proper thyroid function [6] [7]. Bring a bowl of risotto up a notch with this seaweed recipe. Feel like keeping it classic? Try your hand at a classic miso soup.

Fortified with Calcium
Fortifying foods with calcium has become a popular way to help people consume a balanced diet, but some studies do suggest eating foods with naturally occurring nutrients is the better route to take [8] [9] [10]. So just make sure you’re not only reaching for the fortified kinds!

14. Instant Oatmeal: 187 mg (19% DV) in 1 cup
Many cereals and grains are now fortified, including our favorite morning breakfast. And while the instant kind doesn’t boast the same benefits as old-fashioned rolled oats, they’re a quick breakfast option that’s full of fiber and calcium. Just choose the kinds without added sugar.

15. Orange Juice: 500 mg (50% DV) in 1 cup
In moderation, fruit juice is a perfect pairing for morning pancakes or eggs! Enjoy a tall glass for calcium and vitamin C, or pour over a salmon fillet.

16. Soymilk: 300 mg (30% DV) in 1 cup
Cows milk not your cup of tea? Soymilk is a great option for people who are lactose intolerant and contains more protein than regular milk. Pour in a morning bowl of cereal or add to coffee with some cinnamon.

17. Firm Tofu: 861 mg (86% DV) in ½ cup
We know what you’re thinking: What exactly is tofu? This meaty textured vegetarian alternative is actually made of dried soybeans that have been grounded up and boiled. It’s a great way to add lots of protein, little fat, and (of course) calcium to any meal! What’s on the dinner table tonight? Try this caramelized tofu.

18. Cheerios: 114 mg (14% DV) in 1 cup
They’re touted for helping lower cholesterol, but Cheerios also pack a significant amount of calcium into our cereal bowl. Enjoy with skim or soy milk and sliced strawberries, or in homemade trail mix for extra crunch.

Today’s the day!

It’s the MD (middle daughters) family celebration of her 21st birthday today. We have a BBQ this afternoon for about 20! TOH will certainly be tested on his cooking skills.

Meantime the MD has been out from Thursday celebrating (and working) but leaving me to make her costumes as Jess and Woody for her BF. It’s a Disney themed party! I spent 8 hours hand stitching woody’s waistcoat and it became a labour of love! It’s that good though I am keeping it for TOH god knows when he will wear it 😄!

Let’s hope the sun shines for the rest of the day as it’s peeping out now from behind the clouds now!

The not quite finished article with hand over stitched edging lol x

It seems to be working!

After a week of being super good (apart from the chocolatier tea) TOH and I met with Paul for our chat and to get onto the all telling scales. I’m not sure if I am getting to hate these scales!

I have upped my water intake massively and yet the hydration levels are still the same. This is something I have consciously done and I have to say I don’t find it easy. I would probably only drink 2-3 teas coffees a day and maybe 2 glasses of water. Now I have 1 maybe 2 coffees but more than 2 litres of water which is a huge difference!

That first big glass in the morning is a struggle and yesterday was the first day at work I finished my 2 litre bottle – it took all day! At home I usually have a couple of large glasses! Yes I know the science but it’s just getting used to it! As my Nan used to say water is only for washing in! 😄 x

Needless to say I was disappointed that my hydration had not improved. Also my exercise was much improved but again the scales did not reflect this.

However weight loss 2 pounds. Not great but it’s going the right way! TOH lost 5 which is brilliant. I am just gutted my first week was not recorded as I know I did well then.

Normally by now I would be wavering on the diet but as we have holiday planned I will give it another month to see how it goes. By my own scales I have actually lost a stone!

It took me many years to get to the overweight stage so it will take some undoing!

We did watch a couple of interesting short programmes which were very encouraging.

Food is very powerful as we know and can heal, energise and create a healthy functional body (quoted from Paul)

So with those wise words in mind I am moving forward!

And on another note I am super thrilled that the eldest daughter ED had some brilliant news yesterday. She is training at Sandhurst a the British military academy to become an Army Officer and she was offered a place in her regiment of choice! This is a massive achievement for her and I am so proud!

X

Please can someone tell me where the weekend went?

How is it when you have the weekend to look forward to on Thursday/Friday at work when you find yourself sitting at 9 o’clock on a Sunday evening wondering where the time went?

Friday night was nice and relaxing TOH decided to take Paul at his word and encourage me to do some low impact work at the gym followed by a relax in the health suit.

Saturday after the YD swimming we went to London for a celebration of the middle daughter’s MD forthcoming 21st. We had a brief wander around Leicester Square and Convent Garden – well as much as TS could cope with as he declared he hated people and London was too busy for him!! Helpful!

Lunch was not too successful as there was something moving in my salad …….but the chocoholics afternoon tea was fun and the cake sooooo rich! We all felt rather chocolated out afterwards.

Today has flown by, back on my healthy eating plan which is good. We were hoping to try out the BBQ but stormy weather prevented it!

Thankfully TOH worked very hard in the garden and it is looking so much better. Belatedly I planted some patio pots and a bit of colour has made a difference to the block of green!

We have the Disney themed 21st BBQ next Sunday to look forward too…….better sort my outfit!

Picture of London skyline below from level 7 Number One Leicester Square!

http://www.davidleslie.com/chocolate-afternoon-tea

Staying focused!

After more than 2 weeks of no carbs etc I really felt my resolve waiver when I came home form the gym yesterday.

I had done a functional training class (like circuits) and felt so hungry! My body was not accepting water or nuts as a quick fix. It was yelling at me for something else so to my disgust I had a twix bar…………….not even confessed this to TOH who is on the plan and being super good!! And that was not enough so I went for 2 slices of white bread clover and marmite. I am mortified. All recorded on my app and in terms of calories I am ok but not on plan!

Today is another day ……….letting it go now deep breaths ……! Lol

Surely one slice of birthday cake hasn’t tipped the scales!

Still not seeing any effects on the scales of a weeks being good.

I confess I had the smallest bit of birthday cake yesterday but it was my Dad’s birthday!

Seeing Paul tonight for a weigh on the all telling scales but really disappointed today!

TOH has decided to come along and embark on the plan which is great for support you never know it may inspire him to cook!

Trying to analyse on my app which conveniently shows the breakdown of fats carbs and protein. Maybe I need a change of breakfast etc.

I need some time to prepare a menu for the week. Planning is key!

Feeling despondent!

Yesterday my food was to plan, continental breakfast, ham, tomatoes and smoked salmon salad for lunch. I was feeling good about my eating.

After years of working with a messy desk with about 10 things on the go and feeling pressured by surrounding myself with jobs to do,  I worked yesterday with a clear desk. Just working on one job at a time and moving it to my desk for that purpose felt good. Sad though it seems I actually liked it and  it felt quite productive. I am going to try out the clean/clear desk theory today and see how it works.

Collected the YD from school and after an ice cream – her not me! We went home to get organised for Brownies and dinner. I had previously hoped to get to the gym but the FTZ class I was hoping to do was cancelled! TOH said he would come with me later in the evening and forgo a session at Beefs a rare privilege for me on a Monday night!

Confession time I had half a slice of white bread and clover with marmite! It was delicious but not on the plan………..remedial action – gym! At least I went there it was pretty late by the time we got there are I just managed 10 minutes rowing, 10 on the cross trainer and 10 brisk walking uphill. I was still feeling the effects of the Saturday beasting so this was quite pleasant.

So dinner very simple, smoked salmon – again and ratatouille. Followed by some blueberries, strawberries and raspberries with Greek yoghurt and honey.

Feeling virtuous as I do think I have been, I got on the scales, I do hate the blasted things! Do the scales lie? My weight is no different after a week of being an angel. Grrrrrr!

Why has this happened? I do feel an improvement in the tone and texture of my legs, it’s a woman thing – by having cleansed myself the overall appearance is much better but why no loss. I will see how I do on Paul’s all telling scales tomorrow but for now I must force down my water and get on with my day – clear desk theory. Bring it on!

I’m not hanging I had a very intense work out yesterday!

I was quite stressed about going to my friends 40th birthday party last night as I had been so good on my healthy eating plan and with my weight loss I knew it was working! I knew though after a few cocktails my resolve would soon go!

I was quite thankful I had been to the gym earlier that day. The class was hard work and with just 3 of us the trainer decided to be cruel! It was tough but at the same time really enjoyable! Note to self …….to make sure I do at least 3 classes a week!

The plan was to drink lots of water before we went out to the party and to have restraint! Hmmmmm!

The party was fantastic everyone had gone all out on the 20s theme there were lots of gorgeous outfits and dancers teaching us how to Charleston. The 20s singers were brilliant and warmed us up for the group who played some great dance music.

The champagne was flowing and the cocktails were divine. I am def partial to a mohito or two!

With finger sized food luckily I didn’t eat too much and just had 1 visit to the chocolate fountain!

Thankfully I must have danced off my alcohol calories as me and TOH were on the floor for about 4 hours! I have the blisters to prove it!

I think we finally got home around 2. TOH certainly had a good night – a sure sign of this was waking up to see him still partially dressed laying on top of the bed! Lucky he had his beer coat on!

Now my feet are killing me from dancing and I am feeling the effects of the gym class a 250 TRX rep work out interspersed with step ups carrying weight and stomach work! That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!

Today I have been back on my healthy eating plan. Bacon, egg and tomato for breakfast. Lunch chicken, olives tomato and dinner meatballs (homemade) in tomato sauce and salad followed by blueberries, strawberries and raspberries with double cream! Double cream is allowed and on plan!