A while back a good friend of mine (my bestest) Sarah-Rose wrote about her experiences with eating “paleo”, which she rather amusingly calls the “dinosaur diet”. You can read about her early thoughts here.

She had a fairly positive experience eating paleo, and at the end of it had also shrunk a little. As I am forever unhappy about my figure and trying to slim down, I figured Dave and I, for the month of October, could go on a little diet change of our own.

Rather than go full dinosaur, we decided we would do something that had proven to be very successful for me in the past and go low carb. Before I moved to Scotland, I spent a few months doing pilates and cut my carbs considerably, and after sticking to these and a few other good habits, dropped a stone before my move (1 stone = 14lb = 6.5kg).

I’m not really looking to lose a lot of weight, to be honest. Over the last few months of gym-going, I’ve toned my legs and arms quite a bit and can run a lot longer/further. I just think a healthier, less-stodgy-foods lifestyle is better for me overall.

And while we cheated a little in the first 10 days or so of October, lately I’ve been sticking to it really well:

* Water water water!
* Gym. I give myself 4 set times to go, and if I fail once a week? no big deal.
* Alternate exercise. On a Sunday I’ll walk with Dave if the weather is good enough, swim, or do some yoga or pilates in the house.
* No pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles, bread!
* Fruit only or low fat yoghurt for snacks.
* Or oat cakes with marmite. But rarely.
* Eating earlier in the evening and smaller portions.
* Soups! Nom. Lucky the weather lately has been horrendous.

I’ve also formed/joined a wee “lunch club” at work. 3 of us meet every day for lunch and just eat big hearty salads. We take turns buying salad greens, peppers, cucumber, avocado, dressings, croutons and a little cheese.

So as of October 17th? I am feeling amazeballs. I just have so much more energy, and for me that’s incredible. I live in a post-meningitis haze of exhaustion 90% of the time. So to have energy in the afternoons at work, and even better, in the evenings, is making a major difference to me. I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end of the month. If I’m still feeling good (and I feel more in shape), I’m probably going to just keep going with it.

And then, maybe? we might go paleo. The idea of not having beans/quinoa/lentils/chickpeas scares me a little, though. And no dairy? eeek. I love my Onken yoghurt (I eat a tub a week) and the very occasional icecream.

One other secret to my success (well, in the past!) is allowing myself a cheat day. On Saturdays I can have a little bread, a little potato, some icecream at the movies. I find that if I tell myself whenever I have a craving “You can just have it Saturday!” I end up waiting… and then not actually having it. It’s very rare that my Saturday calorie count is that much higher than the rest of the week.

I think without it, I’d buckle to chocolate and ruin the whole diet by eating like a slob for days. This keeps me under check, even if it’s just a psychological crutch.

So yeah.. watch this space. If it makes a huge difference, I’ll definitely tell you. I just know we needed a change from our bad habits.

On a Whim.

Kat: Um. I did something naughty.
Dave: What?
Kat: I bought something.
Dave: What did you buy…
Kat: A keytar.
Dad: A guitar?
Kat: No, a KEYtar.
Dave: *blinks* ….. what the fuck? a KEYTAR?
..Yeah. (Hee).

Day Seven/Volcano Blues


Yesterday, diet Day Seven, I took my soup to work as per normal, to discover one of the ingredients had soured overnight and the soup tasted vinegary. It didn’t appear to be very tasty or safe, so I ended up buying a salad and some water. For dinner I had brown rice and veg, as per requested.

Today? today I am 2lb up. Maybe even 3. So the diet for me was sorta? pointless.
In fact, even if we hadn’t cheated, I’m not sure if I would have felt much benefit. I generally don’t eat a lot as it is, so eating less wasn’t a bit step for me and my body probably didn’t think it was enough to push the weight off. If I’d kept up with the fruit/veges only, with the soup, I’m sure I would have kept losing, but eventually I would have been so cranky, Dave wouldn’t have wanted to stick around.
It helped me realise how I need a lot more fruit and veges in my diet, and a lot less dairy, but for now, not a lot has changed. And with the volcano drama, all I want is icecream and candy anyway.
Speaking of which.
I’m meant to be excited at this point, right? 3 days until I fly to see my family? but with the ongoing closure at Heathrow, the weather updates not being very helpful, and the airlines cancelling flights left and right, even those days in advance, I’m not feeling very positive about getting out or happy in general. I really really really want to see my family. I really really really need a holiday. I’ve done nothing but look forward to this for months, and I’m so very gutted that it could all fall apart any minute.
And even if the airports do open tomorrow, the backlog and drama of getting all the planes in the right places is just a nightmare. The amount of people trying to get out of Heathrow is going to be insane. Qantas are notorious for cancelling when they get a bit wary in the slightest, so I worry that there just won’t be any other option for me.
I don’t even know if I should pack. I’m tempted to leave it ’til Friday and wait and see. At at time when my life is a bit upside down, this is just the last thing I need right now.

Days Five and Six/Stuck in the UK


Day Five was so much easier. We were allowed 10-20 oz of beef/chicken/fish and 6-8 tomatoes. For brunch we had beef (Dave) and chicken (me), with a tomato sauce I made from canned/fresh tomatoes and herbs/spices. Dinner was the same. For lunch we were out with friends after some mini golfing and cheated slightly – we both had a diet coke and shared some nachos. So cheese, guacamole and crisps were involved, but only in a small quantity. I also had a pina colada. Oops.

I had bought Dave 550g of top sirloin steak so he enjoyed that as dinner for the two days. Not cheap! but he loved it.
Saturday night we met my friend Ruth and her partner Hamish and I had several gin and tonics until fairly late in the evening. Dave had beer. So that might have hindered us somewhat.

Day Six was today, and very similar, but vegetables were encouraged. Dave made a mix of beef, tomatoes and veg and we had that for lunch. Dinner was the same, but with some roasted veg. Not exactly exciting without the variety, but it served its purpose.
I have my doubts that I lost any weight on these two days, but didn’t get a chance to weigh, so I guess we’ll find out the final number tomorrow. Day Seven is brown rice/veges day, with the soup, which is bound to have a little weight loss and hopefully not be too bland. Dave is looking to make a sort of vegetarian jumbalaya.
In other news, who else hates this bloody volcano? hands up.
There always seems to be some sort of natural disaster or technical issue that tries to fuck with my holidays. My poor brother, who has been trying to get to Sydney since Thursday, is still stuck in London, and re-booked for Tuesday night. Any later and he’ll probably miss his best friend’s wedding (he’s the best man).
I’m trying to stay optimistic about my chances for Friday, and will start to panic on Wednesday if the situation hasn’t improved. It looks like they are aiming to re-open some of the airspace above Europe tomorrow, but the UK is still expected to be shut until at least 7pm tomorrow night. I am checking the regular updates from NATS and also reading pilot forums and airline press releases.
Hopefully the worst case scenario means I push back my trip a few weeks and go to New Zealand instead of Australia. Not quite the relaxing sunny holiday I was hoping for (with beaches, amusement parks, sun and an abundance of king prawns), but a good break nonetheless.
I just want to see my family, do some shopping, and not work for a few weeks. I really need a holiday, and a year without my loved ones has been one of the toughest things for me.
(If I’m still in Edinburgh on my birthday I better get lots of chocolate).

Day Four: I’m sick of bananas.


So my dairy ‘problem’ is obviously not just in my head. Today was my first day putting dairy back into my diet, and my body isn’t that comfortable drinking two glasses of skim milk. I definitely need to keep a tab on that.

Day Four has gone okay. Ideally they want you to eat up to 8 bananas and drink as much skim milk as you want. 8 bananas? really? I’ve had 3. I have 2 sitting next to me that I should be able to eat before bed, but 8? I’d actually have to buy more, and even then, I don’t really know if I’ll do that. I also had my soup for lunch, and I’ll be having that for a late dinner soon enough. Or I’ll end up at the movies just with bananas to eat. I’m slightly disappointed that I haven’t lost anything today, but I think it’s the dairy making me bloated. I’ve stopped dairy since lunch time, so hopefully I’ll feel better in the morning.

Weight lost: 0lb Total: 4lbs (1.8kg)

DoD Day Three.


Yeah so now it sounds like I’m working for the Department of Defense. I assure you I’m not.

Diet of Doom: Day Three
So far, so good. I started my morning with grapes and well, grapes. Work today has been pretty hectic, so I haven’t had much chance to eat anyway this morning. My soup is currently reheating, so I’ll be having that with some roast veg Dave threw together last night for lunch and then in my bag of fruit I have (more) grapes, 4 plums, 2 apples, 1 orange. Should keep me going for the afternoon. Last night’s dinner was the baked potato, and Dave made a yummy mix of vegetables to spoon over it. Mmmm. Went to bed a little bit hungry, but not dying. Anyhoo, soup time. Tonight for dinner I think we’ll have some leafy veg/beans as a side for the new soup Dave whipped up last night. Unfortunately he burned the roast carrot/parsnip he was working on!
Weight lost: 2lbs/.9kg. Total: 4lbs/1.8kg.

Diet of Doom.

I’m tempted, you know, to try every bad fad diet that ever was and blog about it. I’m sure someone out there is already doing this, but the amount of crappy diets I fool around with just astounds me sometimes.
Currently Dave and I are doing the Cabbage Soup Diet. Yes, we’re aware how insane we are.
I got to the point where my “6 weeks to get in shape” became 2, and I really wanted to drop some pounds before my trip. Dave and I have been terribly unhealthy lately, with lots of crisps, candies and chocolates, and he suggested we do some sort of detox. Then I remembered the “GM Motors Diet” that my friend Lili had starved herself with, otherwise known as the Cabbage Soup Diet. She had come out the end of it having dropped about 4.5kg/10lbs, and it had taken away her craving for salty or highly sugary foods. I’ve already done the Beyonce juice cleanse, so hell, anything’s better than not eating at all.
The staple food of this diet is obviously Cabbage Soup, which sounds disgusting, but we were clever. We blended it. Dave made the soup basically to recipe, with a bit more herbs and spices than prescribed, and then hand-blended it. The result was actually a really really tasty vege soup.
But you know, living on soup isn’t that fun, and it makes my pilates slightly less energetic.
Day One was yesterday. We survived on purely fruit. I didn’t have a bad day, to be honest, as I love snacking and fruit is such an easy, easy snack. Grapes, plums, oranges, apples.. I had rather a nice day. The soup was a nice lunch, and for dinner I needed 2 bowls, but was happy nonetheless. What I noticed mainly was my ridiculous amount of bathroom trips due to all the liquid I was consuming, and a bit of light-headedness. At the end of the day we were both exhausted and truly ready for bed at 10.
Weight lost: 1lb (.45kg).
Day Two is today. And it sucks. Vegetables only. I didn’t really have time to prepare any snacks, and I’ve never been a “snack on celery or carrots” kinda girl. I hate raw vegetables like that, and prefer veges like peppers (capsicums), potatoes, parsnips, roasted carrots, pumpkin. I’m also quite partial to a little broccoli or cauliflower. But for breakfast? ugh. I ended up skipping breakfast and having water and tea until lunch. I didn’t really feel that bad at all this morning. Lunch was a big bowl of the soup, and then it went a bit downhill from there. Starvin marvin. Right now I’m looking forward so much to when I get home and have a baked potato with butter, with some leafy vegetables. Beans! Broccoli? pumpkin? My stomach is angry at me and I feel like eating my own arm.
Weight lost: 1lb. Total: 2lbs/.9kg.
Reports to continue…