Monday, 23 September 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Lets rip this band-aid off shall we? I gained a kilo this past week. There, that wasn't so bad.

When I got on the scale and saw a gain, I won't lie, I felt disappointed. I'd done such a good job this week avoiding temptation, exercising 5 days and, hey, even drinking more water, so I did expect more. Some time has passed between weighing in and writing this post, and I'm feeling more realistic about it now, but just the feeling when you step on the scale full of hope (and maybe a little bravado) and then the little numbers flicker up and crush you, is horrible. Those numbers can be so mean!

Anyway, obviously there could be a number of reasons for a gain this week. Like the fact that I've been working out with kettlebells and could have put on some muscle. Or that I haven't quite figured out the right calorie intake for my body since switching to paleo. It could also be sleep (which I am only just starting to learn can significantly effect weight loss), considering I sleep between six and seven hours on average, but know I function best on closer to nine. Even though I've had such small losses the last couple of weeks, and a gain this week, I'm not going to stress myself over it. I know that I'm doing a lot of good for my health at the moment, and the weight will come off in it's own time.

Non-Weight Loss Stuff
This week I made the trek into Sydney to go to Costco. As sad as this is, it's probably one of my favourite places! Here in Australia we don't really have anything like it, and our options for shopping are very limited, so going to Costco is like a treat. I love seeing what random stuff they are selling and picking up some staples in bulk. A kg of smoked salmon is a staple right?

I even managed to find these two ginormous jars of coconut oil for very cheap (shown next to my regular size jar). I'm absolutely nuts for this stuff, so getting these alone made the trip worthwhile.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Very Late Weekly Weigh-In

Apparently I've been so slack that I haven't posted or weighed-in in more than two weeks! Lately almost all of my spare time has been dedicated to wedding planning and researching, so this little blog has suffered a bit.

The good news is, I have had a little loss over the last couple of weeks. The week before last I only lost 100 grams, which is nothing. My weight that week was all over the place, so any loss was a positive. Last week I lost another 400 grams, for a total of half a kilo over the two weeks. Not a significant loss, by any means, but still a step in the right direction.

The good news is I've been sticking with eating Paleo really well. It's getting easier to say no to foods I can't eat, and I'm feeling really good on it. I haven't started counting kilojoules on it, or focusing on really limiting my carbs on it yet, which might be something to look at doing to improve the slow weight loss I've had over the past couple of weeks.

I'm not sure if maybe I'm eating too many kilojoules, or not enough. Since going Paleo, I've been finding that I'm typically not as hungry, and so eat less frequently. Some days I will eat two meals and a snack, and I'm done. Other days, however, I've been lenient and let myself indulge a little more that I should, and eat more (still Paleo friendly foods). Either way, it could be affecting what I'm seeing on the scales, so will be something that I focus on for this week.

I've also been incredibly slack with drinking water and exercising. I don't know why I struggle so much with these. I go through patches where I'm really enjoying exercise and it's no effort at all, and then others when I'm just incapable of getting my butt into gear. Water seems to be a constant struggle for me. It probably doesn't help that I haven't yet tackled cutting out Pepsi Max yet. It's the one part of going Paleo that I'm yet to tackle, because I know it's going to be so difficult for me to do.

Non-Weight Loss Stuff
I thought I might start adding some more non-weight loss updates in my weigh-ins, when there's something interesting to talk about, or the mood strikes me. Obviously, weight loss is only a small part of my life and sometimes it feels like I fail to show much more of myself on here.

As I mentioned, apart from weight loss and work, lately I've been doing a whole lot of wedding planning. We're just over 12 months away from our wedding date. We our venue booked, and are at sort of a critical time for booking a whole lot of things for the wedding. We're in the process of narrowing down our choices of photographers, caterers and celebrants, and are very close to booking them. We're also starting to look into marquee and party hire, so it's all really starting to happen. We've been engaged for so long, that the fact that we've actually got a concrete date and are actively planning and booking things is scary and exciting at the same time.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Red Curry Mini Frittatas

High five for my first recipe on the blog! I've decided to share my recipe for delicious (vegetarian and Paleo-friendly) Red Curry Mini Frittatas. I make these bad boys for weeks when my schedule is going to be crazy, and I know that I won't have time to make breakfasts, snacks or lunches (they even make a tasty lazy dinner).

The coconut milk and red curry paste make these mini frittatas both tasty, and less of an eggy breakfast only food. They can be eaten fresh out of the oven, reheated or cold.

What you'll need:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion
1 medium red capsicum
3 tablespoons red curry paste*
8 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon baking powder**
Pinch of salt

What you'll need to do:

Preheat oven to 200 C (about 400 F).

Slice onion into thin wedges, and capsicum into thin 1-2 inch strips. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, and add onion and capsicum. Saute until onion is translucent and capsicum has softened. Add red curry paste and cook off for 2 minutes, or until paste becomes aromatic. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut flour, coconut milk and baking powder. Add cooled onion, capsicum and curry paste to egg mixture, a pinch of salt and give it a good mix.

Grease a 12 muffin pan with coconut oil, and spoon in mixture. Pop into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to turn pan after 10 minutes, if your oven is not fan forced.

When frittatas are ready, the tops should be puffed and light browned, and a skewer or fork inserted through the middle should come out clean. Take the pan out of the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan, before removing (you may need to run a butter knife around the outside to loosen).

Makes 12.

* Some red curry pastes include non-paleo ingredients. If you're Paleo, be sure to check the label, and if all else fails, have a go at making your own!

** Store bought baking powders can often contain non-paleo ingredients. If you're strictly Paleo, you can make your own with 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part baking soda, or simple leave it out (this will results in still tasty but slightly less fluffy frittatas).

Monday, 2 September 2013

Going Paleo: My First Week

I’ve conquered my first week (and a bit) of the transition to the Paleo way of life. I've cooked and eaten some delicious food, and am really enjoying exploring this new way of eating.

Lamb Chops and Baked Veggies - Just one of the delicious and simple Paleo dinners from this week.

I’ve heard that the first few weeks are the hardest. Getting used to eating differently, and letting your body adjust to such a significant dietary change. It’s been a tough, but incredibly positive experience, and I thought I would share some of the details of my brief experience so far, and the main things I’ve noticed.

I had a patch, a couple of days ago, when it was like my head and stomach were screaming at me for carbs and/or sugar. All I wanted was anything in the cupboard that I can’t eat (which there is still lots of because the Fiance isn’t going Paleo and I can’t bear to throw away good food). One morning, I woke up and the Fiance had left some chocolate on the kitchen counter that he bought his dad for Father’s Day and, I am not kidding, it nearly broke me.  Other than this short patch of intense cravings, they haven’t been to bad. Occasionally I think something along the lines of “Oooh, I could really go for –insert non-paleo friendly food here-“ and then realise that no, I can’t eat that. I’ve been keeping cravings at bay by allowing myself to snack on more fruit than would probably be acceptable.

The energy that I’ve had for the last week and a half has been insane. I feel like I’ve constantly got the energy to get up and do anything. I had 5 and a half hours sleep last night, worked with kids all day, didn’t have more than a chicken leg for lunch, am still going strong and on my walk this evening I felt the urge to run up a hill. What is that?!? I have never had that urge before in my life. I expected my energy levels to be bad and/or all over the shop while my body adjusts to the changes, but it’s been the opposite. I feel amazing, and I really hope it’s the diet that’s doing it, because I don’t want it to stop!

Sleep has been the one downside to all this energy. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting to sleep lately. I’ve found myself awake some mornings until 1am and still not tired. Then, the next morning, waking up is impossible. Once I’m up, I’m good, but waking up has been a big struggle.

I was expecting some weird mood swings coming off of carbs and sugar. I didn't think I was eating a lot of sugar, but I am amazed at just how much they manage to sneak into everything! Luckily, my mood has been mostly stable. I had a couple of cranky patches, where I was incredibly grumpy for no particular reason, but they were very short and nothing compared to good ol’ PMS.

There have also been a few lessons learned this week. Things that have been important for being successful so far, and that I need to keep in mind.

 Prepare and Plan Ahead
Not just my usual casual planning, but knowing and having on hand everything for every meal and snack is almost essential. If I run out of something, haven’t got something or don’t have something planned, it’s much too easy to revert back to eating poorly. Being prepared is also important mentally. Knowing that I always have food and meals on hand makes it so much easier to ride out cravings.

Cravings Will Pass
Despite the strong cravings I had, a day or two on and they are gone. I’m going good now. I know that they will come back, but they will also calm down if I DON’T feed them. On the flip side, if I do feed them, then I’m only going to have to fight them harder for longer.

Eat Fat
It helps keep you full and fuelled. This has been really hard to get my head around, because every part of my previous food experience tells me that fat is bad and should be avoided at all costs. It’s already becoming clear, however, how important fats are in keeping me satiated. Eating a lean Paleo meal means I’m hungry and snacking on sugary fruit about an hour after a meal, whereas a meal with some fat to it seems to keep me going for quite a while.

Start Slow and Go Easy On Yourself 
I feel like I’ve gone for a fair bit at once, cutting out grains, legumes, non-natural sugars and basically anything not 100% natural. It’s definitely been manageable, and encompasses some of the most major aspects of the diet, but switching to Paleo completely all at once would just not work for me (especially living with someone who’s not making the switch). From what I’ve heard and read, going cold turkey has worked wonders for some, but it’s ok if it doesn’t. Finding what works, and what is sustainable long term is more important than the pace.

So far, going Paleo has been a predominantly positive experience. I'm seeing changes that I would never have expected to see so soon, and overall I feel amazing. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I continue to feel this good, because although this way of eating makes sense to me, I won't be able to say whether it is the right choice until I've given it time. For now, I'm excited to keep pushing onward.