Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Feeling good

I said I'd update you on our new healthy eating regime and so far we are on day ten and still going strong. I'm starting to scour my old food magazines and where in the past I would tear out all the cake recipes I'm now finding things that fit with the plan - low carb, wholegrains, lean protein, healthy fats, plenty of vegetables and some fruit and most importantly no added sugar. We are eating really well, enjoying every meal, we've both lost weight and what is really noticable is we both feel so good. No afternoon slump or tiredness and loads of energy.

Beetroot hummous on homemade soda bread with feta and olives
 
Of course we all know we should eat like this all the time but it seems the penny has finally dropped. Like most women I think I have a checkered past with dieting. I first went on a "diet" aged about twenty one because I'd filled out a little and couldn't fit into my size 10 dungarees. Want a laugh... I found this... me in said dungerees! (it was the 1970s... just don't ask what I was doing!)


I remember limiting myself to 1000 calories a day, with no real nutritional knowledge and feeling hungry all the time. How ridiculous was that, to even think I needed to diet... I was like a rake.Yes, I got back into those dungarees but no doubt soon grew out of them again... thank goodness!

Baked masala omelettes with red cabbage slaw
 
Over the years I've tried a Rosemary Conley low fat diet, The F-plan (with that revolting sawdust that passed for breakfast) and weight watchers. And although I have often teetered in the top range of the recommended weight for my height, which does make me feel uncomfortable, I've never been seriously overweight and yet I still fell victim to the hype and magazine images etc that convinced me I should be dieting. And yet we all know dieting doesn't work long term and I no longer do diets - haven't done for about ten years. Because let's face it, we are in the business of eating for the long haul not just to reach a weight loss goal, so it makes sense to eat well and mindfully all the time.

Poached egg and avocado on soda bread toast with fried tomatoes
 
And this is what this plan seems to be about... Thinking about what we are fuelling our bodies with so that every meal becomes a pleasure. It is not about denial and then rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, it's about changing our attitude to food. I don't mean to sound evangelical nor will I claim that I will stick religiously to this 100% of the time, of course I will eat the occasional cake or biscuit but the thing that has really hit home is cutting out or greatly reducing added sugar. This seems to have been the single thing that has made the difference to my energy levels and how I feel. This article makes interesting reading on the subject should you want to read more. And given the high levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes with their associated problems of heart disease, cancer and stroke that we constantly hear about, something needs to change. It may have been coincidence but on Sunday evening I had a couple of small glasses of wine and a small piece of Christmas cake... okay the wine tasted good but the Christmas cake icing tasted unbelievably sweet and the following morning I felt tired, headachy and lethargic. It convinced me!

 Sweet potato, tomato and chickpea soup

It does mean preparing every meal from scratch which can be time consuming but there have been loads of left overs for other meals so I think it can fit round a busy schedule. I'm managing by planning a menu for the week and sticking to it, often preparing things the night before.
 
The test will come when I have to make a cake for someone... so far there has been no baking in January so no temptation! Plus this evening I'm meeting a friend for a curry. Like I said... it's no good being evangelical and shouting from my soap box because I'll only fall off and make a fool of myself. I'll be happy if I can stick to this way of eating 80% of the time.

17 comments:

  1. Sounds like it's working. Good luck hope you can keep going. B x

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  2. Morris dancing? I rather like those dungarees! I had a pair of dungaree shorts and loved those, too. Your dinners look very delicious! Glad it is making a difference. I am massively overweight and not comfortable. I have probably lost my entire body weight three times over with various diets. I am trying to get some control over cooking in my house. Richard does most of it but quite often I don't like it much (don't tell) and then end up snacking in the evening, which is bad. I am trying to eat only one helping but find it hard. One day at the time. I don't have a cake habit luckily and don't drink sugared beverages so it is all portion control. Yes, not being evangelical is definitely a good idea, treats are important.

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  3. I really needed to read this post and remind myself about sugar. I always feel heaps better when I'm not eating it. Time to stop again I think. Great to hear that you're feeling so good, and that you're not getting that afternoon low energy slump. Love the look of the things on your plate. Thanks for the inspiration! CJ xx

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  4. Those meals look very appetising and I am about to try out courgette spaghetti and other carbohydrate alternatives. You are setting us all an excellent example. I don't think I have ever been the right shape for dungarees!

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  5. haha, don't worry I too remember how we dressed in the '70's. :)
    The food looks so delicious....I love savory food and could quite happily live without cake..my problem is chocolate!!

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  6. Your meals all look gorgeous. I eat very few carbs and mainly vegetarian- people always think that I must be denying myself but I actually enjoy this way of eating and, like you said, don't have an afternoon slump. Enjoy!

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  7. It all looks and sounds so good. I'm aiming for balance this year. And by that I mean a book in one hand and a cake in the other.

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  8. An excellent post Gina! I bought the magazine and signed up for the emails. The recipes are really fresh and colourful. What a good influence you are!

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  9. I'm afraid to click through on your link -- I love cake too much LOL. I've always thought that the key is -- Moderation in all things. If only I could stick with it LOL. Congratulations on making a great start to 2017!

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  10. Well done Gina, it's true we do feel so much more energetic and alive when we eat proper food and not all that sugar! The seventies have a lot to answer for when it comes to dieting. When I was 17 a GP actually told me to lose weight after I went to him with (what I didn't know at the time but thought it was a strange rash ..hehe) were stretch marks on my legs. I was only 7 and a half stone at 5ft 6! He said I had to cut out potatoes and bread. Shocking isn't it? It's great to hear you've achieved a new routine of healthy eating. Just the inspiration I need. (I'm no longer anywhere near my weight at 17.😉 In fact 4 stone heavier, yikes!)
    Jess xx

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  11. I feel that it is too cold for salads so I have been making vegetable soups.

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  12. Gina, it's quite interesting to follow your progress on changing up the menus at home. It's good that you and your husband are trying this plan together...good support there. Also great that the menus are so delicious!
    And...do enjoy that curry! xo

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  13. Really interesting read Gina. So glad you are feeling the benefits of your new eating regime.

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  14. There are some wise words here Gina that I could learn from. I was going to join WW last week and then thought better of it. Why do I need the validation of someone telling me I've done well. I should be able to do that myself!! Eating healthily should not be rocket science so I shall read that article. Thank you for the meal suggestions. Sweet potato, tomato and chickpea soup looks delish. Might have to have a go at that one and send you my verdict. Well done you... and in that photo I think you're doing the hokey cokey.... no?

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  15. Inspiring! Funnily enough I had a piece of Christmas cake 'just to be sociable' and I found I had heavy eyes on the train into London later that day. Mmmmm....

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  16. Sounds as though it is working well for you and as long as you are happy that is what matters!

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  17. The food photos look just delicious! Very worth doing....

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