Weight Loss : Spring has sprung .. or so they say…

All rightee! Listen up you lot!  After an absence of over a month from my  soapbox, I am back in full voice! You poor people!

Have endured damn nearly 3 months of pure hell business-wise. No, rather make that work-wise; business is good. The pace has slowed down very slightly from  barely concealed hysteria to the usual controlled chaos!

I also had what I am resolutely calling My Pitstop for the last two months. A slight weight gain over the period which I have firmly decided I will not beat myself over the head about. Various reasons for this and I am fully aware of all of them! Here are a few:

No food journal. Too busy to take time to record what I was eating. It was so easy to just mindlessly eat whatever was put in front of me with my left hand while my right hand was wielding the mouse at literally all hours of the day or night!

No meal planning. No proper shopping trips to make sure we had the right food in the right quantities in the house! Increased incidence of takeaways when we were too exhausted to bother with cooking which was a lot of the time.

Not enough pure water. Too many mugs of coffee (also mindlessly consumed while wielding the mouse!) and not nearly enough portions of fruit and vegetables to make up for the drought. The 500ml Aquelle bottles are now back on my desk – I try to swallow 4 bottles through the day. I particularly like the Aquelle bottle shape and they go to gym with me too.  

No regular exercise. I kept up the mandatory 2 days a month at Virgin Active but did little else there. We went walking several weekends – up the mountain, walked on the beach and over the rocks from Llandudno to Sandy Bay, climbed up above Simonstown to Admiral’s waterfall… All spectacular stuff and we have amazing photos to show for it but it was not nearly enough. We plan another walk this Sunday – out Hout Bay/Llandudno way again. Looking forward to that and do hope that the weather co-operates.

I also joined a unique ladies gym called Adrenalynne. The owner is an amazing person called Lynne who is not young enough to be my daughter which is a plus for me!! She is a previous Mrs Fitness SA title-holder and the fabulous framed photos and qualification certificates in her well equipped home gym have to be seen to be believed! I go (try to get to!) to a twice-weekly class of ladies who call themselves the Golden Girls. Enough said! The first couple of times I went, I thought the gentle dance/stretch routines were a little tame for me. I very soon changed my mind however and have left several classes quite puffed and feeling lekker ‘loose’ all over from all the stretching we do.

Zero self care. Hurtling from one day to the next; battling one computer issue after another. Dealing with multiple and extraordinary client issues all coming at me at once. All culminated in severe stress, fatigue, serious night leg/foot cramps from all the sitting for hours on end and weight creeping stealthily up each day on the scale – that is when I did weigh myself in the mornings!  Most days, I was already at my PC by 4:30am and often stayed right there until midnight.

As I prepare for my resumed onward and downward Odyssey, I am looking at a number of things:

Body Fat Percentage – as opposed to plain old body weight which can be deceptive.

The Metabolism Miracle – a New York Times bestseller by Diane Kress, RD, CDE.  I have never been one for fad diets and I could not care less about NY Times bestseller lists but this book resonates with me and it is anything but a fad diet.

Nutribase software – yeah, yeah, OK. I know. Just do it Eileen!  Don’t mess around with theory. Or get too technical/analytical.

Well, I see it this way for me, myself and I!  I achieved a 25kg weight loss and have almost brought the real Eileen back to life by making a big deal of plotting on graphs, keeping food logs; weight logs; BP logs; Glucose logs; examining food labels minutely, etc. etc.  It works for me and millions of others as well if we go by the sheer volume of health-based software available on the http://www.  So I let you’all know how it goes!

So do let me know how things have been for you over the worst of the Winter? Or the best of Summer for those of you in the Northern hemisphere?

Talk again soon, have a great day, Eileen

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Odyssey to wellness : a good software resource

Good morning everyone 🙂

Just a quickie post this morning about Benutriwise software. Priya Jaipal, the developer of this excellent resource, has just published her latest Health-e-news newsletter.

While the newsletter does happen to contain a rather disjointed review of the product written by yours truly, that is not the reason for this post.

Priya is offering a “ World Cup Special” of a huge discount on the price of this excellent tool. The price is only R200,00 and I do urge those of you that may have been hesitating about buying this software to download and buy it on-line.

Marketed as a calorie counting instrument, I do not only use the calorie count function. I am working on ways to track GI (Glycemic Index), GL (Glycemic Load)  as well as Weigh-Less portions on the system.

Have a great day.

Laziest cook on earth. 4

In our days of being Rotarians, W & I enjoyed an active social life with much interaction with  fellow Rotarians and we did a lot of community service work which is what Rotary International is all about.

At the time, it was a males only organisation and one became a member by invitation only. The wives were called Rotary Anns and we dutifully played our part in the organisation which I see is still very active in community work today.

During our year as Rotary President and Rotary Ann President, we entertained a lot. We had a large double storey home, a full time domestic worker, my folks lived with us in the ‘granny flat’ and they were a wonderful support system with our teenage boys. W & I forged ahead with our respective banking careers and did our share of community work while having fun with good friends. It was a good life and we had marvellous support systems in place.

Things are somewhat different today.  We still live the good life, though in a very different way. We chose to re-locate to Cape Town and we chose to take our ‘retirement jobs’ (a bookkeeping practice) along with us.

There is little time left for entertaining and it is not easy to cater for numbers in our flat, spacious as these old apartments are. Later this year, we are re-locating (again!) to a spacious home in a leafy suburb which belongs to our middle son M. But I am getting horribly sidetracked here – that is a story for a later time.

This is the meal I threw together last night for 6 members of the family:

BUTTER CHICKEN : served with brown basmati rice, cauliflower with cheese sauce and a good tossed salad.

MIXED BERRIES DESSERT : Dessert was slightly defrosted mixed berries with a choice of diet ice cream and/or lite custard. Of course, we all chose ‘and’ and not ‘or’! Mix it all up in a purple mess in your pudding dish – divine, almost fat free and low GI.

Pretty good I would say and the scale showed no overnight weight gain at my ‘Sunday Morning Showdown’ this morning. I should have had broccoli with the cauliflower as lettuce does not count as a dark green veg. (Tabitha Hume!) Red, yellow as well as green pepper strips and home grown mung bean sprouts in the salad made up for it in a small way.

Butter Chicken!!! I hear you say. Yes, so simple really. Browned chicken thighs (bone in, skin off) in a little extra virgin olive oil, dumped them in a large casserole dish with lid and poured Denny Butter Chicken Curry Sauce over them. 20 mins with casserole lid on, 20mins with casserole lid off and left them to sit there until the Sharks had won their game against I don’t know who!

The latest Weigh Less magazine is out and included is a Coat and Cook in Sauces Guide. Get it and check it out!. It will inspire you to serve something new for your family while keeping those kilos in check! You can have a quarter of the packet of wet sauce – only 424kJ and 5.0g fat.

I was given a rice cooker recently (my slow cooker/Crockpot actually does the job just as well) and the berries I had bought in bulk out at Hillcrest Berry Orchards at the height of the berry season. I use them as a treat and am only sorry I did not buy many more kilograms of these wonderful fruits at that time. I will really stock up next year.

www.hillcrestberries.co.za

High Tea at the Nelly (Mount Nelson Hotel) is on my Bucket List but the High Tea served at Hillcrest Berry Orchards is really good. Situated in the magnificent Banhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, this working farm is well worth the trip. Check it out. They also do B & B.

Hopefully, you are starting to see from my scribblings on this blog that we CAN eat delicious food while keeping to a healthy eating plan. With careful portion control we can still ‘have our cake and eat it’!

So, how did it go?

As we reluctantly ease back into work mode after a lazy Easter weekend, W & I are pleased to note that we both lost a little weight over the weekend. We did indulge in a few, small easter eggs and sundry other foods such as a lovely bacon/egg breakfast and a couple of takeaways and visits to food outlets in CW (Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City)

We realise that it’s not about ‘dieting’. It’s about consciously making choices (indulging our love of chocolate which we seldom do) and then simply re-focussing on what we know is the right eating regime for us.

In past years, I – for one – would have polished off lots  of marshmallow eggs and any/all hollow eggs that came my way! The huge Easter egg market set up in CW was a sight to behold and I did buy a box of Lindor 60% balls. I dished them out very quickly! I could have polished off the lot by myself without much trouble but in truth I had no real desire to do that.

My glucose levels did not go haywire and we will soon see if there were any real spikes this week. I was due to go for my bi-annual fasting HbA1c test this morning but am fighting a cold that I picked up yesterday. Got up at 2am and swallowed a mega dose of Vit C so have had to postpone the test until tomorrow morning.

I will also make sure we both have our bottles of ice water on our desks – something that we tend to forget. So vitally important!

I have not posted about what I drink – I will try to do that this evening. At boarding school in the village made world famous by Alan Paton, Ixopo, a huge treat was to be ‘let out of’ hostel on a Saturday morning. We girls would all troop down to the village and settle in the ‘tea room’ and check out the boys while consuming large helpings of slap chips, hamburgers and Coca Cola!

Old habits die hard and if I was unwise I would still happily consume greasy burgers, fries and coke all these years later. Such is the influence of childhood habits!

Would love to hear how your Easter weekend went?

Jottings … 1

Cannot believe it is 10 days since I have had a mo’ to write anything here! Sorry about that!

WHAT a week it has been so far. Several 18 hour working days and one truly memorable one of 25 hours straight. I kid you not. The good thing – if there could ever be a good thing about working those hours – is that I have cleared some really horrible  sludge from the pipes. I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of my workload!

Just some thoughts I have been having in planning my weekend. I am, for a change, taking some me time chilling and doing nothing at all to save the world for a few days!

I want to play a bit with some of my badly neglected hobbies – maybe do a scrapbook page or some nice beadwork. I’ll see. It feels good to have decided to park off with nothing allowed on the schedule! Great fun will be an Easter egg hunt with our granddaughter on Sunday morning! Just how I will resist eating up the whole lot is another story!

A big grocery shop is also on the cards and, as always, I will be on the lookout for ‘weight-loss friendly’ items. My choices are always the ‘lite’ versions; chutney, tomato sauce and especially mayonnaise are examples. Nutritional information on food lables is very enlightening – I recommend it! One ‘rule’ I have is never to buy cheese that has more than 24g fat to 100g of product.

Try these small innovations – it all helps on your journey weight loss and a healthy lifestyle!

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

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.