Being a foody and losing weight… Tips

Well, the plan is to develop new recipes which fill  up the stomach without getting fat. Yes, the scales in the gym, record my fat content. Oh joy! No starving myself at the last minute, then.

At this time of year, it is easy to over eat and odd how simple it is to eat what you enjoy even though you feel so much better when you eat healthily and can fit into your clothes. Who doesn’t feel so tired when they eat well?

The plan is to consume more couscous, beans. sweet potatoes, swede, carrots with copious amounts of tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and eggs. Eggs are so filling. Porridge is great for breakfast too. A few nuts are ok for a snack. 

My aim is to eat well, but similar to how I normally eat. Just not quite so much beer! Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables which will fill me up, so plenty of fibre and filling nutrients.

Extras like bread and wine will have to be eradicated or at least reduced, which is really hard. Portions need to be controlled and recorded if one can be bothered. Apparently, we are all eating far more than twenty years ago. Portion sizes in restaurants and ready meals have risen exponentially.

“Whether you’re eating at home or in a restaurant, your meal should include a mix of non-starchy veggies (like broccoli, spinach or courgette), lean protein (like chicken, fish, beans or lean red meat), complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, sweet potato or wholewheat pasta) and healthy fat (like olive oil, avocado or nuts).”

Read: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/how-to-eat-healthy-at-a-restaurant#ixzz4z3xE5A31

Ok, you may think, this is a bit boring but actually having these foods on your plate, often provides an interesting meal. For example, sea bass with fresh herbs, mushroom/onion, etc., tomato sauce is delicious rather than a calorie laden creamy, but bland sauce. Often, when I go for a so called healthier option, in a restaurant, I end up really enjoying it and do not feel like a blown up balloon afterwards! Recently, I eat a so called Hong Kong chicken meal with rice and salad. It was rubbish. I’m sure the sauce was ketchup with a bit of vinegar in it. Yuk! The rice was good though with prawns and peas. But it all felt rather insipid and crappy. Sometimes you feel places have not moved with the times and their choices.

Another top tip when cooking at home, is, cook enough to last for two days which saves time too. Today’s shepherd’s pie, will last for two days and will be a filling meal with lots of veggies.

To sum up, try to vary your food. Potatoes, pasta, rice or cous cous with a variety of veggies are all tasty if you add some herbs/spices. If you have some of the dried things in your pantry, you don’t have to think about it too much! Meals with pasta/rice are quick to prepare. Just throw together some ingredients into a pan (mushrooms, peppers, onion, chicken, fish, broccoli) with tomato puree (and even a splash of wine or a tiny bit of cream cheese) and it makes a super, delicious meal. Simple, quick and cheap.

Porridge is great for breakfast with some nuts and fruit. Eggs are filling and good for snacks as are nuts too. Make enough for two (or more days). I’ve been known to cook three casseroles, at a time. All were quick and cheap to prepare. See previous blog: Three Day Stews

Good luck everyone. It is not easy, especially when it is so cold and dark but it is worth the effort and doesn’t take much time.

Many Life Changes…

A lot has happened over the last few weeks, relating to work and fitness. I’m about to leave my current job, mainly, because I’ve lost some of my passion for social media and require a change with some new challenges. My only regret is that I wasn’t proactive earlier because I’ve felt this way for a few months. Things change, and you need to change with them. There are opportunities out there! Do you ever feel like this?

Also this month, I’ve decided to join a class aimed at gaining fitness and losing weight. Many people seem to have gone off the fitness trail and I’m one of them! A class meeting is being held twice a week, with a weigh in once a week. My start has been slow due to a weak ankle and now a bad back. Injuries are unusual for me, because I train to avoid them. So frustrating.

Because of all of the recent changes above, I will be writing some blogs about diet, fitness and well being. I am not an expert, but like to read articles about health/fitness, run (shuffle), exercise and write about my experiences. Also, I’m very normal and prone to overeating and drinking one or two beers. So you can take my ideas with a pinch of salt or try them out and read any attached links if you wish.

So what is the plan? I’m actually going to exercise most days, but start slowly. To be honest, food intake is more important because I’ve lost the plot lately. Hasn’t everyone? My calorie intake will be about 1200 calories with the occasional cheat meal. All food will be recorded. Luckily, healthy food attracts me even more than junk food. Cooking from scratch, whatever that means, comes naturally to me. Also, recently, I’ve devised some recipes which will fill me up,hopefully, without making me fat. (Blog post coming up.)

Although I run occasionally, I will do less of this and focus more on strength training and attend the weight loss class twice a week. Walking is also a favourite of mine, so I’ll do more prancing about the countryside with the borrowed dog, Oscar.

Really enjoyed the first weight loss class. Blaring music and lots of movement, but several exercise options given, in case you aren’t fully fit. Great stuff.

So the plan is..

  • Focus on new opportunities (there is a plan!)
  • Aim to become healthier
  • More outside activities
  • New hobbies
  • Read about health, fitness, etc.

Are you going to join me? Let’s hope it won’t be too arduous. 😏

 

 

#Juneathon, update plus a lunch recipe…

Ingredients for the stir fry…

The above means you are supposed to exercise every single day and blog, tweet of FB about it. Nowadays, however, most people just tweet or comment on FB rather than blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to blog about my progress, until now, but have been doing the exercise which is my main aim.

Day 1 – 3 Gym
Day 4 – Sunday run – (Did 6 k along local roads and country lanes.)
Day 5 – Short walk
Day 6 – Gym
Day 7 – Gym
Day 8 – A long walk

Sunday run – (Did 6 k along local roads and country lanes.)

Also, I’ve written two posts about sleep and energy as I seem to be lacking on both counts at the moment.  These posts are out this weekend, so I hope you enjoy them.

Last weekend, I decided you use up the oldish veg and do a stir fry for lunch.  Here is the recipe…

Impromptu Veggie Stir Fry

Left over veg – I used cabbage and leeks

Onions

Chopped garlic

Mushrooms

Seasoning, including herbs

Smoked Mackerel

Hoisin sauce (about tablespoon)

Sesame oil

3 Eggs, beaten

Fry in sesame oil, the onions, garlic, mushrooms, seasoning and add the beaten eggs to form an omelette. Remove the omelette from the pan and cook the vegetables and add the sauce. When cooked, serve up with the chopped omelette and add the smoked mackerel. Lovely.

A great lunch, which was exceedingly tasty.

Veggie Stir Fry

Health and Fitness Update and Plan

So I have to confess that I’ve put on a few pounds during the last few weeks. Concentrated on exercise but think I’ve become tired of dieting and staying at 1200 calories a day. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Recently, I’ve started to eat too many sweets, biscuits and so on but pleased to report that I found the experience quite bad, after months of being good. I felt exhausted and listless and to be honest, quite uncomfortable. The gym personal training session, this morning confirmed my fears and I’ve put over half a stone back on. However, recently I have stopped eating sweets and realise I need to eat more healthy stuff which will be easier now spring has finally appeared.

My plan is this:

Weigh daily

Record what I eat and drink daily

More vegetables and fruit

Healthier options

Exercise

Drink more water

I recently listened to a podcast about overeating and found the ideas interesting.

  • Affirmations in the evening (when it gets hard).
  • Tell yourself you WILL NOT OVER EAT, JUST FOR TODAY (worry about tomorrow.. the next day) Love this!
  • Just have one type of bad food, if you have to.  Studies show if you binge eat, you will buy a variety of foods (sweets, chocolate, ice cream). If you stick to one option, you won’t eat so much, which makes sense to me. *

 

* Source: Podcast – Primal Potential, Mastering Fat Loss, Strategies to stop binge eating (on Spotify)

 

 

Flowers, blossom, bored cows plus reasons to walk…

Last week, I went on another country walk with the local walking group. This was to encourage me to get some exercise, enjoy a guided countryside jaunt and be sociable (shock/horror). Unfortunately, I had to pass my friend’s house and was fearful her dog, little Oscar, may spot me as I walked passed. Think I got away with it! He wasn’t invited on the walk because I thought it may prove too exacting. I was right. It was exacting for me. As we strolled through the woods, the chap leading the walk said we were going to do a circular walk around the village. We live in a large village.

As we confidently strolled up the hills it was easy to succumb to the temptation of slowing down but since going to the gym I tend to climb faster than my walking pace.  Well, you want to get there, don’t you?

Unfortunately, this meant waiting for the leader’s wife. Couldn’t help wondering why her husband, the leader, didn’t pick an easier route bearing in mind his wife’s state of health. Anyway, two hours in, I was thinking we were nearly home and then arrived at the local private posh school, located among fields and trees and realised, to my horror, that we had at least a mile or so to go. Everybody slowed down, which in my view, makes it tiring. I ended up chatting sympathetically to the leader’s wife as she struggled up the umpteenth hill. Tried to take her mind of it by talking about her son and his family. Guess it helped a bit and luckily the others stopped to wait while they chatted to a dog walker and an impatient dog who kept yapping and obviously wanted to get on. The dog owner extolled the virtues of keeping a dog on a lead even in woodland but I thought he was bonkers. Oscar would hate it and loves to chase everything in sight with absolutely no success.

Anyway, it was, despite wondering if the walk was ever going to end, quite uplifting. The sun was out, as were the first signs of spring with the odd bluebell in bloom, about six weeks ahead of time. We stopped to photograph the lambs, bored, sleepy cows, blossom and wild flowers. Felt quite healthy by the time I arrived home, which is always a good thing and I’m pleased to see that there are plenty of benefits to walking (see below) but I drink and eat too much as well. Don’t we all?

The walk was quite arduous and six miles long. The leader’s wife looked quite worn out by the end of it so I hope her husband made her a cup of tea when home. We enjoyed tea, although I would have stopped for a beer if there had been a pub on the way home. I didn’t get an invitation to go out for one that evening either, as we were so worn out.

Why I walk

To be active, lose weight and become healthier *lives in hope*

The walk needs to be fast and it is a fun challenge to stride quickly up hills

Great to see heritage trails, woodlands, animals, wild plants orchards, etc

Helps the 10,000 steps a day target

 

A study found the following benefits of walking which had sound enough reasons, particularly the last one…

“We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.” (1)

Research indicates if you walk for two minutes every hour, you may increase lifespan by 33 per cent! You should walk 10,000 steps everyday according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Enjoy walking and enjoy the grumpy dogs, bored cows and beautiful countryside too.

(1) Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/09/11/daily-walk-benefits.aspx

Healthy March Challenge – Becoming Lighter Series

5 Fruit and Veg daily
No processed food
No or Little alcohol
Exercise min. half hour (pref hour)

#HealthyMarch

#BecomingLighter

The aim is to become fitter, leaner and healthier this month by following the above challenge.  Are you in?

Breakfast and lunches can incorporate plenty of fruit with some green veggies such as spinach (breakfast) and lettuce (salad lunch).  Suggest eggs for breakfast because they are filling and salads with protein (fish, chicken or eggs) plus a potato or couscous. A healthy evening meal such as a meat or fish stew is always tasty and can be eaten for the following two or three days, if necessary.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on sugar intake because it is hidden in tomato sauces, fizzy drinks and processed foods.  So obviously it is better to not have processed foods and enjoy cooking your own food.

The odd glass of wine is OK, but not too many.  I find this tricky as it interferes with a social life. However, we must give it a try. Oh, and don’t forget to drink about 6 glasses of water every day.

Oddly enough, for me, exercise is the easier part.  Suggestions for this includes gym, running, walking (city and country), swimming or whatever you enjoy most.

I will update progress and any comments below (with your blog links) are welcomed.

Cheers,

Andy Frances xx

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Planning Your Aims… Becoming Lighter Series – (2)

So continuing with the Becoming Lighter series, if you want to read my thoughts on this subject don’t forget to follow and thank you for reading my blog. Check out previous posts too!

We have brainstormed aims and eliminated some aims and decided what goals or aims we intend to implement. Focus on one aim at a time and break it down into smaller elements.  This enables what psychologists call “implementation intentions”. Also, it is a good idea to find value in each task.

For example, I’ve decided to write my blog after having the late afternoon cuppa. I’ve attached the task to having a cup of tea and a possible snack during the late or early part of the evening. Mark Manson mentions habits in his paper (as below) and writes about how psychologists indicate that willpower can be trained like a muscle as it is about integrating good habits into daily life. Personally, I find it helps to combine it with something you want to do at a specific time of the day. This can help habit formation. Doesn’t always work because life gets in the way, but most days a cuppa (habit) and blog writing or researching (new habit) is beginning to happen. Same with visiting the gym. Which for me, is best done before work, if I can face getting out of bed, or straight after work, before I return home, eat and chill out.

To sum up…

– Focus on one aim

– Break it down into sub aims

– Form a new aim with your usual routine (new habit/old habit)

– Be positive

– Source: Mark Manson’s paper ‘The Guide to Habits’ (download if put ‘habits’ in search on this site)

Thanks for reading.

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