Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Day 2 and moving along !

Yesterday was my first full day on low carb. The morning began with a workout (more info on that later) followed by 2 boiled eggs and 3 slices of bacon. And coffee. I readily admit I am an addict.

As expected, I developed a headache by mid-afternoon. I also had cravings. I wanted starch, starch and more starch. To deal with the cravings I had a few cups of black tea then started searching for some low carb dessert recipes. I found one that was easy to pull together fast - a no-bake cheesecake pudding type dessert that contained cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream, vanilla, some spice and some pure pumpkin. It worked like a charm and the craving subsided. The rest of the day I stuck with salad, low carb veggies and a small handful of walnuts.

By 9 PM I was exhausted and feeling very heavy, as if my legs weighed 300 lbs. I usually stay up to 10:30 but by 9:30 I was in bed and asleep. I awoke in the middle of the night to be greeted with night sweats and nausea. This is not a result of the low carb day! It is a result of being 40 and already in the throws of perimenopause.

Thankfully I managed to fall back asleep and awoke at 6:30 without a hint of residual discomfort. I was alert, not hungry and feeling ready to greet the day. As I am on vacation with my hubby, Mike, we decided to go out and enjoy breakfast together. We went to Cora's where I had a western omelet and a side of bacon. It was great but I think I drank too much coffee. By the time I got home my IBS was kicking in (have suffered on and off with IBS since early 20s) and let's just say I paid a nasty visit to Mr. Bathroom. This was followed by lower back ache, leg cramps and tummy aches. Did low carb trigger IBS? Nope. This has been going on for a few months now again as a result of the hormones fluctuating throughout the month. It is especially bad as I near ovulation and of course when Aunt Flo comes calling. I am curious to see if low carb will in fact help reduce all of these symptoms as time goes on.

Today was a no-exercise day for me. I usually workout 3-4 times a week with a break in between days. My workout is fast, targeted and definitely works to tone and reduce inches. Even when I was consuming high, starchy calories I managed to trim down inches. What do I do? A combo of rebounding, weight training and working with a stability ball. The entire workout takes about 25 minutes. I do intend to add an extra set to my routine which will bring it up to an even 1/2 hr but right now I don't feel ready.

Rebounding truly is amazing - just hop on a really well made mini trampoline (not the cheap ones at Walmart!) and bounce away. My workout includes 15 minutes of rebounding in short spurts - 5 minutes at a time. After 5 min of rebounding I do a variety of exercises targeting upper and lower body. I have happily found a routine that really works for me and will be sticking to it. I have been at it for about 6 months now and not looking back!

What I need to get back to though is meditating. I used to meditate for up to 2 hours a day but have really reduced that to maybe a day or two a week for 15 minutes at a time. Meditation always tends to quiet my system and allow me to focus on the tasks during the day. It brings me a feeling of calm and peace. Essential for someone who has been tagged as having a Type A personality. So maybe a meditation before bed today is in order.

So what's next? Grocery planning. I just poached a few chicken breasts which I will keep in the fridge and use up during the week. I intend to use them in stirfrys, caesar salads and chicken salads (sans bread of course). I want to pick up some fresh veggies too to eat raw or sauteed in some butter - especially green beans, mushrooms, garlic and zucchini. Cherry tomatoes are great for quick snacks as well as sliced cucumber. Raw broccoli is also great with a homemade dip.

I will be the first to admit I am not a huge fan of red meat. Eating a steak is not something I truly fancy. Bacon is good, I love ham, and pork tenderloin is great. Even ground beef in moderation is ok. But a slab of steak? Blech! I foresee a lot of chicken breast in my future.

So for now I sign off and get my act together in the kitchen - baked low carb mini cheesecakes are on the agenda !

Sunday, 28 August 2011

And here we go - getting ready to dive in !

It has taken me quite some time to launch this new blog. It is truly night and day compared to my baking blog, Lemon Drop. There I blog about my fat-laden, sugar infused desserts and my journey as a newbie food blogger and photographer. I love every moment of it: from the creation of a flaky puffed pastry or fluffy whipped buttercream to watching another take their first bite of one of my sweet creations. It brings me great joy and is a way for me to express this creative bone I seem to have in my body. I love Lemon Drop and intend to keep bringing my followers great recipes for many years to come.

But let me be honest, sometimes I wonder if Lemon Drop is also a veil I stand behind; a way to bake, bake, bake and all the while convince myself I have a good grasp of the concept of "moderation"; that I have some kind of so-called ability to stay on track health-wise while baking to my heart's delight. Some days I feel like Cybil. I ooh and awe over butter laden biscuits, fresh and golden from the oven, then cry a few tears when I realize my size 14s are too tight. So I hop on the rebounder, lift some weights and roll around on the stability ball for 1/2 hr. Don't get me wrong, the exercise does have incredible benefits and I definitely get a good ROI. But those size 14s tend to be tighter than looser most days.

The fact is, I have struggled with food and weight since I was a little kid. I was never a slim child and I gained and lost weight most of my life. Everything seemed to really come together for me though for most of my 20's.   I was an avid fitness buff, ate clean and basically was a "lean, mean, fightin' machine" . I loved the lifestyle, loved how I looked and felt - it was all working well...until tragedy struck in more ways then one. With that came weight gain.

I guess I would be deemed an "emotional eater". I think most people fall into that category. Unfortunately my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride for as long as I can remember until a few years ago when things settled down and a much needed peace came into my life. Though the peace and prosperity arrived, the weight seemed to enjoy hanging around along with it.

The past few years I spent a great deal of time practicing the art of self-love. I gave myself a break. I let myself indulge when I wanted to. I let myself take days, weeks, even months off good eating and exercise. I don't have any regrets about that either. I needed those times to put it all aside and just let myself breathe.

Now, don't get me wrong. I still have enough diet books in my house to wallpaper the great wall of China. I have read them all and I am sure tried 99% of the diets out there. I am one of millions.

So why am I going to go low carb? Why go right back into the diet craze I have come to loathe? Because I know reducing carbs works for me and works incredibly well. I had great success with that way of eating in the past. Granted, I gained what I lost back for no other reason than changing my mind about what I chose to consume on a daily basis. Why do I think this time will be different? Because the ME of days gone by is not the ME of today. I am not starting off this journey with any kind of self-hate (as I did all the other times) but with a lot of self-love. I want my body to be in the best condition it can be in and I want a fast return on investment! Patience has never been my strong point.

Will I still continue to bake all those goodies for Lemon Drop while I eat low carb? You betcha. A painter would still paint. A singer would still sing. A baker would still bake. I just don't have to eat all of my creations!