111 – Did someone say chocolate?

I’m not doing so well at the whole not eating sugar thing again. I am trying really hard not to think about it and I do really well until the afternoon – which is normal I guess. I have cut out the coffee again, and am feeling the mid afternoon ‘slump’ HARD. Meetings after school don’t help of course! Taking it slow – being mindful, non-judgemental and kind to myself while I try. That sort of shit.

So tonight instead of taking myself ‘for an evening walk’ to the dairy for a little ‘pick-me-up’ I decided to try something else. You remember the goodie bags from yesterday’s IQS event? Well, they had a cacao butter sample in them and I have always wanted to try making my own ‘healthier’ dark chocolate – mwahahaha…

I asked Aunty Google and found this recipe on the chockchick.com, I adapted it because I didn’t have Agave syrup (and SW and her crew don’t like it anyways so there) and after a tweak mid-experiment I think I have a hit! Here’s what I did;

you need;

  • 100gms Cacao butter
  • 6 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • sweetener of choice
  • vanilla essence and peppermint essence
  1. Melt the cacao butter on a double boiler like you would with any choc you want to melt – it melts fast so watch it and don’t let it burn.
  2. Add the Cacao powder and mix with a metal whisk (cos’ the recipe said to that’s why) until it is all beautifully blended.
  3. This is where I added the pinch of sea salt and a smidge of vanilla essence.
  4. Now, she uses Agave or whatever, and I didn’t have any so I thought I would try two tablespoons of the Rice Malt syrup that I got in my goodie bag but I was dubious; Previous experiments with this in baking have failed dismally.
  5. I then split the mix in half and added a few drops of peppermint essence to one batch. You totally don’t have to do this – you could just go with all one flavour – it’s your life man don’t let me tell you how to live it.

Once it is all blended pour in to your mould/cupcake cases and pop in the freezer. They are ready for ‘sampling’ after about 20? mins. (I poured the peppermint half in to green cupcake cases so I would know which ones were which).

My first batch failed. I tried them after the required 20 mins and they were bitter as – no sweetness whatsoever and a bit ‘muddy’ tasting. Yes I know proper super dark choc is a little muddy but there should have been a ‘hint’ of sweet you know?

SO I melted them again – yes – it worked, I did it in two halves – the peppermint-y half and the plain, and added MAPLE SYRUP. Just a splash in each half and refroze it. Whacked them back in the freezer and let them set for 20 mins.

SUCCESS!!! Delicious and in danger of not lasting the evening. The peppermint ones are especially nice. The are very quick to melt so they will live in the freezer… but not for long….

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Day 78 – the best bliss ball recipe I know

So I finished the block of dark chocolate. It was inevitable. Over the course of the week and when I think about it, it may have been the cause of my unshakeable headache all week. But I don’t regret a single square. I enjoyed every second of it and was ‘mindful’ of every bite.  (you see what I did there?) Part of my reckless lack of food-guilt came from having logged in to the forums on IQS today only to find like-minded women who were not in fact skipping through fields of tall grass and flowers all skinny and glowing and feeling all unburdened from their hopeless addiction to sugar. No. Like me these women felt pretty much the same. No real weight loss to speak of. Skin the same, spotty or not, and mostly they were staring down the barrel of a lifetime without Whittakers and thinking about ending it all. Like me their cravings had not in fact fucked off in to the dark and gloomy past and they were having little tiny battles with themselves every day.

These women, like me had been logging on intermittently to the forums – which are described to subscribers as a great support and most of what we are paying for – and finding testimonial after testimonial of ‘AMAZING RESULTS’ and ‘I HAVE SO MUCH MORE ENERGY NOW I RAN A MARATHON BEFORE BREAKFAST’ and ‘I USED TO BE 300 kilos BUT NOW I’M ONLY 34 kilos AND I AM SO MUCH HAPPIER NOW’ (even if my body can’t support the weight of my head). Disheartening to say the least when, like me, you are plodding along and every thing feels sort of ‘Meh?’.

Please don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the change up of food, and I mostly signed up for food ideas – not weight loss and glowing skin – but a girl can dream can’t she? And the temptation to beat myself up over not doing it right somehow has been strong. But reading the thread gave me heart. I think it is helpful to hear all of the experiences – not just the ones that serve to promote the program itself and I have to acknowledge the respectful and – yes supportive – way the moderators of the threads let the conversation happen and the legitimacy they gave to the way these contributors were feeling. Not everyone who gives up sugar will lose weight, not everyone who gives up sugar will notice massive changes in their health, not everyone will start glowing like a pregnant supermodel on a macrobiotic diet.

And probably there are a multitude of reasons but I think what you were eating before you start the program has a lot to do with it. One man was drinking 6 cans of pepsi max a day. A DAY! And he lost 32 kilos in 8 weeks. No fucking shit.

So. I am going to try to keep sugar out of my diet. I am going to keep cooking some of the family favourites out of the program and I am going to remember the headache I have had all week from the dark chocolate. But I am not going to beat myself up over the odd slip. I am not going to see my lack of weight loss as failure and I am going to share with you the best bliss ball recipe I have found on the magical interwebs. I can’t take credit for this one and I can’t remember where I got it – sorry! I haven’t been making them this year because they have dried fruit in them (strictly banned by IQS) but I have decided these are better for me and the fam than shit, nutrient deficient junk sugar and if I am going to ‘slip’ I would rather it was something I had made myself.

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You will need;

  •  1 cup of medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Soak the dates in warm water for ten minutes if they are hard (don’t bother if they are soft and squishy). Add the nuts, cacao, shredded coconut, coconut oil and chia seeds to the food processor and blitz. Add dates to the mixture and blitz again. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes. Roll into balls (about a soup spoon worth each time). Roll the balls in more shredded coconut. Pop in to the freezer for about an hour before eating – I keep mine in the freezer – best place for them!

They are just the thing after dinner or for a mid morning snack – yum!

Ooooh I almost forgot! Guess what arrived in the mail today! Almost a good enough reason to take up coffee again ha ha

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Day 75 – Bootcamp bitches ain’t nothing to fuck with

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Yeah boyeee. I’m old(ish) and using Wutang references. That’s just how I roll. But it’s ok because we all went out in the cyclone this morning and boxed our asses off before the sun came up. We are hard core y’all. Sure, it wasn’t very cyclone-y. More like Damp and Humid with a wee bit of wind. But add boxing to the mix and you’ve got some hot sweaty ladies. We just needed the rocky sound track to top it off ha ha. Have you boxed? It is seriously fun. I highly recommend it – there is something very cathartic about beating something up. I will take boxing over Yoga any day. Sorry Adrenal glands – I like it hard and fast ha ha

AND Guess what?!? The I Quit Sugar program includes Dark Chocolate this week! Oh my goodness. It is meant to be an ingredient in a recipe for ‘sort of cherry ripe bites’ (the sort of is because you use raspberry instead of cherries) but I confess I have cracked the pack already. Nice and easy grrl. There needs to be some left for the actual baking.

Auckland seems to have gotten away with much less damage than predicted from Cyclone Pam thank goodness. There were some homes without power and I have def seen trees down and other minor damage in my travels, but nothing compared to the devastation caused in Vanuatu for the people there. My thoughts are with the folks there who have lost family and friends and I will be looking for a way to send some sort of practical help to them over the next few days.

Peace out yo.

Day 60 – Another month, another day

Master 4 wants a glass of milk to have with his dinner. We are all refusing to get him one because I want him to finish his dinner first. So, of course, being 4, he goes to get his own. He comes back triumphant, glass of milk held high and proud.

Did you shut the fridge? nods.

Did you put the milk back first? nods.

Did you spill the milk? nods.

Did you clean it up? Shakes his head.

Well – go and clean it up then! He shuffles off drinking his milk. He shuffles back in moments later, trailing a towel and crying into his milk. What happened? He walked in to the door frame. And hit his head. It’s been one of those days.

We laughed. Because we are assholes.

The GD has a hangover. Quite a significant one. I didn’t know where he was until he knew where he was, and that wasn’t until 9am this morning  – and by that time I was mad. I’m all for celebrating your friends lifetime commitment to each-other with a good party but when you have a (sleeping, sexy, patient – but don’t rile her) wife and home and no kids you should be getting back to her for alone time, breakfast and stuff, you know what I mean… Before the kids get home.

As it was I spent the night in a fur-child sandwich.  I slept with the dutiful dog on one side and Molly Motorhead purring away at top volume on the other. (Don’t worry – I stripped the bed this morning – and I’d like to add that the dog is almost never allowed on the bed, only on change-the-sheets-day really). They couldn’t believe their luck! Normally the bed is too full of children.

The kids spent the night with their Oma and Opa and had a blast, as you do with your grandies. They came back exhausted and touchy, as you do when you have that much fun. And they made this clear to us on the motorway, stuck in traffic, at the top of their lungs.

You know the refrain; He’s LOOKING at me! He hit me! Because he was LOOKING at me! He’s looking out MY WINDOW! MUM HE’S LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW! The GD had hit the wall of course – this happened when we were visiting my Nana at the nursing home and I turned to see him in the foetal position on the floor. Which left me to deal with the carnage in the back seat. I turned the stereo up so I couldn’t hear them and lowered my foot. WE ARE NOT GOING TO THE BEACH NOW! I may have shouted at some point. STOP LOOKING AT YOUR FUCKING BROTHER! may also have come out of my mouth – but I will deny it if anyone asks. It’s a shame it’s illegal to drink wine while you drive. I think that there’s an argument for it. Maybe a special permit for mothers?

And then all of a sudden I found my zen; and the constant repetition of complaint and outrage in the back seat simply became another pattern in the white noise that was The Muttonbirds top volume and the GD snoring next to me.

Once home I made a delicious ‘summer chicken casserole’ and kumara mash for dinner care of IQS, and got prepped for the week. Now I am writing this and ignoring my children ‘playing trivial pursuit’ in front of me – Mostly this consists of Master 7 reading an answer of the back of the card and directing the nearest adult to read the question to him so he can be right, while Master 4 picks up all the of the cards and drops them in a dramatic heap on the ground. Over and Over again.

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

I am tired, but tired happy. I got to go out TWICE this weekend and spent time with lovely friends and family. The grumpy Dutchman just took the rubbish out and declared dinner delicious so I might consider forgiving him for leaving me to ‘eat breakfast’ alone. Everything is how it should be – even the lads, if they weren’t trying to kill each other they wouldn’t be my lads.

Day 60 already. Only 305 to go.

Day 49 – Hump day.

Today after a long day which included sitting on the motorway for the better part of two hours to visit Nana, I was in the stupidmarket shoe-less (blister from my heels) getting zucchini (which they didn’t bloody have – my kingdom for a courgette!) when a woman looked at my bare feet sideways. Apparently I have no filter when I’m tired because I turned around and said ‘Normally by now I’d have my bra off too!’. Choice.

I have leg aches…. running up and down my thighs and shins…. It turns out I wasn’t as clean and green as I thought I was because I may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms….. although withdrawal from what?

But it’s not all bad – I finally paid off two of my laybys and got a little retail therapy rush. I actually think it was better than a sugar rush. And I don’t say that lightly friends. But it really is a special feeling. Or maybe I’m just shallow!

Anyhoo – take care of y’all, this feels like a long week, but we only have two days to go!

Day 48 – Language matters

The mint Mojito smoothie for breakfast was goodish again – sort of like brushing my teeth with a spinach leaf. Minty and green. And you know what goes well with Mint Mojito smoothie? Bacon. That’s right. I followed my smoothie with a bacon chaser and it was the best breakfast in ages. I am trying to send the lads to school with full tummies and bacon sandwiches are a sure-fire way to get them to eat!

The boys are exhausted at the moment, poor lads. The start of the new term has really knocked Master 7 around – he is in ‘middle school’ now.  He now wants to quit Ukelele because he’s too tired to do it after school and when I took him to watch the hip-hop class this evening to see if he wanted to join, he affected a very careful attitude of indifference. Drinking his smoothie and looking out the side of his face at the dancing kids, he really didn’t want to seem like he was keen. Poor little bugger. He’s not feeling very rock and roll right now.

Master 4 on the other hand seems to be on fire today! I picked him up and while he was looking for his shoes the teacher explained that he hadn’t been wearing underwear today. When questioned he had loudly and happily declared that ‘Mummy doesn’t know I’m freeballing today’. This from the child who refused to be naked AT ALL until halfway through last year. Now he wants to be naked all the time. And yes, freeballing. My boys like more air down there. A new word for the other kids to take home with them. I can just imagine the conversation around the dinner table. ‘Mummy can you please pour me a drink and are you freeballing?’

Add this to his adventure this afternoon; The grumpy Dutchman took him along with him to quote a new job this afternoon. This job is for a woman I do bootcamp with, who I like and want to remain friendly with, so it’d be good if the GD gets the work and we all play nice. They have a daughter the same age as Master 4 and an older ‘tweenage’ girl too. The GD comes out of one room after measuring up, with the man of the house to find their eldest girl bent double laughing in the hallway, listening to our lad and the little girl playing. It turns out that at some point during their impromptu playdate, Master four needed to use the bathroom and the wee lass obliged in showing him where to go. Naturally she stayed to watch as any good hostess would – I always offer to stay and wipe don’t you? Which prompted the question ‘Whats that?’ To which my boy replied ‘My willy, you don’t have one – you have a vagina’. He’s right you know. It took me ages to get him away from calling it a ‘china’ (and asking every woman he met to see if they had one – was a wee bit embarrassing to have to explain little old ladies that he wasn’t, in fact, enquiring after their crockery). So. Small steps.

Anyway, I have resolved to try to get more fruit and veges in to the boys while they are adjusting to being back full-time – I made them smoothies after school today – theirs with full fat milk (as opposed to mine with almond milk) and we will be trying to get them to bed early and let them lie in when they can.

Today was a good food day for me though, my leftover chicken and basil pesto with ‘zoodles’ was good the next day, and I didn’t even notice the lack of snacking until I got home and opened my lunchbox for cleaning – still had my morning and afternoon tea in it! It’s totally weird to suddenly be a grrl who doesn’t eat ALL the time. Before this year I was a snacker, a grazer, a nibbler. Constantly looking for food whether hungry or not – but actually – usually hungry. That’s whats so weird. The hunger has gone – and I am not eating more really.

My specialist explained it and I sort of get it – She thinks that I have an intolerance to Dairy (on top of everything fucking other thing) and that eating Dairy was contributing to my need to eat all the time – that it was turning off my ‘satisfied’ switch in my gut and doing me damage at the same time. I’ve officially not eaten dairy for 48 days so maybe that is it? Also the IQS program reckon that quitting sugar helps with the mindless snacking too – the impulse is gone because you are eating lots of good fat and protein and greens.

Whatever it is, I like not being hungry all the time. I still find myself heading to the fridge out of boredom and grumpy/PMS/low/pissed off with the kids moments – but I’m way better now at recognising that and I am working on what to do instead of eating. ‘Blogging’ is helping ha ha.

Dinner tonight was ‘Baked fish on roasted Caponata’ care of IQS and it was good, behold;

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YUM.

And like a dick I followed it up by mindlessly ‘finishing off’ the apple in Master 7’s lunchbox while I write this. Cue tummy ache. And….. there it is.

Thanks for reading guys  my ‘stats’ tell me there are whole lot more of you now – so welcome! Talk amongst yourselves (but quietly cos’ I’m off to bed to curl up in pain).

Sweet dreams.

Day 47 – what d’ya think of my tag cloud huh? huh?

Saucy huh? It’s taken me the better part of the evening to figure out how to do it, and I had to go through retrospectively to tag every post – and think of appropriate tags; ‘Prunes’ for example. That’s a good one.

The reason for my fancy techy pants this evening is the sharing – thanks for the blog sharing love guys. My clever friend Fee has suggested I have my own page on Facebook for me to share these posts too (partly so I don’t spam those that are not interested on my personal page) but also so you can find my posts if you wanna catch up. While I’m at it I will put in a plug for her page and business Shineon – she has some sweet new and vintage gears – check her out!

Today was the start of the clean green week with IQS, a mint mojito smoothie for breakfast which had me starving by 9am, luckily I had planned for this and had a lemon protein ball to take the edge off. Just another manic Monday.

I took Master 7 to school today so I could meet his teacher; new dude teacher, Master 7 is exhausted and I was worried that he didn’t ‘get’ my special  little flower. Of course Master 7 was embarrassed that I was there, but he showed me his cute little table and cute little bag hook. He tolerated a cuddle before I left but wouldn’t look at me the whole time. So awkward. (Mwaahaha evil Mum laugh).

I then ran home, past all the slow I-don’t-have-to-work-because-hubby’s-a-surgeon walkers (get out of the fucking way!), jumped in the car and sped off to work, arriving just in time to run to my office and realise I didn’t have my work keys. And that was how my day went really – running to the next thing, teaching in between meetings, lunch at my desk and running for the rest of the day. SUCH a relief to leave today.

Dinner was actually really nice – my homemade pesto with poached chicken and courgette ‘noodles’. I know. So HOT right now to have noodles that are actually just lengthways sliced veges. I am down bitches.

Clean green week is meant to be a ‘detox’ week because you cut out coffee and gluten (been there, done that y’all) and upsize the leafy greens portions. They also recommend a heap of supplements, and spirulina etc. Because I am not great with raw food, and currently have no money (you can ask the grumpy Dutchman about that – Didn’t he go to a stag do on the weekend you say? Why yes, yes he did) I will be playing it by ear. Will keep you updated!

Remember sharing is caring peeps – feel free to like my Facebook page and share!

Day 34 – Molly came home

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I thought Mollycat was missing because she didn’t come last night and then wasn’t here this morning. I was very worried about my girl – she NEVER misses a meal – she is very like her mother. But luckily when I came home after work and called her the neighbour heard her stuck in the garage and we let her out quicksmart. She was starving poor girl and thirsty. After our initial cuddle she is fine. And now she is sitting on the couch refusing to acknowledge me and purring to herself. Back to normal. Phew.

Today has been weird – it’s like because IQS says this is the week I give up fruit all together I want it more – even though I wasn’t eating much of it at all because it’s all mostly no-go for me. But I am missing smoothies. I had poached eggs and bacon this morning which I know sounds sweet but it’s too hot for cooked brekkies you know?

Our office at work is bloody hot, and no aircon, I am melting…. It’s 9.40pm and I am still overheated…. I need a spa or a pool. And a pool boy…. To take care of the pool of course!

So today I am mainly grumpy, hungry for stuff I can’t have so eating out of boredom, mean to the boys because I had to get the oldest childs school books all covered in duraseal for his first day tomorrow. Duraseal sucks sweaty balls. But I have my technique down now – you need a ruler. Now I have a crick in my neck and it’s way past my bedtime – boot camp in the morning!

Day 32 – A pinch and a punch

For the first of the month. My boys do not know the ‘pinch and a punch’ game – we don’t want to give them any more reasons to hit each-other. It didn’t stop them today – they don’t need a reason to mortally wound each-other. They flew around the house punching, kicking, spitting, poking, eyeballing, crying, teasing, blaming, each-other ALL DAY. I’m especially fond of the ‘[insert name here] is an idiot’ song. I know all the words now. It’s not hard; you sing ‘[insert name here is an idiot]’ over and over and over again. This is why Mummy drinks. Except she doesn’t this year – and besides they started at 7am.

The reason for their cabin fever? The grumpy Dutchman and I were cleaning the house. A proper vacuum under the beds, lift the ornaments to dust under them, change the portraits of the boys to the latest ones and sort out the wardrobe, clean out. And we didn’t get it through all of it yet. Do you have an ‘Office’ in your house? We do. But in ours is the stroller we haven’t used in two years, clothes we haven’t worn in longer than that, every piece of paper the boys ever drew, painted or dribbled on and you can’t see the desk for the bills, books and general detritus that we don’t know where else to put. The office is the last room left to conquer. We have resolved to tackle it this week but I am not hopeful.

We also did a food shop, got new curtains for the lounge and then the GD hung them, I made Pork and Fennel Meatballs and pasta thanks to the IQS program (DELICIOUS) and baked ‘Coco-nutty breakfast muffins’ (also part of the menu plan). And I managed to squeeze in a breakfast date with one of my best gals.

Am completely and utterly fucked. Exhausted. Shattered. Knackered. Bone tired. This is why our house is normally a pig sty – it’s too damn tiring to be a clean and tidy household! Not when you have a four year old who delights in making as much mess as possible in as short a time as possible. He just followed us around today waiting until a room was immaculate so that he could fuck it up. Ash on the freshly vacuumed carpet, cushions on the floor, folded washing looks like a tornado hit it, the GD scrubbed the bathroom and he went in moments later and flooded it.

So our house will be clean for about 3 days at the outside (he’ll be at daycare during the day so he has less hours to screw with us). If you  don’t see it during this time then you’ll just have to take my word for it.