Everyday Small Things


Leave a comment

Elimination Diet: day 4

image

Today is day 4 of my elimination diet and luckily so far I haven’t really noticed I’ve been restricting so many food groups.  This shows me that I do eat well most if the time 🙂 it is the weekends that kill me however!

What am I eliminating? My aim is to explore tiredness, migraines and ‘angry’ joints (that inflame very easily and take a long time to settle- the kind that surprises professionals even). So having taken the advice of a nutritionist amount others I am excluding.., (hold your breath – no don’t really): all grains, dairy, legumes as well as the usual sugar and processed foods. 

What am I most nervous about?  Craving crisps when I have a migraine as they are such a comfort food for me, chocolate cos I love it and picking at eliminated food without thinking as I still have to cook for others in our house.

I am very grateful however that this weekend doesn’t really exist for me as I’m in an 8 day Pilates course! Starting Saturday. So I’ll be busy and distracted out of the house.  Also Pilates makes you feel amazing, clean and super in tune with your body.  I cooked all Thursday in preparation-THE KEY TO SUCCESS- to minimise falling off the wagon.

My first true test arrived last night with our pastry chef neighbour who returned from a festival with tray loads of temptation!  How do you stay strong in those moments?  If you know me at all then you’ll know that I am usually extremely weak when it comes to temptation! But yesterday- wasn’t difficult actually. They say on an elimination that if u mess up ONCE you may as well not make the effort at all! One of the reasons behind doing the elimination is to ‘heal’ your gut and thereby help your body ‘recalibrate’ its immune system (which gets heightened with an inflamed gut). Thereby helping joint inflammation and migraines etc.  I’ve gotten to the point of my Happy, Healthy &Strong journey in which it is time to take a good hard look at my diet. And more importantly am in a place in my life and self that I can. I am.:)

So all in all so far so good. Maybe for the first time in my life I’ve found the mental strength to not let any demons out to sabotage me in a moment of weakness. Maybe this is because my motivation to look at my diet is different than before (eg losing weight). I have to remind myself that this 30 days is not going to solve all my problems. But hopefully it’ll be a massive piece of the jigsaw puzzle. And at the very least I will learn something about myself. Happy days!

P.S. I will post the weekly menu plans I’m making too at some stage in case you’re interested. X


Leave a comment

Weekly goal setting & Reflections

Reflections

Last week I got food poisoning! Ugh!  So most of my goals went down the drain.  I also did not do my Pilates every morning for my Pilates course, but my inner core muscles were certainly getting a workout (need I say more – not nice).

On a positive note I didn’t stress about not getting them done.  I also got to watch a lot of Wimbledon, so really I couldn’t have picked a better week!  I also reflected on recent goals I had set myself, such as the mile a day month I started in Australia, but had to stop two weeks in because of my knee!  I wrote here about my fear it would not hold up when I set myself some new FitnessFreak goals!

This week’s goals

This week I am hoping to get organised to start a 30 day Elimination Diet.  I am still deciding which to follow.  If you have any suggestions, recommendations or advice I would love to hear from you!  I am nervous writing this up because it is going to make me accountable.  I am not good at following tough dietary regimes.  In Australia however I spoke with a nutritionist who gave me some really good reading around the links between diet, inflammed joints and migraines.  So I am going to give this a go.  I am very fed up with falling of the Fitness wheel too often because of a joint-issue that just doesn’t go away.

I will do my daily Pilates as the second half of my Pilates Instructor Course continues on Saturday,.

Next week I will revisit my fitness goals.  But I must remember one thing at a time – I think I will make this my motto this week:

Do everything really well – just do them one at a time!

Can you recommend any sites or resources or programs or experiences of Elimination Diets?  I would love to hear from you!


1 Comment

Happy, Healthy, Strong: Pretty Paleo – review 1st (Paleo) week

I’ve just finished my first week of being (Pretty) Paleo.  Or should I say I’m one week in to my new Paleo journey?!  Either way I decided to follow the e-book “A week of Paleo Recipes” by Suz Crawt which is free to download from the Paleo Network (click here).

I honestly give this book 5/5 stars!  The recipes were quick and easy to prepare and produced some of the tastiest food we’ve had in ages!  Some of the recipes do not state how many people they serve, but we had a pretty good idea anyway so didn’t find this a problem.  I fully recommend you have a look if you are thinking of giving Paleo a go.  If you subscribe you can download the book free!  And we all love things that are free!

As I have previously said I am thinking of doing an elimination diet and want to cut out dairy, nuts and the nightshades (which I’d never heard of but have been linked to migraines and joint problems – hmmm does that remind me of anyone?!) on top of basically being Paleo.  So I viewed the week as a ‘soft’ trial to see how my body might react.  Sometimes resources say to go cold turkey.  But I know my body.  Huge and sudden changes don’t necessarily suit it.  I went on the Atkins diet at university.  Made sure I ate all the food groups.  But by the end of the second week I had one of the worst cases of flu I’ve ever had.  I just think the sudden change shocked my body too much.

So the big dietary changes for me this week really were:  1)  swapping dairy milk for almond milk, 2) no beans/lentils as I used to eat this a lot as part of my low GI diet and 3)  no grains at all including my staple bulgur wheat.

I was working from home this week which usually means I snack constantly and cannot stop thinking about food!  Mentally I was a bit all over the shop too as there is a lot going on here at home.. often another precursor to eating/craving lots.

How did I feel?  Well I cannot believe I’m saying this, but:

  • I didn’t crave.  At all.  Not even chocolate.  This has never happened to me.  Ever.
  • No brain fog
  • No tiring easily whilst concentrating – being able to focus quite clearly (a rare thing for me with my constant headaches)
  • Headache ‘volume’ decreased
  • My gut felt nothing or clean or light.  Either way I didn’t’ really notice it at all, which I’m taking as a good thing.  Not full, not stodgy, not empty or grumbling.

I must admit, I was a little sceptical because I’ve tried so many different diets and approaches that why should this have been any different?!  Well it was!!  So I am going to continue with it.  I must admit this week I am a lot busier and being able to be ‘Paleo’ when I am out and about is looking harder.  But one of the key ideas with Paleo is that it is a lifestyle choice – not a hard and rigid set of dietary rules.  So just making the best choices possible at the moment is enough (therefore less stress therefore happier and healthier me).  I’ll slowly collect more resources and incorporate these meal ideas into my daily life.  I think the hardest trial will be on a tired or hungover day when I naturally reach for my traditional comfort foods.  But as Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple suggests… make new comfort foods.  So I’m hoping that through the repetition of making good food choices I will too create new comfort foods.

I’m currently creating a “Giving Paleo a Go Top Tips” post.  So if you are interested stay tuned.

I love how we are all different.  My friends love oats.  My body doesn’t!  What foods in your diet make you feel amazing?  Healthy?  Strong?


Leave a comment

Happy, Healthy, Strong: Going Paleo

I’m going to give Paleo a go.  Why I hear you say?  What’s that I hear you say?

Well very quickly in a nutshell Paleo is more of a lifestyle choice than just a diet.  It is a framework used to create the best person/mind/body you can be by focusing on Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle.   Traditionally Paleo is sold as the Primal/Caveman lifestyle.  And with particular regard to diet, Paleo suggests that our dietary choices should be focused on the diet our ancestors ate.  Why?  Well most arguments are based around the fact that the human digestive system has not evolved to be able to cope with the types of foods that Western cultures primarily eat these days.  But I come from an evolutionary biology background and know that there is lots of evidence to suggest that certain aspects of human biology has evolved over the last 10 000 years.  So I don’t really buy into that!  But maybe many of the foods we eat these days just are not good for us full stop. ?!  This is just a super, quick glance at Paleo and a bit ramshackle sorry– for a good and quick explanation click here.

What was my diet before? 

In a nutshell – low GI.  A few years ago I really overhauled my diet because my world fell apart as I was suffering from constant migraines and headaches.  And yeah I really noticed an improvement in energy, in my gut’s happiness and was able to start losing weight. Yay!

Before that I felt like I had tried everything.  At college I even went completely gluten free for nine months after many health professionals suggested it to help combat the migraines.  And I had found the same results.

Despite big improvements I still feel sluggish.  Still have migraines/headaches daily.  Still have a low-grade auto-immune condition.  Still have joints that flare up too much during exercise and take too long to calm down.  Still always feel hungry (even though the ups and downs have stabilised a lot!).

Which brings me to Why go Paleo?

The first day I arrived in Australia I went for a massage (after the long-haul flight).  My massues just so happened to be a massive advocate of Paleo and we got chatting about the migraines/auto-immune condition.  She had had a similar experience.  It’s funny how you meet people at certain moments in your life.  Going back home was for me… a chance to listen to my heart and body again.  So it was interesting that in my first few hours back I had this conversation.

I realised I had just dismissed Paleo earlier because of the evolutionary argument.  But she gave me some good resources to read (see below for some links if you’re interested):  in particular the link between foods that irritate the gut, cause the body ‘stress’ which may induce migraines.  Now not a lot of this is backed up by hard science.  But hard science has failed me.  This is hard to admit.  I’m a scientist for goodness sake.  Anyway long story short.. I have nothing to lose by further investigating the link between my diet, my health and therefore my happiness.  I will probably do an elimination diet soon.. am just researching the best way to go about this now.

In my reading I found this recipe book – a week of Paleo recipes.  And they were so yummy, quick to prepare.  My next post is my review of this week.

Are you interested in Paleo?  What bought you to it?  Have you done an elimination diet?  Can you make any good suggestions?

Want to know more about Paleo?  These are some good links I’ve found: