Category Archives: General

refocus… and some amazing nut bread

So its been awhile…. I had a car accident about 4 weeks ago. It wasn’t too serious but serious enough to give me a good fright and some nasty whiplash. Work and a very long daily commute had exhausted me and I’ll be honest I went into a bit of a tailspin and was very sad for a few weeks there. So after watching episode upon episode of TV series- Downton Abby, Community, Cougar Town (yes, you heard it) and 30 Rock, the love of some lovely people and hugs from S, I am mending and back to feeling more like me.

Without a doubt though I slipped right back into those bad eating habits when I was down — could not get enough chocolate! I have become a sugar fiend again. AND, boo, I have started craving dessert after dinner again, ahhhh took me so long to kick that bastard! I have also noticed I reverted back to eating less and larger portions – a system I know does  not work for me cos I am a starvin marvin by the time I eat again.

With the help of my friend the Internet I have found some sensational new recipes, and clever bloggers. And  I am all focused for this week being my zero sugar, low carb-back on the horse-week.

One thing I have really missed since cutting out  bread is eating avocado and goats cheese on toast, not because of the toast, but because it is such a superiour vessel for the avocado. So I was thrilled to find this recipe for Nut and Seed bread which I am going to make the basis for all my avocado gorgings this week. Yipee!

This bread is crazy good for you – cashews, pumpkin seeds and almond meal mixed with eggs, olive, walnut and pumpkin seed oils (could not find pumpkin seed oil in my wide search of 1 health food store on the weekend in a rush so I substituted it with macadaemia nut oil instead – worked.)

And it literally took me 10 minutes from first blend to into the oven. And it looks so pretty!

Props to my new favourite blog Scandi Foodie for this fabulous recipe.

A spoonful of sugar goes a long, long way….

Todays post is a continuation of my fascination and discovery about the power of food to address health and illness. And how it seems to be to be so easy for doctors to prescribe medication without even bothering to raise the question of diet in many instances. I am not a doctor or have any official training, my opinion here is formed from personal experience and research from other experts in their field. I don’ think I’m advocating no drugs and medication but simply not to view them as the first or only treatment. If we can eat naturally occuring food that our bodies over hundreds of years of evolution have been developed for surely we should consult there before introducing newer developed properties if we can.

My passion around this subject has been sparked recently in relation to the health of a loved one. And my friend, and budding naturopath, Shannon shed some initial light on how diet can help or even trigger illness in some cases.

I did some research about migranes…. someone close to me has been prescribed something to prevent the onset of migranes as the diagnosis suggested it could be aggravating other health issues. Here is what I found and what I will be sharing with this person about how diet could be playing a major role causing those migranes:

Deficency in magnesium.

This site spoke at length about how it can be quite difficult to get enough magnesium in your diet. And how processed foods and other badies in our “modern” diet can actually deplete the magensium we do manage to consume. High protein diets can also pose a challenge ensuring an adequate magnesium intake. And something I found ironic — taking calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis etc without the proper counter balance of the ol mag mineral can cause seperate health issues, doh!

Magnesiums’ role in relation to migranes is that it helps relax muscles and artieries in your body and your brain.

Food allergies or sensitivities.

These apparently are at the core of triggers of migranes. It could look quite daunting as there is 25+ commonly eaten foods which are linked with possible causes for migranes. Outside the more commonly throught of processed meats, aged cheeses, wine, beer and caffine.

The ‘triptans’ in chocolate, wine or cheese or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, nitrates or processed foods are very common for causing headaches and migranes.

Livestrong site had a comprehensive, easy to read list of these.

Given the range of foods that are there a good first approach could be avoiding the top billing bad guys — eliminate caffeine, sugar, chocolate and processed meats for a few weeks and see if there is a change. And then work through the list… there are some surprising ones in there like tomatoes, corn and apples.

Other things that can cause migranes arer dehydration, high blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, musculoskeletal problems.

Given how common some of those foods are you can imagine how easy it could be to be eating away on an apple thinking you are being healthy and you are actually going to give yourself a horrible headache! Although saying that, how simple could the solution be to just give up apples!

Cooking, cooking and a lil baking…

So. I started my new job. For the time being its requiring a commute that adds up to about 3 hours everyday. Its and early start and I’m fairly late arriving home so I’m still trying to find a way to keep daily excercise in my routine but I am most determined to keep all my new good food habits up.

Keeping this up means at the moment preparing lots of meals on Sunday night so they are just a quick grab out of the fridge.

For breakfast I make a big frittata, its super easy, super fast and uses up random ingredients from the fridge. I also find it a nice, hearty protein meal that keep me full for ages.

SPEEDY FRITTATA

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • goats cheese
  • 2 portebello mushrooms chopped (or sometimes I grate a zucchini or add strips of smoked salmon)
  • chopped chives to taste

1. Whisk eggs and milk together

2. Add other ingredients and mix  in

3. Put mixture into ovenproof dish, cover with lid or foil and put into 200 degree oven. Cook for about 15mins or until the egg mixture appears cooked at the top. Uncover and brown the top in the oven for a few minutes.

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I have always found what snacks to eat a bit of a challenge. There are only so many almonds I’m happy to chow down during one day, and I can’t eat raw vegies (story for another time!). I found this great little recipe Sugar Free, Low Carb Coconut Raspberry muffins. I love them.

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Hello new world!

This is my first blog, ever.

I have decided to do this partly because I am spending ridiculous portion of my free time online consuming information about health, sugar-free, low-carb, gluten-free, low-GI cooking and general well-being and also in part because of this “experiment” I am conducting for myself to find what mix in my life keeps me the happiest and healthiest.

The catalyst for The Experiment happened in Oct of last year. I went to see a naturopath. I’d had the flu pretty badly twice in 6 months and felt there must be something I could do to boost my immune system… So off I trotted to Fiona the Naturopath, at Melbourne Anti-Ageing Clinic.

I am not sure what I expected the outcome of my first visit to be really but I don’t think I expected it to be a complete overhaul of diet and to be having discussions about the types of cancers, degenerative conditions and autoimmune diseases I was putting myself at risk of by not putting diet at the top of my priority list.

I work in a pretty intense and fast paced industry. I could honestly tell you I’ve been feeling stressed to varying degrees for about 80% of my working life (remaining 20% was when I was on annual leave, haha). And bless the straight talking Fiona, she leans over to me, points her finger and says over the top of her glasses “the stress in your life has done cellular damage to your body. You need to find a way to address this.”

And so I fully embraced Fiona’s prescribed new diet. High protein for improved muscle mass. Low carb and low GI for weight loss and more consistent blood sugar levels, and no sugar.

Man, the first week and a half was tough! I had a headache for the duration. And my new diet called for a complete reversal of my normal eating of pasta and rice based meals, my large lattes with 2 sugars and toast based breakfasts.

But I dropped a bit of weight and I did start feeling more energised.

I see eating this way as an ongoing review process. Reviewing what I am eating ongoing, thinking creatively about recipes and having the balance there to still go out and enjoy dinners with friends without being the annoying person at the table with all the diet restrictions!

The more recent focus on my health has been exercise.

I had been doing pilates once or twice a week to address a back injury I had 12 months ago (another bi-product from living a stressed life I believe.)

For the last 3 months I was fortunate enough to have a break between work contracts, I did pilates or yoga 6 days out of 7 and felt amazing. Fitness aside I felt so much calmer, experienced less of those anxious moments and those gloomy days we are all susceptible too were short lived and infrequent.

To date this experiement has fascinated me. Specifics aside I had no idea how diet can improve so many facets of my life. I now eat to be happy! And I am proud of how I’ve been able to change so many “bad habits” — I think the strongest measure of these changed habits was my morning addiction to my large coffee with 2 sugars which I cut down day one to small, skim and half a sugar. My one remaining vice — but a healthier version.

And so I kick off this blog – I want to collate the recipes and information I find from trawling the internet, and now I have just started a new job I want a continual reminder that this experiment needs to remain a priority.