23 January 2015

5 weight loss tips that have worked for me

We've all heard the standard (albeit good) advice. Drink more water, get more sleep, do more exercise, eat healthier etc. These are all great things to do but there is generally a reason why we don't. Not everyone fits the same glove.  We do what we can and if we can't we just need to adapt.  Do what works for you. Even my tips wont work for everyone, thats not a bad thing, our differences is what makes the world go around. Hopefully my tips help a bit, but don't worry if they aren't suited to you, but sharing tips from one weight-loss struggler to another, I hope someone finds them useful.

First up I am in no way an expert or doctor or a professional. I am an everyday woman who struggles with weight loss.  The 12 months before I fell pregnant with Ella I made the effort to lose 30 kilos. I was so much happier being a healthy weight but of course I put all back on during my pregnancy and I wasn't really in the right state of mind for a few years after that. In 2013 I finally got my head on straight and managed to lose 20 kilos but 2014 wasn't as good unfortunately and I put back on about 6-7kilos (thankfully not all of it).  This year I am determined to lose the last 15 or so kilos to truly be happy within myself.  I am sick of being tired and lethargic all the time. I want more energy, to be happy and of course to be healthy for my family.

I weighed myself today and I am down 3.5kg this year already!  I am so happy I am finally back in the right mind to get this finished.  Once Ella starts school next week I plan on adding in some well overdue exercise but for me, our current daily situation, its just not happening, so I have been focusing on my food and other ways to help in the meantime.

Whether you are doing paleo, raw, wholefoods, 5:2, LCHF, calorie counting or a combo of things, we all generally know what works and what doesn't for our life and our bodies. It's not always as simple as 1 size fits all when it comes to weight loss (yes of course good food and exercise is the key, that will never change, however we can't always for whatever reason do the same as everyone else, so don't beat yourself up if you don't do the same as others). So here's to helping my fellow weight-struggling friends, tips that helped me. I hope they help, if not all but maybe just 1 or 2. Plus I'd love to hear any tips or advice you have, share and share alike, lets do this together and stay motivated.
























1.  BRUSH YOUR TEETH
I struggle with nibbling. I am a real picker so being at home 24/7 knowing that there is always food right there is my weakness. So now whenever I feel hungry I have a large glass of water and go and brush my teeth.  Not sure if its just me, but after brushing my teeth I hate eating (at least not straight away, toothpaste flavoured food doesn't appeal to me). So the brushing helps me get thru another hour without picking at something I shouldn't. (on the water issue if you do struggle to drink enough water I use a free app on my phone called "Hydro drink water" for android.  I like this better than my last water app as this one you can choose the size of your glass (instead of thinking what is a glass 200ml? 250ml? etc).  Plus it has reminders you can personalise. It works for me, so far its noon as I type this and I've already had 1150ml of water, which never happens for me!).

2. DON'T LICK
I find myself prepping food for my family that I wont eat while I'm trying to lose weight.  The best thing I learned a few years ago is DON'T LICK YOUR FINGERS. It sounds strange to tell an adult that but seriously for every lick of food that's unwanted calories.  Plus for me one lick would lead to a quick nibble and then a big bite and well you get the idea....  So next time stop yourself before you do it and see if it works for you.

3.  WEIGH YOUR FOOD & PREP THE DAY BEFORE
This was the biggest thing for me when I first lost those 30kgs all those years ago.  I always thought I knew what things weighed, but nope its a real shocker to realise that what you thought was 100g of yoghurt is more like 200g.  For some foods its not an issue but portion control is a major tip that I would highly recommend for those starting out. This in conjunction with planning tomorrow's food today, was how I succeeded the first time around, then I got slack and portion size went out the window. When I first started I used a calorie counting program (I highly recommend Calorie King) and by putting in tomorrows food today it gives you a chance to adjust as necessary and not leave it til you have already consumed more than you should before its too late. (EG: I prep my smoothie bags by weighing in my fruit allocation for the day and same with my salad in jars.  I know what is allocated for breakfast smoothie and lunch salad the day before and my fortnightly menu planning dinner is sorted too) For anything to be successful it takes planning and preparation, weight loss is no different.

4. FREEZE A SERVE BEFORE YOU EAT
Along the same lines as portion control, this is another trick I picked up a couple of years ago.  When I cook a main meal its generally enough to serve 3-4 even though there is only 2 of us eating it.  First thing I do is put the leftovers aside for freezing to have on another day BEFORE I dish us 1 serving each.  Because the leftovers are already aside and allocated to a different meal you are less likely to go back for seconds.

5.  DON'T WEIGH YOURSELF TOO OFTEN
This is difficult for most.  We always feel we have done such a good job we want to see the good work show.  Most times all it does is deter us and make us give up when we don't see the results we expect (no one wants to hear "you are just building muscle" or "its probably showing in your clothes", we want to see the number results, well I did!).  I gave up so many times because I weighed myself too often and got discouraged.  Now I do it once a week, and always make sure its first thing in the morning after that first trip to the toilet. Same time, same circumstances and always naked (TMI???).  My point is don't weigh yourself one day at 7am after you wake up before you eat and then a week later after a long day and 3 meals in your body.  Try to keep it consistent so its comparing apples with apples.


Good Luck! xxx

11 January 2015

Pancake Mix

We have been making some progress with Ella's eating this past week. (For those who don't know she has major food issues, mix her ASD sensory with physiological issues and you have a 5 year old who has only eaten 4-5 things in over 3years!!!!). Anyway this week she has tried a heap of things (and getting her to try things is a big hurdle in itself), a bite of watermelon, a couple of cashew nuts, fish fingers, strawberry milk and pancakes!

Often we get excited too early as she tries something once but won't have it again, but she is in love with my pancakes and has eaten them 3 days in a row! Whoop whoop a new food!!!! So tonight we weren't surprised she asked for pancakes for dinner. She has sat here and eaten about 9 picklette sized pancakes so far and we couldn't be happier!

I made this pancake mix up in jars for christmas gifts as its easy to make a big batch of dry mix and have ready in a jar for when you need to whip some up. No more pancake shaker bottles with nasties in it here!






















Pancake Mix
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3 Tbsp rapadura (or sugar of choice)
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients together well in a large bowl and store in jar ready for use.

How to make mixture:
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup of dry pancake mixture
  • Up to 1/2 cup water
Method:
  1. Melt the butter in a microwave proof jug and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Add egg, vanilla and syrup and give a good whisk so egg is really well beaten.
  3. Add 1 cup pancake mixture and mix together.
  4. Then gradually add up to 1/2 cup water whisking until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Cook as per usual for pancakes.
ENJOY! :-)

08 January 2015

Spicy Spelt Sticks

I was feeling peckish for something savoury yesterday only to look and see that I was out of crackers and didn't have all the ingredients to make some more so I got creative (as I do) and made these super yummy and really easy Spicy Spelt Sticks instead.  Next time I am definitely making a double batch as these disappeared really fast.






















Spicy Spelt Sticks

Ingredients:
  • 35g butter
  • 150g spelt flour
  • 25g parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp cajun spice mix (to desired spicyness!) *
  • 70g water
Method:
If you don't already have your block parmesan grated, you will need to do that first, but since I grate mine in one hit at the start of the week I didn't need to.
  1. Place butter in thermo jug and melt, speed 2, 50 degrees for 2mins (less if your butter is soft).
  2. Add dry ingredients and give quick mix speed 6, 4 seconds.
  3. Gradually add water thru top while jug is set to speed 4 and mix to form dough (took me approx 20seconds). You don't want the dough mixture too wet/sticky as you need to work with it.  If too wet just add a bit extra flour.
  4. Roll out as you would crackers, slice into strips and twist.
  5. Lay them on a baking tray lined with silicone mat or baking paper and sprinkle with extra salt (optional) and bake for approx 15-20mins or until nicely browned and crisp.
* My cajun mix came from the latest issue of "The 4 Blades" magazine but you could really use any spice of choice, BBQ, Itialian, Moroccan etc. 

ENJOY!  :-)

03 January 2015

Cherry Quinoa Bliss Balls



Today I was gifted a truck load of free fruit, some of which were delicious juicy cherries!  I was so excited, never having fresh cherries before.  As I sat there pitting them I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but I knew I wanted to try something new.  Mix in my new love of quinoa and you have these oh-so-good Cherry Quinoa Bliss Balls that are yummy, healthyish and a low calorie snack? Triple points!!! 






















Cherry Quinoa Bliss Balls
Makes approx 23 balls at roughly 50 calories each!

Ingredients:

  • 25g shredded coconut (or desiccated and skip step 1)
  • 80g raw cashews
  • 100g white quinoa (cooked and cooled)
  • 50g coconut flour
  • 100g fresh cherries (pitted and squeezed a bit to reduce liquid)
  • 40g honey

Method:

  1. If using shredded coconut, blitz in thermo jug on speed 8 for 5 seconds and set aside on a plate for later.
  2. Place all remaining ingredients into thermo jug (no need to clean after step 1) and blitz on speed 6 for 15-20 seconds.
  3. Roll into balls and coat in reserved coconut.

I keep mine in freezer as they are soft from the juicy cherries.

Next time I will try using dates instead of honey (for the sweetness) and if you have no cherries, use raspberries or blueberries.

If you don't have a Thermie you would be able to do these easily in a food processor.

ENJOY! :-)