40 days and 40 nights

Day 40. I think what I was most anxious about when I embarked on this ‘year of health’ was that I would lose any ‘treats’ in my life, anything that was just for me – whether it be ‘grown up stuff’ (wine and a book) or just general, bloody-hard-day-at-work pick me ups like a morning or afternoon tea cake break.

Turns out it is tricksy to find something that feels like a treat when even fruit is not really good for your tummy. Coyo has been revolutionary of course. If however I eat it all at once then I’m doing myself no good either. But of course, half of this is meant to be the other non-food side of the ‘healing’, the de-stressing etc. And I am struggling.

Getting to Yoga on the 3 days I am not at bootcamp is hard. For some reason Yogi’s don’t teach at convenient times. They don’t do 5/6am – 7am classes. They do 6.30am to 7.30am classes – where most people would be driving to work already before it’s finished. Or 4pm which is before most people leave work. Or of course – my favourite – 7pm, where most people are at home feeding their families (or in my case sitting on my ass waiting for the GD to feed me). And, although I have made it to some evening Yoga classes, they are usually the hour and a half classes, so I don’t get home until nearly 9pm and I miss my fam. It’s not all bad. Fuck I sound like a grinch lately. I love the Yin class on the Sunday – and if I can convince the GD to let me have Tuesday mornings I might be able to go from Yoga straight to work, but it’s a big ask really.

What we have been doing this week is walking. Mostly driven by my competitive side; the fact that I need to get to 84,000 fitbit steps this week, but something that we have been trying to put in a regular spot for ages. It is really nice to slowly wander round our lovely neighbourhood, letting Arty wee on stuff, while the lads babble, holding my grumpy man’s hand. Tonight I am 100 steps off my goal – and our walk consisted of walking up and down the street while Master four ‘rode’ his bike (daddy holding it upright for him while he refused to peddle) but to be honest I will do those steps just making my lunch for tomorrow and getting ready for bed.

So my goals this week;

  • I am going to try to get to Yoga at least twice.
  • I am also going to start one of the books I got in the mail.
  • I am going to go hang with my Nana and Grandad respectively.
  • I am going to survive our first full week back at school with actual teaching involved.
  • I am going to try to get to bed at a decent time.
  • I am going to enjoy hanging WITH my boys.

And maybe try to not to dress like an oversized toddler again – all day today all I wanted to do was come home and get changed.

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Day 24 – emergency lunchbox success!

Today we went to Waiheke Island to walk the Headlands Sculpture trail and I panicked about food. The boys were easy – sandwiches and muesli bars and fruit – but we needed to food shop and weren’t planning on doing so until after we got back from the Island – so none of my usuals were in the fridge – I couldn’t cook myself something quickly.  Or could I?

Quite proud of this one – GF,SF, DF (and everything else free) Falafels!

photo 1 (12) photo 3 (7) photo 2 (12)Success! All I had to do was add water, fry in avocado oil and bing bang falafels! Throw in some cherry tomatoes (because I refuse to give them up), a boiled egg and hummus for dipping and we were away. And it was perfect – They kept me full all day; something to remember for packed lunches. I always buy a box thinking we can have a ‘meat free’ night but I know the lads aren’t keen so they sit there – this is a much better way to eat them.

Trying not to think about what was actually in them instead of all the stuff they took out – but in the absence of being able to eat raw veges and fruit I am ok with them for now.

And in updates of how I am feeling/doing with the whole ‘eating to heal’ thing. Well – I am not craving junk anymore – which is great – and my willpower feels really strong in terms of not actually feeling any desire to eat sugary treats or cheesey things when they are offered. I definitely don’t feel all ‘poor me I am missing out’ like I was, and today I even said to the grumpy Dutchman that I hadn’t predicted there’d be a day when him buying me a bottle of sparkling water (for the fizz) while they all had ice-creams still felt like a treat and it the spot! funny!

I tend to still wander to the fridge randomly but I open it now and think ‘am I bored or hungry?’ and mostly I’m bored – I am amazed at how long I can go now between meals without being hungry. I feel like I’m re-setting back to my ‘natural’ eating state; instead of being driven by a low or high from sugar.

The funny thing is that I have to figure out other ways to celebrate small victories or even silly things like getting to go to the stupidmarket by myself – quiet time for mummy – normally I would get me a little treat and eat it in the car on the way home but there is nothing I can have. After a day like today, with a particularly hard session of boot camp in the morning, then stomping up and down hills in the hot sun all day I would normally ‘reward’ myself for my hard work with a glass of wine (or 3) and I have been trying to think of other ways – and all I feel like doing is crawling in to bed because my legs ache! ha ha. Is this what getting old feels like?

All the books say to replace food treats/rewards with ‘time’. Whether it be reading a book, going for a walk, a yoga session, the point is to nourish your spirit instead of your stomach to replace the emotional crutch. Or some shit. But if you are already ‘time poor’ in terms of alone time (what parent of kids that still live at home ever get ‘alone time’?!) What can you do?

I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Day 14, Coffee – sort of, last day with Dave (and my Sis) and I get to see my little men!

photo 1 (9)Today was my last day in Christchurch, and Kris took the afternoon off to hang with me, so we went to the cafe that Cath had taken me to for lunch, The Herb centre Dispensary – because I was having a massive sugar craving and I knew they did no-refined-sugar desserts….

Before you throw your hands in the air aghast and lose all my faith in my hard-core stickability you’ll be pleased to know that once we got there I decided against any dessert/cake/slice no matter how sketchily it fit into my gut healing restrictions. When they take the refined sugar out it usually means that they are using dried fruit or honey as a sweetener (nothing artificial because it was wholefoods central) both are off the books for now. I had been all excited but once I got there decided that it wasn’t worth starting again – especially with the leg aches – and thought I would treat myself to a DECAF, rice milk Flat White. Yes I said it. And I know this is not a ‘real coffee’ (Kylee) and I would have been scoffing and throwing my hands up in the air as well – for fucks sake I won’t even drink Starbucks coffee (because it’s gross duh) – but I really felt like I had to try it. And surprise surprise it tasted like coffee. So much so – and the with the consequent speedy feeling I had afterwards – I think she slipped me real caffeine man. There was some confusion with me ordering because initially I hadn’t realised I could have a fakey fakey coffee, so I ordered tea. Then I realised and went back and I think it was all too much. So although it had rice milk – you could taste that – I think I got caffeined. Well, my mouth still feels weird anyway, and I’m still up and it’s 11.30pm oh my god.

Anyway, I got to the plane having only had a smoothie between lunch and flying so was starving, no snacks on me and nothing to buy, nothing to do but suck it up – cue stomach pains etc – but I know you ‘normals’ get that too when you starve yourself so nothing interesting there!

On the plane I was sitting between two dudes, who I thought were really old then realised I was probably within ten years of age with them and felt OLD, and of course they sat with their legs wide open and reclined right back and basically claimed all of the plane to themselves. Fuck that shit. I pushed my elbows out, reclined, dropped my knees, put my headphones on and raised my book. Ain’t no way you gonna encroach upon this hangry mamabears plane space motherfucker.

Flight was otherwise uneventful; no nice air host person I don’t want the teeny tiny cookie time (boo hoo) or the horrible GF (suspect) vege chips, nor do I want a perculator coffee (YES I DO DAMNIT) and thank you but no I don’t want the boiled sweetie to help my ears pop. So many lies. I wanted ALL of the boiled sweeties. I wanted to fill my overstuffed and threatening to burst carry on luggage with them. But I am very restrained and my willpower is great. or some shit.

I was sad to be leaving Dave and Kris, but pleased to be coming home to my little lads – it was SO good to see Master 7 standing right at the gate when I came through – but ssshhhhhh don’t tell them – Mama could have stayed another couple of days reading my books and mooching about and coped quite well…

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Day two, an old standard, a failure, and a slow start

It’s been an up-and-down 24 hours – with me having to remember quite hard not to have refined sugars and little trickies like that – bad habits have taken over and it will take a while to retrain. I spent all night last night, once the kids were in bed, going to the kitchen, opening the cupboards and fridge and then wandering back to the lounge defeated. I blame it on my free right hand – no wine glass occupying it….

I woke up this morning wanting to make something for breakkie that wasn’t an omelette or smoothie – and not toast which is my fave – because of the ‘crunchy’ bits.

There has been this recipe floating round on various do-gooder-healthy-recipe sites that had piqued my interest and this morning I got the lads all excited and said ‘hey mama’s gonna make banana pancakes – yum!’ cue excitement and ‘when are they ready mum!?’ (I’m not even off the couch yet).

You see the beauty of these pancakes is that they ONLY take two ingredients – I KNOW amazeballs huh – and ‘taste just like normal pancakes!’. I looked them up (thank you Aunty google) and got started. So NOT hard. I literally had to break three eggs and one and a half bananas into the blender and pulse. Then fry.

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Voila! You like my photo? they look good right? Except that they SUCKED.      They were terrible. Like the gross uncooked bit in the middle of french toast that you always slather in tomato sauce so you don’t have to feel the texture. Bleurgh. Master 7 took one bite, spat it out again (he’s not an egg fan and I may not have been very clear with him on the ingredients). Master 4 had two – liberally sprinkled with brown sugar – which by the way is the way the ‘healthy website’ recommended they be eaten because they know they suck too. I put four aside for the grumpy Dutchman figuring he’d eat anything and had to throw mine away because there wasn’t a single thing I could think of to add to them that I am allowed to eat. SO. Breakfast failure on day two. I ended up having the last two pieces of bread in the bag – waste not want not – and I just won’t buy anymore I promise. That crunchy tummy scratching peanut-butter toast never tasted so good. But I did miss the coffee I would have usually washed it down with…..

(Note – after reading this a few of my friends commented that they had made the pancakes and they liked them – major difference seems to be that they cooked them in butter and mashed instead of blended them – might try again later in the year if I pick dairy again 🙂 )

Last night for dinner I made a big roasted vege salad – this is my go-to if we go places and need to bring a contribution, it’s filling, jam packed full of veges and you can change it up, I also like to add things like salami, chicken, smoked salmon, avocado – depending on what’s around – if you weren’t avoiding dairy Feta is great in it too. And when there is only a few manky bits left in the bottom of the bowl I can throw them into the pan for breakfast with some eggs too – it’s an all-rounder!

I got the original recipe out of the ‘Allergy free cooking’ book by Dr Sue Shepherd, which specialise in recipes for folks who follow a low FODMAP diet, but I make alternate versions of it depending on who will be eating it because a lot of peeps don’t like Aubergine and I find garlic ‘infused’ olive oil weirdly hard to get at most stupidmarkets. Also I am not allowed nuts and seeds at the moment and my favourite used to be to throw some toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds on it too. For last nights salad I roasted pumpkin, 3 colours of capsicum, courgette, sparrowgrass and green beans in olive oil and sea salt, then tossed up with baby spinach when done. I chopped some avocado into it as well – because YUM and it had the added bonus of pissing off the GD just that tiny bit more…. He hates avocado – it used to be something we bonded on – the only two people in the world who hated avocado but I have converted. He may never forgive me.

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This morning I took the little lads to see my Nana, their Great Nana, in the hospital where she is for the moment. They were loud and ‘wrestly’ and playing with wholehearted abandon out in the grassy area – much to the conscious old folks delight – but not so much to some of the sicker folk and bedridden patients. In order to shut them up for fifteen minutes so I could hang with my favourite old grrl, I promised them Mad Mex for lunch. We have only tried this once as a fam in town and it was great – no sore tummy for me, lots of GF options and the kids were very excited. Today we went to the one in Ponsnobby because I knew I would get a carpark with everyone out of town.

Hmmm….. The realisation is dawning that the reason the boys loved it SOOO much the first time is because we let them have the ‘real authentic soda’ from Mexico. (Which btw all tastes the same – like SUGAR and masses of it – I had grapefruit and there was nothing sour about it). This time they had water. Not so great with spicy food. Also the sour faced queen who served us threw sour cream all over Sol’s kid nachos before anyone had time to blink so of course he refused to eat them. The girl who took over serving was better and she asked before she put anything on anything which was good – the good thing about Sol’s meal was that one kid eats free with grown up on Thursdays and Fridays so we chalked it up to experience (And when he was starving later he ate the whole congealed mess in the car).

I got the ‘Naked burrito’. which is naturally GF (and DF because I declined to have cheese and sour cream). I forgot about my raw food rule though and I think the DELICIOUS salsa combined with the medium heat chilli gave me a terrible tummy ache. Or maybe it was indigestion because it was so yummy I ate it pretty fast! Sad face. I came home and instead of taking the lads to the zoo as promised ended up sleeping and reading my book all afternoon. So. Note to self – take it easy on the Mexican for now – but later – might be a good option.

All in all, day two was pretty easy – as expected – having given up sugar and booze for 14 weeks at the start of 2014 I know what to expect really – headaches and body aches from the lack of sugar for the first two weeks but it’s the ‘bored eating’ that gets me. I was stricter last time and cut out fruit too – because it kicked off cravings – and the way I’ve been going through this bowl of plums today is pretty telling. No fruit tomorrow. And no I don’t count tomatoes in that restriction because how else would I make my delicious Avocado and Tomato salsa that goes with my breakfast omelette?!?

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No bootcamp this week – holiday for our instructor, and Yoga was shut today – although my aching legs probably need a days rest to be honest after yesterdays effort – we’ll take the lads (all three) down to the beach after dinner and let them all have a big run. It’s so great living in this city – never more than twenty minutes from a decent beach – and the one tonight is five minutes away!

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