Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Evolution of The Family

Today I was sent this infographic on the evolution of the American family and asked if I wanted to share it. Although the stats are US based, I would anticipate that we have a very similar trend happening on in the UK and Australia. I also really liked the fact that it focuses on all families having Love as a constant factor. 

Although most of my SMC/Choice Mum friends are online buddies, I do know several women in both the UK and Australia that have gone the same way, perhaps not branding themselves as SMC's as such, but at the same time women who have reached their mid to late 30's and decided to go it alone on the parenting front. All are well educated women with a high earning capacity, even though some of us are taking a career break for parenting in the younger years. 

Similarly the number of same sex couples raising children is also on the rise. Indeed it is a same sex couple that I have to thank for giving me the idea of parenting as a single mum: a newly pregnant lesbian couple were the first people to encourage me to do this without a man, even offering to get me some sperm! I was horrified at the thought at first, but they definitely planted a seed (more on that story here).

With all choice mums or same sex parents, having a child is not something you do without giving it a great deal of thought. It is very safe to say that none of our children are here by "accident"! We had children because we really wanted to, and after giving it a great deal of thought, discussion and planning, and in many cases a huge emotional and financial investment too. 

I think we may have the tendency to over think things at times. I sometimes wonder how it will be for BB when he grows up, but the fact is that our family is more and more common these days. We have a great relationship with his Dad who is a big part of our lives, and his partner too. In many ways, on a day to day basis, our family is just like the 1/3 of UK families that are divorced, with the exception of the fact that DD and I have no 'history' to be mad at each other for, so our family is quite functional. We are also very similar to the 1/4 of families in the UK which are single parent families, except there is another adult (well, actually 2) looking out for our child. 

On the whole we have it pretty good. I am eternally grateful for these changes in society that have made our lives possible. May they continue to change and may we embrace families in all their forms.

Click to Enlarge Image

The Evolution of the American Family - Brought To You By California Cryobank

If you are interested in talking to your children about all different types of families, The Family Book by Todd Parr is a great place to start. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not Pregnant - again

Not pregnant again!

I was expecting it for the last few days. My temperature started dropping on Thursday. My nausea also went away when I stopped eating dairy.

With regard to the dairy, I am feeling pretty much back to normal today, but it did take a few days for my energy to return. In fairness I probably went a bit crazy when I started eating dairy again - I think I had ice cream every night from Friday to Monday, then a ton of cheese on Monday too. I guess it was good in a way - I tested it thoroughly through my over indulgence! It has made me wonder if it is dairy and not wheat after all - I often eat them together, cheese and biscuit, bread and butter... perhaps I should test wheat again. I am pretty sick of it though. Just eating the Whole 30 way works for me, so I am going to stick to that for a while.

With regard to CD1 - I am pretty much over them too! I did just order another pack of test sticks for the fertility monitor, and will try at least one more time, but really, I am starting to feel ready to give up and move on. If you remember I had planned to see my GP, but then got sick. Having waited until AF to rebook, it turns out the earliest appointment I can get now is June 17th. That will be pointless - I will be in the 2WW, so I went ahead and booked an appointment for 27th June, when the wait will be over for another month. I can always cancel if a miracle occurs, or if I do decide to give up.

Having tracked my temperatures this month and my cycle looks text book - I really don't think there is any physical reason why it shouldn't happen. Unless it's him of course! An FF buddy suggested I try an instead cup, (see here for how to use) so I ordered some of those too.

My thoughts might be the problem. I just don't believe that I can do it. I really can't imagine that I will ever successfully birth another healthy child. I think its that strong feeling that it's not going to happen that is making me think we may as well give up now. But there is also part of me that wonders if that is a defence mechanism, to stop me being quite so disappointed every time. I wonder if I will regret it if I don't continue. I also hope that I am surprised with a BFP, but I also dread it as I am scared that I will miscarry again, or that there will be something wrong with the child and we will have to make a difficult decision, or that I wont be able to look after BB properly while I am pregnant, and even that I will die in childbirth and leave BB. Does anyone else have these crazy thoughts or is it just me. I don't rememeber feeling like this when I got pregnant last time, before the miscarriage. Maybe it is still that affecting me!

Anyway - enough of that. On a lighter note, other things are good. The garden in coming on. I planted out the beans, courgettes and butternut squash yesterday, and lined the paths with marigolds on Wednesday.

BB has two lost of exciting news. The first is that he has a new house (which he says with an Aussie accent!) that he is really enjoying.

It was half price and Grandma and Gramps bought it for his early birthday present. English summer being as it is, he is has it early to get the most from it! On the day it arrived it was raining, but Grandma and I assembled it (minus the door which Gramps fitted yesterday) and and he played in it anyway - inside you don't get wet! It's also a great place to park your "motorbike".

His other news is that today he did his first wee on the potty! We have had a "pourty"for a while. He sits on it every night for a split second before he gets in the bath, then he gets in the bath, and usually the first thing he does is a wee! Every time I say to him, "you know you could have done that in the potty!"  but it never happens. A couple of times when he has been nappy free and a little bit of wee accidentally came out he has gone to his potty, but still never managed to actually use it, though it did reassure me that he did actually know what the potty was for!  Anyway, this morning he got up, said "wee" and went and sat on his potty. So I took of his PJ's and nappy and he sat down and it actually happened! This afternoon he did it again - several times in a row, just a few drops each time. He seems far more impressed with the idea of pouring the wee into the loo than he is with the fact that he actually did it though, which spells "mess ahead" to me, but still, it is a great sign that he is actually getting ready to toilet train. 

Other good news is that the weather is glorious - that always has to be celebrated when you are in Britain!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Ways to save money on your grocery shop

Doing the Whole30 was great for my health, but not so good for my pocket. Now that it's done I am (as always) still concerned about eating good quality food, but I am less concerned about it being organic. Also, as the time since the Whole30 goes on, I can see that I need to eat more like that for the long term.

It's made me put into practice what I already know about saving money on food. Here are 5 ways you can save money on your grocery shop too.

1. Use your local market

We have a great market here twice a week. It has always been my plan to take BB to the market, as an educational and social experience, as well as a money saving exercise. That said, it happens only about once a month. The rest of the time it's just easier to use the supermarket. I pledge to get out of that habit!

With a new determination to eat well for less, I headed to the market this morning. Here is what I bought.

fresh fruit and vegetables from local market
Produce from local market

The total cost of all of this was £12.20.

Using,  I have just worked out how much it would have cost me at the supermarket:

Sainsbury's £20.17
Tesco £22.81
Waitrose £23.01
ASDA £23.03
Ocado £25.15

Le'ts summarise based on an average of that and say that it is about half the price at the market. 

I generally shop online and have my food delivered (I have a very good deal at £1.49 per month for deliveries). Still, sometimes you get produce that you wouldn't have picked yourself, so really, going to the market and picking your own is win win. Better quality, better prices. I must remember that!

2. Buy in bulk and freeze in portions

Look out for deals where you save money by buying more, then as soon as you get the food home, divide it up into portions of a size that you will use for cooking. For us, it works to divide a 500g packet of mince in two. The 250g portion will then (with added veg) make enough for BB and I, plus some leftovers for my breakfast the next day.

Make the most of the deals

Portioned up ready for the freezer
Don't forget to label the bag
saying what it is and the date that you froze it

3. Cook and freeze your pulses in portions

Although pulses like kidney beans and chick peas are more convenient from a can, they taste better and cost less if you soak and cook them yourself. This isn't always practical though, especially of you need to soak them for 24 hours! Again, freezing in portions is the answer. Buy a bag of dried bean, then soak and cook the whole the bag at once. Once they are cooked, freeze in portions. For us, I find about a cup full is the right amount - if we have guests, I simply use two packs.

Chick peas, brown lentils and kidney beans

4. Shop around, with the help of the internet, and NEVER pay full price for many items

I never pay full price for laundry liquid, fabric softener, washing up liquid, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, nappies, or even ice cream. I have my favourite brands, which I always buy, but where I buy them varies. You can use mysupermarket to check prices. Often they are available somewhere for  about half the 'usual' retail price. When you find them really cheap, stock up.

5. Make the most of your vouchers

You have to be careful here, not to buy stuff you don't need, but if one supermarket gives you a voucher to save £4 if you spend £20 then do it. Use their other vouchers for things you would buy anyway, and keep a tally as you go round the shop. When you get to £20 stop. You have spent all you need to save the £4. Get the rest of your shopping at another supermarket using their voucher.

I have noticed it doesn't pay to do a big shop anywhere. Once you have used your discount when you spent £20 the next one they give you will ask you to spend £40, then £60. You have to stop shopping there before they get to that... they'll soon send you another for a lower spend!

An online shop I am really loving at the moment is Goodness Direct, who are offering £10 off when you spend £35, which includes free delivery. Lots of their prices are very competitive with the supermarkets (e.g. 500mls Blue Dragon coconut milk is £1.36 - current supermarket price is £1.99).

Happy shopping!

My goal is to spend half the amount on groceries in the next 30 days than I did in the last 30 days. That's probably going to be quite a challenge, but I am stocked up on some items, and I don't have to buy organic every time now, and I am going to shop smarter - so I might just manage it!

Do you have any other tips to share?

What's your shopping savings goal?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ditching Dairy!

I am feeling rubbish!

I am so tired today you would not believe. All I want to do is lay down on the nearest flat surface and go to sleep. I had to drive to my Nan's today and I really did not feel safe. I honestly thought I would fall asleep any minute. Up until today I had been wondering if this tiredness might mean I am pregnant, but I don't think I am. Both times that I was pregnant before I tested positive at 11 dpo (which is what I am today) using a Clear Blue Digital (sensitivity 25mIU/ml)  in the afternoon. Today I tested with FMU using a One Step (which is sensitive to 10mIU/ml), and it was clearly negative. Also as I said yesterday, I don't have sore boobs, just tiredness and a sore belly, which could be caused by what I am eating, so all in all I think pregnancy is unlikely.

I do feel like I have been hit by a truck though. I have no energy at all. It really does feel a bit like a hangover, minus the thirst. I have a slight headache, and feel a bit dizzy, my brain feels foggy and even my vision seems a bit blurry. I am also slightly nauseous, with that feeling that I really want to eat something that will 'fix' me, but not really fancying much at all.

Although the plan for my reintroduction had me eating chick peas yesterday, I really didn't fancy them. What I wanted was cheese. So, I made a big salad, with spinach, rocket, watercress, tomatoes, avocado, spring onion, beetroot, grated carrot and grated cheese. It was delicious. Later in the evening I fancied more cheese. Although in hindsight I can see that this might have been a craving, at the time I though it was a great idea to really test cheese! (I LOVE CHEESE!).

Anyway, as I was driving and trying to keep my eyes open this morning, I was thinking fondly back to the Whole30 and how good and full of energy I felt - it was only 6 days ago! My thoughts were that I should just go back to that  and be done with it, I know it works. Then I started thinking about what is different in my diet now. The foods I have introduced so far are rice, which seemed fine, though I had it only once, and sugar, which I have avoided since Saturday,

and also milk,
and butter,
and cheese,
and cream,
and ice cream!

I just weighed myself too, and I have gained 1.5kg in 6 days.

Once again, Dr Mansfield said he thought I may have a sensitivity to dairy but I really couldn't see it. Perhaps I just didn't want to! I still don't want to! But I am going to stop eating dairy and see what happens. I am not going to introduce anything else until I feel better either! Fingers crossed it works as I feel so awful.

If I do turn out to be pregnant, then I will give dairy another chance of course, but in reality, although I love it, I didn't really miss it that much when I was doing the Whole30, so I know I can live without it.

Wheat Free Banana Pancakes

This post has been moved to

Wheat Free Pancakes
Wheat Free Pancakes


Monday, May 20, 2013

Waiting is hard!

I'm not doing a very good job at waiting this time. You know how you always think it's going to be easier as you have had more practice, well that NEVER is the the case. The last few cycles I have not really been all that hopeful though so it was not too bad.

I pretty much gave up hope on this one too, around CD17 I accepted that it was an anovulatory cycle. The Fertility monitor still has me peeing on a stick every day and tells me I didn't even ovulate yet.

My temperatures tell a different story though.

That's almost triphasic, right? Its the best chart I have had since BB was born as waking in the night and breastfeeding seem to have an effect. FF is pretty certain I ovulated, and it is on the day that I expected it, and that I felt like I ovulated, and is was the day the test stick was a bit iffy - so there is a chance I really did, and that I really could be pregnant!

On the other hand, the monitor could be right, in which case I have no chance at all.

I have been having symptoms, like mild nausea and a sore abdomen, though that could be attributed to reintroducing foods that my body is not so keen on. It's hard to tell what's what. Yesterday I was soooo tired that I went to bed at the same time as BB, but that could just be due to eating the evil crystals (sugar) on Saturday.

I also noticed a huge blue vein on my boob yesterday - but its not so prominent today.

My boobs don't hurt though and I have tested and it was negative...

...but it could just be that I am too early.

Waiting is so hard!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I am going to recall my suspicions re the effects of caffeine and dairy and blame sugar!

photo sourced from

Today I did a sponsored walk which I helped to organise. There was a cake stall as part of the fundraising effort. I baked a gluten free chocolate cake. Last year I made muffins, but this year, just to be sure I wasn't tempted to 'test' one, I did a sandwich cake instead.

It made it to the stall in one piece. I wasn't even tempted. But then everyone else bought cakes before we set off for themselves and their kids, so I did the same. The only wheat free cake was my own, so I ended up paying for a piece of the cake I baked. That's fine, it's for charity. What's not fine was that I ATE it.

Then when the event was all finished and there were some cakes left, we each bought our own home. On arrival, I made a cup of decaf coffee and ATE ANOTHER PIECE!

I know! What am I like? Give me an inch and I'll take a mile. Sticking to the Whole30 was not hard, so why can't I do it now I'm 'finished'?

Anyway - I have the same wired and on edge feeling that I had yesterday, and I am craving more sugar, so I would be prepared to bet that the wired feeling, the restless night and the 'hangover' are all due to sugar!

Will I ever learn!

Whole 30 - The Reintroduction of Rice and Milk

In case you missed the post where I wrote about my reintroduction schedule, I decided to reintroduce  the foods that I had been avoiding throughout the whole 30 one at a time, with a day in between each, and with several days in between food in the same food group.

This decision was based on my experience with elimination diet in The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss,  the Whole 30 book It Starts with Food, plus my own knowledge, including that of myself! I wanted to be sure to reintroduce things gradually and not go crazy on everything at once. I really enjoyed the food that I ate and the way that I felt.  I want to keep hold of that. I didn't want to end the process and go straight back to my old ways, I wanted to stay changed! I really feel like the Whole 30 has the potential to change the way I eat for good, but I realise there does need to be some effort on behalf.

I was planning on putting all of these in one post - but after just two days I can see that would make for a very long post - so here's the story so far.

Day 31 - Rice

I chose rice first for a few reasons, the main one being that having done the elimination diet I was fairly sure that rice was not going to cause me any problems. Another reason is that I love rice, and ever since I cooked a curry last week and served rice to BB and DD and mashed cauliflower to myself I have been hanging out for it. So tonight I made Chicken, Cashew and Vegetable Curry, with RICE! Yippee.

I cooked the recommended amount (60g per person plus another 20g for BB's share). I wanted more, (I think in the past I would have had more than that) but I was being good and trying to start as I mean to go on, so I did actually measure it.

It was great. At first. But actually I found that I ate mostly curry and very little rice. I went back for more of the curry and ended up leaving quite a bit of the rice. It was just so bulky and filling! I liked it, I am not planning on giving it up, but I will cook less next time. I had some of the curry left over and so curry without rice was an awesome breakfast the next day.  There were no effects that I noticed from rice the day before either.

Day 32 - Milk and Butter

This wasn't in the plan...

...but we had Grandma and Great Grandma over for lunch and I made the food to suit Great Grandma's taste - which meant poaching some fish in butter and milk. Then afterwards, when they both had a cup of tea with milk, I figured it wouldn't make much difference if I had some too. Also they brought dessert with them, which was a trifle, with custard and cream and of course sugar. I ate some of that too.

Milk was something Dr Mansfield had a question mark over when I did the elimination diet, but I still didn't notice any ill effects from it.

Until I went to bed. I was late to bed and feeling 'wired'. This could have been the cups of tea - I had two - I have been caffeine free for some time. I did fall asleep no problem though.

But my sleep was very restless. I kept having really disturbing dreams. I woke feeling like I had a massive hangover.

It is of course hard to tell what caused this. A lesson in why you reintroduce things one at a time. At a guess I would say the hangover feeling is from sugar, the wired feeling from caffeine and perhaps the disturbing dreams from milk. I googled milk and sleep disturbances and of course I found stuff (don't you always!) but I wont really know unless I test it again.

So anyway, today I am being a strict Whole 30 girl again, and maybe tomorrow I will try chick peas.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Celebrating Food Revolution Day

A global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. It's a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources. Food Revolution Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone by focusing on three simple actions – cook it, share it, live it. 
At the heart of the day is Jamie Oliver, and the global day is brought about through the collaboration of The Good Foundation in Australia, The Better Food Foundation in the UK and The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation in the US. 

As you will know, I have long been interested in food and how it affects our bodies. Even prior to the recent elimination diet and Whole 30 experience I explored how food was effecting me almost 10 years ago, when I successfully altered my diet to reduce the symptoms of PCOS. I even studied Nutritional Medicine for a while and that is an area I would love to get back into one day. I am also passionate that everyone should know how to cook. It horrifies me when you are at the supermarket and the checkout operator has to ask what broccoli is! 

I have great memories of cooking with my mum when I was a kid. I am trying my best to offer BB a good foundation in the kitchen. He helps me to prepare at least a part of most of the meals that we eat.  He can stir and mix, put the peelings into the bowl for the chickens, put food into the baking trays or pans. He eats really well most of the time, and I really believe that when he has hand in cooking he is more likely to eat good food. He will eat cauliflower and green beans, for example, if he has helped to prepare them.

Sorting the Vegetables

Removing the stalks from the spinach

Coating the cauliflower with ghee, and
placing it on the baking tray ready for roasting

I have also long been interested in growing my own food. Again my these were basic skills passed on by my mum. My professional history in Education for Sustainability also brings all this together for me, having worked as an advisor to many schools in Central Australia who were working on projects planning their own gardens, growing food and then cooking, sharing and eating it. It was a fabulous time and this is definitely an area where my passion in education lies. It's hands on, purposeful, meaningful, fun, and good for you. How can you get better than that!

School Vegetable Garden in Central Australia
A School Garden on the edge of the Tanami Desert
Planting Sunflower Seeds (age 10 Months)

It's probably no surprise then, that I am also teaching BB how to grow his own food. He planted his first seeds last year. This year he has more idea about what we are doing, and his growing is more purposeful (my purpose admittedly, but he does enjoy!). This year we have created an allotment plot in a little corner of my parents' farm. BB has been out with us (DD and I) digging, sewing, planting and watering. He has also sown the seeds for the courgettes, butternut squash, corn and green beans. We use the bench in our laundry as our "green house" and he is fascinated watching the seedlings grow out of the soil. He will also help us plant them out,  watch them grow food and then harvest food for us to share, cook and eat. 

Planting the green bean seeds this week
Butternut Squash seedlings
Preparing the soil at our new allotment

BB was given a a great book for Christmas. It's called Grandpa's Garden and it is both a beautiful story and a practical guide to what is happening in the garden throughout the year. There is a little plan in the back of the book showing the layout of Grandpa's Garden, and we have actually used that as the basis of our design, so we have a garden like Grandpa's. 

Today we celebrated Food Revolution Day with 4 generations of family. My mum and her mum came to lunch to share some food lovingly prepared by BB and I. When you're nearly 98, it has to be fish on a Friday, so we poached some haddock in butter and milk with a little parsley and garlic pepper, and served it with roast carrots, beans and potato chips. 
Preparing lunch

 Great Grandma and Grandma enjoying their lunch

BB with a hearty mouthful!
More posts to follow as our garden grows!

We have just purchased From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

and are planning to link up with the Virtual Book Club in June 2013

Happy Food Revolution Day everyone.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chicken Cashew and Vegetable Curry

This post has moved to 

Chicken and Cashew Curry with rice
Chicken Cashew and Vegetable Curry

Did I Ovulate?

Here I am once again in the 2WW - or at least I think I am! I am not entirely certain. As you know, I am using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor to help identify the best days for insemination. It has been great so far, giving me two peak days every cycle that tie in well with what my temperatures say when I am charting. This cycle it was not so good though. I am on CD21 today, and according to the monitor, still no ovulation.

I was expecting to see a peak reading on Friday. Everything about me felt like I was ovulating. All of the signs,  EWCM, sore nipples, temperature dip that morning, and the general feeling that it is about to happen. I was somewhat surprised that morning then when the reading was only high. I removed the test stick from the monitor and noticed that the end of the stick was still dry. I then watched as the liquid moved across the stick. I can't think of any logical or scientific reason as to why this delay should have occurred, I can only assure you that it did. I took a photo of the stick, which did show a dark LH line, and wondered if this meant the monitor had missed my first peak day. 

As I always get two peak days, I expected that I would get a peak the next day... 

But NO! 

I still haven't had a peak, the monitor is still asking me to pee on a stick every day, and every day it says high. I had pretty much accepted the idea that I might not have ovulated this cycle, and been through all the emotions that go with that, accepting the fact that I am just too old for this game... and then yesterday, my chart on Fertility Friend gave me crosshairs! It says I ovulated on Saturday and that I am now 5 dpo. That makes sense with what I thought originally, I usually O on the night of the first peak day - so maybe I am in with a chance. My graph looks good when compared to other graphs. Our timing was good if I did ovulate. 

What do you think?

So, I'm waiting again. Test official test date is next Saturday, 25th May - we'll see if I hold out that long!

You might also remember that I had an appointment booked with my GP for last Thursday too. The update on that is that I had a bug and was actually vomiting that morning so I had to cancel. The next available appointment was 22nd May, so I figured I might as well and see what the outcome of this cycle is before I re-book.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spinach Scrambled Eggs with Garlic Mushrooms

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Whole 30 Day 30 - The End of the Beginning

I finished the whole 30 logo

So, today was the final day of my Whole 30.

Here are my meals.

Breakfast: Left over turkey mince and sweet potato,
with courgette pasta
Lunch: Swordfish steak carrots and beans
Dinner: Chicken, oven cooked in coconut milk and mustard,
with roasted cauliflower and green beans

Perhaps technically I should have waited until tomorrow to do the measurements, but I couldn't help myself!

Here are the results.

78.5 kg
Bottom of ribs 
94.5 cm
93 cm
Thigh (r) 
Calf (r) 
no change
Arm (r - top) 

Other changes

  • I have so much more energy
  • I can kneel (I couldn't before due to my legs just not folding like that)
  • My joint pain has gone
  • My back is better
  • My shoulder where the nerve was trapped is much much better - no problems with it at all since I began the whole 30 - Drs., physios and osteopaths actually all agree that the cause was inflammation, so I am guessing this must mean inflammation has decreased
  • My skin is clearer
  • My sleep is better - I wake up less in the night
  • I feel inspired to exercise and have recently created an exercise schedule which I am sticking too. In fact, having so much energy I actually feel like I NEED to exercise every day.
  • My thinking is clearer
  • My balance and coordination is better (measured by Wii Fit Plus)
  • I am a better playmate for BB
  • I am happier and more positive
  • The way I think about food has changed
  • Meal planning is much easier
  • BB is eating better too
There is a negative though - it costs more! Our grocery bills have been higher. There are two reasons for that. One, I have eaten much more meat that I used to (I was vegetarian for 27 years!), and two, the meat I have eaten on the Whole 30 is organic and grass fed, free range etc. I think once I have completely finished I will be able to reduce those costs a bit. I can just buy grass fed instead of organic, and if I can eat legumes sometimes that will bring the cost back down too. I have also found it hard to eat three meals sometimes. In fact, on many days at lunch time it has been hard to motivate myself to make Whole 30 meal - I would have been happy with a bowl of soup, or a salad. or even just a couple of pieces of fruit.

Reintroduction of grains, dairy and legumes

I am planning on reintroducing grains, dairy and legumes gradually, one at a time, whilst sticking to the Whole 30 with the rest of my diet. I have made my own plan for this based on ideas from both It Starts with Food, the elimination diet in Six Secrets for Successful Weight Loss, and my own thoughts. It Starts with Food, suggest introducing a whole food group in one day, and then waiting two days before introducing another whole group. Six Secrets has you introduce them separately, two foods a day, with a 7 day gap between foods in the same group. My schedule is going to be one food at a time, every 2 days, (due to the fact that I know with wheat, when I eat it I feel great, it's the next day that I suffer), with at least 6 days between foods in the same group.

Here is my planned reintroduction schedule.

Chick Peas
Gluten Free Bread
Kidney Beans

Beyond the Whole 30

The biggest difference the Whole 30 has had on the way I think about food and meal planning is the starting point of a meal idea. Although since being diagnosed with PCOS and making massive changes in my diet to reduce carbs and increase protein, I have been conscious about having protein in my meals for a long time - this is what has gradually brought me out of vegetarianism as I needed more protein sources. However, I always started thinking about a meal with the carbs. I made sure I varied the carbs on our plates, rice one day, pasta another, potatoes the next etc. Now when I think about food I start with the protein. This might not be a new idea to most, but trust me, as a vegetarian it is radical! 

I am going to continue to plan meals that way. The meat and two veg idea makes it easy. I will continue to rotate my pork, fish, chicken and turkey, all on their various forms, and maybe even add in a few more meats as time goes on.

I am going to try keeping up with the Whole 30 style breakfast for most days of the week as I think it is great to start the day with a pile of nutrients rather than pile of carbs that leave me hungry for more 2 hours later. Having said that, I would love to have porridge and berries some days, or maybe banana and yoghurt.

I think a minimum of two protein, fat and 2 x veg style meals a day is good, but if I fancy soup or a light salad some lunchtimes I'll go with that.

Eating out, I will make the best choices I can, but not beat myself up about it. 

I am going to exercise every day, where possible.

I am still really curious to try The Fast Diet too. That's not an option while I am breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant (or if I do manage to get pregnant), but once my body is my own again I think a combination of that with some good healthy meals that I have learned from the whole 30 would be a really good way to get  back down to my pre pregnancy weight (which was 68kg).

I will do the Whole 30 (strictly) again sometime. Several people I have found do it annually. In January seems like a good time, but I guess whenever I feel the need to get back to being more mindful about what and how I am eating is the important thing for me. 


Finally I want to say thanks to lots of people. 

Firstly thanks to all the people that encouraged me to blog about it and post a photo of everything I ate. It did really help - having to put an image up meant I had to cook a proper meal and eat it, so it helped me stay on track. I also think it will be great resource should I ever fall back into less healthy eating - I can just come here and look at photos of some great looking easy to prepare meals and remember how good they made me feel.

Thanks also to all the other people out there blogging about the Whole 30, or the Paleo Diet, or weight loss particularly Kristen at A Change of Pace, and Tiffany at Skinny Jeans and a Healthy Me, both of whom are ahead of me on this journey and very inspiring! 

Thanks also to my regular readers who have put up with endless photos of food. Thanks for sticking with me. 

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Whole 30 Day 29

Breakfast sausage capsicum and courgette

Lunch - not much appetite at all so just ate a few leftovers

Dinner, Turkey stuffed sweet potatoes and broccoli

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leftover turkey stuffed sweet potato served with capsicum peppers and courgette

Wheat Free Breakfasts Turkey stuffed sweet potato with capsicum and courgette
Leftover turkey stuffed sweet potato with lemon juice,
served with stir fried capsicum peppers and courgette

The Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are another great  thing to cook extra of, so that you have a breakfast in hand. I reheated this one and served it with stir fried capsicum and courgette.


2 halves of capsicum pepper (different colours)
1 courgette
Garlic pepper
Cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Avocado oil

Heat the oil in a wok, add the vegetables and stir fry until the become softened. Add the seasoning and then fry some more until they are the texture you enjoy the most.