This and that …… 1

” This and that “
These words bring back memories and a smile to my face. My only sibling C, my husband W and my children will remember so well that my Dad used to get a rise out of my Mom at least three times a day. She would get all huffy for a couple of seconds and he would grin in a self-satisfied way and stroll off.

How did he do this?
Every single time he stood up after breakfast he would say, ” Thanks Gog, what’s for lunch? “; after lunch he would do the same damn thing and say, “Thanks Gog, what’s for supper? “, and after … but you get my drift… My Mom would answer in an infuriated tone, ” This and That! ” and my Dad would smugly wander off to think of something else to draw attention to himself….

I really must invest in some new dictionaries. The Readers Digest Complete Word Finder and the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary – not surprisingly – do not have the word gogga listed but it does feature in the ” Tweetalige Skool-Woordeboek ” 1988 edition! An Afrikaans word meaning ” insect “, my Dad used the abbreviation “gog” as a pet name for my Mom – unusual in that neither my Mom nor Dad had any Afrikaans connections.

This is getting entirely off the point of this post – fiddling again!
Back to the matter in hand.

Succumbing to sheer laziness, I have had the following for breakfast, so far:
2 x Ouma Nutri Rusks (Intermediate GI)
1 x mug coffee (Jacobs Cronat Gold), with skim milk and 2 sweeteners (Equi-Sweet Blue)
   I also use Equi-Sweet Green but the green dispensers always seem to get jammed up.
   My all time favourite granulated sweetener Sweet Pea is only used on porridge and then only very sparingly.

Not too good hey? BUT not anything that I am not ” allowed ” to have. My point is that W & I work hard to have only ” legal ” foodstuffs in our home. I actually dislike calling food ” legal ” and ” illegal ” – comes from the days when Jean Nidetch founded Weight Watchers in New York yonks ago.

Even with my health challenges including DM II, there is no foodstuff forbidden to me – just have to know how to incorporate the item with other far better choices. Thus diluting/lowering  the glycemic effect of the (usually High GI ) item. We both like Checkers Decaff coffee and will tootle out later (when I can bestir myself to get showered and dressed) to get more.

What we will also do this morning is boil up 6 (Canola) eggs and I will chomp a hard-boiled egg with a teeny sprinkle of Low Salt and some freshly ground black pepper just now. Thus having 2 x carb + 1 x protein for my breakfast.

We keep to a maximum of 4 eggs each per week. These are often hard boiled. Sometimes we also spray a small non-stick frying pan with olive oil spray and fry ourselves an egg to have on low GI toast for breakfast. Once again, sprinkled with S + P as above, together with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.   A dash of  Light All Gold Tomato Sauce or Sweet Chilli sauce would be nice as well.  Note, I said a dash! 🙂 Once again, protein + carb = cool! We also sometimes use 1 x tsp olive oil heated in the non-stick pan and fry the eggs in that; giving an additional 1/2 fat to the day’s total. And yes, we do measure the oil.

Talking about toast – which I love to eat and my spouse does not – I am very particular about bread.
The simple rule is: If the label/packaging of the bread does not include the actual words ” Low GI “, I do not buy it. It’s just that simple.

My personal eating plan allows about 5 complex (starch) carbs per day. I have tried – oh how I have tried over the years – to like coarse bread that tastes like chipboard. OK, OK, as I imagine chipboard would taste! I know all about the linseed and soy loaves, the rye breads and the like. Just cannot get past one slice at the most. If I make my Ultimate Sandwich on rye, I tend to end up eating the protein and salad sandwich filling and not the bread!

We have settled on the following breads in our house:
Albany Brown Seed low GI (Yellow)
Albany White low GI (Lime green-do not confuse with ‘ ordinary ‘ green label one)
Sasko Low GI True Whole Wheat brown loaf
We buy the loaves and freeze them, taking out only what we require. Experiment with thawing times in the microwave and you will have lovely fresh, soft bread for the Ultimate Sandwich or whatever!

I would say that by changing your bread selections to only those specifically labelled ‘low GI’ you can reduce spiking of your glucose levels considerably. It is important to note that curbing spikes in glucose levels – in my experience – is as important for non-diabetics as it is for diabetics/pre-diabetics.

Do you get the munchies mid-afternoon? That’s low blood sugar folks!
My W-L plan lists two afternoon snacks – early afternoon (2-4pm) as well as a late afternoon snack (4-6 pm). I also have a mid-morning snack – making 3 snacks per day in all. This totally in keeping with lowGI/low GL eating guidelines.

Mid-morning is 1 x fruit + 1 x milk.
     I have a fruit (mostly a small crisp apple from the fridge) and 175 ml fat free fruit yoghurt.
Early afternoon is usually another fruit.
I love pears, grapes, kiwi, orange, all the berries. The peaches have been to die for this year and we have eaten a lot of them.
Late afternoon is 1 x Complex (starchy) carb + 1/2 protein.
possibly 3 Finn Crisps with PnP low fat hummus or cottage cheese or lower fat cheese.

Try it, it works!
Talk later, E

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Chicks rule!!!

Right! Now I’m really getting somewhere!

Broken a plateau which really frustrated me for the much of February and this month to date.
Hovering between 21 and 22kg loss was not a joke and unfortunately my life is so crazy at this time that I had not posted here about it.

Stand by…….. drumroll…… 23.1kg down this morning!!! Whew what a great feeling – I’m on the downward path again. Decisively so.

Let me encourage you not to give up if you also experience no or minimal losses over an extended period – a few weeks in my case. Our bodies are not engines that we fuel and can then expect to perform to specification. Each and every one of us is very, very different and as we pay more attention to our health and bodies, we get to know what works and what does not.

I can honestly state that I did not panic and I did not think even for one split second about throwing in the towel. That option did not cross my mind.

So, what lead to the breakthrough? Two things only – portion control and eating right. In my case, as you know, ‘ eating right’ is a combination of my W-L plan, my plan devised by a dietician well versed in low GI/GL principles, ongoing discussions and shared info with my doctor Anna Hall and last but honestly not least my own research into the kind of nutrition best suited to slay the Metabolic Syndrome dragons.

Very bad grammar in the above paragraph but I am posting this nonetheless!! Or should I say I am nonetheless posting this? Eileen – get back to the subject at hand – you are fiddling again!

Please comment on this post or write to me personally if you are having similiar problems. A problem shared is a problem halved – most of the time anyway.

Chicks rule??
A real biggie is that I now weigh less than my husband – quite something that – as he is also now on his own journey which is a new development which I have yet to write about. That was another huge breakthrough in our little family.

Have a great day and a safe weekend.

BMR .. Basal Metabolic Rate .. what is it?

I’ve never really been a calorie (or kilojoule) counter. Over the years I have become used to simply eating the portions as prescribed for me by dieticians or by following the formula selected for me at Weigh-Less. So much easier in my view!

However, I have recently become curious and have swotted up about the balance of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) in eating plans suitable for those of us with Metabolic Syndrome (Insulin Resistance Syndrome.)

Remember that according to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation), for a person to be defined as having metabolic syndrome, they must experience the following metabolic abnormalities:
– abdominal obesity (defined as a waist circumference beyond ethnic specific values (see elsewhere on this blog),
Plus any two of the following factors:
– raised triglycerides (above 1.7mmol/l);
– reduced HDL (good) cholesterol (below 1.03mmol/l in men or 1.29mmol/l in women);
– raised blood pressure (systolic >130mmHG; diastolic >85mmHg); or
– raised fasting plasma glucose (above 5.6mmol/l).
Ria Catsicas – The Complete Nutritional Solution to Diabetes. Publisher: Struik Lifestyle 2009.

According to Anne Till, another leading South African dietician, the balance of macronutrients could look like this:

Proteins 15%
Carbs 45-55%
Fat 30-40%
The Ultimate Diet Solution. Anne Till. Published by Struik 2006

Through membership of the GI Club run by GIFSA (Glycemic Foundation of South Africa), I have direct access to Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp authors of the bestselling Eating for Sustained Energy books. The books published by these two dieticians are the gold standard on low/lower GI/GL, lower fat eating in South Africa.

Liesbet Delport has advised me not to have more than 20% protein and 30% fat in my eating regime so I have tweaked my Benutriwise software to reflect the following breakdown:
Protein: 20%
Carbs: 50%
Fats: 30%

BMR / Calories Required Calculator

Basal Metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories needed by your body at rest.

For the average sized body the BMR is extremely accurate. However, for larger bodies (both muscular and fat) it can be inaccurate in determining your caloric needs.

For the muscular body type, the BMR can underestimate the number of calories required, and for the
overweight body type it can overestimate the number of calories required.

What you eat and how much you exercise are both important for achieving health and the type of physique you want.

But, the basic equation remains the number of calories taken in minus the number of calories consumed equals what’s left over to be stored as fat.

The BMR is calculated according to the formula :
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – (4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

To calculate Calories Required, BMR is multiplied by a factor depending on your Activity Level:

Sedentary – 1.2
Lightly Active – 1.375
Moderately Active – 1.55
Very Active – 1.725
Extra Active – 1.9

Based on the above, a Lightly Active, 30 year old woman, 55 kgs, 155 centimetres will have a BMR of
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 55) + (1.8 x 155) – (4.7 x 30) = 1 321
Calories Required = 1 321 x 1.375 = 1 816 (calories required to maintain weight)

Be in good health ”
http://www.benutriwise.co.za. Should you opt to download a trial version of this great nutrition software, please be good enough to quote agent code AG Hall. Thank you! More about how I use this resource in a future post.

The Weigh-Less Option……. 1

Good morning all

Hopefully this quick post finds you all well and chirpy this morning? 🙂
Here in Cape Town the days are slowly but surely closing in and winter is on the way.

One of my biggest resources and something I have not really mentioned much so far on this blog is the “The Weigh-Less Option”. By that I mean that I opted to ‘go back to Weigh-Less’ – as many people do – when I decided to take charge of my health and wellness.

Note please that I said ‘take charge of my health and wellness’. I did not say (or even think) that I decided to go on a diet again! I dislike the word ‘diet’ immensely and the word has not featured in my vocabulary for a very long time.

I returned to the Weigh-Less programme for one reason only – no! – make that two reasons.
Reason 1: The programme works!
Reason 2: Mary opted for GI/GL
Let me explain.

Mary Holroyd is the pint sized dynamo who founded the organisation on 25th February 1975. Today, 35 years down the line and in her early sixties, she shows no signs of slowing down and I am very much looking forward to attending a ‘Mary Event’ in Bellville next week. I last saw her ‘in the flesh’ in the late 1970’s when she addressed an open meeting in a church hall in Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.

The programme as presented by Weigh-Less has changed and adapted to new nutrition guidelines over the years and the cherry on the top for me was when I noted last year that the eating plan was based on Good, Better, Best options with Best being low GI foods.

Perfect for me with all my lifestyle induced health issues and I hasten to add pretty darn perfect for anyone wanting to reach optimum weight and wellness. The formula allocated to me has been vetted by two dieticians as well as my doctor and very little if any tweaking of the plan was required.

My husband has joined me on my odyssey and is also achieving good results. I have put him on the same eating regime with slightly increased quantities of starchy carbs, fat and protein.

Am I being paid by Weigh-Less to write this piece? 🙂 Hell no! As you may realise by now, I write about what works for me. I get a discounted rate as a member of Discovery Vitality and I pay by monthly debit order so I do not feel the cost at all. The cost is simply factored into my monthly budget and that’s that!

I think they also have a contract type scheme on offer at this time. I will check it out and report back here at the weekend.

Do yourselves a favour, go out and get hold of the latest Weigh Less magazine at your nearest supermarket or bookseller. The 35th anniversary issue is really special and has all the lowdown on the Woman and Man of the Year winners and finalists. Something there too for the men in our lives!

Winter eating……..1

Hello everyone

I see that a friend of mine is looking for low GI rusks – fat free or sugar free she requests – to have on hand in Winter. Just about everybody I know loves to dunk a rusk in coffee when it’s cold and we’re looking for comfort food. Trouble is we (or at least I) get carried away and we can dunk and enjoy a few rusks before we realise it and ruin our good intentions for the day.

You may like to try the OUMA Nutri Rusks that are GIFSA as well as Diabetes SA approved. Intermediate GI and quite fine for occasional use.

The other option – which I am keen on if I can find someone who would bake them for me – is to use one of the true low GI rusk recipes in any of the “Eating for Sustained Energy” books by Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp.

There are home bakers selling what they call low GI rusks at stalls but they cannot give me the exact ingredients so the true nutritional value of these ‘ low GI’ rusks is unknown and therefore unacceptable for me.

So, if there is a domestic goddess out there who would be willing to bake exactly as per recipe for me, I would be very pleased to be her first client! I would supply all the ingredients!

Our precious time .. my way of thinking..1

Where are we now?
Where are we going?
No matter what our personal circumstances are, we all face the challenge (I don’t like the word problem) of deciding what to do with our time. Yes, it is a decision no matter how we might think to the contrary! We ALL think we are forced to do something when, in fact, we have a choice in these matters.

Think on this: We are where we are today as the result of every decision we have ever made in the past.

Hate your job? You decided to work there! Depending on the degree of your dissatisfaction, you will have to decide to stay and make the best of it or look for another job. Either of those decisions will be followed by further decisions!

Hate your relationship? You decided to enter into it! Once again, depending on how bad things are, you will ultimately have to make one of two decisions! Stay or go and you know what will follow-on from there – more decisions!

Catch my drift? You can go on and on – try it and you will see that consequences (where you are now) are the result of decisions you have made. SO hard to accept that sometimes. We always want to say it’s not our fault about this, that we had no control over that.

So, we do decide how to use our precious time.

I am trying to make the best use of my time and to do that I have had to make some quite tough decisions.

I have decided to streamline my business, separate it from my private life (not easy when you work from home.)
I have decided to reverse my slide down the slippery slope to ill-health and incapacity.
I have decided toi make more time for my hobbies and interests. For my home and my family and friends.
I have decided to make a better job of working together with my spouse in our home-based business! That dear readers may be the most difficult decision of all! 24/7/365 is VERY difficult and the words ‘ chalk’ and ‘ cheese’ do come to mind! Nothing much wrong with chalk and nothing much wrong with cheese either but the two commodities do not really go well together do they?!

So, in making your own decisions about how to best make use of your precious time to reach your own goals, the following two quotations may help you get clarity:
“One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.”
Brian Tracy
” Before you begin scrambling up the ladder of success, make sure that it is leaning against the right building.”
Stephen Covey

Have a great day everyone!

Have you got ‘a bit of’…? Yeah, so have I …

You know the drill. You see someone you have not seen for some time and one of the first questions they ask is always “And so how have you been since we saw you last?” or “How’s life treating you?”

How often we South Africans would answer something along the lines of –
“No,man, I’m fine thanks. My quack says I’ve got a bit of cholesterol – (here substitute with blood pressure or weight or sugar or bad indigestion or any other lifestyle related condition you have) – but, hey, I’m lekker. And you?”

I am here today to tell you that there is no such thing as ‘a bit of’. The ‘bit of’ that you have has already started on its destructive trail in your body. There will probably be no other indications (yet) of this destruction other than the ‘bit of’ that has manifested itself as glibly stated above.

The more astute of you will realise that writing on this forum is a huge motivation for me personally to stay the course and I truly hope that my scribblings do the same for you.

I should already be at my day job next door, so I will leave you to ponder your own ‘bits of’ and I will try to clock in again later today!