Tag Archives: gluten-free

Cutting some slack

1 Aug

I wagged gym today. OooohwH! That takes me back to when We were kids – that’s how we’d respond if one of us had done something naughty!

But, do I feel bad? No.

We..e…ell okay briefly, I did beat myself up with the guilts. Then sensible, no-nonsense CJ took over, berated the over anxious, perfectionist, pain in the arse CJ for being so rigid and inflexible and then went back to bed.

Actually there was a reason. I’ve been battling something for about a month now and just haven’t been functioning at 100%. Some days are better than others. The last couple of days the-whatever-it-is has resurfaced and I feel like crap…again. So, even though I had my gym gear ready the night before and had my program organised, when I got up this morning the last thing I felt like doing was going anywhere, let alone to a gym. My head hurt, my body ached, and I was tired. For once though I actually listened to my body, decided to skip the gym session and go back to bed for another hour. Sometimes I just have to go with the flow and not stress about doing everything.

So yes, I cut myself some slack today.

It was the RSPCA cupcake morning tea today. Omg, the quantity and quality of the cupcakes was amazing. It was so good to see so many people baking for this worthy fundraiser and there was definitely no shortage of people wanting to buy them. I had made gluten free lemon surprise cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake with a lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. From all accounts these were delicious – I haven’t had one yet. Instead I had a gluten free carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting, which was really, really, really delicious. Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since having a cupcake! (Since I wrote this post, I have had one of the ones I baked – one word.amazing!)

On the plus side, and it’s a huge plus, I am wearing a pair of work pants today that I haven’t worn for a couple of years and they fit comfortably. The best thing is they were a favourite pair of mine so I’m really happy about this. We are reunited! Lately I’ve had people comment on my weight loss so it must be noticeable now. I don’t really notice it – it’s only when I go to put on something I haven’t worn for a while and it actually fits and there’s no straining at the seams.

Finally, it’s no longer my clothes that are shrinking, it’s me!

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The final week

29 Jul

As they say, all good things must come to an end and so it is with Round 2 of the 12WBT program. This is the start of week 12, the final week.

So what have I been up to and what are my plans for the week?

Walking training for the NY marathon is coming along. I am currently working on improving my walking pace. This is an area that definitely needs improving because quite honestly I suck at walking. However, I have been given some useful tips on improving my walking (thank you Sharon!) and I’m applying them, or at least trying to. I guess I am moving into race walking mode and there is definitely a technique to doing this. I can’t quite get the hip thing going because of the hammy. However I am noticing a difference in my gait and an increase in my pace. Even yesterday, before I started adopting some changes to the way I walk, I actually managed a walking PB for 6km. This walk was done mid-afternoon so it was a lot warmer than very early in the morning! By the time I finished I was definitely feeling very warm. My pace for this 6km was 8:48min/km. Previously my best pace for 6km was a whisker over 9min/km. So a PB!!!! Then this morning I incorporated some of the tips I’ve been given and my time for 6km was quicker than it has been for any of my early morning walks. I’m not sure what my pace was because someone left their Garmin on overnight and it was totally dead this morning! Ooops.

Last week’s total walking distance: 44.9km! That’s a few hours of walking. I don’t think I’ve ever clocked up those sorts of distances for walking…like, ever.

Tomorrow and on Thursday it’s my regular gym session and I’m to try incorporating some lower body exercises with very low weights again and see how my hammy likes it. I’m also including walks at lunchtimes on these days so fingers crossed we have decent weather. I think rain is forecast. Oh, and fingers crossed that work doesn’t get too crazy and I don’t manage to get outside (it happened last week).

I have finally booked our San Francisco accommodation for November. We are staying there for 6 nights. I’ve chosen a hotel in Union Square. Now I only have the Hawaii accommodation to book. Yay!

I’m still to finish knitting the baby layette. It’s on my to do list but lately I just never seem to get around to it. Now she’s been born I really need to get a move on or she’ll have grown out of it!

I have a series of Saturday brunches starting this coming Saturday. This is my payment for doing the tax returns for sons #1 and #2 and Mr CJ. I’m cheap! Besides it’s a nice way of getting some one on one time with my boys. This means that I will be doing my long walks later in the day rather than very early in the morning. At least it should be a lot warmer! I don’t think I could do another Saturday bone chiller again (see last Saturday’s post).

This morning I tried delicious homemade gluten free muesli made from a recipe given to me by a work colleague. It’s a combination of chia seeds, linseeds, walnuts, slivered almonds, goji berries, pepitas and sunflower seeds. I also added quinoa flakes. So instead of the Breakfast Banana Smoothie which was on the program for this morning I had Breakfast Banana Muesli instead. I’m not one for drinks as meals – they never seem to satisfy me for long. So I had the muesli soaked in a little milk, then added sliced banana, Chobani natural fat free yoghurt and cinnamon. Yummo. It was both delicious and filling.

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Eat like a man?

5 Jul

I saw the heading of this article about weight loss by Susie Burrell, a nutritionist and thought, you beauty, does this mean I can eat big portions, burgers and fries, meat pies and kick back with a beer or two? Ok, I am basing this behaviour on some males I know, not all of them, before you start getting all hot and sweaty under the collar!

Anyway I thought this article warranted further reading to find out what Susie really means by eat like a man when it comes to weight loss and weight control. But really, what can men teach us that we don’t already know?!

It would seem that when it comes to eating, for most women it’s a minefield of emotions, psychological and cultural programming, and rampaging hormones. Maybe it is for men too, but they seem less affected by these things. How many of us know of men who decide they are going to lose weight (and it’s usually for health reasons and not because they think they look fat) and they do – they stick to whatever program they are following, are not affected by what everyone else is saying and doing, are not coming up with justifications of why they can’t go to the gym or run or whatever, and then say they want a chocolate, muffin, ice-cream, etc because they deserve it. Or they don’t raid the pantry because they’re feeling sad, or bored, or angry. Or have one biscuit and then decide they’ve ruined their diet and may as well go for broke the rest of the day because of this, and will start again tomorrow.

And how many of us are guilty of doing this? Well, I for one will raise my hand.

Susie provides the following tips for eating more like a man:

1. Don’t think, just do – no excuses, justifications or rationalisations. It’s all about ignoring that little voice that slowly but surely chips away at your reserve of willpower until you do give in and not do what you had planned. This is where preparation comes in handy and, for me, early morning workouts. Its planning and preparing meals and snacks so you’re never caught short without healthy, nutritious foods. Its checking the menu before going out for a meal so you know what to order. It’s getting your workout gear ready the night before, and packing the gym bag so all you have to do in the morning is get up, get dressed and get going.

2. Concentrate only on yourself – by this she is talking about not being influenced by the opinions of other people. Everyone, and I mean everyone, suddenly becomes an expert on your diet and exercise choices but really, unless they’re being supportive, whose business is it anyway?! Don’t be swayed by others unless it’s in a positive sense.

3. Don’t blame your emotions – now this is a biggie for a lot of women! We cart around so much emotional baggage when it comes to eating and weight loss and body image issues. Gosh, even the number on the scales can be a minefield and dictate how you are going to feel the rest of the day – like a winner or the biggest, saddest loser going. Then toss in the hormones – that time of the month or menopause, and we’re ready to sacrifice everything for a bar or three of chocolate, a tub of ice cream, whatever, as long as it’s chockfull of fat and carbs, and liberally sprinkled with sugar! Do men do this? They may drown their sorrows in beer or alcohol of choice but in response to a less than impressive number on the scales? Does a man succumb to one piece of cake and then think, damn, I’ve totally blown my diet, I may as well pig out and start again tomorrow, next week, next month?! Susie suggests finding healthy ways of dealing with emotions rather than eating them, such as going for a walk, going to the gym, running, talking to someone etc. Eating our emotions never solves anything.

4. Make a plan and stick to it – this really relates to number 1 above, don’t think just do, which is so much easier if you have a plan. And it probably doesn’t matter what plan you follow, whether it’s the latest and greatest weight loss program, Weight Watchers, or 12WBT, for example. You need to commit to it and not try it for a couple of weeks and then get distracted by another weight loss claim or plan. There’s plenty of programs out there, some totally wacky, others that are not so bad. But commit and stick to it!

5. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full – don’t eat just for the sake of eating. Is it head hunger or tummy hunger? Unless you are in an environment where food is scarce, food is always going to be available. Don’t eat as if that will be your last meal…ever. Also, don’t use food as a reward – exercise for the sake of being fit and healthy, not for the lure of a choc chip muffin at the end! I think this probably harks back to when we are children and food was used as a bribe, a treat, or reward (as parents, we’re all guilty of doing this at some stage).

6. Drop the food focus – Susie is saying that everything we do these days is tied up with food. Women, particularly, tend to make food a central part of social gatherings, a focus which can lead to over eating. Work morning teas, brunches with friends on the weekends, parties, special events, catching up with a friend for coffee and cake at the café, TV programs such as Masterchef, and magazines (I mean have you flicked through a Donna Hay magazine lately?!!!). Studies have shown that viewing food porn ie glamourised spectacular presentations of cooking or eating that we view in ads, cooking shows, and other visual media (think instagram, pinterest, facebook and recipe blogs), is contributing to the obesity problem. Pictures and discussions of food can tempt us to eat, and even to overeat – even in the absence of true physiological hunger.

So I think what Susie is saying, don’t complicate our weight loss/control. It doesn’t have to be hard or onerous. Do like the men do, and keep it simple…and straightforward (you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you!).

And what have I done today?

Well, I went for an 11 minute jog this morning, purely as a warm up to my core strength exercises. you know, those exercises where I do like an aeroplane or superman! The cat finds this behaviour extremely strange, and she watches safely from a distance. I skipped using the swiss ball today for the exercises because mine is like a big comfy cushion so defeats the purpose of using it to improve my balance! Back to my short run, omg what about the wind?! It was blowing a gale so in parts I was pushed along but heading back home it was akin to running into a brick wall. So much resistance!

Breakfast was the apple and ricotta toast though I did have to vary it due to lack of a core ingredient! To supplement the very small amount of ricotta I had, I used some extra light cream cheese. Then I had some raspberries left over in the fridge, and in order not to waste them, I wacked them on top with the grated apple. Yummo!

Lunch today was a new recipe for me – the herbed ricotta and roasted pumpkin open sandwich. I was really surprised because I seriously thought this wouldn’t be filling but it was and it was also delicious. The recipe calls for sourdough but being gluten free that is off limits so I used half a Livwell gluten free baguette. The GF baguette went well with this topping.

Dinner tonight is at the mall as it’s our grocery shopping night. I think I’ll be having something from Sumo Salads.

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4×4

22 Jun

I’m not talking about 4wd vehicles or off-road capabilities, but rather the gym workout I did this morning. :)

The gym session was a 4×4 session involving 4 mini circuits. Each circuit consisted of 3 exercises (4 sets x 12 reps of each exercise) plus a 400m run. I can’t really do this at the moment so instead of the 4 x 400m runs, I did a 5min session of either the bike, xtrainer or treadmill at the end of each circuit.

Warm up
– xtrainer 5min
Mini circuit 1 was legs, i.e. step ups, lunges and squat presses followed by 5min on the bike.
Mini circuit 2 was upper body, i.e. push ups, bent over row and tricep dips followed by 5min on the treadmill (this included some slow jogging)
Mini circuit 3 was lower body, i.e. one leg bridges, calf raises and hamstring curls followed by 5min on the bike
Mini circuit 4 was abs, i.e. side plank raise, sit ups and planks followed by 5min on the treadmill (some more slow jogging)
And finally…
5min on the xtrainer.

I still can’t increase the intensity of my cardio workouts but at least I can do more than even a couple of weeks ago, so I can’t really complain. The danger now according to my physio is that I’ll start doing too much too soon because I feel so good. So it’s slowly, slowly baby steps.

This afternoon it was time for my monthly treat: mmmmassage! Mind you, she was also working on the hammie to prevent scar tissue forming but even that wasn’t so bad. The rest was bliss.

And tonight we had the Beef & Red Wine Pie with Potato Topping, with a few modifications. The recipe was for a Beef & Guiness Pie but that’s not gluten free so hence the red wine. I also reduced the amount of stock from 2 cups to 1 cup, added only half the zucchini and also added mushrooms. For flavour, I added rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and some balsamic vinegar. My pie had mashed sweet potato as a topping (not really keen on mashed potato as a result of being brought up on Deb mashed potato as a child, yuk!) whereas Mr CJ’s pie was topped in buttery mashed potato and grated cheese. I have to admit his looked delicious! However both were delicious and worth the cooking time to make them.

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Super Saturday

15 Jun

It’s been a super Saturday in more ways than one today. Yes, the SSS happened this morning, with more intensity than usual because I was having my good friend Ruth around for lunch and I needed to burn a few more calories than normal. Mind you, there was also a lot of running around cleaning, dusting etc once I got home from the gym to make the place more presentable!

Now don’t be alarmed! I haven’t fallen off the wagon. No siree, lucky Ruth was being treated to a 12WBT-themed lunch to prove that you can entertain while on the program.

The menu:
Entree: Salmon and grilled vegetable terrine with ricotta

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Main: minestrone with lentils & zucchini with toasted seeded wholegrain roll

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Dessert: mini chocolate fudge cakes with icecream

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To drink: water flavoured with lemon juice and at the end of the meal, a cappuccino (courtesy of my Nespresso machine)

It was a lovely afternoon :)

And a quick shout out for this morning’s breakfast, French toast with banana, berries & maple syrup. It was soooo good and especially appreciated after my SSS this morning.

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Finally, there was a stunning sky this evening.

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Truly a super Saturday :)

Muscles!

12 Jun

I know this might sound obvious but I have muscles! Now this is not a recent revelation – I do know that the human body is comprised of approximately 650 or more muscles (depending what source you reference!) that do all manner of things to enable us to function. However, the reason I know I have muscles is that they are sore! Yes, I have delayed onset muscle soreness. Finally! As of this week I have been able to incorporate leg exercises into my weights regime, and even though I am using itty bitty weights, my muscles are feeling the effects. And I have also increased the weight for my upper body exercises.

Today it’s been an interesting exercise getting up and down from a seated position!

However, DOMS did not stop me from going for my early morning 6km walk today. And having gone to bed early last night (lights out at 10pm), I was…almost…bright as a button this morning at 5.30am! Amazing what 7 hours of sleep can do. This morning it wasn’t as cold as it has been on previous mornings, though I was still dressed for sub zero temperatures. The entire walk was done under the cover of darkness, I walk under the street lights so I can see where I’m going and I’m less likely to fall down a pot hole. There was not another soul out walking this morning. Then once I was home I did a mini circuit of squats, lunges, one-leg bridges, 2-leg bridges on a chair, and push ups, which was interesting given my DOMS.

And how could I forget – today is weigh in day. My loss this week was a grand total of…wait for it…drum roll…ahem…100g! Well at least its 100g in the right direction…down!

Enjoyed a coffee at lunchtime with Mr B. Well I had the coffee, he had a GF chocolate cookie which looked really delicious and oh so tempting. I was debating whether just to have a teensy piece but then I thought if I gave in this time it will make it easier to give in again…and again…and again. So no chocolate cookie for me. :)

Dinner tonight was meant to be Asian Chicken Patties with Warm Noodle Salad but it morphed into Asian chicken stirfry! I buy chicken breasts and mince them myself rather than buy chicken mince which can be quite fatty. Tonight, though, I really couldn’t be bothered mincing the breast and making patties. So instead I used diced chicken breast and all other ingredients in the recipe for the stirfry. Pretty simple but delicious.

Anyway I must take these sore muscles off to bed. Hopefully they will feel better tomorrow because, guess what?! I return to the gym to do it all again! :)

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Scrumdiddlyumptious

10 Jun

What a miserable start to Monday! It was cold, grey, foggy and just plain miserable this morning. And it extended into the afternoon. I knew I had to walk today but I just kept putting it off, putting it off, until I couldn’t put it off any longer. And lo and behold, I walked outside into sunshine and blue skies later this afternoon. See, sometimes good things do come to those who wait. It wasn’t warm but hey, I can’t have everything!

I ended up walking 6km in 55.15min. Once home I did 20 x squats and lunges with a 5kg medicine ball. Followed by 4 x 15 reps of push ups. And to finish off, 4 different ab exercises: 2 sets of 12 reps.

Dinner tonight we had an amazing, awesome, scrumdiddlyumptious beef, pumpkin and prune tagine. Really, it was that great! If this is dieting, I am all for it. This meal was so, so delicious and perfect for this cold weather. It came with a small serve of rice. Yummo!

And something that would normally be scrumdiddlyumptious would be rocky road chocolate that Mr CJ is about to tuck into. He has advised that I look the other way so as not to be tempted. Generous soul that he is ;) Instead I will savour my hot chocolate. I know, it’s not quite the same thing….

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Beef, pumpkin & prune tagine (this photo doesn’t do it justice)

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