Where motivation, exercise and food meet

Last week both my PT and my partner were away. My PT offered me a replacement for the week, but to be honest he sets the standards pretty high and his replacement in the past just hasn’t been up to scratch, so I said no and promised him I’d train myself. Except that I didn’t. I did pack my gym bag and put it in the car three days in a row, but twice I got held up at work and on the third day… well on the third day I got lazy. With no PT appointments and no partner around to tell me to suck it up, I just didn’t get off my bum and get to the gym.

While I was busy not being at the gym, I was also busy being absolutely crap at being an adult about my food intake. I fell off the bandwagon, I ate what I shouldn’t have, I showed no restraint and I generally decided that I’d start again next week. Or something. I was also busy reading all the fitness blogs, and looking at all of the fitspo, and generally thinking about how I want to get stronger… and I was doing nothing about it. I chose foccacias for lunch, and chinese takeaway, and I ate chocolate in the car on the way home from work.

Yesterday morning my PT was back in the gym, and so was I. It was a good session, I worked hard, and I enjoyed it. The funny thing was, for the rest of the day, and for the first time in a fortnight, I found it easy to make good food choices. I bought a salad (which I enjoyed). I didn’t eat chocolate in the car on the way home. There was no afternoon snacks. So it made me realise something. If one good choice leads to another good choice, then it makes sense to find the good choice that is easiest to make, and always prioritise it, knowing that putting that first will help the rest of those good choices to flow freely.

In this case, clearly I need someone else to motivate me to work out. Whether it’s paying my PT or working out with my partner, exercising that way comes a lot easier to me than making that choice by myself. But making that choice seems to lead to me choosing to exercise more often, and to choosing better foods. So for now, my choice is to continue to prioritise my finances to pay for a PT, and to choose to start to schedule more workouts with my partner.

Starting with one good choice, which makes the harder choices easier to make.

I said no to a muffin

I just went to get a coffee – my second for the day. I haven’t had breakfast, and I’m hungry. I strongly considered a muffin, then a pastry, then a piece of slice, and then I said no. No muffin.

So I ate a whole lot of chocolate over the Easter weekend, and I also ate a bunch of other stuff I shouldn’t (hello McDonald’s dinner while driving on Saturday night), but today I’ve had a victory. No muffin.muffin

A day in the life of a 5:2 faster – my third fasting day

A fasting day on a stressful and busy day at work is a funny thing. In some respects it’s  lot easier – the more time I spend thinking about my work, or stressing about deadlines, or muddling over what my manager’s email might have meant, the less time I spend thinking about the food I’m not eating. Equally, the busier I am, the quicker my morning goes which means I start the ‘eating’ portion of my day later. On the other hand, the things I’d normally turn to for stress relief or to break up a busy day (chocolate, coffee, anything from a vending machine) aren’t available to me on fasting days. But then again, I suppose that’s a good thing. So on the balance of things, fasting day + busy work day = positive.

I mentioned waiting until later in the day before I start eating- this is really, really important for me. Once I start eating, I think about eating a lot. I guess this goes for fasting and non-fasting days. And once I start thinking about eating, I eat more (duh). My fasting days so far have all looked pretty similar:

  • 9 am – small coffee (latte)
  • 1 pm(ish) – pull out my massive container of chopped veggies and start chomping
  • 3 pm (ish) – finish chomping through massive container of veggies
  • 3:10 pm – start thinking about eating. Tell self that I’ve just finished lunch, and don’t need food right now
  • 3:20 pm – tell self that I should hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:30 pm – decide that I CAN hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:40 pm – ponder that if I hold off eating my cottage cheese util 4 pm, then I won’t eat my apple at work – I can save it for dessert!
  • 4 pm – consider getting cottage cheese out of fridge
  • 4:10 pm – decide to hold off on the cottage cheese until 4:30 pm. I’ve got to be at work until 6, after all.
  • 4:30 pm – begin to eat cottage cheese, veeeeeery slowly
  • 5:15 pm – finish cottage cheese (yes, really. I can make 100g of cottage cheese last 45 minutes)
  • 6:30 pm – get home. Weigh and chop up veggies for dinner, so I know exactly how much food I can look forward to for dinner. Marvel over the amount.
  • 7:00 pm – consider cooking dinner, after tummy rumbles. Have a cup of tea. Muse that if I can hold off on dinner I might not need the apple, and that would save me 50 calories!
  • 7:15 pm – decide to cook at 7:30. After all, the later I cook the less time I have to try and resist food post-dinner
  • 7:30 pm – cook dinner, eat straight away
  • 7:45 pm – have second bowl of dinner (I told you there was a lot)
  • 8 pm – decide I definitely don’t need the apple. Feel awesome about not eating the apple, and therefore being closer to 500 cal than 600 cal in my day.

So there you go. You can probably see from that run-down why it’s important that I hold off eating lunch as long as possible, because it’s definitely all down-hill after that point! And that’s ok, it’s not supposed to be easier, and it could definitely be a lot harder too.

It’s 4:17 pm currently, so you can see what my inner dialogue’s got planned for the rest of the evening- a lot of self-negotiation! I’m trying a new low-cal dinner tonight- if it works, I’ll put it up here. Actually, I’ll put up my stirfry recipe at some stage too. Hopefully someone will find it useful!

Some lessons hard learned (but learned none the less)

fruit and veg

My dinner for the last fortnight

The last fortnight has been busy for me. Super busy. I’ve been away from home a lot, and I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare meals. In fact, for a few days there everything I ate was completely out of my control.

For the most part I’ve been really good- what could have easily turned into an excuse to eat McDonalds every night for dinner for a fortnight instead became a love-fest for apples, carrots and capsicums. In the last two weeks I’ve consumed a minimum of 14 apples, 7 raw carrots and 7 raw capsicums- and that’s just been the contents of my dinner. My protein intake’s been a little bit low as a result, but overall I’m much happier for having eaten huge amounts of raw veggies than I would have been if I’d eaten maccas.

For the first half of last week I was on a campsite. Like, the kind you go on for school camp. The site I was at does pretty good food by campsite standards, it’s not entirely gross, but unfortunately it didn’t fit in very well with my current diet at all. I’ve been going to this place for years, but I’d never quite realised just how many wheat-based carbs they pump into their visitors. Cereal and toast for breakfast, sandwiches and wraps for lunch, pasta and pizza for dinner, and scones, cakes and biscuits for morning tea and supper. On top of that I was incredibly tired and gave out to some nasty old snacking habits.

I just hadn’t had time to mentally prepare myself for my time away, so I hadn’t psyched myself up to pass on the morning teas and suppers, or to say no to the copious amounts of lollies and chips that were being passed around. I did fine at breakfast, eating fruit and coffee instead of the wheat-based carbs, but by morning tea I was on the bandwagon and eating the sweet stuff. Lunchtimes were fine- I passed on the rolls and wraps and chose to have the salad and proteins by themselves, but that’s as good as I got. Lolly snakes were my major downfall, as was a late afternoon box of TeeVee Snacks chocolate biscuits.

Couple all of that eating with a grand total of zero exercise, and by the end of day three I’d put on a whopping two kilograms. Wow. Not only was I heavier, but I was feeling revolting. For the first time I truly understood the meaning of the word ‘bloated’- my tummy felt bloated, as did my arms, legs, face, feet….. I just felt really blown out. Without going into too much detail my bowel was seriously confused, and I was letting off some pretty foul smells. For the first time I realised just what a huge impact my dietary change is having on my body.

Upon returning home on Wednesday I was immediately back into my preferred eating habits- lots of fruit and veg, enough protein, minimal carbs, and no wheat. Within half a day I was feeling better. Despite being tired I hit the gym three days in a row, and by Saturday morning (just 48 hours after I’d weighed in at 2 kg heavier) I’d dropped 1.25kg again.

What a freaky lesson in, well, everything. The importance of listening to my body, the importance of exercise, and the impact that refined carbs and refined sugar has on my body. I’m back on track again, and with only 2 weeks until the conclusion of The Challenge I’m hoping to be very close to having lost 8 kg by the time it’s over.

 

P.S- a few blogs ago I wrote that I was aiming to deadlift 60 kg soon. On Saturday I managed to do just that- and do a set of 10!! Pretty stoked, and looking forward to smashing some more PBs in that area 🙂

Struggle town [recipe: raw vegan berry cheesecake]

raw vegan berry cheesecake

Today I’m in struggle town. I’ve been there since last night. I want the chocolate, I want the baked goods, I want the muffins…. I want it all. But I haven’t had any.

It all started with a dinner time meeting last night, which featured Dominos pizza. Luckily I knew it was coming, so I turned up dinner in hand (red miso beef with asian greens from Sumo Salad, in case you’re interested), as well as a pear for snacking on and some mineral water to stave off the inevitable soft drink cravings. You know what? I did really well. I ate no pizza, no soft drinks, and no lollies, and I really enjoyed my dinner. That’s not to say I didn’t stare at the pizza and everyone eating it, of course, but once I got over that hurdle I was ok.

I got home last night and my boyfriend (I haven’t introduced him yet. Let’s call him J) was hunting for chocolate. I keep a bowl of the sweet stuff in my cupboard just for him- it’s currently featuring easter eggs and half a packet of Smarties, which says something about how much I go for the easter eggs (they’re still there! From easter! In April! I haven’t eaten them!). So last night he went on the hunt for chocolate and when he pulled out the bag of Smarties, which I normally don’t like at all, I lost it inside for a little bit. I reeeeeaally wanted just one easter egg. One of those tiny tiny Cadbury easter eggs. Or a Smartie!! Just one! What harm would that do!?

The answer is: it would do a lot of harm. I don’t want to crack, because once I crack it will all come flooding out. The thing is I don’t need that stuff- honestly, if there’d been any fruit or veg in the house I would have quite happily snacked on that alongside J’s chocolate consumption. So lesson learned- I need to buy more fresh stuff to keep on hand.

One of my hobbies is cake making and decorating (I know, not very handy right now huh?!) but I also really love reading baking blogs. The women (yes, they’re all women) who write them have such wonderful stories to tell, and such wonderful recipes to share!! Whenever I need a recipe I will never open  a cookbook- I will always turn to these blogs for inspiration. This afternoon I’ve been checking out one of my long-time favourites, I Am Baker. I’ve been following Amanda’s work for several years now, and even tweeted her photos of my own attempts at her great creations on occasion. She’s always lovely, and very supportive. This afternoon however, all I want is to ingest about 50 of her Chocolate Zucchini Cookies. How good do they look?! Now that’s just not going to happen, so in an attempt to diffuse my craving for baked goods I’m going to share with you a recipe I tried for the first time last week, for Raw Vegan Berry Cheesecake.

Yep, it’s raw. Yep, it’s vegan. Yep, it contains no cheese. But it does taste like cheesecake, it is easy to make, it settles a craving, and it’s a great treat without feeling like you’re cheating. Give it a go. Enjoy it.

Raw Vegan Berry Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from RawFoodRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours then drained
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple/golden syrup (if using golden syrup it won’t be raw)
  1.  To make the bottom layer, pulse the walnuts and dates in a food processor until they crumble. Continue to process until the mixture is ground up and sticking together when you squeeze it in your hand- like a pastry would.
  2. Press the layer into the bottom of a greased or papered tray- I used a brownie tray. Put in the fridge while you do the next step.
  3. To make the top layer, blend the cashews, berries and oil in the food processor until very smooth*. Add golden syrup to taste (you might want more than a 1/4 of a cup- I think I used less)
  4. Pour the top layer over the bottom one into the pan, smooth over, and leave in the fridge overnight
  5. Cut into squares and enjoy!!

*Note: I was using a pretty weak food processor and you can see my top layer didn’t come out super smooth. That’s ok- it still tasted great, and wasn’t an issue at all. If you’re wanting a really smooth ‘cheesecake’ texture, make sure you use a great processor

 

P.S- Please please please forgive me for that horrible photo. I promise I’ll do better next time I post something 😛