Sunday, January 19, 2014

nutrition :: hair, skin & nails

just to add.

another bonus of this change in nutrition thing (i suspect specifically the increase in protein) is that my skin appears to have improved texture and condition overall AND my nails which since having kids have been rubbish (peeling, splitting...) are strong and healthy again AND my hair is getting better too...

I seriously rate this nutrition thing. My body overall just seems healthier...

Thursday, January 09, 2014

food glorious food :: what has my new way of nourishing me looked like?

let me start by letting you all know. I am NOT a foodie. kind of wish I was, it might quite fun - getting amongst food shows, making recipes with exotic tastes, feeling very at home with wild crazy food... but also fairly glad I am not. the huge advantage I think I have here over all you foodie types is that I don't get particularly fussy on it. I tolerate most things even if they are - well - decidedly average. im not worried if the taste doesn't blow my mind. if its food, and im hungry, i'll most likely be happy with it.

{just as an aside - at least one of my kids is a potential foodie - and im fairly sure at least one is definitely not. I know which one is easier to deal with as a mama!}

but on with the post. ive had a few people ask how my nutrition has changed. ive given a brief idea in earlier posts, but will give more of an idea of what ive actually eaten here..

As part of my 8wk challenge we received nutrition guidelines which I worked within. I won't be posting that as that is completely unfair to its author the beautiful Brooke. However, the boundaries I am working within go like this.

  • eat small regular meals - like 5-6 per day. and every 2.5- 3hrs (sometimes it might be 2hrs - im getting better at reading my signs of needing food). there are digestive and metabolic reasons which I wont get into, but also a BIGGIE for me is so I avoid getting to a state of desperate hunger and therefore never feel the need to inhale food cause I feel so depleted.
  • include protein in each meal or snack. why? your body needs it to build and maintain muscle and cells. protein also is much better at quelling appetite and helping you feel fuller for longer. for me protein I consume includes ::
    • whey isolate protein powder (see note below)
    • cottage cheese
    • yoghurt
    • almonds other nuts (not roasted/salted however)
    • eggs
    • lean meat, chicken, fish (although also being budget conscious, there hasn't been much fish). I have also used lite tinned tuna, and have been introduced to "chop chop chicken" a tinned chicken. also available in lite options.
    • protein bar - especially good to have in my bag when im on the go. I have mainly used the horleys carbless bars which are available at all supermarkets in the health section.
    • peanut butter (but in small amounts is probably best). other people would say use almond butter or another alternative. being practical, I have 4 kids and the budget goes only so far...
  • reduce/stop eating high sugar, high GI foods. these include your cakes, biscuits, sweets, treats etc etc. my biggest area of cravings!
  • I continue to eat carbs with my meals and over the initial 8wks found I needed more carbs than others perhaps. I don't tell many people (and didn't tell Brooke even - and here I am writing it on a public blog for the world to read ha-ha) im still breast-feeding asha 1-2 times a day. this ultimately has to increase my daily calorie requirement. however, the carbs I do eat are low GI where possible. this is how carbs has looked for me ::
    • fresh fruit. especially kiwifruit (I appreciate the fibre).
    • pumpkin and kumara - NOT potato.
    • rolled oats
    • cruskits
    • vogels bread or molenberg - sandwich width. basically wholegrain, low GI. although my bread consumption has dramatically dropped. like HUGELY!
    • rice - I use jasmine, brown would probably be better - but I wasn't too fussed. main thing was to decrease my serving size here.
  • decrease carb intake at dinner/supper. so that you aren't heading to bed with a whole lot of energy that will be unused in the evening as you head to bed...
  • lots of veges/salad. LOTS!!! prepared and eaten fairly nude. tsp of olive oil (maybe mixed with lemon juice) to dress if anything
  • drink LOTS of water through the day. 2L at least, more if you train.
  • I tried stevia as a sugar alternative for coffee - ultimately, I go sugar free now. I do however love mochas and found the weight watchers hot chocolate good (but pricey). avalanche brand also do a good sugar free one. I hide it from the kids though ;)

so heres an example of my day...

breakfast for me is now a daily ritual/habit/routine {and not being a foodie and being a busy mama who doesn't want to think too much in the morning, im good with this...}
into the blender goes::

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of water
  • scoop of protein powder (currently using choc NAR LABS brand)
blend it all up, and it turns into something similar to a chocolate milkshake - seriously yummy. comes out best if I allow the water and oats to soak for a while first.

at the beginning I had a different brand of Protein Powder (MGN pure isolate - vanilla) I would put the oats and water in the microwave for 2mins and then mix in a scoop of PP. vanilla porridge. again, yummy!
other alternatives, might be eggs and toast... just get the protein in there with the carb. you get the idea?

morning tea :: my favs have been cruskits with cottage cheese with a combo of the following - tomato, cucumber, avocado, often just marmite. OR a pot of yoghurt and a piece of fruit...

lunch :: often rice (left over from last night) tuna or chicken and spinach leaves. steamed kumara with lettuce and whatever protein OR a good salad sandwich with a meat option - some days just hummus if no meat is available (oh yeah, hummus is also high in protein)...

other snacks :: almonds, fruit, vege, carrots and hummus, carbless bar

dinner :: meat/chicken/eggs plus salad/vege. I started having carbs here also (kumara, pumpkin, or rice) as I was feeling low on energy. it helped.
  • a favourite for me now is a roast vege salad. think kumara, pumpkin, eggplant, beetroot, carrot, capsicum, mushroom, brocoili, anything really... dry roasted for about 30min at 180deg. toss with baby spinach leaves, low fat feta, pine nuts/almonds, tsp olive oil and sprinkle on herb and garlic salt. DELICIOUS!
supper :: this would usually be my biggest craving time, and it helped that I got some yummy ideas. my favourite is to mix about a cup of low fat (blue top) Cyclops yoghurt, with a scoop of vanilla PP, this is pretty good as is. but best of all is to add in some frozen berries. simply divine!

small aside
the protein powder has been a new experience for me, but ultimately a good one.
the first brand I used was MGN pure whey isolate in vanilla. loved it - delicious, mixed well.
now using NAR Labs lean whey complex. this one has a thermogenic in it as well (fat burner). chocolate and vanilla both good. chocolate is my fav though, also mixes well.

the NAR labs is purer apparently, but I don't think it tastes quite as good as the MGN one I used. it is cheaper however and quality wise is right up there, and overall im not complaining. foodie husband however prefers the MGN one. the only reason I changed brand is because I got it through Brooke, rather than direct through the supplier, and that's what she has... :)

to conclude...

so I realise that is a lot to take in. I am absolutely bound to re-read this only to realise I excluded vital details. ah, might just mean another post.

to anyone reading this who is on their own journey to living healthier, im with you! you can do it. the biggest thing is deciding you are worth it and its your time to just muck in and do it. starting is the hardest place. would love to hear your stories.

strength and love to you.