Friday, August 30, 2013

Swimwear for a post baby body

Buying a new swimsuit is something that has been on my list for a while. My maternity tankini is finally too big, but my pre-pregnancy sporty swimsuit is still slightly inadequate when it comes to containing my post baby boobs!

I have been delaying getting a new one for several reasons. Firstly, I hope I lose more weight, secondly I'm not exactly flash with cash at the moment, and thirdly, the idea of trying on swimsuits and looking closely at my post baby body in them is not that inviting! I have lost 7 kilo's since I switched to the paleo diet, but I still have a huge wobbly belly!

It was recently suggested that I take a look at women’s swimwear range from Littlewoods. The idea of shopping from home and trying them on in the privacy of my own bedroom is really appealing. It also saves BB the agony of a shopping trip. I guess now is a great time to buy swimwear too - there could be some bargains as the summer draws to an end.

I found quite a range of swimsuits, but was particularly pleased to see a whole range of magic shape-wear that actually makes your body look better than it really is!

I decided on this one

Shapewear swimsuit from Littlewoods UK
The advantages are that you order by cup size, it has a tummy flattening panel and they have it available in my size. The disadvantage is it's not one of the many that are on sale! That's just typical, but I'm going to order it anyway.


Disclaimer: This is a featured post with Littlewoods


Monday, August 26, 2013

Carrot Chips

I have heard many times that kids best enjoy food that they have prepared themselves. Once again, I could get on my high horse about what we are doing for their life long eating habits if we only let them prepare sweets, but instead I'll tell you about carrot "chips"!

BB helps me with almost every meal. If I sneak off into the kitchen to try and get on with something myself (I often do!) he soon catches up with me and pulls a chair across chanting "I help!" Most of his cooking experience is therefore helping with veg prep. He does jobs like putting the peel in the chook bucket or compost, coating the veg in oil and putting them in the baking tray if we are roasting,  or in the saucepan if we are boiling or steaming.

Ingredients

3 large carrots
1 tbsp ghee (or oil of your choice)

Method

With carrot chips, I peel the carrots and BB puts the peel away in the appropriate tub.

If using ghee you will need to melt it. Don't heat it too much or you will burn your toddler's hands. I do ours in the microwave for 60 seconds, but be aware that most microwaves are more powerful than mine!

While he is still carefully picking up all the bits of peel, I then cut the carrots into chip shape, which for a largish carrot means cutting it into two, equal length pieces, and then cutting each of those into four length ways.

BB then adds the carrots to the oil and mixes them around with his hands until they are all coated.



Yay - look how messy my hands are now!

 Then he puts them in a baking tray and spreads them out




I then put them in the oven at about 190ºC for around 20 mins. (until cooked - i.e. the carrot is soft and the outside is starting to crisp slightly, but is not burnt)

They come out looking like this.



And here is the evidence that he will willingly put carrots into his mouth, and eat them!




Hooray!




Friday, August 23, 2013

Punting in Cambridge - with a Toddler!

Punting with a toddler was not something that was on the top of my to do list!

However, we had some Australian's visiting last week and spent the day in Cambridge with them. I am guessing that when in Cambridge, punting is pretty close to the top of the to do list with almost any foreign visitor. BB was keen on the idea of going on a boat too - so punting it was!

Punting along the river Cam,
with Kings College Chapel in the background

If you are planning on going, I would recommend doing your research first. There are a several companies offering punts for private hire and guided (chauffeured) tours. There doesn't seem to be a fixed price. A tout will greet you on the bridge and offer you a 'deal'. I had some idea that this might be the case having been approached by these guys before, however, when I wanted to research the best option for us by looking it up on the internet on my phone, or going into the Tourist Information Centre, our laid back Aussies suggested we just go to the river and see.

This approach did work just fine of course. We decided we wanted a chauffeured, guided tour. A guy came straight up to us almost as soon as we stepped onto the bridge at Silver Street, offered us a price, and wrote it on a ticket for us to take to the counter. We should have then gone to another company, to see how they would beat the deal, but we didn't. I paid £8 for BB and £12.50 for me, which seems extortionate - especially the £8 for a 2 year old - but hey - this is punting in Cambridge!



Thankfully he enjoyed it! If he had screamed in fear and wanted to get off straight away I would have been really hacked off - but of course he didn't. He loved it. Within a few minutes he wanted to hang over the side and dangle his hands in the water! He was quick to point out "duck tunnels" (essentially drains at the side of the river) and liked going under the bridges (train bridges and tunnels to him of course) and passing the other boats.

Yes it rained, but only lightly for a minute or two.
Umbrella's were provided.
  


For those who don't know, a punt is a flat bottomed boat, propelled with a pole. The guided tours take you for a short journey (about 45mins return) along the river Cam, through what is known as the Backs, past some of Cambridge University's colleges. It is quite an amazing vista, and a relaxing and enjoyable ride, even with a toddler! As for the guide, he was what you would expect from punt guide in Cambridge, an appropriately dressed and well spoken college boy. Ours knew a lot, but he spoke way too fast, in a posh but dreary monotone, so none of us really heard much of what he said; except when he talked about the library designed by Christopher Wren (apparently a freebie to boost his portfolio), just before he won the job of designing St Paul's Cathedral. It is one of the many stunning buildings along the river.

The library at Trinity College Cambridge - designed by Christopher Wren
It was nice too, to know that you were following in the path of so many of the great minds of history. One of our Aussies is an English Lit teacher, so this excited him greatly! All of that was lost on BB of course, but he definitely had his own fun. 


In summary, no I wouldn't suggest you plan on punting for your toddler's birthday party, but I would encourage you not to be scared of it as a an activity for a mixed-age group, as it is something that will be enjoyable for everyone in different ways. Do try and negotiate a better deal for your toddler than I did though!

The "Duck Tunnels" can be seen at the water's edge on the right!
Oh, and that's the Bridge of Sighs ahead!





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Underpants Thunderpants - Book Review

Underpants Thunderpants was given to us by Parragon Books at BritMums Live. At the time BB was a bit young for it. We read it, but he didn't really know what underpants were, so the story kind of went over his head.

Recently though, pants, along with bums and willies, and poos and wees, have become a hot topic with my little man. The other day I found myself having myself having a conversation in the changing room at the pool, that went something like this.

BB: Mummy does a Poo
Me: Yes Mummy does a Poo
BB: Daddy does a poo
Me: Yes, Daddy does a poo
BB: Mama does a poo
Me: Yes, Mama does a poo
BB: Dog does a poo
Me: Yes...
BB: Train does a poo
Me: No, train doesn't do a poo


Then there's the one that goes

BB: [BB] willy, Daddy willy, Mummy willy gone!

Luckily I am not the only Mum having these conversations! 

There was a lovely book that he enjoyed in French when we were on holiday that was about all the different animals sitting on the potty. There was an elephant with a big bottom, a mouse with a small bottom, a giraffe with a long bottom, a zebra with a stripy bottom etc etc, all sitting on the same potty. BB loved that, so when we got home I thought it might be time to get Underpants Thunderpants out again.

It is a HUGE hit. We are now reading it every night, at least once.

The story is about a dog who hangs his pants on the line, then a big storm comes and the pants all blow away, to different corners of the world, and are found and used in numerous creative ways by other animals.


BB likes looking at all the different pants. We go through the colours and the patterns each time, pointing out the cat pants, the boat pants, the stripey pants and the spotty pants. His favourite page is when the man falls in the poop! He is constantly saying "ATCHOO" like the elephant who uses some pants as a hanky.

I like the book too. It has nice rhymes, great illustrations, and lots of opportunities for interaction with both the text and the pictures. If you have a little boy who is starting to potty train, or even one who already wears pants, I bet he'll love this book!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Flapjacks





Flapjack

So this is the point where I am pleased that I decided to brand this feature as cooking healthier food with kids, rather than claiming it was healthy food. I did do that on purpose. Partly because there are so many different interpretations of what actually is healthy food, and also because I do believe that kids can get away with a few sweet treats too, just not too many, and we should think carefully about what goes into the food we feed them.

The fact that Mum's gone Paleo means there are lots of oats left in the house, so it made sense to make flapjacks today. Flapjacks are notoriously the simplest recipe in British baking, and can be just oats, butter and syrup, but we added a few extra ingredients to ours. It's still all about mixing, which is BB's favourite part of cooking right now.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
2 dessert spoons golden syrup
2 cups oats
1 dessert spoon desiccated coconut
1 dessert spoon raisins
a sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

  • Put the butter and the syrup in a bowl and microwave for a minute until all the butter is melted. Mix it together
  • Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix
  • Press the mixture firmly into a small greased baking tray and the bake at around 180ºC for about 25-30 mins
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool. 
  • When it has cooled a bit, but not set, cut into squares
  • Leave to cool some more before you try and get them out of the tin (if you can wait that long!)

BB is just starting to the hang of the idea that it's best if you hold the bowl with one hand while mixing with the other - this is good - he's making less mess!


Mixing the dry ingredients


Adding the wet ingredients and mixing. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

I think I might be one and done!

Just in case the title didn't give it away - I'm not pregnant.

Again.

But I think that's OK.

We did originally have one more try planned after this, but then it was put in doubt when I was told that PP may have other plans for DD that weekend. My response to that was forget about the last try and declare TTC over, regardless of wether PP changed his mind or not. I wanted it to be my decision when we stopped, not his.

This is mostly so I don't resent PP forever. That wouldn't be healthy! He is really great and important part of our family. But I am already trying to forgive him for stopping the TTC process the month that we were most primed - I really did feel that was our month (although we'll never know, health wise and mentally, both DD and I were totally focussed on that goal, and both times that happened before we got pregnant, and so many things in the universe were aligned regarding the due date that baby would have, etc etc...). Then there's the fact that he wont even entertain the idea of going to Australia, even for a while, so he has a lot of power over where BB and I are going to live in the future, if BB is to continue having a Dad in his life that is. If our last chance at trying to create a sibling for BB was also due to him I think it would tip the balance to being just a little more than I could handle.

So, after a couple of days of wondering if this was the last time or not I was driving myself mental with the not knowing and feeling once again at the mercy of PP. So I decided to end my anguish now, call it quits and move on. My brain soon adjusted to the new known future. I will be able to provide more for BB. We can travel more easily, we won't need a bigger house, or a bigger car, we will be able to survive on less money, I won't have to be pregnant again, or give birth again, getting my body back for me is closer (though BB shows no sign of giving up breastfeeding yet), a proper night's sleep is more likely, I can start selling all the baby clutter around the place, I can continue to build my business, I could foster an older girl in a couple of years maybe, or do some sort of respite care with young teens perhaps. I could even start dating!

I am liking this new path.

BB is quite sociable and interacts well with other kids. I can continue to encourage that, and do other things to make sure that he doesn't grow up thinking the universe revolves around him. I am sad for him that he wont have a sibling, but it's not the end of the world, there are even some advantages.

AF arrived on Friday, and so for a moment I knew my future. I was no longer in limbo and it felt good.

Then yesterday I get a message from DD, about trying again next month.

He is available after all.

But I'm not sure I want to do it now.

In fact, deep down I really think I don't.

But can I live with the what if?

Am I ready to declare myself One and Done?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My first e-book purchase

Those who know me personally consider me to be quite 'techy' and are always surprised to learn that I prefer a real book to e-books. I am a book lover. There is something about curling up with a book that is so much cosier than curling up with an iPad! Plus I like to read at night and looking at a screen before you sleep is bad, right?

I have actually been an adamant 'save the book' advocate. Last time a friend really tried to persuade me to go electronic was when I was about to give birth to BB. I did waiver very slightly at that point, but then decided against it. I wanted to model reading 'books' to my child, not staring at screen. Reality is though - I model staring at a screen anyway, and hardly ever read books when he's awake.

I have recently acquired a couple of e-books - ones that have been available FREE. I haven't actually read any of them 'cover to cover', but it has hooked me in. I am finding I like e-books. For one thing they keep a note of your page for you (BB loves pulling our book marks from my real books!), and they don't take up space on my book shelf, and if I move back to Oz it will save me heaps on shipping (I have sadly given away so many books in the past for this reason).

One of my worries was what happens if BB deletes the file, or I lose my iPad, or it breaks, but then I found out that I can get the book again if need be - forever! (more info here)

The thing that finally drove me to it was the price. I can afford more! I have been struggling to decide which Paleo book to buy. I asked for recommendations and my list got even longer instead of shorter - so e-book it is. I decided on Robb Wolf's, The Paleo Solution for my first one, and I'm open to more votes on which one I should get next, as I sure can't decide by myself!

I'll let you know how I go? I think reading this kind of reference book will be fine - but I still can't imagine curling up with a e-novel!

I'm interested to hear how other bloggers feel about this. We read so much on screen! Do you read books on screen too? Do you still have that nostalgic love for a real book?

Paleo Bacon Mini Quiches

Mini Bacon Quiches - Paleo

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Sunday Ramble

Time for another rambling catch up post on how we're going.

We have recently returned from a fabulous holiday in France with DD, PP and a family friend from Oz.   The weather was great and we had a brilliant time. I am definitely getting better at letting go where BB is concerned. He went down to the sea with the 'boys' for ages without me. I sat on the beach guarding all our stuff and trying not to be too jealous that a moment in BB's life and an exciting experience with the sea, was taking place without me witnessing it. That might sound silly, but as his sole carer most of the time and being a stay at home mum, I don't have much practice at that. I still find it quite hard and feel like I am missing out. I do really want him to have special moments and memories with his Dad though, and the huge hug he gave me on his return from their sea play adventure was amazing.

I was also aware of the fact that there were lots of people to entertain him, and that when we got home and it was just me he could be easily bored - so with that in mind I was also able to let them get on with it, giving me a bit of a break and meaning that when we got home and it was Mummy doing the bath and getting dinner again it would be novel and fun. That has worked. Our first few days alone have been fabulous, it's great that I get to be the one to turn him upside down, and play trains and peep - boo again.

He is particularly gorgeous at the moment too. He can speak in little sentences and knows how to turn on his cuteness at the right time. He is big into trains, train tracks, train tunnels... and bubbles. He still loves helping with cooking, and also likes to sit in the driver's seat of the car and 'do driving' whenever we return from a journey. He has also developed some lovely manners, saying yes please and no thank you. He uses the 'no thank you' at all sorts of funny times too - like when you say it's time for bed, or to wash his hands, or wipe his face!

I am in the 2WW again (7dpo). I feel like it's for the last time. We were going to try next month as well, but apparently PP has other plans for DD that weekend so that probably wont happen. I feel like I should call it quits this time rather than let PP make that decision, just so that I feel in control and not like it's his 'fault'.  I also don't want the pressure of knowing it's the last time (I didn't know that this time might be until after the event). I have started to plan, in my head, my 'no more pregnancies' life - it's exciting. De-cluttering all the baby stuff I have saved, getting rid of some of the child safety features, moving to another area, the possibility of nice holidays travelling with my single child, or fostering an older girl. I got so carried away with all these thoughts that I actually found myself thinking last night that it would be a bit annoying if I was pregnant. I even said that out loud on the phone to my sister earlier today. But now I have started to feel a bit nauseous - not overly, just that full feeling, not really hungry, and a slight awareness of my belly. It may well all be in my imagination, but once again I am caught up in it, just when I thought I had escaped the drama, and can't wait to start testing. I am trying to remind myself I don't mind either way, but can't help hoping...

Other news, you probably noticed lots of posts in the feed again - sorry about that - I have merged both the blogs again and will only use this one from now on. The other one had problems with the feed and the html code that I just couldn't be bothered fixing - they do overlap a bit anyway and two is twice as much work as one - and I am not all that good at maintaing one! I am going to try an be a bit more organised about posting too - we'll see how that works out, but the thought is there.

My big mission for the moment is going to be on creating some healthy cooking with kids recipes. I was persuaded that it was a good idea to join up my pinterest board with a group one, but it is horrifying me! Almost everything being posted consists of sugar and food colouring, in varying ratios. Our kids really don't stand a chance if that's all we teach them, do they! So I ended up making my own board again, Cooking Healthier Food with Kids.  My goal is to try and post one recipe a week on my blog. Tomorrow's recipe for sweet potato muffins is all ready to go, so my plan got off to a good start - for one week at least!

Finally here are some photos of BB and Mischief. Mischief came on holiday with us. He is from BB's nursery and spends his life going on holidays with the kids - he has a diary and a suitcase. It's quite fun. BB did get a bit attached to him and wouldn't sleep without him for the whole time he was with us. However, he seems to have understood that Mischief is on holiday with another child now and has been fine since we took him back to nursery. I think it's a great idea for all sorts of reasons. As far as we know - this was the first time Mischief tried mussels!






Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Paris with a Toddler

If you are considering the idea of visiting Paris with a toddler I can fully recommend it. We have just returned from a fabulous trip with DD, PP and a family friend visiting from Oz. The city is amazing, public transport runs like clockwork, and for a whole month during the summer the city is transformed as the roads beside the river become pedestrianised recreational spaces with beaches, concerts, play areas, refreshments and more during an event known as Paris Plages.


Paris Plages

We went by Eurostar rather than flying. This makes things much easier as you arrive right in the middle of the city to start with, rather than having to transit in from the airport, and you don't have to arrive so early, or check in baggage. This means you always have everything at hand too, so any accidents, toy requirements, or nutritional demands can be easily catered for. BB also loves trains, so it was a definite winner.

We rented a great little apartment in the 11th arrondissement, which was just a hundred metres or so from a metro station, making it easy to get anywhere, and also meaning we had our own kitchen and could get our food at times that suited us. Though it was a relatively quiet part of the city, there were several great restaurants and a supermarket nearby.

To make getting around easier, we left the pushchair at home and used a child carrier instead. It took BB a few days to learn how to sleep in it, so some practice before you go on your holidays might be a good idea, but on the whole it was great - well for me and BB anyway - DD did all the hard work of actually carrying it!
Our annual family photo - and the child carrier.

Here are some of the things we did which we would recommend to others.

Promenade Plantee
On our first day BB, his Dad and our visiting guest went for an adventure without me. That was a little hard I must admit - though I want them to have time to themselves and I needed to get some work done, I still find it hard to miss out on little moments of BB's life like this. They went for a walk along Promenade plantee, (a converted railway line, and apparently the first elevated park in the world) and stopped off at a children's play area in Jardin de Reuilly along the way.


Promenade plantee
Notre Dame
In the afternoon we headed out to Notre Dame, which is free to enter with a fast moving line. BB was quite happy looking at all the things inside though we didn't stay in for too long. There is a also a great children's play area in the grounds. We then went for a walk, via an ice cream seller, to Place de vosges, which also had a play area and sand pit for children.


Sand pit at Place de vosge
Notre Dame














Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes

On our second day we went to the Zoo - Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes. It wasn't my favourite zoo, (though I am a bit particular about zoos, preferring generally larger and more interesting spaces for animals), but it was OK and BB enjoyed it, which is what it was all about. The zoo is located in the Botanical Gardens which would also be a great place to spend some time with a toddler, but we didn't have time on the day we visited.

Eiffel Tower
Play area at the base of the Eiffel Tower
Picnic at the base of the Eiffel Tower
No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. We recommend arriving via the Trocadero, which is not only stunning in its own right, but also gives you a great view of the tower. You can then walk down through the gardens to the tower itself. There is a great little childents park at the base of the tower and BB and I played here while DD headed off to source a picnic lunch from a supermarket on Ave du Suffren. Again we didn't go up the tower, but I think this could have been possible with the back pack.


Paris for train enthused toddlers
BB is a BIG train fan. He sees tunnels and train tracks in almost everything. If you have a train enthused child yourself there a couple of things we would recommend. Firstly, if you ever travel on Metro line 1, it is worth knowing that this train is fully automated so there is no driver. Therefore, if you go into the front carriage it is possible to stand right at the front and look out of the window at the front and see the train going through the tunnels, trains travelling in the opposite direction, train tracks and stations. BB also spent some time one morning watching the trains at Gare du Lyon.




Musee d'Orsay
This museum was originally a railway station, Gare D'Orsay. It is quite a beautiful building on the bank of the Seine. It mostly houses French Art, in particular there are lots of original works from impressionists, including 86 works by Monet. The museum has free entry on the first Sunday of each month, which was the day we chose to go - there was a long line but it moved quite fast. It was busy inside, making me think that maybe it would be worth paying to visit on another day, however, there was also the risk that BB would not enjoy it so we chose the free option. He did enjoy it. He liked pointing out things he recognised in the paintings and sculptures, including trains, train tracks, chickens and boobies! Due to staff fears about the child carrier coming into contact with one of the works of art should the carrier suddenly turn, we were restricted in some of the galleries. We just took BB out of the chair and let him walk or be carried, but they do have pushchairs which you can borrow if you wish (I don't think that would be good on a busy day though - as well as the hazard of others tripping over the push chair, the child would see nothing but people's legs and bums).

Tuileries Garden
Opposite the Musee D'Orsay, on the other bank of the river Seine, the Tuileries Garden provides a great space to run around, some shaded walkways (tree tunnels!) and a children's play area. There are also some great little outdoor restaurants with fast service for hungry toddler. This is also handy for the Louvre should you be visiting there.


View of the Sacre Coeur from the top of the Pompidou Centre
Pompidou centre
The Pompidou centre is well known for having the inside outside. We took advantage of the escalators on the side of the building (accessible without paying an entry fee via separate entrance to Georges, the roof top cafe, which can be found to the left of the main entrance) to take in the views of the city and went right to the very top where we enjoyed an expensive but refreshing drink. There are also sculptures and fountains and may street performers in the are just outside.





Places we didn't get to but hope to visit next time include
  • Jardin de Luxemborg the second largest park in Paris which has many activities and facilities for children such as puppets (weekends and school holidays), rides and slides.
  • Aqua Boulevard an indoor an outdoor water park with everything from pools and slides to saunas and jacuzzis - under threes are free
  • Children's City sounds like an excellent place too - it has two separate spaces for children aged 2-7 and 5-12. The 2 to 7s space is divided into 5 seperate areas: "I Discover Myself," "I Know How," "I Find Myself," "All Together," which are focused on child development, and "I Experiment" which is devoted to a child's first scientific discoveries.

BB on one of his morning walks with Dad
Parc de Bercy
We can also recommend an excellent little book, Fodor's Around Paris with Kids. It's small enough to pack and take with you, and full of ideas for things to do in Paris with kids.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Sprouts Fresh Picked Fruits and Veggies - Review

As reviewers for Learning Resources, BB and I recently received the New Sprouts Fresh Picked Fruit and Veggies. One of BB's favourite activities at the moment is shopping, and play shopping, so these went down very well. He is also just getting into the whole idea of pretend play, so he is 'feeding' teddies and pretending to eat his model corn.

As before, with the Caterpillars, one of the first things that struck me when the product arrived was the quality. They are made from a rubberised plastic that I anticipate will be very durable, and are ideally sized for toddler hands. They are also quite realistic (all of them easily recognisable) and the colours are great. BB has used them for all sorts of games, from feeding us and his toys, to cooking and playing shops.

At his recent Birthday Party, the fruits and veggies made their way out into the garden. I was quite paranoid at first, (mainly because they were still fairly new and we hadn't written our review yet!) and so when I discovered them in the sage bush I started to take them back inside. I was soon informed, however, that these were very important props in the 2 year old games, and realised that I would be spoiling the fun - the cubby house had become the shop!

The pack contains 18 pieces of fruit and vegetables: Apple, Orange, Berries, Apricot, Pear, Plum, Banana, Strawberry, Grapes, Lemon, Corn on the Cob, Lettuce, Onion, Tomato, Potato, Carrot, Cucumber and Pepper and a tote bag, which is great for storing them, as well as being a bag for the 'shopping'.




I really can't find any fault with this resource at all. We love them. I think they are another item that will have a place on the toy shelf for years to come. My sister is a play therapist and tells me that 10 year olds love them too.


New Sprouts Fresh Picked Fruit and Veggies can be purchased directly from the Learning Resources website or from Amazon.


Disclaimer: This resource was sent to me free of charge for the purposes of this review. This review is however 100% my own honest thoughts and opinions and I have not been paid to write this!

Catching up post Whole 30 - and post Paris!

Just to complete the story here, I fell off the Whole30 wagon a bit on day 24 when I enjoyed a Cappuccino, and didn't enjoy the accompanying cake. I considered my options, to start again, to give in, or to just try and keep in in control. I I went for the third. As we were about to go to Paris (on my whole 30 day 27) I decided not to worry about it too much for a while. Though I had no intentions of eating wheat or legumes, I did think it would be a little hard to eat out without dairy - plus I love French cheeses! I stuck to the Whole 30 as much as could leading up to our departure, but as one of my tasks was also to clear the fridge, the meal formulae weren't perfect, though no 'illegal' foods were consumed.

I measured myself before I left for Paris and took photos and recorded it on my secret page. I can't really see much difference in my photos to be honest, but I did lose a few cm and 4kg. While we were away I did fairly well. I resisted the temptations for pain au chocolat without much trouble at all. I did eat cheese though, and ice cream, but no grains or legumes. I also made the effort to make a good paleo breakfast every day, we walked lots and I regularly chose salad when there were options.

I was pleased to see that I had gained less than half a Kg on my return. I am however quite horrified by the beach photos and my motivation to improve that image is renewed. Today was my first morning at home and I made some  pastry free bacon quiches and sweet potato hash for breakfast, which my guests enjoyed too. When they are gone I am thinking of starting the Whole 30 again, though I may just try and eat consciously with just a small amount of dairy, and perhaps with 2 full meals and one snack a day, rather than three full meals.

The thing I really need to focus on is exercise - I have said this before! I need to get off the lap top and on to the Wii!

Starting now!



How I became (almost) Paleo



I became (Almost) Paleo after 27 years of being a vegetarian, a lifetime of failed, or at best temporary, weight loss efforts, an elimination diet and the Whole30.












I have long been interested food and how it impacts on our bodies. More recently, I followed the Elimination Diet from Dr Mansfield's book The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss. I felt good in stage 1, once I had eliminated all things known to cause people problems, and overcome the detox/withdrawal. I gradually regressed back to my 'old' self once I reintroduced things, even though I didn't pick up on anything in particular that was causing the problem first time round.






A few weeks later I found myself longing for the healthy and energised feeling of stage one once more. I started eating more of those stage one foods again. One night it dawned on me that it could be wheat. I did have some symptoms when I reintroduced that, but not the indicatory weight gain that was expected if it were the problem. However, I decided to eliminate wheat from my diet and see what happened. Within just 48 hours I was feeling heaps better. Within a week I had sworn off wheat for life!

So, how does one become wheat free?

Wheat forms such a big part of the average western diet. I did some online research and decided to purchase Wheat Belly. Reading this was enough to convince me that giving up wheat was a great idea. It also served to warn me of the dangers of simply replacing wheat with other carbs. Typically, "gluten free" products are made of highly refined carbohydrates which have an even higher GI and are potentially even worse for your body than wheat. This was going to be more complicated than I first thought. I needed to change the way I ate as well as what I ate!

My research of what to eat instead of wheat or 'gluten free' led me to investigate the paleo diet, which avoids grains completely. That in turn led me to The Whole 30 and the book It Starts With Food. As soon as I read the book I couldn't resist it's call to START NOW, and so I did. I blogged about my first Whole 30 as having a commitment to posting pictures of the food I was eating was really helpful to keep on track.

Essentially, so far I have discovered that I feel so much better without wheat and sugar in my diet in particular, and following a paleo diet has helped me lose weight and inches, and more importantly:

  • 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 my son 
  • I am happier and more positive 
  • The way I think about food has changed 
  • Meal planning is much easier 
  • My son is eating better too 
In summary, I never knew it was possible to feel this good!

It's definitely a work in progress. Even though I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I feel soooo much healthier when I stick strictly to a paleo diet, I still occasionally find myself thinking "just a little wont hurt"!

It does!

I blog about my paleo life as much to keep me on track as I do to share the wonders of a paleo diet with you.

Please be aware that am not perfect! Far from it. I started this journey at 85kg, (after having a baby and then a miscarriage) thats about 20kg over weight. I am not yet at the point where I want to display my body on my home page (but maybe one day it will be so incredible I will be proud to do that!) Meantime - if you want to see the journey in stats and pictures here's a link to my hidden page!

Please note I am not a nutrition expert. I did study nutritional medicine at The Australian College of Natural Medicine for a while, but didn't complete the course for a number of reasons, like moving to the opposite side of the planet and having a baby! I hope to go back to it one day in the not too distant future, just as soon as I have the time and money and find a nearer institution that supports the blending of both the holistic and the scientific approach to knowing. I have maintained a keen interest in the subject though, and writing this blog is one way that I can keep that going in the interim.


Also, please be aware that I am not an expert on the Paleo Diet or the Whole30. These blog posts are simply about my journey, which may be of interest and perhaps even helpful to others.