Tuesday, 28 June 2011

When Life Gets In The Way of Being On A Diet

Hello Strangers! How are all of you lovely ladies! I feel like I've been away from blogging for such a long time! I really have missed you all! I feel like I have such a lot to cover, and yet nothing really that interesting to say, and so I guess this will be a general catch up post!

I guess last time I blogged I was in Leeds! I love meeting up with my uni friends! I tried to keep healthy for most of the time. I think I did OK all day Friday, and most of Saturday, up until the point the pizza was ordered and the wine was poured! On the Sunday I was hungover, and so I didn't eat much, but what I did eat wasn't the healthiest (think Bacon baps!). I pretty much got back on plan on Monday which I'm super proud of! I'm also proud of my trip to Leeds because I managed to drive there, and back, all by myself, for the very first time! I usually have my sister with me playing navigator! I don't have a sat nav, and so I'd written key directions on to post it notes, and then sellotaped them to my wheel! It sounds crazy, but it works!

On the Saturday night we went to one of my favourite nightclubs in Leeds, The Cockpit. It was so much fun listening to all the stuff I loved when I was sixteen like Blink 182, Deftones, NIN, Queens of the Stoneage and System of a Down! Scary thing is, I don't think I've discovered that much new music in the past five or so years, a few new band here and there, but I don't seek out new music like I used to. Is this a sign that I'm getting old? What kind of stuff did you listen to in your teens? Do you still listen to it now?

Heres a quick Outfit of the Day Night:

Dress, Handbag and Shoes from Primark, Cardigan from George @ Asda
(yes those are the skanky toilets!)

I also had some really cool false eyelashes on, and as you can tell I was really enjoying myself...

When I was uni I used to wear falsies all the time, and would hate if I didn't have a pair to wear on a night out! I hardly ever wear them now that I never go out, but I do love them!

After the weekend in Leeds I got back on track pronto with the aim of minimising the weekend damage, but I still put 1.2 pounds on! The annoying thing is that I was off to Cardiff for a week the very next day, and so no time to be super strict and get back on track!

I loved my week in Cardiff. I went down for a training course on web design using Dreamweaver and Flash software, and I have to say it was pretty hard going! Web design/coding is hard! I don't feel like I am now able to fully build a website by myself, but I now feel that I at least know the process involved, and have a vague idea of the basics! I really need to sit down and go through it properly, and hopefully develop my skillz (yes with a 'z'!).

On our first night in Cardiff we had to sort out or own accommodation, and Iestyn was kind enough to pay to put us up in a swanky hotel! It had a pool, sauna and a jacuzzi, and therefore on the Saturday and Sunday we were able to get our swim on! We also did a lot of walking in the weekend! Unfortunately we didn't really get that much chance for exercise the rest of the week! And my eating wasn't the best! Over the course of the week I ate: 5 buffet lunches, 2 pizzas, 2 cocktails, 4 flavoured coffees, two slices of chocolate cake, 5 Nakd bars, 1 home cooked meal, and a few pieces of fruit when I could get them. Amongst other things of course!

I was hoping to be able to do a proper photographic food diary while away, but in between unpacking from Leeds, and packing for Cardiff, I couldn't find my camera charger! Disaster! And its only on my return that I've realised its been left on Leeds. D'oh! Lets hope it finds its way back to me asap!

Needless to say when I hopped on the scale, on my return, Saturday evening to assess the damage I was less than happy.   However I'm happy to report that one day of healthy eating has resulted in that gain being reduced greatly. I just have to keep on working hard the rest of the week! 

My plan this week has been back to basics. Having a few days of eating more than I usually would, made  me yearn for some veggies and complex carbohydrate. Its also  given me time to have a think about my diet and all the conflicting information about whats 'good' for us, and whats best for weight loss. I've contemplated all sorts, such, as low calorie diets, excessive exercise, low carb, low sugar, no refined food, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, high protein (i.e heavily meat based), intermittent fasting, meal replacements, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Low GI... the list is never ending! Isn't it crazy that there are so many different options which are recognised as being healthy ways to lose weight. No wonder I get so confused! I guess you just have to try a few out and see what works for you!

So whats my plan? Well I'm carrying on with calorie counting, but I want to throw in some other factors to help shape what I'm eating, and kick start my week back! Firstly I'm going to cut down the amount of meat and fish I eat. This is something I've ctually been thinking about for awhile. I don't really eat that much of it now, as I usually prefer  veggie foods, but I am going to make a conscious effort to go for other choices. This doesn't mean that I'm giving up meat altogether, I'll probably still eat it 1-3 times a week, for variation, or in those instances when I feel that the healthier option involves meat. My reasoning for doing this is that I do believe that there are health benefits to eating less meat, but I am not willing  to give it up completely, and I might want to increase my meat intake in the future, but for now, I'm eating less!

Secondly my next little trick, if we can call it that, is to eat more protein! This might seem contradictory seeing as I'm pretty much abstaining from meat, but no meat doesn't mean no protein! Its is probably a good idea now that I am eating less meat to keep a better track of my protein, so they go hand in hand! I haven't got a number I'm aiming for or anything, I'm just making an effort to pick protein rich food such as nuts, beans, cottage cheese and quinoa. I'm also trying to eat protein with fruit, so basically including protein with each snack to make it more balanced! This is kind of the principals behind low GI foods: when eating high GI foods, it is recommended to eat low GI foods with it in order to keep the GI level lower. Low GI foods are generally protein rich foods. I do want to read more into GI foods to see if I can get more 'tips' to integrate into my diet, but for now I'll just carry on with this method.

I'm also hoping to keep away from the sugar. I can see how this might not work long term, but for now, for this week, I'm trying to keep away from sugar. I am not counting fruit in this, because I know there are vitamins and nutrients that you get from fruit that you wouldn't get from, say, a piece of cake! I'm making this a goal so that when I have a few calories left at the end of the evening, instead of reaching for chocolate/biscuits/ice cream, I can instead have nuts, fruit or yogurt (amongst other things!) 

There are also another two foods I'm trying to avoid in order to get back on track: cheese and bread. Cheese mainly because it does just add extra calories to my meals which I could probably go without and still have a perfectly nice meal. Not sure how long this will last, but I think going without for at least a few days is a good idea. I am eating cottage cheese though! And then bread. This is because I had a buffet of sandwiches every day last week, and I've gotten a bit fed up! Plus it will force me to be a little bit more creative with lunch, and I'm sure a little less bread will do me some good. Again, not sure how long this will last, probably only until the weekend, but it will help me get back on track!

This might sound strange, but my main motivation for higher protein, no bread/sugar/cheese, is so that I don't go hungry! I'm trying to concentrate my efforts on foods that will keep me fuller for longer, cos I know that when I get hungry and grumpy I will reach for that biscuit! Plus I feel like all these foods can be swapped for other foods that have better nutritional stats!

Since this has been a very word heavy post (miss you camera charger!), here are a few pictures that I managed to get off my camera before it died! These are some new to me products that I want to share with you!

Firstly this Cashew Butter by Meridian. Love it! It might be my new favourite! Even better I got it pretty much half price from Holland and Barrett!

I thought I'd share with you my nut butter collection. Not as impressive as other bloggers, but I love it! I really need to get my hand on some other brands to try out!

I bought this Mori-Nu Silken Tofu to try and recreate Laura's vegan tofu yogurt.Unfortunately I hated it! Its so annoying when I see foods on blogs that look so appetising, but then I end up not liking them! I suppose I can't like everything! I think I've come to the conclusion that I only like Tofu when I make it, cos I probably over cook it and make it all crispy! NOM!

Biona Raw Coconut Virgin Oil! Love this stuff! I was a bit apprehensive at first, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but I've melted it and drizzled it on fruit twice, and I've also used it in cooking!

Nutritional Yeast! I'll admit I'm kind of scared of this product... it looks like fish food! I've mixed it in with some pasta sauce a few times, but I haven't been able to taste anything, probs because I don't use enough! I'm thinking I need to be brave. I'm going to use it on top of Lasagne this week I think: should I mix it in with the passata? Or just pile on top once out of oven? (I assume it would burn if I just piled on top before putting it on the oven?)

And lastly my favourite product of all Tetleys Tetley's T4 Kidz! I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on the blog before, but I am obsessed with Zebra print! I have so much Zebra print its insane! I've slowed down on the obsession now that I'm not 15 and can't get away with wearing zebra print everything, but I am still drawn to anything with Zebras on it! Seeing as this involves my other obsession, tea, I had to buy it! I am so glad that I did! It has a sweet vanilla taste to it, but is made from naturally sweet redbush and honeybush tea! I don't usually like Redbush tea, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying it, but I am now in love with it! I love it after dinner since its sweet, and therefore perfect for keeping away sugar cravings! Plus its caffeine free so its also good for before bed time! I know its aimed at children, but I love it, and I think you all need to try it! I'm hoping to try the other flavours next (but I will miss my happy Zebra friend!)

Quickly, before your eyes turn square from reading the longest post EVER, I just want to mention my run this evening. Nothing really special except for that it was my first run in nearly a month! How crazy is that?! I'd taken time off to heal suspected shin splints, and although I felt fine (I did take it easy), I still think I need checking out! Just need time in between all the work I have going on at the moment!

Talking of all the work I'm doing, I'm actually away AGAIN next weekend, for work again. I'm working at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod! Should be fun, but its annoying that its more days out of my routing, where I know I don't always make the right choices! The following weekend my sister is graduating, so my mum is making a little tea party which will aparently involve lots of champagne, and then the following week its my sisters 21st, and so we are having a BBQ and lots of cocktails. So temptations galore coming up in the next few weeks, which is why I'm trying to stick 100& to the plan while I can! I suppose life can't stop just because I'm on a diet!

So whats everyone been up to? I am trying to catch up on blogs slowly, but a hell of  alot of posts have been written in my absense!

You found any new products that you love? Share with the group! :)

Any tips on staying on track and keeping sane when out of your usual routine?

P.S. If anyone's interested, the producers of The Biggest Loser UK have been in contact with me to see if anyone would be interested in being on the show! Here's the information they provided, be sure to contact them if you are interested!

'The Biggest Loser is back and we are on a nationwide search for duos of friends and relatives and couples that are desperate to lose weight. The programme aims to take these people through a structured plan of rigorous exercise, training and diets in order to help them attain their dream physique.

Last year’s winner Wil Graham lost a staggering eight and a half stone. As if that wasn’t enough he also went home with £25,000!

If you’re ready to transform your life, and have someone to share the journey with you, then apply to be on the new series of The Biggest Loser.

Go to www.biggestloseruk.com for further details and to fill out an application form.

Or if you prefer, you can e-mail us at biggest.loser@shine.tv, or simply call our voicemail box on 0844 6780 156 and leave your name, address and contact telephone number. We will send you an application form with a SAE.
(Calls cost 5ppm including VAT)'


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