Sunday, 29 April 2012

New plan, new meals

So I am four weeks into my new health plan.  And it has given my mum the inspiration to try cooking new meals.  The first one we tried was chicken and potato curry with lots of spices.  We usually have a curry with just curry powder in, chicken and rice and a few raisins.  This one has lots of different spices, potatoes and onion and garlic.  It would be hotter if we had put all the ingredients in which included ginger and chillies, but I can't take too much heat in food.  Anyway, we tried it and we loved it.  So much so that we have had it again a couple more times.  Be warned, the smell of the spices linger indoors for 2-3 days afterwards we found.

The other new dinner we tried was jacket potato and baked beans.  I had this once at work and really liked it.  We both really like it now.  We had it for dinner yesterday.  We find it is a quick and easy meal to do (10 mins to do) and is a stop gap for when we can't think of something to put on the menu or want something quick to eat if we have been out for the day or have visitors.

So, two new meals that we both love and will eat again soon.

Next week I will be taking a break from talking about weight loss and foods, and talking about decluttering your house.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Losing weight - Month One

So, back in January I began the Slimming World Food Optimising Plan.  The first thing I did was to measure out my porridge flakes and Oat Milk.  Straight away I could see I would be having less breakfast than I used to have.  When I poured the porridge in the bowl, it was only half full instead of two thirds full.  With it being less, I didn't need so much fruit spread on it.  I also decided to have a change from fruit spread, which was .5 syn a tspn.  I had berries instead with artificial sweetener on.  And very nice they are too. More cutting down.  Then came lunch.  I usually have spread and houmous on my ryvitas, but both of those were syns and I could only have 15 in a day, and they added up to too many.  So the spread was cut out and the houmous was cut down.  Even more less food than I was used to.  Dinner wasn't too much of a problem, as most of the times they have free foods of veg, spuds and meat in.  It was the snacking that added up the syn points for me.  I used to eat lots of walnuts and lots of dried dates.  Now I couldn't eat them, as 4 of each of those were 2 syns each.  And I didn't have that many to go for the day's amount.  I cut them out.  Less food again.  Then came supper. I used to have 3 oatcakes with peanut butter and sunflower seed butter on, but oatcakes were 3 syns each, plus 1 each for the butters.  I had to have other crackers, which were only 1 syn each - crispbreads, corn  thins and Tucs with spread on.  And I tried to eke out the spread.

So for me, the first month was measuring and cutting out hidden extras/calories. My mum had kept on at me that I was eating too much houmous anyway, and that it was a lot of calories I was eating in a week (used to get through a pot a week).

So, the first month: not so much breakfast with not so much fruit spread.  Two porridges I have fruit spread on now, and the other I have berries.  No spread with my ryvitas for lunch, and less houmous, too.  Less oatcakes for supper, and more other crackers with spread instead.

Weight to start: 9 13
Weight end of month one: 9.11

Next post will be out new meals.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

My weight loss journey - why and how

Like most of people, when the new year came I decided that I definitely wanted to lose weight. My weight had crept up and up since I was made redundant and at home full-time. I wasn't doing the walking that I had done before, and was sitting down more than before. My stomach had got bigger; something that my mum had commented on and thought I might have to see the dr about to find out why. I didn't know how I was going to do it. But then in the Daily Mirror in January, there was free booklets from Slimming World and their Food Optimising Plan. I went on their website and found out that my BMI was 25.2 and in the 'at risk' section. I had to do something. I read the booklets and thought, this is a way that I can lose weight. What I liked about it was no foods are restricted. You have 'free foods' which are fresh/frozen veg and fruit, fish, lean meat, poultry, potatoes, rice, pasta and eggs. These you can have as much of as you want. Then there are the healthy extras: milk and bread (bread has to be fibre), and has to be measured. You can have a roll or 2 slices of bread, and a certain measure of milk and cheese. Everything else to eat is considered a sin. You are allowed up to 15 sins a day. I then joined the online membership for 3 months (have just resubscribed for another 3). Online you have a FIT log, where you can submit how many minutes exercise you have done each day. There are awards. The silver award you have to do 120 mins a week. I have managed to get that far and am working towards a gold one now. My weight at the start of the plan was 10 st 1.

So far, after 3 months, I have lost 9 pounds. Something I never thought I'd do after being so heavy for so long. I weighed myself this morning and was 9st 4. A weight I've not been for a couple of years.

This is my journey how I managed to lose weight. Next post will be the first two weeks of the plan and how I lost weight.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter goodies for food intolerances/sensitivities

It is now Easter, so happy Easter everyone. So, how do you celebrate Easter if you have a food intolerance or sensitivity, esp if it's for dairy products when there are lots of milk choc eggs about in the shops. The answer is easy, as shops, esp Holland and Barrett's, do sell Easter foods for these problems. I bought my mum a packet of dark choc coated ginger and a packet of dark choc coated rice cakes and a book. My mum bought me 2 packets of dark choc coated banana pieces, which are yummy. There are only 3 bits left, which I shall try and save for tomorrow. I also got a notepad and pen, a lotion applicator for my back, and the latest Intrigues out. It helps if you know what the other person likes to eat and read, esp eat. I knew that Mum likes what I bought her, and knew that she wanted the book I got her. There are lots of other different ideas for Easter presents, not just foods. But this is what we have bought each other, and v nice too.

Next post is going to be the first of many about my weight loss journey, and how I managed to get to the weight I am now (something I didn't expect to do for ages).

Monday, 2 April 2012

Vitality Show 2012 and IBS

On Friday 23 March, my mum and I went to the Vitality Show at Earl's Court. It is our annual day trip now. After we eventually got there (got the wrong train - my fault - and had to go back one stop, we settled ourselves. I saw a stand from Haymax sellling 2 for 3 of their little pots, so when we had made ourselves comfortable, we went back there and I bought a tin of 3 pots. Money saved. I wanted to go to a talk at 12, so we made our way to the stage where it was being held. Being early, we found a table to sit at and eat our lunch. By this time, I had looked at the map and the list of exhibitors, and cirlced which ones I wanted to visit. We had our lunch, then went to the stage. It was a talk about IBS. And here is what I learnt (some of it I knew already from personal experience).

IBS can be caused by the way we feel and live our lives. It can inc headache, backache, tiredness and irritable bladder. It is an individual illness. One thing that was mentioned that can cause it is FODMAP, which is a name for various foods that are fermented or can ferment in your body. They inc plums, apples and peaches. Again it is an individual illness, as some foods can affect people, some don't. (I can't eat apples, only properly cooked ones). Some people say it is the food that causes the IBS, but it is your gut. You can sense when your stomach is upset, so don't eat then. For instance, if you have an infection, it makes your gut more sensitive. (I know about this, as years ago I had gastroenteritis, and that brought on my IBS badly, so that when I ate dairy foods, the IBS came back).
Thought and gut feelings go together. For instance. If you are upset, then your gut will get so, too. I know this from personal experience. Another feeling that can cause IBS, esp with me, is stress. If I get stressed, then my insides do, too, so movements inside slow down, and make it hard for me to go. This causes an uncomfortable problem down below for me. It was said that some people like probiotics but the Dr who did the talk said they are not for all. He said that the gut breaks down toxins from the environment, esp social environment. Eg anything that rekindles a memory of a bad food experience can bring it on.
Food intolerances can start in childhood.
Foods can have meaning. Eg chocolate can either be seen as a treat or guilt.
It is not what you eat but the way you eat that can cause IBS. If you rush your food, then you are likely to get an upset.
The dr talking, said they are looking at ways for self-management of IBS. Inc dietary help, finding ways to hlep inc yoga and meditation for emotion. They are thinking of possibly putting someone in GP practices with experience of IBS to help with self-care. I think this is a good idea. The dr is now semi-retired from his practice, but now works with the IBS network. They are aiming to get a plan out this year for self-management. I will look out for this as this is an illness I know a lot about, as I have had it for many years.