Migraines, diets, moving house and finding jobs

Sitting in the noisy pub with a migraine waiting for my eldest to finish her trial run as a dishwasher hoping to get a job. It is 15 minutes after she was due to finish with no sign of her.

I decided to be naughty and eat a pb&j sandwich with pretzels and corn chips for dinner.  I am now regretting that choice as it sent me running for the toilet again.  Gluten seems to be running straight through me anymore which makes me sad.  I know that eating paleo makes me feel healthier but it would be nice to have a naughty treat without distress.

Our house is sold (subject to contract) and the buyers are pressuring to have us let them come in and measure up for their furniture while we are trying to get our stuff moved out.  It is chaos here and stressful as well and I don’t need this extra hassle while moving and trying to get everyone everywhere they need to be…sometimes at the same time in different towns.

Now back to the girl trying to get her first job.  She got to the pub 30 minutes early and worked 15 minutes late in her trail.  She has been told they would call her.  So far that has been a sign of a no. They did say they would discuss shifts with her on that phone call which seems a good sign but I am not holding my breath at this point.  I just hope they see her as a keen worker and hire her as she really does deserve a chance.  Happy thoughts.

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Squirrels at a Rave

Some days you feel like you are kicking education butt all over the place and others you just feel like you are getting your butt kicked.  Lately I feel the latter.

I only have the one teenager left at home for their education as the 15 and 16 year old are attending college these day.  The eldest is studying special effects makeup and the middle one is just doing general education like English, maths and science.  The youngest is focusing on English,  maths, and biology.  Since it is just the one to focus my energies on we have a very full schedule of stuff to do and little of it happens at home.

Her English is actually an online English and writing course which we have struggled to get into the swing of things. Week one we failed to figure out how to get signed in for an hour of the hour and a half of class time.  The second week we realised that we had failed to find the homework until 2 days after it was due.  Today it is week three and we discovered that we had only found half the homework and had missed 2 weeks of it for the reading part of the class. You wouldn’t think we could manage to be so scatterbrained about one class but I am sure the teacher thinks we are the biggest dipshits on Earth. 

Maths has fallen to the wayside along with biology for the last week.  See we have sold our house and last week was the lesson of finding a place to live.  As it was just youngest and I to get the job done we were house hunting all week around the activities and classes schedule.  We did find a house but still waiting for a go ahead on the referencing.  Didn’t expect it to take so long.

Every week we have a science class, minecraft club, fencing/climbing and 2 gymnastics classes.  We also have an art class once a month, St John’s cadets and cat care volunteering.  You would think I would have the sense not to leave the house without my diary but not me.  I managed a new record for over scheduling myself by quadruple booking myself for this Thursday and double booking Friday.  I have rescheduled as best I could but things are still a bit manic on Thursday morning with pizza making and a makeup tips appointment. It is only going to get worse as we start moving in earnest around everything else.  October may kill me but I am still excited about our move.

Perhaps one day I will feel like we have all our ducks in a row but I think it is more likely I will have the squirrels at a rave happening instead.  Crazy times really but it is still a great adventure!

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Update on weight loss

I am nearly 9 months into this diet now and have lost 55lbs.  I have made several changes to my diet and discovered a source of my digestive issues.  I have gotten my walking going again but still need to work on cycling again. Hard work but I am getting on.

I started off my diet doing the usual low fat low calorie diet and just tried to get moving more.  That was painfully slow and I was barely losing  a pound a week on average following a diet for losing 2 lbs a week.  

A couple months in I started eating meals of just meat and fruit/veg.  It wasn’t on purpose really.  I was just trying to get in more protein with less effort.  That month I lost 10 lbs. 

Then after a month I was feeling bad about eating so much meat so tried to go vegetarian.  I couldn’t keep my protein up.  I was hungry constantly.  I lost no weight even though my exercise was much higher and my calories lower.

By this time I had been dieting for 4 months and I decided to go back to the month that accidentally worked.  I knew it was paleo like so I read up a bit more about paleo/primal and stuck to it strictly for about 2 months.  I was less hungry again and lost about 30 lbs. 

July came around and so did vacation.  I cheated on my successful plan and had burger buns and diet soda.  I then had trouble getting back on track.  I had been struggling along until 2 weeks ago.  I lost no weight and yo-yo’d back and forth.  

I also found that every time I cheated with gluten items I had significant digestive trouble with a few red flags.  I figured out after some experimenting that it was only gluten items that caused the trouble so eliminated it.  I don’t want to give up on paleo though so kept trying to get myself onto the paleo most of the time.

About 2 weeks ago I knuckled down and have been about 80% paleo again.  I have been careful to stay gluten – free during the other 20% of meals.  My weight loss has perked back up and I am down another 5lbs.  Now I just need to stay focused.

.  I have come a long way but still have a long way to go as I am only about a 1/3 of the way to goal.  Have to keep walking and I will eventually get there.

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PB protein shake

I was thinking that you might enjoy my recipe for a peanut butter protein shake. Sometimes cooking up porridge or a fry up is a bit hot mess in the morning.  It is nice to have a few non- meat/egg based meals as well as finding something that provides a whole lot of nutrition.  It isn’t strictly paleo obviously as it does have peanut butter but you can always substitute almond butter if you like.

So here goes:

1 serving Vanilla Protein powder (I use        usn diet fuel ultra lean but any should  do)

2 TBSP peanut butter (natural is best)

2 TBSP chia seeds

400ml water 

Cinnamon to taste

Sweet and simple with no extra sugar added.  The sweetness from the protein powder does the trick.  I use a good bit of cinnamon….probably nearly a level teaspoon of it but it doesn’t overwhelm the rest.

Now let’s talk nutrition remembering this is based on used the usn diet fuel.  Toal calories are 507.  I know that sounds high but is a a very filling shake and not small either.  The idea is to be a meal in itself.  The protein is a whopping 40g per serving.  Carbohydrates are 32 with 17.2 of it fiber which is nearly a whole day’s worth.  Sugar is a measly 4.4g which is slightly under 1 tsp…almost nothing.  Fat is 22.6 grams pretty well spread over the saturate, poly, and monounsaturated fats.  The chia seeds even get you some omega 3.  As for vitamins A and C, you get 30% of your daily needs.  Over 60% of calcium RDA and 50% of your iron.  It also packs a nice potassium punch of nearly 700mg while being low in sodium.

I sometimes substitute a bit of pbfit for the peanut butter.  It is one of those powdered peanut butters that has had some fat removed.  I am not worrying about fat but as it is easy to measure and pour into a shake or porridge rather than messing with the sticky peanut butter mess I have been giving it a go.  It does a nice job. 

Hopefully this recipe will be a nice breakfast or even lunch addition to your day.   Enjoy!

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A day off

Today I have had a day off from paleo eating.  Not sure why I chose to take the day off but I thought I might share my observations about this day.

Breakfast: a cup of tea and then 2 mini cups of hot chocolate while at a car dealership.  I failed miserably at having breakfast as I was hurrying out the door expecting to be going to a farmer’s market.  Our cash car was sounding particularly bad so we redirected to a dealership and bought a 3 year old car.

Lunch: sandwich of cheese and onion chutney with a sprite zero.  Just didn’t have much in the house and grabbed quickly as this time we were going to the market.

Snack 1:  mini vegan friendly chocolate bar.  We were at the market and the other got big bars of chocolate and I just wanted some but not that much.  23g was the size.

Dinner: 5 beef and black bean tacos with lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado and cheese in corn shells. So many levels of just not paleo.  It didn’t taste anywhere near as good as I remember.  

Snack 2: cup of tea and 4 digestive biscuits.   Sort of stale tasting to me.

I really did not enjoy anything I ate.  It was bland and boring.  Well maybe not the chocolate but definitely the sandwich and tacos.  

By western culture standards my protein was low.  My carbs were mediocre so high for paleo standards.  My fat was high and mostly saturated.  My sodium was sky high my potassium was pathetically low.  I got enough calcium apparently but vitamins A and C as well as iron were way too low.  Normally when I am eating by paleo standards I meet all my vitamin and mineral standards, my sodium is low, my fat is mostly unsaturated and my protein meets the levels that My Fitness Pal requires.  The only saving grace is that I managed to stay within calories even if they were empty ones.

My conclusion is that paleo meets my needs much better than sandwiches and homemade tacos.  
Update: after a day of eating non-paleo I am now having my first migraine since I started paleo eating in May.

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Clean eating

I am watching a show about the dirty secrets of cleaning eating and it is utter rubbish.  It isn’t really about clean eating so much about fad diets. Clean eating is about eating non-processed foods.   It isn’t about cutting out food groups save for processed crap.  Now I am not following a clean eating diet exactly at this point but I have enough sense to see that it is a healthy approach as long as you don’t take eating to extremes.

We all do well with slight differences to the next person and that is ok.  I might choose a paleo diet because for me it is helping with my weight loss but that doesn’t mean it is best for every person nor that paleo will definitely be the best choice for me in the future.  I have friends that are vegetarians and vegans because it is right for them.  I have gluten free friends do to allergy and have known a girl who reacted badly to uncooked fruits and vegetables.  You have to find what works for you.  

No one should be implying that eating a diet free of heavily processed food is dangerous.  Eating a diet based on just one food like potatoes is nuts.  Avoiding protein is dangerous.  Eating burgers and fries with a big bottle of cola everyday is unhealthy.  Any diet can lead to an eating disorder including the ones based on a dietician endorsed diet.  Eating non-processed foods with lots of fruit and veg, sufficient protein and a comfortable amount of healthy fats and carbs is not crazy, dangerous or unhealthy.  Crazy is believing that one size fits all.

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Chia hemp porridge

I have been following a more paleo style diet as of late but was getting tired of omelettes for breakfast.  I really just wanted cereal but that wasn’t an option.  I tried searching pinterest for breakfast ideas that might soothe the craving but nothing was quite right.  

While chatting with some veggie friends someone mentioned chia porridge.  As I had a small packet of chia seeds another lovely friend had given to me I decided to try searching for a recipe.  I did find several but they all called for flax or were too low in protein and too high in carb so I got to playing around with ideas.  My first attempt was ok but still involved maple syrup and didn’t stave off the hunger as long as I would have liked but I bought a big pack of chia anyway as it seemed worth the effort.

Today I had another go and am sure I am onto something.  Chia, hemp, protein powder, almond milk and raisins.  Still a bit high in carbs but it quelled my hunger from 8am until 2 pm when I next had a chance to eat.  I had participated in a 5K, driven my family all over creation and gone grocery shopping in that time and honestly didn’t feel hungry.  So here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.  I am thinking I might replace the raisins with almond butter tomorrow to see how it goes but who knows.

Chia Hemp porridge

2 tbsp chia seeds

2tbsp hemp seeds

1 scoop (half serving) of USN diet fuel vanilla (I am sure any brand would do)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

20g (1-2tbsp)  raisins

200ml (just under a cup) unsweetened almondmilk 
I just tossed it all in a milk pan and heated it on the stove until it was my desired porridge consistency.  I stirred constantly.  
No extra sweetener required.  It was just right without the maple syrup or honey.  The raisins add quite a bit of excess carb/sugar but it is also a serving of fruit.  It all came out to about 500 calories with about 37g protein and 33 g carbs as I recall but I forgot to screens hot the details from my fitness pal and am not completely certain of the numbers.  Overall a thoroughly enjoyable breakfast that didn’t leave me feeling heavy but lasted for hours.

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Running in Circles

I have been so busy lately.  I have asked for gastric sleeve surgery so have been dealing with dietician and psychology apps as well as dieting.  My youngest broke her arm so we have been dealing with fracture clinics for the last 7 weeks as well.  My husband had a couple appointments as well which he needed a ride (all ok there).  Lastly, my son needs me to take him to register for his college classes.  Sometimes I feel like I am running in circles.

Dieting, dieting and more dieting…the life of a fat girl.  Asked for surgery so now have to convince about a dozen people that my life is of value so I can get this done.  First dietician wasn’t too bad but she was just the first gatekeeper.  I lost weight as asked and was referred to the next level.  On I moved to the group meeting.  Let me just say that I hate group meetings.  At this point I met the new dietician and the psychologist.  They are condescending and rude with obvious stereotypes about fat people.  First sessions we were called liars because we didn’t say we eat chips/fries with lasagne (which I don’t and haven’t ).  They irritate the heck out of me.  I have however gotten the referral from the dietician.  The psychologist is making me see him again.  I find him so ridiculous and out of touch with reality that I think this will be a challenge to get the referral.  Still have to see the endocrinologist in august so hoping for the best.

Speaking if dieting, I have been attempting to follow the paleo diet.  Ironically, it is not far off of a post-surgery diet (especially since many people find they can’t eat breads and pastas, etc after) but they seem stuck on the idea of simply limiting my carbs.  I have learned that I enjoy sauteed spinach though and have  been eating so much more veg.  I still find planning the meals challenging as my mind goes straight to the starchy foods but I get there in the end.  I am now down 40lbs since Jan 2nd and finding that since dropping the carbs to just around 100g that my dreaded belly fat is shrinking much faster.

About 10 days before my first group weight loss surgery meeting my daughter broke her arm at gymnastics.  She didn’t do it by halves either.  She snapped her radius and ulna both in half with her ulna poking through the skin.  Luckily her St John’s Ambulance cadets training came to mind so she did a great job of staying calm and holding pressure until paramedics arrived. I was off having my hair cut while she was in class so had to meet her at hospital.  Crazy 48hrs that was!  Since then it was fracture clinic appointments almost every Monday for 6 weeks and finally the cast off exactly 7 weeks to the hour of her break.

Tomorrow is the college class registration for my son.  I think he has his plan in mind now.  Just hope he can get the classes.  Five gcse subjects next year and then he should be set to choose more gcses next year, a btec, a – levels (depending on gcse grades) or a combination.  He still seems unsure of his future plans (fair enough at 14) so figuring out the best path is extra challenge.

So yeah I have been busy.  Even thought about trying to get a job at the hospital seeing as I am always there.  This phase will pass soon enough though.  Just keep pushing on.

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I was at the computer store with my husband for the upteenth time in a week and wondering aimlessly when I came across a fitbit.  I had asked for a fitbit for Christmas  and still wanted one so I came up with a plan.  I walked over to my hubby and said, “I have decided that from now on everytime you drag me to the computer store you have to buy me something.”  I took home my fitbit.

It has been a fun little gadget so far.  It makes a decent watch which is saying something from a person who does not like watches.  It also tracks steps, mileage, elevation (as stairs but hills seem to register as well) and calories burned and can be an alarm clock.

The steps tracking works really well for me at the moment.  My fitness is at an all-time low so I feel rather defeated most of the time but having a steps goal oddly works for me.  I had always tracked via time walking or distance (even if only in my head) and felt like I needed to walk faster and farther.  With only tracking steps I don’t feel the urge to go faster or push it all into one walk so the pressure is off.  My walk today felt reasonably fun which was the first time in a while.

I don’t know if my fitbit will continue to be my novel little toy but it is a start.  For now I am just continuing to plod along in hopes that it will eventually get me where I want to go.

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All or Nothing….or maybe trying

I have attempted the switch to vegetarian eating several times and quit so putting this out there feels a bit scary.  I have lapsed a couple of times since making the decision about a week ago but I don’t feel bad about the lapses.  In the past I have always attempted these things in an all or nothing sort of attitude and that hasn’t worked so trying a different attitude this time.

All or nothing….I tend to do this to myself in so many areas of my life. Diet: eat nothing but yogurt and diet coke until by dinner I am eating a burger and ice cream.  Exercise: do two hours of intense cardio five days a week and then add on a six mile hike on the weekend until my body gave out in pain and illness so I quit everything.  Studying: do a section a day and plan to finish the one year course in a week (ok maybe I imagined 6 weeks) and crumble in frustration when the first chapter is boring to the point of disemboweling seeming a better activity.  All or nothing hasn’t worked well for me so I need to try and think (and be reminded) that doing my best is in fact good enough.

Now I shall go dance intensely while scrubbing my house from top to bottom…hahaha  yeah right like that is going to happen.

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