Category: Food

Ageing smarter !!

Evening all !!

Quite a bit recently, I’ve been thinking about age…. as in the actual number that is the count we’re up to in years on planet earth.   It’s 42 (& a half) for me right now.. and what I’m finding interesting.. and encouraging.. is that I continue to not have any concern about how ‘old’ I am.  While others I know actually get depressed about their birthday coming around each year… I continue to just love every birthday…. as it’s always brought many many blessings in the year leading up to it.  Also, there’s pretty much always things to look forward to in the year ahead.

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I think back on when I was my daughters age, (she’s just turned 18), I honestly thought of my parents and their friends as ‘middle aged’.  My grandparents were ‘old’, but my parents… being the age I am now…  were middle aged in my reckoning, and I thought that there was no way that when I got to their age, I’d still feel remotely ‘young’.

Well…  surprise surprise…  I honestly don’t feel much different than when I was 24 and having my first baby.  When talking to my Mum about this, she says that’s exactly how she felt at my age… and she did, in fact, ride a pushbike up & down half the Queensland coast at my age.. a round trip distance of about 1000kms.  She says that she didn’t really begin to feel any ‘age’ until her 50s…  so here’s my challenge….  to keep on track with my fitness journey with as fierce a conviction as I have had for 3+yrs now.   I want to ‘push out’ this ‘feeling of age’ as long as I possibly can.  But… there’s more to the story…

Sadly, it’s true, as a person ages, we’ll experience a decline in our maximum exercise capacity. Our capacity to recover quickly from long or intense bouts of physical activity will also decline.

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Our maximum heart rate declines, and our maximum oxygen uptake also declines by about 1% per year. Oxygen uptake is crucial, as all our muscle energy is made by combining oxygen with the fuel in our body (carbs, and fat). The faster you transport and use oxygen, the faster you can go, and the longer you can keep going for.  (interesting facts don’t you think !!)

Sound a little dreary ? Well, it can be.. but in fact, this info prominently speaks to those operating at their maximum fitness level, which, let’s face it… most of us are not.   I consider myself a very active person, who is very health and fitness conscious, but I also know that I am in no way operating at my maximum capacity.  And, to be honest, I don’t really desire to.

As a person operating at my kinda level… It’s very encouraging to know that with the right types and amount of training (including recovery and nutrition) we can actually gain back more fitness than time takes away from us!  Sounds good, right !!

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Another great thing about getting older is that we have wisdom on our side. We are far more likely to ‘respect the temple’, as well as taking better care of the recovery side of the athletic equation.  (this is mostly due to common sense, as we KNOW that we pay for it if we don’t.) We’re also more likely to approach training and exercise a little smarter and more sensibly than our younger selves.

A lot of this comes down to a drop off in our lack of interest in training, and staying fit as we get older..  whether that’s about laziness, lack of motivation, time or knowledge… it’s fairly common that we age quicker than is biologically necessary.  We see it all the time…  older men and women, appearing to defy age… but when they’re questioned about it…. it’s nearly ALWAYS the fact that they remain active in their everyday lives.   In other words, ‘Use it or lose it’ isn’t just a saying…  it’s a legit thing.

I personally think the lack of knowledge one is extremely prevalent.. and sadly it’s not just about people not seeking the knowledge… it’s a lack of care for it.  I am ‘up against a brick wall’ with a lot of those I know and care deeply about.

I can speak very personally about how I KNOW that my chosen diet of nutrient dense meals keeps me healthier in general.  I hardly ever get sick, as in general colds/flus etc.  Sadly, I do experience a LOT of unpleasant symptoms due to my cycle…  but hopefully that will be sorted out soon.  (Sidenote… I have seen a great improvement in some of the symptoms by including Maca powder in my smoothies.)  But when it comes to general health and wellbeing, I know that the food & drink I choose to fuel my body with, as well as the amount of physical activity I do each day, improves my life immeasurably.

But these things don’t seem to factor in with a lot of people.  I suspect they resent the idea of the effort required…. only thing is, if they simply started… they’d find they enjoy the benefits so much, and begin to enjoy the physical exertion so much, that the effort required becomes a great enjoyment in their lives.

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No judgement here tho, as I was ever so slightly like this in previous years.  I do firmly believe that each person needs their own conviction, of ‘light bulb’ moment. I don’t believe, other than in a dangerous health situation, that a person can be TOLD to care about their general health to a degree that would greatly improve their lives.

I believe that those of us who do strongly feel the conviction to respect our temples to the best of our ability need to lean on the knowledge that God will use us as an example to others, and work through that.  Which, less face it, is going to be far more effective than anything we can say or do in the natural.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

So, as we wrap up this weekend, and prepare ourselves for the week ahead, let’s go forward in the knowledge that God’s plans are abundantly, amazingly, above and beyond anything we could even imagine… that’s a pretty big deal… a huge reason to go forward in confidence, expectancy and excitement !!

Blessings peeps !!

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In a great headspace !!

As I was walking Cooper this afternoon for his normal late afternoon walk, it occurred to me, that other than the sometimes yuckiness of life….  hormonal teenage outbursts, middle aged husband emotions (😂),  continuing to grieve my Dad, the still unreconciled extended family situation, plus normal ‘life’ stuggles…  my life is in a really fantastic place.  I know that this is all because of Jesus, our ultimate peacemaker.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I‘m very blessed to have pretty much always had a very strong surety when it comes to my faith.  I don’t struggle with doubt, or unbelief in any areas…  and I KNOW, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this strength in my faith is what places me in this great place in life.  If I made the mistake of looking at things logically, maybe I’d struggle to not get depressed about it.  BUT, I know that God’s plans are the BEST plans, so even when something doesn’t happen, or not happen, when I think it should….  or something doesn’t come together that I wished had…. or God pushes me down a pathway I was hesitant (understatement) to go…  I have the confidence in knowing that God’s got this !!  

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What I was most thinking about when this came to me on my walk this afternoon was my health and fitness journey.  I know I covered this in the last blog, but I’m really finding the social media outlets not only a tool of accountability, but a great encouragement.

I had to buy 3 major pieces of equipment in order to dive into this ministry that God has for me….  when the 2nd arrived a couple of days ago, I said to my husband… “This is getting real, when the 3rd package arrives, I actually have to do this.”  Like I said in the last blog.. exciting, but scary !!  🖥📸💜🏃🏽‍♀️

Another thing that had me pondering where I’m at, is the people that we’re surrounded by.  It’s a no brainer that we do our best when championed on by loved ones and friends.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

I’m very blessed to have really wonderful people around me, but like most people, I also have those around me that are kinda hoping I fail….  those that think this is just a faze.. and I’ll just go back to the unhealthy weight and food choices that were my life 3+years ago.  I also have people in my life who choose to see something about me that simply isn’t me.   All I can say about that is…hey… haters gonna hate.  Move on, but pray for them like crazy.. coz happy people want the best for others… unhappy, or damaged people… do not.  So, whatever way you look at it, those that maybe don’t champion you on in your life….  or worse, outright speak negatively about you..  need our prayers more than anyone else.  

 

Back to the possibility of back tracking in fitness… even if solely for physical comfort, I’d need to stay off dairy and big amounts of meat intake…..  which is a BIG part of having a healthy body…. so even if I were to let the physical exercise go, I’d still be far healthier than I was previously.  Having said that, I kinda LOVE my walks, my workouts, my clothes (😂), so I can’t see me going away from this healthy lifestyle.

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In order to keep it real, I’m not saying I never get down… coz man, I do !  I was in a real funk a couple of days ago for an evening and a day… and I just couldn’t explain it… It was near the anniversary of my Dad going Home to the Lord, but I really didn’t think it was that.. it was different….  and low and beyond.. the dreaded monthlies arrived today… so waa laa… explanation found !!  🤔

On this front, I actually received a letter with a surgery date for my much dreaded Hysterectomy, but as it was going to clash with my daughter’s 18th b’day & party, I had to let them know I couldn’t do that date… so back onto the waitlist I go.  Heartbroken?? NOT

As it’s Easter Saturday (is that actually an offical thing?? I don’t think so.. but anyway)… so in just 17mins… it’ll be the time my Dad went Home on Easter Saturday 2017.  Last year, it was rough, as easter fell BEFORE the date of the anniversary, but his year, it’s already passed, so it seems a lot easier.  However, I”m choosing to not dwell on it, so there’s that.

In regards to my blog pages, I’ll just let you all know that I will be consolidating my two pages.  I’m halfway through blogging my Europe trip with my sister last year, so I’ll finish that off before wrapping the page up… but after that, this will be my main blog page, so as to best facilitate this new health, wellness and fitness ministry.

My entire homeschooling journey, as well as Master 14s ADHD diagnosis & journey are over on Lovely Shiloh, as well as travel blogs, preparing for and then grieving the loss of my Dad.. and general life.  Feel free to go check them out, but there’s 248 blogs over there as we go live…..  so just a bit of reading for you.  Here is the link.  😀

I’m wondering if there’s a way to make a copy of all blogs…  without literally printing them all out.. if anyone knows of a way, please tell me, as I’d love to do that.

OK..    that’s it for now.

Blessings Peeps.  xox

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Follow me on Insta

Hi all… just a super quick post tonight… In continuing to be obedient in following Holy Spirit prompting, I have started up an Instagram page solely for my health, fitness and beauty posts.

So far, it’s been pretty encouraging, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m actually finding it to also be a fantastic accountability tool.

So… search for me .. Fab_fit_fi on Instagram. I’d love to bless you guys with meal inspiration, fitness tricks & tips, recipes, beauty products that I love.. and basically anything else the Lord lays on my heart to share.

And yep… I know.. I need to dedicate more time to this blog… arrgghhh… man, there’s not enough hours in the day.

Blessings peeps.

Maintaining.. but wanting more..

Hi All !!

While I’m super happy with my weight, of course there’s still areas.. mainly my tummy… that I wish were firmer.  Also, if you’ve followed me over on fimum23, you know that I LOVE toned arms.

So, it’s my new plan to up the strength training in these areas.  Yes, I know… I’ve said this before.. and it’s not like I didn’t do any of it… I do.  But I clearly need to do MORE in order to get the specific results I’m after.

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There’s a couple of practical/housekeeping things I’m needing to sort out in order to make these changes as optimally as possible… but that’s in the works.

1.  I need to sell my X-trainer as I literally NEVER use it.  I used to really enjoy it, but now… not so much.  I know that it’s probably a seasonal (kinda) thing and I may come back around… as is proven by my now LOVE of my treadmill, which I did once detest the idea of getting on.  There’s also the undeniable aspect that the X trainer gives a full body workout.. and seeing I’m wanting to improve my upper arms, it would seem like a great plan to actually use it regularly, but the fact of the matter is, if you don’t enjoy being on there.. you simply won’t get on there.  (proven by the fact that I haven’t stepped on the darn thing in like 6mths). It’s also a rather bulky item to have in your rumpus room being unused.  At present it sits kinda under the workout cage, making it not 100% useable itself.  So….  that is a MUST DO item for next weeks ‘to do list’.  Advertise X Trainer !!

Achieving #1 will make #2 actually happen.  Using my workout cage to it’s full capabilities.  I absolutely LOVE doing weighted squats…. they just make me feel crazy strong (LOL).  I used to do them with my PT all the time (because it’s obviously way easier when someone can hand it to you…. or better still, place it across the top of your shoulders). But, doing them on your own is harder… and throw in the element of me having rather garbage balance due to my eyesight… basically impossible.. or at most… a rather bad idea.   Having the added safety of being able to pick up your bar at your optimal height and place it back in that same position…  just so great.

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It’s hard to see in this image, (as this isn’t actually my cage), but there are holes top to bottom, so you can place your bars at whatever height suits.   This is super handy in my house seeing I share with my son, who is 194cm tall.  😂

Another thing I’m yet to achieve, and REALLY want to, is early morning workouts…  As much as I try… I just love sleeping in the morning too much.  I also KNEW that this was going to get even harder as the mornings got cooler, so I really wanted to have achieved this BEFORE winter.  I do still have time for this, so I”m being optimistic and saying I’ll reach the goal.

I’m still loving my smoothies…. to the point where I am pretty bummed that I actually didn’t have one today.  (I mean seriously.. look at just a couple of smoothies I’ve concocted … pretty darn appealing)   I made my son the Healthy Mummy chia choc chip pancakes a couple of months ago, and he LOVES them…. so that’s what was on the brekky menu for today.  Then, of course, I had a healthy hamburger craving at lunch…  so there’s that… and then for dinner… I did actually have a smoothie, but just a simple meal replacement one, as I was crazy busy making stovetop lasagna for the fam, so needed to down my dinner before it was too late.

I absolutely LOVE (yeah, I know.. I capitalise a LOT) (See what I did there? 😂) finding different ways to get extra nutrients in by way of staying hydrated.  I’ve started making both cucumber water (which I actually fell in love with onboard Pacific Aria last March), and also Celery juice.

When I went to make the Celery juice for the first time, I was bummed to realise that I needed a nutbag to strain, but I’ve found that my Norwex dish cloth does a fantastic job.  (Yes, a shameless Norwex plug.. I have re-activiated my account too.  LOL)

OK… just a quick update for now….  I’ll make an effort to blog more in the days to come.. as I have soooo much info to share.  My niece has just given me two apparently fantastic books to read….  ‘Diet for a new America’ by John Robbins (I’ll just read ‘Australia’ every time it says America..lol.. and ‘Food for life’ by Neal Barnard, MD.  I”m super bummed to get into them as they do seem packed with great info, even just by flicking through briefly so far.

Continuing to #respectthetemple peeps !!

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Healthy on the hols

Hi all !!

I just wanted to jump on and share 3 things with you ….  how much I LOVE my smoothies of a morning, how easy it is to make simple substitutions in order to still have a ‘treat’ when out & about…. and lastly, how creating a yummy healthy dinner is actually fun to do !!

So, EVERY single morning starts with a Healthy Mummy Smoothie….  I’m in a bit of choc cherry or Raspberry Ripple phase at present, but really any flavour is divine !!

My husband is constantly in awe at how much I actually pack into my brekky smoothie, so here’s a run down on what goes into every morning smoothie.

I used to put almond milk in my smoothies, but ran out one day, so simple threw a handful of almonds in with water.. and it tasted just as good.  So I thought…  well, that’s gotta be a healthier option.  If you look at the nutritional info on a carton of almond milk (even the good organic activated almond milk), the % of almonds is pretty darn low.  This way, I know I’m actually getting a good amount of almonds in.

So, along with the almonds and water, goes a frozen banana, 2 or 3 frozen strawberries, (usually some frozen blueberries, but I actually forgot them this morning, .. whoopsie), a big ole spoonful of LSA (Yes, I know I’m doubling up on almonds.. but hey, there’s worse things to double up on, right?), Organic cacao, Maca powder, Chia seeds, Hemps seeds & the HM mix.   This one had some organic cacao nibs on top with the blueberries and strawberry too.   Whip it up in the trusty Ninja Auto IQ.. and you’ve got yourself a nutrient dense, yet delicious, breakfast !!

I literally go to bed each night looking forward to my smoothie… it’s crazy right?  I did wonder when I started with HM whether I’d get bored with them, or get sick of making them each morning, but no… I still LOVE it.  I also wondered how I’d go thru winter.. whether I’d like getting up and having a cold smoothie on a cold morning.. but I actually went through last winter still having one each day.  There was one morning that I made a warm smoothie, using the thermomix, after seeing a HM recipe for it. I really did like it, but didn’t actually make another.. so who knows if I’ll do more of that in winter this year.

I also have come to love using my ‘smoothie time’ as my quiet time with The Lord.  I make my delish smoothie, make it pretty (a totally unnecessary part of smoothie time.. but hye, it makes it more special.. like you’ve having a smoothie from Charlies Raw Squeeze.. lol).. and then go sit somewhere nice and get into the Word.  I GREAT way to spend part of your morning.  I’m still working on ‘becoming an early morning person’…  (says the blogger at the computer after 10pm).  It just seems to make so much sense to me.. to get up by 6, have a solid hour with The Lord.. and then tackle the day… but I’m not there yet, so currently have a quiet time of about 20-25mins.

OK… jump forward into the day.. and we decided to head to the beach around lunchtime as there’s not too many of these opportunities left before school goes back.  I totally could have taken something with me to eat, but part of the fun of a ‘beach trip’ is the chips on bread lunch/arv tea you have after a swim in the ocean.

Sooooooo, here’s how I still have my ‘treat’ with the kiddos, while fueling my body the best way I can in the situation.

If you’re not Australian, and you’re reading this…. that pic on the left, is a VERY Aussie beach meal.  A ‘chip sanga’.  Not many would choose to have it on multigrain, but hey…  I actually like it.. and it meant I was actually adding some nutrition to what would normally not have much.

In years gone by, the chip sanga would have gone down VERY well with a Pepsi Max, but today… a delish Watermelon water was my selection.. and man, it was no sacrifice.  It was downright divine !!  I have had this one before, so knew it was going to be yum.. but still.  It meant that I ate alongside my kiddos.. enjoying the beach lunch experience with them.   Being healthy isn’t just about the food & exercise peeps !!!  However, I can’t help myself, I did walk out a mere 5000 steps along the beach while the kids rode the waves.

OK… an hour drive home… and it’s time to tackle my challenge for the week….  instead of ‘meat free Monday’.. I decided to challenge myself to a ‘meat free week’.  It’s too much to go into right now, but when my niece went vegetarian a few years back, I decided to look into and do some research as to why people think it’s a better option.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my chicken and beef far too much to go vegetarian, but after all the research I did, I certainly do believe there is too much meat production in the world.  As a result, I made the decision to go one night a week without meat… but I’d like to aim for 3 or 4 nights per week as meat free.

What had me seeing it as difficult tho is I didn’t think I could come up with enough options to reduce our meat intake, but after I came across a page last night, I’ve put together a list of options.

Here they are  – Vegetarian lasagna, soup, fritters, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, veggie bake, mushroom risotto, chick pea & veg curry, flafel burgers, sweet potato and feta sausage rolls, veggie nachos with guacamole, veggie frittata, roast pumpkin and quinoa salad, quesadillas with beans, spinach & ricotta pastries, bbq halloumi & veg kebabs.. and vegetarian pizza.

Tonight, I decided to simply start at the top of the list and make veggie lasagna.  We actually ended up having friends over for diner last minute, so they were my little guinea pigs.  lol.

I was honestly just making it up as I went along (see, it’s fun !! )….  randomly putting in whatever I thought would work…  actually being so lazy that I didn’t even make a cheese sauce, but only poured a can of coconut cream over one of the layers.  I also used lavash bread instead of the lasagna sheets.  One, because it’s a healthier option.. and two, because it gets dinner on the table WAY faster.

My method was – Slice up 2 sweet potatoes and lay the pieces on a pan and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top, then season with S & P.  In a 180 degree FF oven for approx 20mins.  While they’re cooking, slice up 2 big zucchinis and 4 large carrots and microwave them for 10mins (if I had more time, I would’ve steamed them though).  Once everything is ready, simply start constructing layers in an oven proof rectangular dish.  I added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of corn kernels, the sweet potato, carrot and zucchini slices, some cream cheese spread dollops, some chopped mushys,  the coconut cream.. and some grated cheese on top.  It only took maybe 10mins in the oven as there’s really nothing to cook.

I’d love to show you a picture, as it actually came out of the oven looking gorgeous.. but it got eaten too quickly.  I do have 2 serves left tho… so I’m now hanging out for lunch t’row.  ha ha.

OK..  so there you have it… a day of Fi’s meals.  A little bit of a treat with the chip sanga, but overall, a very good food day, nutritionally speaking.

Still #respectingthetemple

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Let’s talk healthy food !!

I’ve never been one to ‘meal plan’ so to speak, and am far more a ‘decide at 4pm’ kinda gal.  Now, this is perfectly fine IF you have good ingredients in your house.  The biggest trap when it comes to eating un-healthily is going for the ‘easier’ option, usually because it’s faster.

So, as long as I have a can of tuna or lentils in the cupboard… then I’m all good for a 4pm (or even 5.30pm) decision.  (Side note – I do live only a 10min walk to the supermarket, so I can literally decide on a roast at 4pm if I really wanted to… I never have though. ha ha)

But, seeing as we can’t live on Tuna & Lentils, I need to be more self disciplined and actually think of the evening meal the night before, or at least first thing in the morning.  I totally realise I can defrost in the microwave, and against my better judgement,  I do sometimes, but I prefer to let it defrost on the side of the sink overnight.

I’m not telling any big secret here when I say that mince is your biggest versatile friend when it comes to the evening meal.  So much can be made from it, but be sure to not scrimp on the quality .. your tummy won’t thank you for that 2 star mince people !!  I’ve recently been making the Healthy Mummy stovetop lasagna (Recipe HERE). It is so great in so many ways…..  one less pot & wooden spoon to wash, hidden veggies, great ingredients… and it’s a WINNER with the family.  The recipe calls for lasagna sheets, but I’ve also made it with spiral & shell pasta, GF pasta, wholemeal pasta, egg pasta, pulse pasta…. so basically it’s great whichever way you want to make the meal.  It is also a FANTASTIC leftovers dish for those hungry 16yr old boys that eat you out of house and home. 😂

Rissoles or meatballs are also fantastic as you can, once again, hide all sorts of goodness in them (grated zucchini, carrot, celery, chia seeds etc).  Also they can be served for dinner with great fresh veggies or salad, and then save some leftovers to have with a yummy finger food lunch.  Here’s my lunch from yest where I had some leg ham, but this is the kinda lunch I’d pop a couple of meatballs onto.

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Yes, it’s a little heavy on the cheese, but that’s because my Great Nephew was here and he likes to steal my cheese.  :0) (PS, those cheese filled bell peppers were THE BOMB.COM .. they were actually a b’day present from my daughter, so I’m having them super sparingly!!)

This plate is a fairly good illustration of what I have for lunch a few days per week, just with the protein sources swapped around……  quite often it’s tuna or chicken on the plate as a great low fat protein option.   Don’t forget the added goodness you get with each addition.   eg. Tuna is a great source of iron and potassium.  Chicken is a very good source of selenium (enhanced immune response), vitamins B2 & B6 (helps with inflamation, as well as lots more).

Basically, whenever you eat wholefoods, there are AAAAHHHmazing health benefits in everything….  because, guess what.. GOD DESIGNED THEM THAT WAY !!  (Although, He may have some questions about some of the variations nowadays. lol)

You know I LOVE finding new wholefood cafes to try… and today was another victory in that department.  Soul Harvest Wholefoods Eatery at Margate (HERE is their Facebook page) is in a street just a block up from the beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula.  Really great atmosphere, loads to choose from.. and friendly staff.  I’ve been following their FB page for awhile and had been super keen to try it out, but didn’t get there until today.

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My Brekky choice – ‘Eggs your way’ (my way is poached :0) on activated charcoal sourdough, with a side of bacon and some homemade relish.  (I so wish I could master poached eggs at home… I have one of those magic egg thingos for the microwave, but it’s just not the same..plus there’s the whole ‘I don’t want to be using the microwave thing.)

 

 

 

You’ll also see on their FB page that they’re not just about eat in food & drinks, but takeaway, catering, picnics (Look for future blog post on this as it is so our next date day option !!) as well as classes on things like making your own Kombucha, essential oils, Beeswax wraps etc.  They also have loads of stuff going on around healthy living and wellness.. yes, some of it sounds a little new-agey, but just do your homework before going along to something.

As I’m typing, I’m enjoying my darn stinking delicious HM Choc Cherry smoothie.  This is normally my breakky routine, but as I had brekky out, I’m having it now.   I LOVE how I can add in all sorts of goodness and not even taste that it’s there.  I just ate an entire zucchini and it was like it wasn’t there at all.  BAM

OK….  that’s today’s lunchtime thoughts.  I actually got my mince out on the side of the sink at 11am today, so let’s see what #nutritiousdelicous meal I can whip up with it.

Love to you all….  let’s continue to #respectthetemple in all that we do (& eat).

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So, what’s my secret ?

Since getting full-on serious about dropping unhealthy weight from my body last September, I’ve shed 15kgs.  The thing I get asked most often is “What’s your secret?”

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Well, this is one secret I’m not gonna keep…. you’re all welcome to it. ha ha.

2 key words…. and neither of them is exercise..  (calm down…  exercise is certainly one of the secondary key words.)

OK.. so #1 is DIET !!  Now, let’s be clear…  when I say ‘diet’, I DO NOT mean I ‘went on a diet’.. and you’ll never hear me telling you to ‘go on a diet’ either.   By ‘diet’, I mean what goes in your mouth each and every day, for the rest of your life.    Don’t think you can make changes by not making any changes.  (yeah, I know.. that’s a meme.)

I had to examine my diet and work at eliminating the foods that didn’t feed me in a 100% positive way.  I had been finding for years that I felt pretty sluggish after each time having dairy, mainly milk.  I seemed to get away with cheese and butter ok…  but pretty much all other dairy has had to go.  This was a little sad for me, as I really used to love a tall glass of super cold milk !!  But never fear, it’s all good, as now I love a tall glass of super cold almond milk (preferably with coffee in it.. lol) !!

I also upped (as I was already pretty good with fruit & veg etc) my wholefoods intake.  The dead-set easiest way to add fantastic nutritional goodness to your diet is with brekky smoothies.  for example, adding a small zucchini to your morning smoothie may sound kinda gross, but honestly, you don’t even know it’s there once blitzed up, and you’ve just added amazing life giving nutrients to your body to start your day.

Unhealthy carbs had to go too !!  Did you know that many fruit juices are super high in carbs?  I once heard Candace Cameron Bure say that she’d rather eat her calories than drink them.. and I so agree.  I’d so rather add some ‘treats’ to a healthy meal with a similar amount of carbs to a glass of OJ, that you knock back a glass and be done & dusted.

Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy (when had in moderation). On the other hand, refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and others.

To put into perspective the goodness within healthy carbs, check out these 4 popular choices and their differences…

  • Corn (1 cup): 41 grams of carbs, 5 of which are fibre
  • Potato (1 medium): 37 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
  • Sweet potato/yam (1 medium): 24 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
  • Beets (1 cup, cooked): 16 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fibre

Soft drink went from being a once a week treat, to a ‘maybe when out for dinner, but hardly ever’ treat.  I thought it would be hard, but it actually hasn’t been.  I keep good quality iced tea sachets in the house, and whenever a full on craving hits me, I just grab one of those, and it hits the spot.  (PS.. I buy X50.. here is a link to their website to check out their products. ) . Remember though, that these drinks do contain sugar, so be sensible about when you have them.  Post workout is a great idea, or just prior to when you know you’ll still knock some calories off.  ie.. an evening walk, or tready sesh.  :0)

So, #2 key word is SUBSTITUTION !!  The two do overlap a fair bit, but let’s look at the easy ways you can budge that unhealthy weight by implementing some really simple substitutions.

Bread…  if you must have it, avoid white bread, and grab the multigrain or mixed seed etc.   (better still, make your own using a healthy flour choice like coconut or spelt.)

Cereals – If you tend to lean towards the sugary cereals, find something with grains & fruit in it.  Muesli is a fantastic option.. or overnight oats, chia pudding etc etc.   (let’s be real… I’m a brekkie smoothie girl all the way, but hey, if you like cereal… knock yourself out, but do it with a healthier option.)

Milk (we’ve already covered this… but here’s some additional info ) – swap to a dairy free option. While cows milk is still packed with nutritious goodness,  almond or coconut milk are a far better option.  Almond milk generally contains fewer calories than cow’s milk, but it depends on the type of milk you buy. Unsweetened almond milk provides just 30 calories per cup, vs. 90 calories in a cup of skim cow’s milk. One-percent low-fat milk contains 110 calories, two-percent milk provides 130 calories, and whole cow’s milk contains 150 calories per cup. Sweetened vanilla-flavoured almond milk generally contains 90 calories in each cup. (Praise the Lord for Espresso Almond Milk !!)

Yoghurt – Change over to a greek yoghurt, and sweeten it with berries etc.  Adding healthy nuts etc adds a fantastic texture sensation.

Pasta – As with the bread, reach for the wholemeal option… or go really crazy like me and whip yourself up some zoodles to have with your fav bolognese mince sauce.  It’s crazy easy to do with a spiralizer from ebay.  There’s some big price differences, but I honestly paid approx $12 for mine and it works a treat.  If you’re thinking it’s too much of a pain to do something different for you than the rest of the fam… it’s really not.  As you don’t actually need to cook the zucchini, it only really needs a minute dunking in boiling water.  (Don’t take the pasta from your kiddos diet, as they kinda need those carbs for their ever growing, ever active bodies. )

You can also change over to Pulse Pasta.  Pulses are part of the legume family, the term “pulse” referring to the dried seed. Dried peas, dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, antioxidants, and low in fat!

Rice – Once again, stay away from the white rice and grab for the brown rice… or better still, swap over to Quinoa. Both foods’ calories come primarily from their carbohydrate content, and a serving of brown rice or quinoa offers 22 or 20 grams of carbohydrates, respectively. However, quinoa offers more dietary fibre and protein than brown rice, so it should make for a more filling addition to your diet than brown rice.

Spreads – Before you grab for that strawberry jam off the supermarket shelf, consider making your own, or if you’re not into that, find a local market that stocks 100% fruit jam.  You won’t regret it, and you’ll soon wonder how you ever ate that other stuff.  If it’s peanut butter that you love to smear on your toast…  grab the 100% version.. whether it be peanut, almond or cashew butter.  If you’ve got a thermomix, or a good food processor, grab some raw peanuts from a good health food store or stockist, and blitz up your own.  It really is a super easy thing to do.  (& you’ll feel super clever for doing it.. ha ha)

Meats – Go for your leaner options, (and watch your portion size).  Chicken breast over chicken thigh for example.  Salmon is a great choice also.  Pork chops used to be on the doctors’ hit list. Today, however, pork is “the other white meat” and is a healthy alternative to red meat. And when it’s eaten in moderation, a pork chop can be quite good for you. Pork chops can be relatively lean, but they’re typically not as low-fat as chicken or fish.  If you love yourself a good steak every now and then (as I do), don’t deprive yourself, just stick to a better cut (sorry, yes, it is dearer), but it also usually comes in a much smaller portion size too.  eg..  an eye fillet piece (also known as fillet steak, beef fillet and beef tenderloin) is usually only around 200g.  (bear in mind that is still about double the recommended intake for a woman at a meal, so factor that in with what the side dishes are…  in other words.. skip the fries, go the salad.) .

Still on the meat substitutions, make sure you are buying the best quality sausages you can, if that’s something your family likes (as mine do).  There are lots of great healthy meals you can make with sausages, so source some good ones, and go your hardest.  Same theory with mince… buy the 5 star (but having said that, the Aldi 3 star is pretty darn good at my local Aldi store.)

Drinks – We’ve covered this a little, but the best piece of advice I can give you for fluid intake is WATER WATER WATER !!!  Yes, I know some of you are probably cringing right now, but it really is true that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE !!  Get yourself an app on your phone.. and start drinking more water… you really will be so glad you did !!  You’ll feel so much better across the board..  hair, nails, skin…  and just in yourself in general.

When water just won’t hit the spot (there are ALWAYS gonna be those times), as I said, make yourself up an iced tea, or if you really can’t go without a soft drink, at least go for a sugar free option.. but let’s be real…  just think chemical poo storm.. and you’re right on track.  That info alone is usually enough to keep me away from it.  There is also great options you can source when out and about, without having to grab a sugary soft drink.  Just take not of where you find them, so you know where you can and can’t source a healthier option.

I’m afraid I can’t really speak much for hot drinks as I really don’t have a lot of them, but we all know tea is good for you.. and coffee has it’s benefits too.  Just watch the frequency in which you’re having them.. and if you need to sweeten, look at a Stevia option, or something similar.

Eating out – I know we talked about the steak option when eating out, but there’s other great healthier options you can go with when out with friends.  There is usually a low carb bread option available for a burger, steak sandwhich or toastie, and if you want those fries with it, go the sweet potato ones (they’re way yummier anyway.)

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One tip I can give though is that it is far easier to eat a meal out and eat healthily, than it is to have a snack/coffee date out.

Snacks at home – I’ve never been a real bikkie eater, but if you are… let’s think about breaking that habit.  There is little to NO nutritional goodness in a biscuit.. just a whole pile of sugar to make you sluggish, clog your pores and rot your teeth. (sorry..  not sorry).  If you have a sweet tooth, you may find this a more difficult transition, but try and swap over to savoury snack options, rather than sweet.  You’ll be glad you did.  You can still add some sweetness to your snacks by including things like plums, dates etc etc.

(PS.. if you’re organised, you can also take this out with you when you’re having that coffee catch up that you know will not have any healthy choices on offer. )

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And finally.. and this isn’t a food one….  Go to bed early and GET MORE SLEEP !!!!  It’s beyond beneficial for your body, your mental health.. and your general wellbeing.  So, turn Netflix off, and go to bed !!!

I hope this has given you a bit of an idea on some simple substitutions that can make a big difference to not only your waistline, but how you feel in general.

Partner these simple substitutions with some gentle exercise 3 times per week (obviously more than gentle, based on how quickly/the results you want to achieve.) . If there’s a stand-out that I’ve learnt in the last 10months, it’s that the 80-20 rule is TOTALLY true.  It’s 80% diet, and only 20% exercise.  I’ve been exercising very well for 4 or 5 years now, but it was only when I seriously looked at my diet that I saw real change.

The point was also proven in recent weeks when I couldn’t exercise at anywhere near my normal level after my foot injury, and then surgery 2wks ago… but the scales still showed a loss each Saturday morning.  Not huge, but a loss nonetheless.

OK…  let’s keep respecting the temple together

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