Sunday, March 4, 2012

The beach, how nice it is :)

Ahhhh Cottesloe beach, Western Australia. LOOK AT THAT WATER. And let me tell you, it was just as nice as it looks.

And the sand was SOFT between my toes...

Alas, my trip was too short...

And we had to go home.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Whoops! It's been a whole two weeks since I posted, which means I didn't update my measurements last week. O.O

And it was a BIG WEEK!

Chest: 36" (91.5cm)
Waist: 31" (78cm)
HighHip: 34" (86.5cm)

Compare it with the week before and there were a few BIG drops there! An inch and a half off the chest & almost TWO off the high hip!!

Now, I was at 30" for my waist on Friday, but haven't done my measurements today yet. So will update tomorrow with those.

Really happy with those last week!

Need to kick it up this week as I have a wedding on Sunday and want to see another inch off my waist, which according to my figures I can do!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 3 struggle

It's Week 3, and I'm struggling a bit.

It's not that I'm not losing weight/fat, I am: in fact, I lost another inch all over.

Monday's Measurements:
Chest: 37.5" (95cm)
Waist: 31.75" (81cm)
HighHip: 35.75" (91cm)
Hips: unchanged

So that's good, and I'm pleased with that.

But I'm just struggling in general this week. I wasn't well on Monday night, and I'm not quite sure why. Just a little bug I'm assuming. Dinner seems like a hard go this week, deciding on what to eat, and I haven't put an effort in to make a big batch of something for lunches. Well, I did, on Sunday. I put together a lentil soup in my new slow cooker, but it wasn't a great success, and I don't think we've managed to eat any of it yet.

I was enthused at the end of last week. I made up a little booklet on Thursday for a friend and my in-laws, on how to start the diet, a recommended eating plan for the first week, and some recipes.

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

I'll be traveling at the end of the month AND attending a wedding that's stretched over 2 days: one on cheat day and one the day after. Slightly concerned about how I'll manage. Planning I think will be involved!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 9: Measurements

I  must admit something: I did not get up yesterday morning, on Day 8, and take my measurements. I ended up taking them at the end of the day in a rush, and I was unhappy with them.

So, this morning, I've taken them again. I don't expect to see differences, big or small, after only one week. I don't feel much different, but I can tell that my body is enjoying the diet change. My skin is absolutely GLOWING. I felt BEAUTIFUL last night after I took off my (very minimal) make-up and put on my face goop. My hair is feeling a little healthier, but this might simply be because it is not as hot this week as it has been, and it's having a break from going between very dry to way too "silky".

I'm also finding it easier being on the diet this time around, as is my partner. We believe it's because we've done it all before, and KNOW what we're not supposed to be eating, and have done more preparation this time. I'm finding new recipes all the time. Tim says the diet is not meant to be fun, and to stick to a variaiton of only a few recipes. I would tentatively adapt that: it is a diet, it is not fun. But it doesn't have to be unfun. I'm enjoying the challenging of finding meals that incorporate beans or lentils, and ignore sugar, and rice, and wheat, and potatoes, and dairy.

So, my measurements. Here they are on Day 1.

Chest: 39" (or 99cm)
Waist: 34.25" (or 87cm)
(High Hip: 38" (or 96cm)) (I have this in brackets, since it's a "me" measurement. It's not a recommended measurement, but for me, I carry all my weight in my torso as I have an "Apple" shape, and this is the biggest part of me.)
Hip: 36" (91cm)

I must point out here that I have taken my first hip measurement inaccurately, somehow. However, I will compare this week's measurement with next weeks and see if there's another difference like this one.

My measurements on Day 9.

Chest: 38.25" (97cm)
Waist: 33" (84cm)
(High Hip: 37" (94cm)
Hip: 37" (94cm)

(See what I mean about the going-the-other-way measurement of my hip? That very rarely changes, just because of my physiology. So, I'm putting it down to measuring it wrong. I think I took Day 1's measurement too low..)

LOOK AT THAT! I didn't want to take this week's measurements, because I felt as if I hadn't achieved anything yet. But look, I have! I've lost a full inch off my waist, which is marvellous. As a woman, I should keep my waist measurement under 80cm to avoid the risk of diabeties. (If it is over 80cm, you are at "risk", over 88cm & that moves to "high risk". As you can see, I was approaching high risk.) Everything else is slightly reduced as well, including another inch off my high hip (where my belly is, so that fits with the loss in the waist measurement) and almost an inch (or 2cm) off my chest.

This week, I feel like I've begun to lose "back fat", which I HATE. That bulge over my bra? YUCK. So, I feel that is where I've lost it, and it echoes in my measurements.

Yay :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 5: the first binge

Well, it's been a hard week of adjustments. But let's not focus on that: let's focus on The Binge!

Today is Saturday, The Binge Day. Today is the day which Slow-Carb, you binge, to prevent your metabolism from shutting down & your body going into survival mode. Sounds scary, but on Slow-Carb, your Binge Day is Very Important, so enjoy it.

I'm having A LOT of sugar today so far. We woke up and split a Nudie juice (blackberry, blueberry & raspberry I believe) which was deeelicious. Start of my sugar intake. We had blueberry & banana (GF) pancakes with maple-flavoured syrup for breakfast. That was a lot of sugar.

We got two savory danish from Bakers Delight, and I've just finished my ham & cheese one, whilst drinking a can of lemonade, which I have to say is lovely. But I'm noticing the sweetness.

We bought a parmesan "rotini" (which is a nice round loaf of bread, easily split into 8 pieces for lunch, but it might turn into dinner. There's half a bbq chook to go with it. Yum!! The bread is really tasty, some I'm really looking forward to it.

I was hoping for a take away pizza for dinner, which might still happen, or at least a frozen one from the supermarket all dolled up with mushrooms & chorizio. Because hey - YUM! But even now I can't eat too much wheat, because I'll be too unwell.

oh, and coffee. It's the thing I've really missed this week: my yummy latte to begin the day. You betcha I've already had one, and there'll be another :D

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day #1: Slow-Carb Diet

Today is Day #1 of this round of the Slow-Carb Diet.

Let me be clear on something here. I hate the word "DIET". It has negative connotation in general, and usually refers to a restricted path of eating that is designed to improve our health. Which all sounds fine, except it's negative. It shouldn't be, and to some people it's not. But it is. If you were a dietitian, it's part of your vocab, and hell look at the word that defines what you do: it's even in there.

I prefer, the Slow-Carb Eating Plan. Or the Slow-Carb-I-Feel-So-Much-Better Plan. Because I do. I feel LOADS better when I'm stricter with what I eat, and especially on this diet. We had a bonza weekend, eating what we wanted (within reason, even then!): from gluten-free pancakes with banana and blueberries drowned in maple syrup, to toast with jam, caramel wafers and iced coffees with ice cream. It ended with last night's dinner of Beef Stroganoff with Buttered Noodles & Green Beans. The noodles were rice pasta (because we simply *don't* eat wheat pasta anymore, not since we discovered the rice pasta after the Slow-Carb last year) and the sour cream was "light" (*scoff* "light": it's SOUR. CREAM.) and it was DELICIOUS. And we were so happy that we'd chosen it for our last pre-diet dinner, but we ate too much, and felt TOO full afterwards. We were full of carbs and dairy-fat and GOOD FOOD. (There was even a stack of protein in there, between the beef & mushrooms in the stroganoff.)

Because in general, we ALL eat too much. The lovely plates that we buy in our dinner sets are bigger now than they used to be, I'm sure of it! And we fill up those plates, giving ourselves bigger and bigger servings of dinner. I think the best thing you can do if you want to lose kilos or inches, is to put your food on a smaller plate. Use an entree size plate, or even a bread-and-butter plate. Use a smaller bowl, not that lovely big pasta bowl that you bought on sale after the holidays. Because even by reducing the amount that we eat, without any big dietary changes, we will usually see an improvement in our bodies.

I prepped well for our first day on "diet". It's hard to keep up, but necessary especially if you work away from home. I made some savory mince & beans to have on salad for lunch, and a frittata/omelette to have for breakfast. This "diet" states that you must eat breakfast, and that breakfast must be FULL of protein, in the first hour you are awake for the day. For me, this is HARD. I hate eating first thing of the morning, especially if I'm not awake enough yet or haven't had enough sleep. This morning I had a yummy bacon, mushroom & spinach frittata to eat (half of the one I made last night). I commute an hour to work in the car every day, so this means that I have to eat my breakfast either before I leave for the day (which would require getting up even earlier, which I'm just not good at!) or eating in the car. So, it's eating in the car. And today it was HARD. I hadn't had enough sleep (thank you Mens Final at the Australian Open, for being the LONGEST grand-slam final in HISTORY at 5 hours and 51 minutes) and so felt absolutely SICK when I was eating my (actually really yummy) frittata. However, I ate it, because for me, this is how I lose my inches: I HAVE to eat protein first thing in the morning.

I'm not sure what the science is behind that particular phenomenon (and I may have to investigate it, or at least read Tim Ferris' book again, which will tell me I'm sure) but this is how the diet works for me. As soon as I stopped eating the protein first thing in the morning, and went forward into eating porridge or muesli (both super yummy) I noticed my inches stopped reducing.

Along with "diet" I hate scales. I hate weight. I prefer to monitor my diet progress by how I fit in my clothes. If my jeans are falling off me and I need a new belt, or even worse/better a new pair of jeans, I know that the diet is working/has worked it's magic. This happened last year. I was in the middle of making a dress and re-measured myself before cutting out the fabric and I'd shrunk 2 inches ALL OVER. And this was when I thought I hadn't lost any extra inches/weight at all! My partner had, and did a full week before me, but then three weeks into the diet, and suddenly I noticed I was slimmer! Another week, and I kept going and another two and I needed new jeans. Which made the trip I was taking with my Mum to Singapore REALLY HANDY since we went clothes shopping :)

So. Here I am, Day 1. What is different today?

1) for being so tired after a late night, I couldn't make my normal coffee to get me going. Nope. The diet works on no dairy & no sugar, so I couldn't have my yummy latte-with-1. I had an "Americano" with honey & the prescribed "two tablespoons of dairy". Tim suggests a limit of 2 tablespoons of "creamer", which WE DON'T USE. I use 1.5% milk, not 15% Half & Half. (4-Hour-Body + Slow-Carb-Diet @ Gizmodo Rule #3: Don't Drink Calories) But I stick to the tablespoon limit. (I really must remember to look at the carb content on my milk.)

2) Since I was indeed so tired, I indulged and had an extra shot of espresso before leaving home. Made all the difference.

3) I ate breakfast in the car, which wasn't toast or a muffin or fruit bread. Or yogurt & a piece of fruit.

That's it so far, and that's all that will be different. Except I won't be having a cookie with my morning cup of tea, and I won't be having sugar in my coffee this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being Crafty in the Kitchen

Eating well requires being, well, crafty in the kitchen. Use this oil, avoid that saturated fat. Should we use wheat flour, or spelt, or oat? Will that modification to the recipe stuff it up? Have you got enough protein in that meal, or do you need to add more?

It's hard to be healthy all the time in the kitchen. After all, if you like being there, you want to be there more. You want to use your kitchen more.

I find it super hard to be healthy in the kitchen all the time. My downfall is that I love baking. Trying to be healthier in my baking is challenging. Eating wheat, for example, is bad for me, but I love bread! I fail quite a lot at not having wheat in my baking products, therefore this is a CHALLENGE! How to make those blueberry muffins you're craving but without using wheat flour! How are you going to make that crusty loaf without using bread flour? That zucchini slice is not going to bake properly if you substitute flour one-for-one! (These are all true! But able to be overcome.) Spelt flour is a good flour for me to substitute wheat for. I started experimenting with using oat flour, which is very different, but is absolutely wheat free. (Spelt, for example, is simply an older form of wheat, which might not sound better for you, but for people who have a wheat intolerance (NOT gluten, I should be clear about that here) it is a good substitute. It is not as refined as the wheat which is grown today, so doesn't irritate one's gut the way that today's wheat can.)

This blog's title "The Crafty Kitchen" has two meanings for me:

(1) To be crafty in the kitchen;

(2) To use your crafts in the kitchen.

I love cooking & baking, and I love sewing and crocheting. I have a personal committment this year to try and blog EVERY DAY on my other blog One Square At A Time and at this point on the 24 January 2012, I have 23 posts up, with another planned for this evening to make me 24 for 24. This will help me out over here, because bringing my CRAFTS into the kitchen means showing you how you can use your crafts in the kitchen: like making your own dishcloths, which are 100% reuseable & able to be thrown in the washing machine. Making your own teatowels, and decorating them. Making your own coasters to leave strewn (as mine often are) around the house.

But how to be crafty in the kitchen and cook healthily? It's a challenge!

Last year, me and the Mr put ourselves through the "Slow-Carb Diet" which is based on Tim Ferris' Four Hour Body and we loved it. We felt better! We lost weight! We enjoyed everything we ate! But I missed my baking. And eventually over the course of the year, we fell back into habits that are detrimental to our health. So, we're going back to it. I want to blog about it this year, and tell people of yummy recipes that I discover or make. I want to share how hard it is, and how easy we find it; to show that losing weight and finding your optimal healthy person that exists can be achievable.