Monday, June 30, 2014

Ugh (warning�TMI below)

There were some good things at the weekend � we were celebrating M getting a new job, so those things were not weight loss based, but more for enjoyment. But then the weekend took a hugely unpleasant turn yesterday afternoon (that ironically was good weight-loss wise in a sick � literally � sort of way)

Yesterday for lunch we went to a new US style BBQ place that opened near us about 3 weeks ago. It was nice � good atmosphere & service, the food was good though not exceptional, the beer was very good though the choice was limited. I only had 2 small bottles of moderate-strength beer. We were home by 2pm

Around 3pm I started getting a headache. I tried to fight through it without pills � always a mistake, but somehow it seems right at the time � while watching Ender�s Game for distraction. By the end of the movie my head was splitting so I gave in on the pills. When the pills weren�t denting it after an hour I finally realised it might be a migraine (and I�d taken the wrong pills, and couldn�t take the right ones for another 3 hours). Luckily(?!) half an hour later I threw up big time. And again half an hour after that. And again� and again� marvelous. I had such a nice evening. I fell into bed around 7 and was asleep fairly quickly � boredom (no TV, Candy Crush or Kindle) combined with weakness from the loss of everything I ate all day probably.

So that was my Sunday, and don�t I wish they were all like that???

This morning I woke up with a niggly headache and strange feeling that I can only describe as feeling as though someone tied a rope around my head just tight enough to feel uncomfortable, not enough to be a form of torture, a sore throat and an aching post-op eye (at one point last night it looked about as bloodshot as it did 3 days after the operation. I was a little worried, but it looks fine today) I also still feel nauseous when I bend over, and I haven�t eaten anything since lunchtime yesterday.I decided against driving in to the office today so I�m working from home � if my headache stays under control.

OK, enough complaining from me. I need some more diet ginger beer�

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rest day

I was intending to make tomorrow my Versaclimber rest day but yesterday evening I started having some lower back pain that was still there this morning so I decided to leave it today - hoping that resting it today would be enough. Due to the weather I didn't get a proper walk this lunchtime either, so I was feeling very cooped up by the time I left work. That's not good for me... It leads to bingeing due to frustration and my all or nothing inclinations. Luckily the vending machine at work is out of order and the rain stopped my heading into town to spend all my cash on chocolate - as was definitely my wish at the time.
After work I did go for a walk, it wasn't actively raining and I was willing to accept getting home soggy and changing straight away if necessary if that changed. It was only three miles and included a bit of shopping but that was enough to take the edge off my restlessness. Thankfully.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with onion, spinach & mushroom
Lunch: raw carrot & ginger soup
Dinner: soup made by adding homemade stock and vegetables to the oxtail stew I had earlier in the week
Snacks: meatballs, mixed nuts, a little coconut kefir

Thursday, June 26, 2014

That'll teach me not to boast...

Hardly slept last night... :-( Don't know what was different. I fell asleep very quickly again (I'm not good at visualization, but as soon as I hear the waves I picture myself in an unnaturally stable hammock on a Caribbean beach), but I woke up obscenely early and was shattered by the time my alarm sounded.
Too shattered to train first thing.
However, in an uncharacteristic surge of determination I still trained, just later in the day. I managed a walk as well, and this time, being plastered, socked and walking- booted, was able to do 2.3 miles. It was hot as hell and really humid... Half an hour later it was pouring with rain. But it held off till after the walk and I spent the time strolling through a nearby copse so no complaints!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon, spinach & mushroom
Lunch: not raw meatball & veg soup followed by strawberries
Dinner: spinach feta turkey burger in (portobello mushroom) bun with kale & avocado salad left from yesterday
Snacks: GF toast with butter; coconut milk kefir

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

what's new?...KX Barre

As more and more people start jumping on the health and fitness bandwagon, a new fitness craze or super health food product seems to be coming out weekly. To add my two cents into the mix, I�ve decided to start a �what�s new?� segment, where I will review the latest health and fitness trends and provide my verdict (for what it�s worth).
To kick things off, the lovely people at KX Pilates invited me to try one of their new KX Barre classes.

I was given a free class in exchange for a review. The review is my own opinion - I�m not being paid to say good things!
Inspired by the training undertaken by dancers, KX Barre incorporates a mixture of ballet barre exercises, Pilates and cardio. I opted to try the Barre Sculpt class, as it promises a full body workout that strengthens, lengthens and tones your muscles (yes please!).
Coming from a background of high intensity strength and conditioning training (I did CrossFit for 2 years, now I do kickboxing and Muay Thai), I did wonder whether the class would actually give me a good workout. Well, it did. I was buggered by the end. Not dripping in sweat, but it felt like every muscle in my body had been worked hard. I especially felt it in my inner thighs and glutes a.k.a. my bum (glute medius, maximus, minimus�the lot).
What can you expect from the workout? Lots of pli�s, leg raises, kicks, arm circles with weights, Pilates-style abdominal work and a good stretch at the end. The movements simply use your body weight, resistance bands or small hand weights, so it�s all about muscle endurance. 

Pilates-style abdominal work with resistance bands

I did ballet growing up, so I really enjoyed the class�s ballet flavour. But you don�t need any dance training to do the classes. I�d say that once you�ve learnt the movements over a couple of classes, you�ll be set. The classes are small, so the instructor gets around to everyone to help with technique.

Verdict: If you�re looking to improve muscle endurance, lengthen your muscles and improve your balance and co-ordination, KX Barre classes are for you.

For locations and to book classes, go to the KX Pilates website

Cracking crackers

Missing something crunchy . These may do the job. These go really well with some nut butter or even home made guacamole.  I got the inspiration for these from Elana's pantry.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. In a blender conbine all the ingredients. 
  2. Pulse until dough forms.
  3. Place dough between two sheets of parchment or baking paper.
  4. Roll out to about 1/16 inch thickness.
  5. Cut into crackers, using knife or cookie cutter. 
  6. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Bake at 180degC for 12-14 minutes.

  8. Serve. ( or store in airtight container)

Bounty Bites

Summers up.. and we all remember those refreshing bounty bar ads! OR is that just me. Well i saw another recipe for a paleo bounty bar posted yesterday. So i thought that ii'd give it a try . I mixed it up a little bit and made bounty bites instead. Don't think i could indulge myself with a full bar, so the odd bite sized treat now and then is much more justifiable. Now i just have to make sure not to raid the freezer. 


Coconut mixture
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
Chocolate mixture
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder (green and blacks is what i used)
  • Pinch of raw honey/maple syrup (optional)
  1. Combine the coconut together in a bowl to form a paste
  2. Place a teaspoon of the mixture into an ice cube tray (1/2 filling the mould) and repeat until mixture gone. 
  3. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until set. 
  4. Combine chocolate ingredients together in a bowl until mixed completely. 
  5. Remove the ice cube tray from the freezer. 
  6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the frozen oconut to the top of each mould.
  7. Place in the freezer again to set.
  8. Once set remove from freezer and remove from ice cube tray. 

These case be placed in an airtight container in the freezer.. or eaten straight away ;)

I slept like a log last night

 Like.a.log. I was using my iPad Smart Alarm app, which plays soothing sounds for half an hour when you set it to help you fall asleep (waves against the shore in my case) and not only did I not last the 30 minutes, but I don't remember hearing anything past the point when I turned my light off! I woke up about 4:20 (the alarm's set for 4:30) and was totally comfortable & relaxed. The relaxed part didn't last long once I climbed onto the Versaclimber, but was pleasant while it did last!
At lunchtime I hoped for a 3 mile walk but cut it short at 1.3 miles because of a painful blister on the sole of my foot (right below the ball of the foot) I should have been more disappointed than I was, but there was a strong breeze with a cold edge to it so I was only enjoying the bits when the wind dropped anyway :-) I'll have to bring some different walking boots tomorrow that hopefully won't rub in the same place(s) - and add a plaster.
Of course we're due Glastonbury weather so the question may be academic by tomorrow lunchtime... But if not, need my walk!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon, spinach & green pepper
Lunch: raw spicy bok choy soup followed by strawberries with natural live yoghurt
Dinner: salmon fish cakes drizzled with wasabi mayo, with kale & avocado salad in a mustard vinaigrette (homemade of course
, from this recipe
Snacks: mixed nuts (almonds, cashews and brazil nuts); Paleo meatballs

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I had such a busy day at work today...
Did I train today?
Sure did
Did I walk today?
ETA: Ooh, ooh, here's another... Did I do a chin up today?
I did not
Did I do 5 (and a half) chin ups today?
Oh yeah!!!! I sure did! First time since my op...!!!
Am I knackered?

I'll try to be slightly more alive tomorrow...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leftover garlic fried pork mince, spinach & green pepper
Lunch: raw spicy bok choy soup
Dinner: oxtail stew with broccoli and cauliflower
Snacks: mixed nuts (almonds, cashews and brazil nuts); Paleo mini frittatas

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Monday!!!


Friday, on my training course,I spent the whole day on my bum, in the car or training room. I did however train before I left and walk a couple of miles after I got home, and although I wasn't able to be gluten free I didn't eat appallingly.
I didn't train over the weekend due to some shoulder / neck pain. I also didn't walk much, maybe a couple of miles each day, and I fell back into the eating too much weekend trap. If I can train more consistently that should improve - or failing that spending long periods walking so I don't have time to eat...
If I can't I'm never going to make any progress for my holiday in 8 weeks time.

This morning when my alarm went off at 4:30 I swore vigorously and considered throwing my mobile through the nearest window. Then got up and trained instead. But it was a close thing. At lunchtime I walked just under 3 miles - along the canal tow path. It was lovely (although something bit me) 

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon, tomatoes, spinach & red onion
Lunch: raw carrot-ginger soup
Dinner: big salad with tuna mayo & hard boiled egg for protein
Snacks: mixed nuts (almonds, cashews and brazil nuts); Paleo meatballs

Healthy Hair Feature || Izzie

1. What made you go natural?  How long have you been natural?
 I went natural because I saw baby pictures of how long and thick my hair was and wanted to try and get back to that. I struggled with a lot of self esteem issues and figured that the best step to having a higher self image was to learn to embrace myself as I naturally am, and that meant natural hair. I have been natural for one year and 8 months . I got my last relaxer right before I started my first year of college. 

2. Did you transition? If so, for how long?  
I transitioned for 11 months. From September 2012-August 2013. My big chop was spontaneous. I washed my hair, saw the curl patter and got excited and just cut off the relaxed ends. I had planned to transition for at least a year and a half while chopping off small amounts at a time. 

3. What is your Healthy Hair routine?
I co-wash my hair once a week. Before I wash, I do a pre-poo of honey, a rinse out moisturizing conditioner and coconut oil. Then I deep condition with heat. Once a month, I do a clarifying wash and a protein treatment.  I moisturize my hair three times a week with a water, glycerin and aloe vera mix. Then I seal with olive oil and a butter. 

4. Do you have a Healthy Body routine?  If so, what is it?
I am a student athlete at university, so during my season I train for professional track and field.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and run every morning, whether sprint intervals or a cardio work out. When I'm on holiday, I do 30 mins of cardio and then do yoga. I drink water throughout the day and try to eat as healthy as possible. I eat fruits every day, mostly for breakfast. I incorporate vegetables into my lunch and dinner. 

5. What advice/tips do you have for naturals?
Embrace your natural hair. Its who you are. Also, moisture is important when trying to retain length. Moisturize as soon as your hair needs it. 

6. Where can we find you?
Instagram: @izziebadsuh

Reader's Question: Alopecia, Regrowth, and Hair Styles


I have been following you for a while and I admit I am a huge fan of your articles. After carrying locs for 7 years, I big chopped in January to start a new nappy journey. Unfortunately, my hair start to shed heavily beginning of March. I believe it is because of an alopecia post-partum. (My daughter was born end of December). I even have bald spots. Having short hair and severe alopecia on the edges is quite a tough moment. I would like to know if you could make an article on this topic and give some advices to treat the alopecia and above all to style hair...I find it very hard to style my hair. Thank you in advance for your support. Cheers.

Gathered from what I've read as well as seen firsthand, this sort of alopecia can begin 2-5 months after childbirth (Eastthum, JH. Postpartum alopecia. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2001) and should be temporary.  However, definitely consult a physician, especially if you are noticing more bald spots or no hair regrowth in the next few months.  In the meantime, I don't mind sharing the following:


Time and patience.  I know that this is not an answer one wants to hear, but it's true.  Postpartum alopecia usually resolves itself, so just give it time.  In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to massage the affected areas to help (a bit) with circulation and regrowth.  I do NOT recommend using essential oils, though, merely because some are not a good idea while breastfeeding.  However, you can consult your physician if you wish to use them.  

Finding hairstyles that mask the postpartum alopecia are difficult, but you can do your best to make things work until your hair grows back.  Some women (e.g., my sister after giving birth to her child) opt for cutting their to make it all closer to the same length.  Others go for wigs.  The two videos below provide additional options: 1) Fold N Tuck hairstyle for hiding bald spots or thinning areas and 2) a temporary spray-on color for visible bald areas.  I do wish you well and a belated congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

How to Be Your Own "Salad Samurai"

Naked salad. Not much fun.

I am frequently asked for recipes, and it seems like everyone needs and loves great Whole Food Plant Based salad dressing recipes. Ever since experimenting with seriously limiting the amount of nuts and seeds in my diet, I have had to go back to the drawing board with all of my favorite salad dressing recipes.

It was Chef AJ who was the first to suggest (at least to me) making sauces and dressings with a cannellini bean base, as opposed to, say, a cashew nut base. While I cannot say that making that shift was easy peasy from a taste and texture perspective, it is worth it to me because that substitution cuts way down on the number of calories and grams of fat in the otherwise uber healthy food that I eat. And because I really am a volume eater, I'm looking for all of the ways that I can to cut the calories while still eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet.

Read more �

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Broccoli Soup

  • 3/4 cup chopped spring onion 
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon chopped
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 2 cups chicken broth (was in a rush.. so i used a baby organic gluten free chicken stock cube)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

  1. In saucepan, mix onion, oil, tarragon, broccoli, and salt to taste.
  2. Stir over medium heat about 3 minutes. 
  3. In small bowl, whiskflour and 2 tbsp water until smooth; set aside.
  4. Add broth, vinegar, pepper, and remaining water to pan. 
  5. Bring almost to a boil. 
  6. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  7. Puree soup in blender and return to pot. 
  8. Whisk in flour mixture;stir over medium high heat until slightly thickened.
This made about 3 portions, you can freeze the other two and have for another day.

Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfast on the go , an easy one to throw together. Just put all the ingredients in the blender, and blitz until smooth.. :-) Easy Peasy


  • Handful frozen berries
  • Scoop of protein powder
  • Almond milk or coconut milk
  • Water or Ice
  • Large handful of fresh spinach

  • 1 Tbsp nut butter (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)


  1. Put all the ingredients into the blender or smoothie maker. 
  2. Blitz until smooth. 
  3. Pour into glass or on the go drinks bottle. 

Enjoy :-)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 4 glove garlic crushed
  • 4 scallions/spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 4 table spoons tomato puree
  • Himalayan Salt / Apple cider vinegar to flavor
  • 2 red peppers
  1. Chop/Crush garlic finely
  2. finely chop scallions
  3. sweat off garlic and spring scallions in a little oil in a pot
  4. Add tins of tomatoes and tomato puree
  5. Add a �little� salt and vinegar � about 1 teaspoon salt and a few drops ofvinegar
  6. Turn down heat low and leave to simmer for 1 hour
  7. While this is simmering � 
  8. Put two red peppers on a little oil on baking tray in oven
  9. roast in oven for about 20mins at 180, or until start to go a little brown and soft
  10. Remove peppers and cut down middle to drain off juice from inside
  11. Skin and chop peppers and add to sauce
  12. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Blend and pour over already cooked mince. 

Any leftover sauce can be frozen to use at a later date. 

Back on track...

This morning I got back on track with a workout started minutes before I was awake enough to change my mind. I can tell I don't train as hard first thing as I would later but I'm hoping that 1) I'll be more consistent and therefore build my fitness faster anyway and 2) I'll improve my fasted training as I get stronger and hopefully lighter. If not I'll have to find a way to motivate myself for after work, but I'll give it some time first.
The real question is probably did it improve my mood the way yesterday's post speculated it would? Well, yes... And no.
I'm not as bad tempered today as yesterday but I have been pretty depressed even so. I don't know what's wrong with me just now but I'm definitely lacking in the joys of spring summer time...
I'll be spending tomorrow in a training course so may not have time to post btw

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon, mushrooms & a tiny bit of sweet potato
Lunch: leftover slow cooker hot & sour soup
Dinner: Paleo oven fried salmon cakes (recipe in Well Fed 2 cookbook) with salad and homemade dressing
Snacks: cashews, Paleo meatballs dipped in Paleo homemade barbecue sauce

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Yes it's summer and you're probably not in the mood for soup, but i find its light and easy to digest.. especially in the heat.. and its tasty too :)


  • coconut oil for frying
  • 5 scallions/spring onions , finely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500-600ml chicken or vegetable stock (gluten free)

  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft.
  2. Add the squash, garlic, garam masala and cumin and fry gently for a few minutes.
  3. Continue stirring so nothing sticks.

  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  6. Check that the squash is soft.
  7. You can serve as chunky soup or blend, whichever is your preference.

unsweetened bliss balls...

...because you're sweet enough already (or have a parasite that feeds on sugars).

I recently found out that I have a parasite. It has set up shop in my intestines and has been causing me grief. I may have picked it up while travelling overseas, or I may have had it for 10 years, it's hard to tell. What I do know is that I was experiencing a range of symptoms that are often linked to parasites (bloating, cramps, acid reflux, nightmares and night sweats). So I did a stool test and it came back positive for a common parasite called blastocystis hominis. 

Before I get to the recipe for the bliss balls (if you still feel like eating), I'll give you a quick run down on how I'm proceeding to treat the parasite and what I have learnt so far.

Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat blastocystis hominis, but from what I have read, they have a relatively high failure rate in treating this parasite and they also kill your good gut bacteria, which can lead to more problems. As the symptoms I'm experiencing aren't debilitating (although they certainly aren't nice), I've decided at this stage to try a cleansing protocol involving dietary changes (e.g. avoid sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine) and a range of herbs and supplements to kill the parasite and heal my gut. I'm hoping to avoid antibiotics, but I never say never.

I've been on the cleansing protocol for a month now (and I'm starting to feel better). What have I learnt so far?

  • DO NOT google "parasite photos". I did and regret it. You want to be informed and understand what's going on, but some images are best left unseen.
  • Same goes for googling "what to expect from parasite cleanse". Perusing forums on this topic is not advisable. I have an overactive imagination and there's some crazy sh*t out there that I wish never entered my head.
  • Speak to people who have researched and dealt with parasites. I've been working with Darren at Total Reformation. He recommended the parasite cleansing protocol that I'm currently doing.
  • Drink LOTS of (filtered) water. As the parasites start to die, they release toxins which make you feel crap. Drinking water helps flush out the toxins and encourages elimination. I bought a simple filter jug to filter my water. 
  • I've found that I feel better after some sweaty exercise. [I've recently had to stop CrossFit due to some neck/back issues. I've been doing kickboxing and Muay Thai for the past 3 months, which has become my new love/obsession and my body has been responding really well.]
  • Try to relax and reduce stress. For me, the key thing has been to do what I need to do to get rid of the parasite, whilst not focusing too much on it. Some great advice given to me by Lana Jankovic was to "focus on cultivating space for relaxation and enjoyment, rather than worrying too much about 'fighting' the stress". Love this.

Now to the recipe. One of the key things that feeds a parasite is sugar (including natural sweeteners, fruit or anything high starch). So I created these Unsweetened Bliss Balls for emergency snacking and to lift my energy if I'm feeling a bit low. If parasites aren't an issue, you could add a dash of your preferred natural sweetener, but the coconut does provide natural sweetness. If you can't eat nuts, you could use tahini or sunflower seed butter in place of the almond butter. Anything goes with this recipe, I created it by chucking in whatever I had in my pantry and hoping for the best.


  • � cup organic coconut cream *
  • � cup almond butter, sunflower seed butter or tahini
  • � cup raw cacao butter, melted **
  • � cup raw virgin coconut oil, melted
  • � cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (watch out for sweetened varieties and preservatives - the ingredients should just list coconut)
  • � cup natural protein powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp pure vanilla powder or extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra desiccated coconut for rolling


1. Stir the coconut cream and almond butter together in a large bowl. Then stir through the melted cacao butter and coconut oil until well combined.

2. Stir through the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, protein powder (if using), vanilla and salt until everything is well combined. If the mixture is still a bit too wet, add a little more coconut flour (it absorbs a lot of moisture, so go slowly).

3. Roll the mixture into balls and roll in the extra coconut. Place the balls in the fridge to firm up.

4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Canned coconut cream usually needs to be eaten within 3-4 days of opening the can, so I wouldn't leave the balls around for too long. (They never last that long anyway when I'm around).

Makes 12 large balls.

* Use the creamy part of the coconut cream (not the watery part). If you let a can of coconut cream sit still for a while, the creamy part rises to the top. Scoop it off the top and save the watery part for smoothies or to thin sauces or batters. You should get about � cup of the creamy part from a 400ml can of coconut cream. Go for an organic brand in a BPA-free can if possible. 

** Raw cacao butter is the solid that's left over when cacao powder is extracted from the cacao bean. It gives these balls a delicious, creamy texture. You can melt it by placing it in a bowl, partially submerging the bowl in hot water and stirring occasionally until melted. I buy raw cacao butter in little buttons from the health food store for easy melting. If you have it in a block, shave it into little pieces with a knife to speed up the melting time. You can also microwave it to melt, but this isn't ideal. If you can't find raw cacao butter, you could try using some extra coconut oil instead (although this will mean the balls will be more prone to melting). 

Reader Advice Day: Derailed and Deflated

Greetings All!

I'm back with another round of Reader Advice Day. But first I want to make sure that you know that Chef AJ and I will be hosting our second free teleclass on the evening of July 7th. I'll will put out the details in a later post, but I want you to mark your calendars now. The subject will be "Eating Outside of Your Home on an SOS Free, Whole Foods Plant Based Diet."

And now back to the question. It comes from a dear, dear person that was in my 6th grade class! Through the magic of Facebook, we are reconnected over our shared interest in health and well being. The other day, this message came in from her:

Hi Wendy! I've been following your blog on FB for a while now. I've learned a lot from your journey. I have a question for you. I was really on track for a good three years. I did not have a weight problem as a kid or young adult, but after my second kid, I have been battling weight gain - for lots of reasons. So, here's the question. I maintained a 30 lb weight loss for several years, but after a VERY stressful year, have put it all back on, and I can't seem to get myself back on track, and I am full tilt off the rails - candy, cookies, meat, butter. Can you share any strategies that you've used to get back on track? Thanks! And it's been fun reading your blog. Thanks for putting it out there!

So what I am mostly interested in hearing is how YOU get back on track after feeling derailed from this WOE (way of eating).

But since my old friend asked, here's a list of things that has helped me over the past four years:

Read more �

What a difference a work out makes

Yesterday I felt wide awake, energetic, virtuous and happy most of the day because I trained first thing. I heard uncouth sounds from the desk across from me and only wanted to strangle the guy about 10 times all day; I was bored / frustrated but accepted that as just the way it goes; and even the (unrealized) possibility of having to work late didn't really faze me. OK, I still complained about the heat all afternoon due to the lack of air conditioning, but that's exceptionally unbearable working conditions that NO ONE could be expected to accept.
Today? M slept in so I didn't feel I could train on the noisy machine in the next room and wake him up. So I put off the session till after work.
What difference did that make to my mood? I felt sluggish and depressed first thing. I wanted to kill the guy across from me 10 times in the first 10 MINUTES after he got to work (and my fantasy murder method was way more violent than mere strangulation.) And by 8 am (I walked into the office at 6:40) I was so bored, frustrated & generally fed up that I wanted to tell them to stuff their job and stomp out. It was miserably grey and dreary, which probably didn't help, but even so... talk about your Jekyll & Hyde!!!
At lunchtime I didn't really feel like going for a walk but there were glimpses of sunshine that I hoped would cheer me up, plus I wanted to get some change for a �10 note so I went into town. If I'm honest I was really really really tempted to buy a ton of absolute crap and find somewhere to hide and binge out. The first shop I entered had a queue stretching half way to the back of the shop, and I wasn't willing to wait in line for that long, so I went on to a convenience store further down the street, and by the time I got there I'd decided just to buy some bottled water. I then walked on a bit, in total almost the regulation 2 miles, which wasn't that impressive in terms of exercising but I suppose better than nothing. I did go into the canteen of a local office building and buy a satsuma, but that was all. The walk didn't do a lot to cheer my up (it was nice when the wind dropped but sadly there was a nasty cold edge to the wind and it blew most of the time. On the other hand I finished up feeling no less, but also no more, grouchy than I started out - if I had pigged out I'm pretty sure I'd be feeling worse right now.

However. I did not train after work. I was starving when I walked into the house, and I instantly ate dinner then got bogged down with chores. See what I mean about training first thing being best?

Possibly as a punishment for my grouchiness today I've had a little discomfort in my eye. It's so little it's hardly worth mentioning except as a marker for how much better it has been lately. I've had prolonged periods of being unaware of my eye unless messing about with it - rubbing it for instance - but today I've been aware of it again with a very slight ache easily treated with paracetamol.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek & tomatoes
Lunch: salad with roasted gammon and homemade wasabi mayonnaise
Dinner: slow cooker hot & sour soup based on this recipe but I don't eat soy anymore so I replaced tofu with chicken breast, and I didn't have water chestnuts but did add carrot & celery, and used pork bone broth instead of chicken stock. But it's basically that recipe. It had mushrooms in it. So it's that recipe.
Snacks: cashews, Paleo meatballs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Join Healthy World Cafe for lunch Wednesday, June 25

We had a great Sunday afternoon this month at the Kiwanis Lake Be-In, selling out of nearly every item! Check out an article on the event from the York Daily Record.

If you missed our offerings earlier in June, you have another chance to enjoy our locally sourced eats: Healthy World Cafe will be open for lunch Wednesday, June 25!

Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 at First Moravian Church, 41 N. Duke St., York, where we'll be serving up delicious options straight from our local farmers. 

Check out our menu!

Lemon Chicken Soup -- A creamy chicken soup with seasonal snow peas and just a hint of lemon

Pea Soup -- A smooth and refreshing puree with tarragon and fresh summer peas

Farmer's Harvest Frittata -- Celebrating York County's June harvest and bursting with the flavors of creamy garlic boursin

Radish and Fava Bean Salad -- Mouth watering Fava Beans and peppery radishes tossed with olive oil and seasonal herbs, topped with a parsley and tahini sauce. Served over fresh garden greens.

Russian Salad -- A vegan version of this classic pink salad. Beets, new potatoes, carrots and peas spiced with a creamy lemon, pickle and horseradish dressing. Served over fresh garden greens.

Chapati -- Served around the world, chapati is most commonly known as Indian flatbread. With its round shape, chewy texture and nutty flavor, it is a staple in South Asia, the Middle East, South Africa and China. Our volunteers are excited to share this nutritious, unleavened whole wheat bread with you.

Pea Hummus -- Smooth hummus from peas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice

Beet Hummus -- Chickpeas, almonds, beets and a little balsamic vinegar for a tart twist

Strawberry Soup -- Strawberries fresh from the orchard. We invite you to enjoy this delicate strawberry, yogurt and cardamom puree. 

Of course, our menu is always based on what's available from our farmer friends, so check back for updates. At Healthy World Cafe, we always feature our "eat what you want, pay how you can" philosophy. The ability to pay should never be a barrier to accessing delicious, unprocessed, healthy food.

Housekeeping items worth noting:

-- PARKING: When coming to the cafe for our Wednesday lunches, pleaseDO NOT park in the private lots surrounding First Moravian Church. You may park on the street (metered), or you may park at First Presbyterian Church at E. Market and N. Queen streets in the un-numbered, yellow-lined parking spots, and please include a sign on your dashboard to indicate you are a Healthy World Cafe volunteer. Then, walk one block west down Clarke Avenue to First Moravian (and enter on north side)!

-- TAKE OUT: Take out orders for lunch are available by e-mailing your selections (by 10 a.m. June 25) to healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

-- VOLUNTEERING: In order to better respect our volunteers' time, we split the Wednesday lunch into two volunteer shifts: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m. Feel free, of course, to sign up for both shifts, if you wish.

Here's a breakdown of our volunteer needs for this month's lunch:

-- 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 23 -- Food prep at First Moravian Church (FMC), 39 N. Duke St., York.
-- 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 -- Food prep at First Moravian Church (FMC), 39 N. Duke St., York.
-- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 -- Food prep and serving at FMC. We're now splitting our lunch days into two volunteer shifts to better respect our volunteers' time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m. Feel free to sign up for both, if you wish. If you can't work a full shift (say, you can be there 10 to 2, but not as early as 9), please email sarah.e.chain(at)gmail(dot)com and let us know when to expect you!

Find other upcoming dates and sign up to volunteer through our calendar on VolunteerSpot.

Monday AGAIN...???

The weekend wasn't great, I seem to have got into the habit of doing well most of the week then doing so badly at the weekend I negate all the good I had been doing. Actually Friday was bad and so was Saturday (full on binge) but Sunday I trained then walked - and with an extremely heavy, back breaking rucksack as well - so I was more active than any weekend within recent memory.
I was much more motivated today I'm glad to say, and once again went for the double whammy of walking at lunchtime and training after work. (it was actually a chilly walk due to lots of cloud & a cold wind - but the heat is due back tomorrow. And we still have no air conditioning in the office...) I also selected a program in the climber in the hope it would push me harder than I'd push myself (but selected a fairly wussy program to reduce the benefit). I'm boosting the protein back up somewhat now that I'm training more - I was starving all last week and definitely ate more than my training effort warranted as a result. Hopefully the much hyped satiating quality of protein will stop me doing that this week. I've got 2 months before we go on holiday and I want to lose weight by then (my Plan B is to buy Spanx but that is basically an acceptance that I've lost my weightloss mojo and I'm not yet ready for that)
Food Friday:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek, yellow pepper & mushrooms
Lunch: salad with Paleo salad dressing & grilled skinless chicken thighs
Dinner: salad with a million veggies, Paleo dressing, and poached chicken breast
Snacks: cashews, cold meat

ETA: I wrote this yesterday and thought it posted then until I arrived on blogger to post today and found it was still only a draft...

I feel good...

Today I got up at 4:30 (20 minutes earlier than usual) and trained before work. (I prefer to do that but for noise reasons rarely can during the week). Training is much better for waking up and feeling energised than any amount of coffee!!! (though I did pretty much yawn my way through the first 30 minutes)
It was good knowing it was done and nothing later could get in the way - especially as there was a chance that I might have been working late tonight. As I didn't end up working late in the end it also gave me time for some housework. I've been neglecting it more than usual lately as I've been adding the training into my routine - and prioritizing it heavily in an attempt to get back into the habit.
I walked 3 miles at lunchtime along the Kennet & Avon canal. It was perfect walking weather - pleasant breeze to cool things down, sunshine and shade, blue sky & fluffy clouds - lovely!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek, red pepper & mushrooms
Lunch: raw carrot ginger soup
Dinner: Bolognese with sweet potato noodles
Snacks: cashews

Raspberry Chocolates

This one was one that i saw in the I Quit Sugar cookbook and just had to make it. I didn't have any coconut flakes so i used desiccated coconut instead. I also threw in some almond flakes to add a bit of nutty crunchiness.

  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa butter
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  1. Line a plate with baking powder.
  2. Scatter the berries, coconut and almond flakes around the plate.

  3. Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a pan.
  4. Stir in the cocoa powder and maple syrup , stirring continusouly until combined.

  5. Pour the mixture over the berries mixture.

  6. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until hardened.

  7. To serve either break into pieces or cut in wedges. 


Friday, June 13, 2014


I managed to get some sleep Thursday night, possibly as much to do with all the fresh air as the nytol + beer. I didn't - still don't - feel caught up, but I did feel human enough to go in to the office. I did not, however, go for a long walk at lunchtime. The heat in the office has been getting increasingly enervating and it killed my motivation stone dead. I managed to walk as far as a convenience store with a freezer full of ice-cream and I did purchase a Solero, but in my defense it was medicinal to lower my core body temp from a fast boil to a slow simmer.... I also didn't have the energy to train after work, so I declared yesterday a rest day. Then it turned into a pig out day as well... I had 2 beers (only 2 - and I felt slightly too drunk to post!) and ate junk and fell into bed fairly early. Then woke up very early in the morning due to thunder in the distance, torrential rain and even some lightning. I managed to doze off again with help from ear plugs and an eye mask but was restless till it was properly morning, and got up early.

Food Friday:
Breakfast: raw tomato bisque
Lunch: pork scratchings and a Solero
Dinner: grilled chicken thighs, protein cookie, non gf toast...
Snacks: cashews, eat natural bar

Thursday, June 12, 2014


So, less than no sleep last night had me shambling around like an extra from The Walking Dead this morning. As a result I elected to work from home rather than risk causing mayhem on the roads. Of course that wasn't a hardship compared to working in a sauna all day. We don't have air conditioning at home either but at least I have a fan.
At lunchtime I walked just over 2 miles - I'd intended to bring forward my climber workout but didn't have the energy. A nap might have been an even better idea - except I'm not good at napping.
After I finished work, I went for more of the same - keeping active even though I had no energy or interest. Total mileage today about 5. Total Vitamin D ~ 1700% of RDA. Yay!!! No need to supplement right now...
In an attempt to avoid insomnia tonight I've had exactly one beer .. and a nytol. Wish me luck!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: breakfast smoothie of homemade coconut milk kefir that had been flavoured with pureed banana & homemade vanilla extract, blended with spinach, avocado, strawberries & raw cocoa powder
Lunch: leftover kale avocado salad with tinned salmon in homemade mayo
Dinner: chicken vegetable stirfry with Paleo 'hoisin' sauce
Snacks: dried mango and a very small amount of homemade pork scratchings

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


No, I have not been having fun in the kitchen...
Today was the 3rd day this week with no air con at work and we've been told it won't be fixed till Monday. It's really unpleasant in the office at the moment. Reaaaally unpleasant...
At lunchtime I cooled down by walking 2 miles in the sun - and believe me, it was cooler!
And I trained again after work. Is that what you call being on a roll? Maybe it's too soon to say that - but you can't get a roll without first training 3 times - or 4, or 5... Right?

Food today:
Breakfast: raw tomato coconut soup
Lunch: raw spicy bok choy soup & a snack pack of apricots
Dinner: Paleo bbq ribs with kale & avocado salad
Snacks: cashews and Greek yoghurt

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Doing well

Trained again today. Nothing like feeling you can't train for a few weeks to make you want to even though previously you didn't bother...
And funny how training makes you less inclined to eat muffins and doughnuts... A good day today!
Lunchtime I walked 2 miles as well. It was really warm again and I went to the towpath and walked along the Kennet & Avon canal to stay away from shops in case the carbs came back for another attempt on my resolve. Luckily the towpath is quite shady as it didn't occur to me to wear or bring sunscreen when I left home
Food today:
Breakfast: raw tomato bisque soup
Lunch: raw carrot ginger soup
Dinner: offal stew with parsnip mash & leeks
Snacks: cashews and Greek yoghurt

Hair Diary || Wash and Going It + Finding a Use for Gel

My hair boredom is officially cured! I guess all that I needed was to "play in my strands" for a month AND get more highlights.  So, now it's time for me to return to my usual twists, right?  ... Eh, not quite.  Because the summer heat is forcing me to wash my hair 1-2x a week, I would have to re-do my twists more frequently.  Given my schedule, that is NOT happening.  So what to do with my hair?  Wash and going it for now!

Oh, and gel is coming in handy at the moment ... but not for attempting to bring curl definition my undefined coils and kinks.  Rather, the gel is for "freezing" my coils and kinks in place so that they do not tangle as easily.  This then allows me to extend my wash and go to day two or day three (if I'm lucky).

And now for more hair pics:
Flat-ironed hair getting frizzy.

Let the wash and go begin.

After raking it through with some gel (for hold NOT definition).

The front.  I don't bother attempting to make my puff look
neater than this since I don't want to cause tangles.

Study || Antioxidants from Artichoke and Rice Reduce UV Damage of the Hair

Extracts of artichoke and rice to protect our hair from sun damage?  While researching information for a different post, I came across a study which addresses this topic.
"Natural antioxidants obtained from artichoke and rice applied to pretreated hair improved mechanical properties and preserved colour and shine of fibres, coating them and protecting them against UV. .... Furthermore, the lipidic peroxidation of the protein degradation caused by UV was reduced for some treated fibres, suggesting an improvement in fibre integrity. "
Interesting, huh!  Here are some notes I made detailing some of the findings a bit further:
The rice extract was better at preserving the hair's tensile strength.  (It is believed that this is because "the rice extract has biofunctional peptides with high substantivity for keratin".  These peptides can "penetrate and protect the hair from the inside".) 
Both artichoke and rice extracts protected the hair from protein degradation.  The artichoke extract showed a higher protection, "probably due to the strong antioxidants such as hydroxycinnamic derivatives in the extract." 
Both artichoke and rice extracts protected the hair from UVB damage, with the rice extract providing more protection possibly due its composition. Rice extract contains phytic acid antioxidant and medium molecular weight peptides that "may form a protective layer on the hair's surface."
To read more details on the study, check out the full article (only abstract is available below)!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Moving onwards

First up I'll admit I lied about being over the bingeing - or overeating anyway - that lasted all weekend and I drank beer too.
Yesterday I had my eyes tested for new glasses. Unbelievably the optician said my prescription hadn't changed at all since the last eye test - so now I'm kind of newly all impressed with my surgeon. My eyes are generally healthy, she confirmed that my vision with my current glasses is good enough for driving, and there was no last minute panicky 'wtf is that' with regard to holes, detachments, tears or cataracts - all of which was massively reassuring. OK, I've spent a fortune on new glasses that I will get in a couple of weeks, but for now I've got no more milestones in the near future - so no excuses for more overeating!
I drove to work today - and home obviously - and omg the difference it makes getting home at 4:30 instead of 5:30!!! I hopped on the climber virtually the minute I walked through the door and had finished my workout & shower before I would have unlocked the front door travelling by train! I had already been for a 2 mile walk at lunchtime as well - rather a hot & sweaty one sadly. Also I made the mistake of not eating my healthy raw green soup for lunch before I went to the farm shop... Which completely changed the whole face of my lunch (see below...) and forced me to tweak my dinner to come in within calories....
Food today:
Breakfast: raw spicy bok choy soup (made with baby spinach instead of bok choy)
Lunch: toffee pecan muffin, dried apple crisps, and 3 medjool dates.... The carbs got me!!!!
Dinner: tinned salmon & salad
Snacks: cashews and homemade banana-coconut milk kefir

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday at last

I forgot to mention yesterday that I walked 5 miles to (not even a little bit) work off the calories of my binge - 4 miles getting to and from the hospital plus another mile going to Wetherspoons for dinner as I couldn't face cooking when I finally got home. So I was nicely active anyway!
Today was not as active. 2 miles walking to the train station and back - check. Walking at lunchtime? Nope - it was baking hot and the air-con at work is broken so being vigorous, coming back sweaty, and then sitting stewing all afternoon just wasn't going to happen. And after work there wasn't time for anything more before the taxi came to take us out for dinner.... We went out for dinner in celebration of the milestone yesterday with my eye. We went to one of our favourite local treat restaurants - the wonderful Michelin starred Royal Oak in Paley Street Berkshire. The restaurant is particularly well known for it's game and fish, and deservedly so.
Because I knew I'd be eating out anyway I also binged again - but now I'm done with that I think. But that's why there's no food for the main part of the day... Eating x cookies & peanut m&m's is too embarrassing to type. My eye - especially the muscles in the outside corner - has been really quite sore today after all yesterdays 'look right', 'look up and right', 'look down and right'... Can you get DOMS in the eye? If you can, that's what I've got.

Here�s my dinner:

Starter: Heritage tomato salad with Rosary goat�s cheese and black olive tapenade � to die for�

IMAG0235 (1)

Hake with samphire, cockles & mussel sauce


Mango mousse with passion fruit jelly and Calamansi Sorbet


Sheer heaven!!! And since I do drink when I eat out, a wonderful Californian White Wine � Le Cigare Blanc Grenache-Rousseau � and an even more wonderful Japanese whisky as a digestif - Nikka Miyagikyo 15 yr old single malt. And a mandarin champagne cocktail.

I am feeling merry!!!

In Defense of the film "Fed Up"

You guys may or may not have seen T. Colin Campbell's scathing analysis of the movie Fed Up. I read his review with great interest, as this movie pretty much changed the direction of my family's way of eating a few weeks ago.

I want you to know that I totally agree with everything that T. Colin Campbell says about this documentary. It is overly simplistic and points a finger at only one of many, many factors (some even yet unknown to us) that are causing the rise in obesity: sugar. By singling out sugar as the bad guy, most people who see this movie will be falsely lured into a feeling that if they just get the sugar out of their diet, then they will be okay.

But you already know better than that.

What T. Colin Cambpell fails to recognize or admit is that this movie has some real, positive power in it. For lack of a better way to say this, don't throw the baby out with the bath water!

So I feel the need to defend "Fed Up!" and here's why:

Read more �

Did You Miss the UWL Teleclass with Chef AJ? Wanna Hear It?

Good morning everyone!

Well, I'm very happy to report that my first ever Ultimate Weight Loss teleclass with Chef AJ was ah-maze-ing! Thank you to everyone who called in to listen. The feedback on it was very inspiring--enough to make AJ and I want to schedule the next one for June right away. Look out for details on the night and time. The focus of that class is going to be how to maintain this WOE (way of eating) while travelling, in restaurants, and at other peoples' houses--basically anytime you are outside of your own home.

Read more �

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Had my appointment. I was there early, and in total spent about 2 HOURS at the hospital because they were running so late.
Still, he's still happy. I am free to get my eyes tested, spend a fortune on new glasses, and thereafter to drive. I am assured that my eye socket won't ache for ever.
He still wants to keep an eye on me... I have to go back in 3 or 4 months. But for  ow,all looks good.

PS I  winged a bit today due to all the stess. While I'd be happier if I could handle stress like a grown up I'm not too upset with myself under the circumstances.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Apologies for the language yesterday everybody....

Honestly Joy I don't hate the NHS either really, but I really needed to vent a bit! I'm glad we have them but they are broken and I can't think of many other organizations that are better designed to reduce their victims customers to a state of impotent rage!
After relieving some of my feelings in yesterday's post it seems anticlimactic to report that this morning I finally spoke directly to the surgeon's secretary and she was able to squeeze me in... Tomorrow!!! I really don't know why I bother trying to go through the 'proper channels' as any time I've managed to get anything done it's been by circumventing them completely.
Anyway. Fingers crossed he finds everything is ok in there tomorrow and tells me to just see an optician regularly from now on.

Horrible horrible horrible weather this morning. It was raining when I got up, when I started work, at lunchtime... But it was only cold yet sunny after work and I got 2 miles in and then made it onto the climber for 30 minutes. Once I can drive again that will go up... And the walking will go down :-( but that's just the way it needs to be if I want to lose weight, I can walk in my sleep and that's exactly what my body does now... So I need to up the intensity, and I need to be careful how I do it, at least for a while...

Food today:
Breakfast: pork & apple sausage with vegetable mini frittatas
Lunch: raw ginger soup with 2 slices gf bread (I couldn't help it, it was that or the real thing)
Dinner: rib steak, baked sweet potato & broccoli
Snacks: cashew nut butter; pickled cockles

Join HWC at Sunday's "Be-In" at Kiwanis Lake

Do you remember the "Be-Ins" of the 1970s?  The Avenues Neighborhood Association is bringing them back to York City.  Join Healthy World Cafe at the Be-In on Sunday, June 8, 11 am - 7:30 pm, at Kiwanis Lake.  The weather, the music, and the people will be amazing!

Healthy World Cafe will provide the food, and we've got some great things cooked up for the hungry crowd:

  • Chilled Spring Vegetable Soup
  • Grain Salad with fresh veggies and an herbed balsamic vinegar
  • Hummus with Toasted Flatbread
  • Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • HWC Dried Fruit Oatmeal Cookies
  • and something with fresh strawberries!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I am so frustrated... I still don't have an appointment for my post op check. I finally got through to the eye clinic today and was ever so helpfully redirected to the Royal Berkshire's general Booking Department where initially I was offered an appointment on the 8th of AUGUST!!! So should I have any asymptomatic bad side effects of the operation I can just wait 2 months to find out!!! After I explained why that wasn't good enough I was offered July 24th instead, and told if I couldn't wait that long I needed to call the surgeon's secretary to ask for help... Unlike the eye clinic, the secretary does have voicemail - I know because it seems to be permanently switched on while she doesn't return the calls.
It's funny (not) that both the eye clinic and the day ward I went to after I woke up gave me a comment form along the lines of 'if your friends or family members developed the same condition as you, how likely would you be to recommend us to them?'
NOT VERY!!! I realize the operation itself is the most important part of the process and I've been told that went well, but everything else has been complete shit. I'm not supposed to drive until he gives me the all clear, and I can't even get to see him! Fucking Royal Berkshire Hospital Eye Clinic (London Rd Reading - stay away if you have the choice) - absolute crap. I've been messed around and forgotten once already and now it's happening again. I hate the NHS and I hate the Royal Berkshire even more.

Food today:
Breakfast: pork & apple sausage with cucumber & tomatoes
Lunch: raw ginger soup and a bag of ready salted crisps
Dinner: tuna mayo zucchini pasta with salad
Snacks: cashews, Nak'd gingerbread bar