Everyday Small Things

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Weekly goal setting & 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!


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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:

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Healthy, Happy, Strong: Fitness Freak

Today I am resetting some Fitness goals.  Getting my Fitness Freak back on!

Where am I now?  A year ago I was Cross Fitting everyday at a great box (that’s a Cross Fit gym folks) called Hertford CrossFitCrossfit Hope July 3Prior to that my headaches/migraines were so severe that I couldn’t even walk around the block without making them worse (I’ll go into that story another day).  So I’d worked really hard to get to a reasonable level of fitness and probably the strongest I’d ever been.  Then I got a new teaching job in inner London which was really difficult.  Not so much because the teaching or students were difficult, but because I had just been without my support network for too many years in the UK.  And all the great friends I had made were up north in the midlands.  Getting to the gym was just adding additional stress and guilt (when I wouldn’t get there after work as had work to do or was just so physically exhausted).  I was cracking pretty badly and it was really affecting my work.  In fact for the first time in my life I was having quite a bit of time off.  So I made the executive decision to just not stress about exercise and stop going.

Then my knee cracked it.  It said (if you speak knee (that’s primarily grinding and crunching) as I have learned to do since I hit puberty), “Katrina, you’ve worked so bloody hard to get me strong again, and now this… you just stop strengthening me?!  Well I quit!”  The physio listened to my knee, went white and told me to stop running and squatting.  Great!  Slowly I lost interest in my physio exercises…

…so here I am.  Not quite the most unfit I’ve ever been, but just really slobbish and unmotivated.  Every time I decide to do some form of fitness, if I don’t get straight to it that moment, my mind kicks in builds this wall of worry and excuses.  I think I am worried that I’ll fail again at realising my goals.  Yet I love sport and fitness.  I’ve won rowing races and represented my state playing soccer for goodness sake.  I am at heart a Fitness Freak – just dying to get back on it!

Shoes runners 130516 Merri CreekBrunswick velodrome 2 Merri Creek view Merri Creek graffiti Merri Creek Grevilea Run clouds Merri creek path Merri Creek Shadow

I’ve lost a lot of sleep feeling guilty over failing at lots of attempts to get my Fitness Freak back on – but in reality having not coped with isolation, loneliness and hating my job in the UK for the past couple of years it is not surprising I’ve failed so much.

But that’s fine.  I have the time now and the opportunity to…

…just get off the couch!

Where do I want to be? 

  • I will be able to do triathlons.
  • I will be able to join a hockey club.
  • I will be able to become a Pilates instructor.
  • I will be able to do crazy yoga poses.
  • I will be able to get back to Cross Fit.

What are the goals I am setting today?

  1. Set realistic goals – I haven’t done this in the past if I really take into account living a busy lifestyle and not being one of those people with boundless ends of energy.
  2. Be kind to my body – take it slow.
  3. Do 10 minutes of Physio everyday because it does actually work!  I know because when I stop all my problems (e.g. talkative knees) come flooding back.
  4. Run a mile a day Challenge.  I like the idea of short little challenges as a way of focusing myself.  I’m not able to run far on my knees, so I’m not interested in time or distance.  I’m interested in getting out there and keeping my form.  Short strides to protect my knees and listen to them.  Bless them they are weak because I have not listened to them for ages.  So knees… I’m listening now!

So that’s it for now.  I was going to write down about three more challenges… but then I referred back to point one!

I just went for my first Mile a Day Challenge – and the Melbourne weather was just great!  I got back on my old running track here in Melbourne along the Merri Creek.  And I must make a big shout out to the Friends of Merri Creek gang… gosh it’s come along!  Just a beautiful 45 mins.

I’ve popped in some of the sights from today!  And the smells:  Snags on the BBQ at Ceres, Stringy bark (eucalyptus trees), Ironing, and fresh clean air!

Brunswick VelodromeBrunswick Velodrome

What are your fitness goals?  How do you get your Fitness Freak on?  How have you overcome getting in a fitness rut?