Hi everyone! I can’t believe we are coming up to halfway through the programme. For week three of the Eight Week Programme we got a bit more intimate with how much sugar is actually in our foods. The focus was on learning to read labels, understand different ingredients and be able to work out what percentage of sugar comes in anything with a food label i.e. anything in a packet. This week was very informative and gave some great steps to help understand how read and digest food labels so that you actually get realistic information about how much sugar are actually eating. I already had a pretty good understanding of food labels, so this was some nice confirmation that I am reading them right and looking for the right things.
The main message which Sarah Wilson gives constantly throughout the programme is to aim for as few ingredients as possible. As I already do this with my food, this week investigated further into doing this with my skin. I read a number of article about natural skin care and what products would work best. From personal experience I know that coconut oil is a great moisturiser and make up remover, while apple cider vinegar is a great toner (when mixed with a bit of water). I am interested in learning more about the use of essential oils on skin and I will let you know what I find out. Right now on to the food…
What I Ate: Breakfast this week alternated between coco-nutty granola and scrambled eggs. I loved both of these breakfasts, they were nourishing and fulling and gave me plenty of energy for the day. I did, admittedly, up my serving size for the granola because it wasn’t quite big enough to keep me going until lunch. As I had never made the granola before I was pleasantly surprised which how much I enjoyed it (giving my devotion to porridge), so I was quite happy to see it on the menu again next week.
Lunch/Dinner: I quite enjoyed this weeks meals. We had quite a lot of variety, still plenty of vegetables and some great flavours. It was great to experiment with the beetroot risotto made with cauliflower rice. I had made cauliflower fried rice before, but never risotto, I was impressed with how creamy it went and how much flavour the cauliflower actually held. I also loved the chicken skewers meal (admittedly I subbed the chicken for chickpea meat balls) but the flavours were great and snow peas were delicious. Other meals included: the BLAT bowl (perfect easy salad for lunches with a boiled egg), Jo’s Curried Mince (this meal was loved by the whole family) and Ginger and Lime Chicken which was also enjoyed by all. The two teenage boys of the household are holding up well, however, by Friday they were getting a bit sick of all the salads, so we added some rice in to help mix things up a bit. Overall, it was another week of delicious meals with many things which I would make again.
How I Felt: I think my progress last week in terms of no-snacking was a bit misleading. This week is study week for university, so I was at home all week hitting the books. The difference in being at home all day rather than going in and out to class made a big difference. I tended to feel bored quicker (especially when I was sick of studying) and this lead me to feeling like snacks more. Most days I opted for my spoonful of peanut butter and that was enough to keep me going until dinner time. Other days I had a small handful of nuts. I also did have a couple of days where I felt a bit hungry around bed time again. I find this interesting because I know that lots of the time I enjoy my food so much that I tend to eat more than I probably should, so I am learning to tell the difference between feeling ‘content’ rather than actually being ‘hungry’. Any time I felt I was hungry, I would have a big glass of water and then stop and think about how I actually felt – most times I just decided I was comfortable and did not need anything to eat. I am really enjoying learning more about my body in this sense and coming into touch with how much food I actually need. On this note, I am still drinking HEAPS of water, always thirsty!
Physical Changes: Physical changes are becoming less noticeable now weight wise. I have probably lost another kilo – half a kilo this week and I do not think I will lose much more. I am perfectly happy at this weight and quite comfortable in my own skin. On the plus side, I think I saw a definite improvement in my nails this week, they are looking stronger and less breakable! On the other hand my skin is not doing so well – I think the exam stress is not helping!
Emotional Changes: Emotionally, I feel quite content and happy with this lifestyle. Most of the time I don’t feel like I am missing out and I do feel quite energetic each morning when I get out of bed. I had a shared morning tea this week at work, where I was asked numerous times why I was not eating anything – I had actually forgotten it was on and so hadn’t thought to bring a plate. After explaining to multiple people about the eight week programme and what it was about, I had a few quizzical looks and a couple of negative people who outright said ‘cutting out all that fruit doesn’t sound healthy, you should stop your diet now’. First of all, I really hate the word diet, so many negative connotations which do not relate to my eight week programme experience at all. Secondly, they were saying this to me whilst holding their cookie/handful of potato chips/chocolate bar. I had to refrain from pointing out the irony that they were calling me unhealthy, while they filled their bodies with sugars and artificial chemicals. Most people told me to have some hot chips or potato chips because they don’t have sugar. They didn’t seem to understand (no matter how I said it) that the point of the programme is to eat whole foods, just because it doesn’t have sugar in it doesn’t mean I should be eating it and it doesn’t mean I want to. I think that was the biggest thing for me about the shared morning tea, was that I could honestly sit there and say that I did not want any of the food on the table. I didn’t see it as a treat, rather I saw it as foods which won’t nourish my body and will probably make me feel unwell. This experience was a big step forward for me and it really showed me what a difference the programme is making.
Next week we move on to ‘clean week’ where the goal is to lower our intake of gluten, alcohol and caffeine. As I don’t really consume the last two, my only concern is gluten because I do love my toast! It is only for five days though, and I will be very interested to see how my body feels at the end of the week. Hope everyone else is going well!