Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween

Ooh look - it's Halloween! We don't take any notice of it in Australia, so nobody is throwing a party or organising trick-or-treating... The Christmas decorations are up already though, which is a bit disturbing! The good thing about us not noting Halloween has got to be not buying bags of sweets for the trick-or-treaters! I always succumbed at some point in the evening and raided the bowl!

Milord and I went to a Halloween party last year, so here's the pic from that:



A moment ago a girl dressed as a pumpkin came past and handed out chocolates - so I guess we take a little notice after all! Mmm my first chocolate in weeks, very very good...

Life after the juice fast continues ok. We were very good (for us) over the weekend: we only ate seafood and avoided our usual downfall - potato chips. We had a bit of wine, but are such lightweights after a week off the demon drink that it completely floored us! Cheap date, me.

This week we are mostly off the booze, we're doing a fair bit of exercise (I walk home when I can and milord cycles to and from work), and we've cut our evening meal down to a small snack. I've lost another half kilo (71.1kg today), and milord's lost even more. I am almost a third of the way to goal! Gotta hang on in there, even though it's getting boring.
;-)

Tonight we're out with friends so we'll be falling off the wagon a bit. I will be taking it veeerrry easy, as I could get plastered and fall over on half a bottle of wine if the weekend is anything to go by! I'll be having a proper dinner too, as I can't drink on an empty stomach... it always comes back to booze doesn't it? What a shame I enjoy it so much!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Juice Fast Finished

Well, my fast is over after 4 full days, and Temptress Friend has just had lunch with me and watched me eat solids so she's happy ;-). To be honest, I could have gone for longer, but today is Friday so it's nice to be planning a meal tonight with probably a glass or two of wine!

Before I talk about that though, my tomato cocktail last night was deeeevine! Milord was very taken with it and we think we might serve it as a starter at our next dinner party. It will certainly be on our menu regularly in future ;-).

Recipe (makes 1.5 litres / 3 pints):
1kg tomatoes - the tastiest you can find.
2 red bell peppers (capsicum)
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 granny smith apples
1 handful fresh mint
2 tsp chilli sauce (tobasco)
4 tbsp mushroom soy sauce

Juice all the fruit, veg, garlic and mint, and mix with the chilli sauce and soy to taste. Serve chilled over crushed ice in a large wine glass. Mmmm. (By the way, the onion leaves quite an aftertaste so if you're not that into raw onion then skip it) Freeze all the juicer pulp to go into your next soup or stew.

I broke my fast this morning with 3 apples (which I had been craving) spaced an hour apart, and had drunk a litre of water and a glass of orange juice by midday. That all went down fine, bar a little gurgling. I had read that I should expect an instant bowel movement, but nope.

For lunch a few of us from work went to the local vegetarian restaurant "Badde Manors" as I couldn't face meat yet. It's about a block away from the office and really excellent - huge portions, interesting dishes, a funky cafe atmosphere and friendly service. Great coffee too, although I'm not back on that yet either. Oh yes, and an amazing cake selection, but I can never find any space after the meal portions!

I had courgette, carrot and walnut pikelettes, which come as 3 crispy fritters on top of each other, layered with shaved pear, blue cheese and baby spinach leaves. Yum! Wow! What a taste sensation! I have noticed that my senses of smell and taste have sharpened over the past few days, and they were pretty good before this anyway (which is actually a curse if anyone near you has bad breath, believe me). This lunch totally blew me away. I only managed a third of the portion, and took the rest away to have tonight. It is now an hour or so later, and I'm still feeling very full. I've just had a peppermint tea which might help.

Tonight I'm planning a Thai prawn salad, with leftover fritters... should be interesting! I think I might chop the fritters into chunks and grill them til crisp, then toss with stir fried prawns and a light cabbage and carrot julienne salad. Accompanied with a dry white wine I reckon. I've missed meal planning!

So, thoughts about the fast:

It was easier than I thought it would be, and I could have gone for longer. That maple syrup lemonade stuff lasted a day and a half and then I was sick of it - I prefer interesting juice combos. Getting up several times a night to pee was a downside.

I expected to get more "toxic". I had a mild headache for one day, and a furry tongue for two days, then nothing really. I had a few energy lows, but was never dizzy or nauseous. My poo didn't get interesting, or stop altogether. No acne, no funny aches or pains... I did get cranky, but that was mainly with people dissing my detox. If I do it again I won't tell anyone.

I lost just over a kilo (now 71.7kg), and I have lost 3cm off my hips. I was expecting more weight loss so that's disappointing, especially as I don't feel energised or spiritual or whatnot.

Cutting out alcohol was a breeze. Usually I crave wine in the evening for the first couple of days on the wagon, particularly when preparing a meal. I have a feeling it was precisely that reason: not preparing meals broke the habit. You don't want booze when you're feeling that empty anyway, you know it's going to go straight to your head and make you feel sick!

I saved a fortune in wine and meat and socialising!

Conclusion:

I don't think I'm all that toxic to begin with. My diet leans towards fruit and veg and lean meats, there is almost no fat in my diet and I can't remember the last time I had chocolate. While the detox is a great way to kick start a diet, it didn't do that much for me - although I've discovered some lovely juice combinations!

I may do it for a single day after a heavy weekend in future, but I don't really see the point in much longer.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Cravings

Almost time to go home. I have managed to last the day - I think because I had large and interesting juices today! The spinach, celery, carrot and apple one was rather nice... I think I'm tired of sweet juices.

Perhaps on that subject, I am seriously craving tomatoes! I think on the way home I will pick up a bunch of tomatoes, some sweet red peppers, an onion and some celery, then juice them with a bit of garlic, hot sauce and soy. Sort of a cross between a tomato soup and a Virgin Mary!



Mmmm hungry now!

Juice Fast - 72 hours

So here I am on day 4 of the juice fast. I'm still hanging in there, but only just.

Yesterday afternoon was an absolute NIGHTMARE on the hungryness front! I had rumbles and cravings and I think that if there had been anything healthy to eat in my office I would have munched it! My biggest craving was for a bunch of apples... until I passed the roast chicken shop on the way home. Man, that was hard!

I somehow made it through the evening and into bed, where I ignored my rumbly tummy and had a pretty good night's sleep. This morning I woke up fine - no rumbles or cravings again. I wonder why the mornings are so much easier? And I'm sure I read that day 3 onwards would be ok...

So far today I've had herbal teas and a huge watermelon, apple and berry juice. I think I could get used to fresh juice for breakfast ;-). I've found a new juice bar that does some interesting combinations; I will try their spinach, celery, carrot and apple for lunch I reckon. If the big rumblies strike me again this afternoon I think I might come off my fast - it's just not worth how cranky it makes me feel! I'll stay on fruit and veg today regardless though - they say you should ease your system back onto solid food or you could feel really sick, so nothing heavy just yet.

My temptress friend has stopped nagging me about my detox - because I said I wouldn't start on solids again until she left me alone! It's funny to watch her bite her tongue when she sees my juice though ;-). mwhahah

No weight loss today. I'm a little surprised, but a kilo in a week is a record for me anyway so I don't mind. I must also say that I don't feel particularly "detoxed" - I'm not glowing or energised or whatever. I also don't have pimples or headaches or funny poo. Either I wasn't that toxic or it still has to come out!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Friends like these

What is it with some people that they are determined to undermine your resolve? Dieting or teetotal or detox is hard enough without someone contantly chipping at your willpower.

I have a very good friend who I like enormously and I know she'd do anything for me if I needed it, but she's the very devil when it comes to my eating patterns. When I stop drinking alcohol she tempts me with "just one glass" and tells me I'm boring sober. When I'm sticking to Weight Watchers she offers me "just one slice of cake" - not once but repeatedly. When I'm detoxing she goes on about "eating disorders". I see her doing it to another friend who's also trying to lose weight - "go on, you deserve it" and so on.

The fact that she's a skinny petite minx who not only can eat constantly, but in fact has to or else she goes peculiar doesn't help. In my darker moods I wonder if she likes us plump so that she is the "hot" one in the group. And she is a hottie and wears lovely skin-tight outfits without making them look slutty. I'm about a head taller than her too, and don't I feel like the Incredible Hulk standing next to her sometimes?!

Ok, rant over.

I am 48 hours into my Juice Fast. It's going so well I'm going to go for another day and see how I feel then! My headache is gone and I have a lot more energy than I did the past 2 days.

Yesterday I had celery, apple, carrot and ginger juice for breakfast, orange juice for lunch, and miso soup for dinner. In between I had over a litre (2 pints) of lemonade made with lemons, limes and maple syrup, and few cups of herbal tea with honey. I also drank 2 litres (4 pints) of water. I was sloshing, I tell you! I put my intake through the Weight Watchers points calculator and came up with 17 points - which is what I generally eat anyway - so my nutrients are right up there. Milord and I also take a daily multi vitamin and a fish oil capsule, so I'm not missing anything.

Today I'll be having the same, except I'm cutting back on the ratio of maple syrup in my lemonade as it was too sweet.

I've lost a little more weight, which I'm chuffed about - now at 71.9kg, my lowest in quite some time! Milord is continuing to skip big dinners although he joins me for the miso soup. He's lost a bit of weight too ;-).

Side effects now: Very wierd dreams... I seem to be spending a lot more time in REM sleep because my body is not trying to cope with heavy food or alcohol. Possible constipation although I don't feel bloated.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Juice Fast

Back to reality after a week away in Port Douglas. It was rather lovely there, tropical, hot, humid and very laid back. The town is great and heaving with super bars and restaurants, all 10 minutes from where we stayed. We did a safari in the rain forest and spent a day out on the reef doing 2 dives, and otherwise slept late, ate and drank too much and relaxed by the pool in the shade. It got up to 30C every day, and didn't drop below 25C at night... glorious after the long Sydney winter.

We are now home and back at work. Kat and Paul hired a car and are on their way to Melbourne via the coast road. It sounds like a lovely trip, I shall have to do it someday. They were whale watching off Eden yesterday. Wah.

The good news is that somehow I managed to not gain any more weight while we were away, which is amazing! I was 73kg on Sunday and 72.8 Monday morning.

I have, however, decided to do a bit of a detox for the first time in my life. Now, I ordinarily disapprove of anything extreme in the diet arena, but having read up on juice fasting it doesn't sound that bad. You're still getting all the nutrients you need, the body just doesn't have to do much for them. And obviously you cut out all fats, dairy, meat, caffiene etc.

I'm doing a combination of the "Master Cleanse" lemonade fast (fresh lemon and lime, maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper), and a normal juice fast (anything). That's really because it's very easy to make a batch of the lemonade syrup to bring to work and then dilute hot or cold as I fancy! At mealtimes I supplement that with a freshly squeezed juice from one of the shops near here. And if I get a big craving then I can have a cup of miso soup for the saltyness.

It's been just over 24 hours now and I feel fine, not rumbly at all. Although, considering that the juice I had for breakfast today (squeezed at the deli over the road from my office) contained 2 apples, 3 carrots and a bunch of celery I should be ok! That's more than I eat in half a day usually...

My scale said 72.3kg this morning. I usually have a bit of a loss on a Tuesday after the excesses of a weekend, so I'm not too excited yet. We will see what tomorrow brings... And besides, this is a detox, not a diet ;-). I will of course be thrilled if I lose any weight! My initial goal is 48 hours, but if that turns out easy I may keep on going.

Milord is doing his own version of detox/dieting, which seems mainly to involve skipping dinner and having lots of fruit during the day with a light lunch. This means that no one is cooking near me in the evening, which makes things a lot easier!

Side effects so far: a slight headache, and a furry tongue. I will pop out for some sugar free gum soon, as dragon breath is not really my thing!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Compliments

Milord isn't one for giving compliments. He's a real gent and a great romantic, but compliments and flowers and stuff just don't occur to him. Or they don't work very well... A long time ago he asked me why I was happy being his girlfriend, and I listed his accomplishments, humour, intelligence, manners, height, dimples and blue eyes. In response I was told that I "have nice tits". Note to any boys: list accomplishments and attributes that are not subject to time and gravity unless you want to freak your girlfriend out!

A few weeks ago I took my hair a shade lighter because he said he'd prefer it blonder, and the reaction was "What have you done to your hair?". Upon later questioning he does like it, but I wasn't sure for a while - I suppose I was lucky he'd even noticed, eh?

As you know I'm not happy with my weight at the moment. I don't like the way I look, or how things fit, and it brings me down quite a bit. I've always assumed that my man feels the same way, that he watches me dressing in the morning and wonders where the girl that he met has got to under the blubber.

A few days ago he was being rather uncomplimentary about his niece. She has just turned 16, and is discovering the hard truth about being past your teen growth spurt - everything you eat is going to end up on your hips for the rest of your days! He's been quite mean about it, to her face too, and I was telling him off for being a horrid uncle and probably giving her a complex. It's one thing to think your niece is fat and quite another to be rude about it (Aunty Jane, take notice!).

After all, I'm carrying a lot of weight and he wouldn't talk to me like that would he? (If he wanted to keep his manhood anyway). "But you don't look fat!" He said. "Your stomach is flat and your waist curves in and your hips curve out... you look good. You don't look like a great fat lump!"

Isn't that the greatest compliment you could ask for ladies? My man thinks I look good in spite of my weight. He sees a waist! I think I'll keep him ;-)

Holidayitis and Fridayitis

I am counting down the hours until today ends and I can get back on holiday with my friends Kat and Paul who are over from the UK. They should be climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge pretty much as I type this. It's sunny outside, but a bit breezy - I hope they enjoy it! There is rain forwast for later, hopefully after they finish!

They arrived on Monday and we picked them up from the airport in the morning, came home for a freshen up and a champagne brunch, then headed into the city. We walked through Balmain to the ferry stop and caught a ferry which travelled under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House to the city ferry terminal. From there we walked along the water until we reached the Opera House where we stopped for a bottle or two of wine in the sunshine.


We continued into the Botanical Gardens and followed the bay around to Woolloomooloo where we stopped at a pub for lunch and a few drinks. Then we headed through the city to the waterfront and our favourite bar... eventually catching a taxi home where we had a barbeque and everyone had an early night!

On Tuesday milord took us flying in a 4-seater plane. We were lucky enough to be able to fly into the harbour and do circles over the Opera House - absolutely spectacular!


From there we headed out to the coast, buzzed Manly and Bondi beaches and then headed inland and north to the Hunter Valley wine region. We landed at Cessnock airfield, had lunch at the nearby cafe and called for a taxi to take us to the car rental depot where we picked up a hire car. Milord used to live in the area, so he directed us to his favourite wine estates then watched us wine tasting as he can't drink and fly! We had a lovely time trying out the local wines, then dropped in on a friend for a visit before being dropped back at the airfield by Kat and Paul who were going to stay in the area for a couple of nights.

Then 3 days of work... ugh.

Tonight after work we are all meeting up in the Horizon Bar of the Shangri-La hotel - on the 46th floor it has amazing views of the city and harbour. After that we are going for dinner at Cafe Sydney, where we have a table on the Balcony and can see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House all lit up. On Satuday we'll be doing some sightseeing, then we are off to Watson's Bay for a late lunch and intend to catch a water taxi back to the city to see it lit up from the sea at night...

On Sunday afternoon we fly to Port Douglas (green arrow) for 5 nights.


This is further north than I've been before, and it should be hot and humid - the forecast today is for 31C (that's 88F) and I'm looking forward to it! We will be doing a safari into the Daintree rainforest and spending a day on the Great Barrier Reef among other things. It all sounds gorgeous!

I am not too thrilled to be getting into a swimsuit at the moment, but I will simply stand tall and hope nobody says anything!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Holidayitis

Here I am at work for 3 days in between my holidays... it is perhaps understandable why I am having trouble getting into the spirit of things! It is also maybe understandable why I have fallen off the diet wagon and gained a bit of weight back. I have decided that I don't care, and that I will start over again once my holiday is over. It's my last holiday of the year and I am going to enjoy it! Hurts to update my ticker back to where it was 2 weeks ago though :-(

A couple of pics for you guys - both taken in my back yard. The parrot is a Rainbow Lorikeet and it is eating the new shoots on the tree, and the possum is a Brushtail Possum and it lives in a box in the same tree.



We used to have a few possums living in our roof cavity, but had them removed last year. You are not allowed to take them off the property so we had a possum box installed for one of them to move into. I guess the others found another roof to live in!

Funnily enough, a couple of weeks after we had the possum box set up I was standing outside with a cup of coffee when I noticed lots of flying insects buzzing in and out of the box, and my first thought was "Oops, I wonder if the possum is ok, that's a lot of flies." shortly followed by "Bees! Augh!". A swarm of bees had evicted our possum and were busy building combs inside the box! As the tree overhangs our outside living area, and Milord and I are very allergic to bees, and our yard is small, and there are lots of kids in the area we had to take drastic action and have the swarm destroyed. A funny little man came along and sprayed the box full of white powder and all the bees dropped dead. I asked him if possums would be able to move back in and he looked at me for moment then said "Well, they won't have any fleas!" So it's been about a year and finally a new possum has taken up residence. He's still very shy, but I put fruit along the branches sometimes and he's getting used to us.

Possums are very territorial and we hear them fighting and chasing each other across our tin roof in the night. They're nocturnal so you don't see them during the day at all.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Diet Post 7

I just don't get this weight loss thing.

Yesterday I was bemoaning my (and Milord's) lack of loss in spite of being so very good... We got completely down about it and decided to fall off the diet wagon for the night. We went out with milord's cousins to the pub, and I had a beef and red wine pastry-topped pie (ooh evil pastry - how I miss you) and half a bottle of wine. Feeling guilty the whole time of course.

I went totally over my points allowance for the day, and I know my salt intake spiked because that pie was jolly salty. So this morning I hopped on the scale expecting a nasty message... got off, got on again... got off, got on again. Said "I'll be damned!".

I've lost half a kilo since yesterday. Milord has lost more than a kilo since yesterday (and he also had a pie)! That's the lightest I've been in a couple of months.

It makes no sense at all, but it sure is a nice way to start a Friday! I walked to work this morning, and I've been really good all day again, and I intend to stay within my points tonight and this weekend even though we'll be eating out a bit.

On Monday my great mate from the UK, Kat, and her boyfriend Paul are arriving. They'll be in Australia for 3 weeks. I have Monday and Tuesday off to show them around Sydney, so the food and wine will be flowing... I hope I manage to keep disciplined!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Diet Post 6

My weightloss seems to have stalled, which is really annoying because I have been under my weightwatchers points allowance most days of the past week, and even the days I went over should have balanced with the "saved" points.

I have less than a week to go until my friend Kat gets here from the UK, and I had really really hoped to have lost a couple more kg before then. When she last saw me 20 months ago I was 5kg lighter than I am now, and my bum was a entire size smaller. It's one thing for new friends to know me plump, and quite another for old friends who knew the thin me to see me now. She's actually known me a whole 10kg lighter than I am now... she took that goal picture in an older post.

I'm stuck at 72.5kg, and the best I can hope for is a half kg loss by Monday. Oh well, such is life. One of these days my body will suddenly let go of the storage I'm sure! I've been hovering around the same weight now for nearly 2 months, but I suppose I can use the excuses of holiday and bereavement over that time? No? Drat.

Poor Milord is also stalled. It's funny how our gain/loss charts mimic each other (yes, I graph our weight!) as we don't always exercise and eat the same. He has however had a loss on the tape measure.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

There is a leopard in that bush!

Earlier this year Milord and I were in the Kruger Park game reserve in South Africa.

On our first morning in the reserve we had breakfast, packed up the car, then drove to the gate of the camp to deposit our hut key and then leave the fenced enclosure. While we were at the key deposit box we realised that a few things we would be needing during the day were in the boot, and as you can't get out of the car between camps we'd need to move them within reach. We parked about 20m inside the exit gate of the camp, opposite reception, and began moving things around.

Suddenly a black man in uniform came running out of the reception building and shouted at us: "Get back in your car, there is a leopard in that bush!" while pointing through the fence of the camp. I was in the car like a flash, but milord was having trouble with the accent...

"Huh?" he asks.
"Gitbik in yorka thehiz aleppidin thetboosh!"
"Wha?"
"GitBIK in yorka thehiz aLEPPIDin thetboosh!"
"Eh"?
"Honey, he says there is a leopard in that bush, get in the car!"
"Oh shit!"

We're in the car, boot slammed, doors shut, staring like light-struck bunnies towards the fence. The 3m high fence. The electrified fence. At a bush 20m away on the other side. The not very dense bush. In the middle of the scorching hot morning. Several minutes pass.

"See anything?"
"No. You?"
"No."
"Ask the man if he can still see it."
"Ok... um... I can't, he's gone."
"Gone?"
"Yeah."
"But... so... why isn't he shouting at all the other people wandering around?"
"Since when do leopards hunt during the day?"

We sat for a bit longer watching people walk around, then shrugged, got out and continued moving stuff from the boot into the car. We reckon they were having their little joke with the stupid white tourists. I wonder how often that little man runs out and shouts at people each day to make them jump?

And we never did get to see a leopard.