Sleep & eat

Hi ya! How are you? I’m well. Aiden is sleeping and I’m tired. But not tired enough to waste this precious time to get things done when he’s sleeping. He’s started waking up a bit more again during the nights, which is tough but manageable. I think it might be because he’s in a development phase. The other day he figured out how to pull himself forward (first maneuvers toward crawling?). And he’s turning himself in bed quite a lot as well, finding it hard to fall asleep.

My old friend is coming to visit this weekend so I think we’ll deal with A’s sleep after that.

What else has happened? I bought a Philips food processor for my new food lifestyle. I got a voucher, 30% off a purchase so I went for it.

Also, last night I went out with 3 other moms I know. It was a lot of fun, and weird being out by myself.

Oh well, I’m going to do some important stuff now before the little guy wakes up. There’s been loads of stuff I’ve been wanting to blog about lately, but time has been my enemy. And when I sit down, like now, the topics are all gone or I don’t “feel” it that much anymore.

I’m done with my all-veggie-diet soon by the way! It’s gone so quick. I did “cheat” yesterday though. There was no vegetarian option on the menu (!!!), so certainly no vegan one. For that reason and financial reasons I got a pre course as a main; chanterelle soup with croutons. So there was cream and white bread. But what can you do. It came with this weird dry bacon looking thing (one of my friends thought it was dried parma, but it looked more like bacon – I know, it’s basically the same thing but you know what I mean it was thick. Not nice looking like parma) I asked if any of my friends wanted it and they were like; “Have you not tried it? You have to at least try it!” and so on. Eventually when I didn’t give in, someone went; “What, are you vegetarian or something?”

I don’t call myself vegetarian or vegan. It feels ridiculous when I ate meat 3 weeks ago. But the toughest with this diet so far has been socially.

Raw lunches

Lunch salad Lunch salad

One of the best things with this diet is lunch. I try to eat only one cooked meal a day, for dinner. So for lunch I usually have some sort of salad. And what I like about it is that I can just look in the fridge and pick out whatever I feel like and just throw it together. Regardless of where this “Plant-based diet challenge” takes me, I will certainly do this a lot more!

Today wasn’t completely raw as I fried some carrots in olive oil with garlic and pecans. Then I had mixed leaves, baby spinach, avocado, leek and some lemon juice. Oh and fennel, because I could. Some beans would have been good for the balance sake. But not today.

Yesterday I got a text from a friend, asking if we wanted to come over for some food at their place tonight. First I got really excited for the invitation then my heart sank and I looked at Jon; “Oh-no, the vegan-thing”.

Jon: “So? just tell them you don’t eat meat. Many people have diet restrictions”

Me: “Yeah but it’s not just that! It’s vegan.

All the advice I would have given anyone else in my situation was gone and I just felt strongly that I did not want to inconvenience anyone and almost didn’t want to go just because of that. A challenge indeed! Anyway, we accepted the invitation & it was taco night so I never mentioned beforehand I wasn’t going to eat of the meat, hoping I’ll just get away with eating veggies. I’m there for the company not to eat. It went very well though! And it wasn’t a big deal. Phew…

Aiden Aiden Aiden

 

Chia seed pudding

Chia Pudding

 

Of course I HAD to try this hyped chia seed pudding/porridge thing out there everywhere on all health, exercise blogs. Especially since I’m trying to introduce high protein without meat/dairy products. More about that later!

This first one I did following this recipe, in English it would be:

  • 2 tbsp organic chia seeds (I didn’t have organic this time though – next time!)
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut flakes
  • ~12g saffron
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla essence (again didn’t have organic this time…)
  • 200 ml unsweetened almond milk (gaah! didn’t realise they would sweeten it, found unsweetened one now so will buy it from now on)
  • 2 finely chopped dates for sweetening (I didn’t have dates so just used some maple syrup)

Anyway, you mix it all and refrigerate overnight and serve with berries and maybe some almond milk.

So my verdict? It’s not bad. Not awesome either though. But that could have been because I expected it to taste like passion fruit, cause this saffron version looks like passion fruit.

I’m trying cardamom and cinnamon and maple syrup for tomorrows porridge.

The Men Who Made Us Fat

The men who made us fat“The question is not why there are so many fat people […], but why there are thin people in an environment that is leading us all to be obese”

 

I’d like to highly recommend this 3 part BBC documentary called “The men who made us fat”. So interesting! Never put your trust in government guidelines, recommendations or food company labelling/marketing to educate you on what’s healthy! There’s to many conflicting agendas and the main priority is not to recommend that is best for us humans. (there’s also; The men who made us thin)

The men who made us fat BBC documentary
The men who made us fat

 

Zucchini lasagna

Zucchini lasagne in the making

I made zucchini lasagna yesterday. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while and it did not disappoint! Not only is it lacking empty carbs (pasta) but I also made the sauce with coconut flour and cream, so wheat free. I also threw in some spinach just because I had some at home. Now I have lovely leftovers as well for a few days. Win win. Win win win.

About the food

As I’ve mentioned I’m trying to make some lasting changes in my diet. I’m very interested in food and the benefits of including/excluding certain things in a diet. I read a lot and discuss it a lot. I am working on finding a non dramatic way of changing my own diet so that it will become a way of life as I’m only implementing what I’ve learnt in waves.

I used to feel so confused about all the contradictory advice given regarding diets. I don’t any more. I feel like I know what is beneficial and why it is. It’s still hard to always follow it, as what we choose to eat isn’t always logical.

So what does this include, my changes? Well in short; I stay away from white carbs, gluten, grains, lactose and sugar as much as I can. I’m not allergic to any of it, but I am convinced I feel better physically and mentally when excluding it. Having said that, there is some cream involved still and there will be cheeses involved in the future, if yet limited. It won’t be a 100% I don’t think, but I want my main food intake to be free from these things.

One of the trickiest thing to change, I find, is breakfast. The best is to eat a breakfast that is like a main meal really, high in protein. But we are so entrenched in our habits in society and most breakfast foods consist of bread, dairy etc. They have a certain structure. So changing this is difficult.

Another tricky thing for me is my snacking. But I know the craving will fade the longer I go without doing it. Snacked tonight though. Ooops. I also find it difficult to eat enough, when eating like this. I should really have protein of like 3 eggs in the mornings – I can’t stomach that! But yeah, I’m sure I’ll find my way soon enough.

I really like cooking and planning food. But obviously with a little one and other commitments it’s hard to get the time to do it properly. It’s the biggest challenge to making these changes – not being able to plan and then slip up because of that. But eventually I will get the thinking and the habit and it will become easier. There’s a lot of fun recipes out on the web now (Paleo, gluten-free etc) and I have rearranged my recipes so that I can access them on my laptop, tablet and mobile. That also helps.

Anyway here’s some examples from the last week of what I’m eating. By the way Zucchini pasta is the best pasta substitute I’ve tried so far. In the past I’ve tried all these carb free noodles and seaweeds, baked my own and what have you not. But I really like Zucchini pasta.

image
1/ Really lovely chai tea pancakes (almond milk and coconut flour) with berries and quark for breakfast.
2/ Zucchini pasta fried in garlic with pine nuts, beef and sausage (leftovers) and cream sauce (not really ok but an exception)
3/ DInner with Shiitake chicken and fried cabbage
4/ Protein pancakes with cottage cheese and eggs

 

Tom Kai Ga
Tom Kai Ga – Chicken soup for dinner.

Red thai & green zucchini

Made some red thai curry with the curry paste I had in the freezer. I’ve been wanting to make “Zucchini pasta” for a while so tried frying them and had with the curry. It sort of just joined up with the rest of the veggies in the curry, but I will try it again in a different context soon. Being on a diet that restricts you from most things that you usually have with a dish, makes you think outside of the box as it were.

Shredded, fried zucchini Why is red curry yellow?

Cheat day and the value of spiking caloric intake

Today is our “cheat day”. I’ve said I’m not following any specific diet but rather taken what I know from a few different diets, things that are recurring and seems to make sense to me. I’ve also mentioned that what I eat and don’t eat is, if described as anything, a mix of Timothy Ferriss’ slow carb diet and the Paleo diet. Timothy Ferriss diet has a cheat day and it’s not just a mental exercise ie that we need a day off to be able to stick with the strict diet. But listen to what he has to say in his book The four hour Body;

image

 

Interesting huh? So we’re doing that. Although it does feel a bit wrong actually. Especially as we’ve both lost weight this week. But hopefully the reasoning above is correct and it won’t interfere with our weight loss goal. (I say “we” because Jon is joining me, which is great. Hard to do if the other is eating normally.)

Diet update

Cooking

I know, I know – You’re all wondering how my/our diet is going, right?!! Haha. Well even if you’re not here it goes. It’s going pretty well. Yesterday we made Guinness stew, which all fits into “my rules” except the Guinness, but I decided it was OK anyway. With it we had Sweet Potato. And I had a low alcohol Guinness (it’s great for breast milk production & it’s suppose to help with baby’s tummy as well).

So the diet, even though I don’t want to put a label on it, is mainly a mix of Timothy Ferriss’ “Slow Carb diet” and the Paleo diet.

Guinness stew with a GuinnessSweet potato

Getting back into shape (and clothes)

Chicken fajita salad for lunch
Chicken fajita salad for lunch

As I mentioned yesterday – I’ve started a “diet” today. By that I mean that I’m making a conscious effort to eat healthier and lose weight. I’m not jumping on any fad diets, but rather concocting my own one based on knowledge I have from reading books about food & nutrition. But to give some indication of the main points of it is that I eat more protein, no white carbs – rather slow carbs, no dairy and no sugar. I’m using some Paleo recipes I have and making some stuff up as I go along.

I’m being quite strict about the diet starting off as I need a good start, but the goal is to change my habits altogether so it will need some compromise eventually. But first I need to see some changes. Also of course, I’m hoping the improved diet will have a positive on Aiden through the breastfeeding.

Weight wise I ended up over 90 kilos a few weeks before giving birth. Now I’m down to 76 kg. So I need to lose another ~10 kg to be happy. If kg tell anyone anything. It’s really about cm and clothes isn’t it?

So why am I sharing this? Well, studies show that there’s few keys to succeeding with a change of habit/diet. Changing your diet is one of the most difficult things you can do. But it has been shown that sharing your challenge works as a motivator. And also keeping records of your progress. So this is what I will do, that I hope will help me succeed:

  • Blog about my “get fit” project
  • Take photos of food I eat as this has been proven to make you more aware of what you eat
  • Take photos of myself (before/after)
  • Weigh myself (this is not a good measurement by itself though as there are many factors to your daily weight)
  • Body measurements

I will also start exercising eventually, but I’m still recovering from giving birth so at the moment I find even walks hard to do. I do them though but how exciting to report back on is that? As I start with some exercise I’m sure I will share some of that as well. Anyway, blogging about it is a way to keep me motivated and on track, so hope you don’t mind me sharing this part of my life as well.

Monday food schedule:

Breakfast Paleo pancakes with cashew nut butter, served with raspberries, blueberries and maple syrup
Lunch Chicken fajita salad
Snack Eggs with broccoli, carrots, ham and mushrooms
Dinner Meatballs with cauliflower & broccoli, cream sauce (with coconut milk instead of cream) and lingon berry jam and beetroot.