A bit tired today, not quite enough sleep.
Sleep: 8 hrs
Meditation: yes, at home and then in class
Exercise: none, just a bit of walking around
Breakfast: Leftover veg frittata, a coffee with 2 tbsp double cream.
Lunch: Leftover veg frittata, too many dates, let's say 100g
Snack: 1 piece of caramel-filled milk chocolate, 1 small piece of chocolate cake.
Snack: An apple.
Dinner (late): Leftover veg frittata. 1/4 an avocado. 10g 85% chocolate. A couple of tsp drinking chocolate powder. A couple of tsp honey. Sugary post-dinner cravings.
A day low on protein and high on sugar. Psychology of the office chocolate snacks as detailed above. Eating too many dates has no psychology I think; just plain sugar addiction.
Yesterday was OK although I did finish the 200g of dates I bought on Monday which may be why I'm not feeling great at the moment. Tired and cranky and craving sugar. This morning I basically decided to go off plan and have oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast. Turns out I don't like oatmeal anymore which is a good thing but I ate it anyway ... and then finished the ginger biscuits with my cup of tea. At least they're all gone now.
I don't know whether journalling and tracking is making things easier or more difficult and it . I might take a break from it while continuing to stick to primal principles for a week or so and see how that goes. Once my copy of Transformation arrives that should give a new motivation kick and some practical advice.
Sleep: 7 hrs
Exercise: 10min warm-up on stationary bike, then 2 x 12min weight circuits.
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with 4 dried dates (was very hungry post workout)
Lunch: Pumpkin and chestnut soup, an apple.
Snack: Smoked ham
Dinner: A little bit of beetroot, mackerel and broccoli salad with horseradish yoghurt dressing which I was making for today's lunch. Didn't get home until 10pm and was hungry so ate a bit of it. Then ate a bit of drinking chocolate powder from the bag and a couple of tsp of honey. If I could stop eating things straight out of the cupboard that would probably be a huge dietary improvement in itself.
Anyway I feel like I'm self-sabotaging and tired of trying to "stick to a plan" which is why taking a break from journalling might help me take my mind off it. Wish me luck.
Hope your break is doing you good and you've managed to find some of the direction you were looking for.
Thanks for your well wishes - I felt better in no time and had a great holiday.
Thanks for your nice message Gail!
I don't know how much good the month's break from journalling has done. I've continued eating mostly primally although with some off-plan treats including sourdough rye bread (ingredients just rye flour, water and salt) my friend brought from Finland. I've put on a kg or so from the lowest point this autumn, now weighing 60kg. I can feel some of it has gone back into my thighs.
For the last week I've tried to have really big breakfasts to help avoid snacking. As a result I've felt really full and think I've ended up eating too much for the whole day and still have a problem with post-dinner snacking.
The new problem is now that mornings are so dark and cold I cannot tear myself out of bed => don't make it to the gym. On the other hand I'm getting plenty of sleep which can't be bad.
So the plan for all the way up to Christmas is:
- Eat 3 meals a day and no snacks between or after the meals. If it's not on a plate and I'm not sitting down at a table to eat it it's not part of a meal. E.g. I can have a bit of yoghurt with fruit as dessert but it has to be in a bowl and I have to sit down to eat it. No eating anything straight out of the cupboard / fridge.
-Follow the 21-day Transformation plan and daily challenges starting next Monday. (Because the book says it's best to start on a Monday.) Yes, this means the 21 days finishes on Christmas Day! I haven't looked at what days 20 and 21 say but I'll try and follow those anyway to my best ability. I know a lot of our Christmas food will be primal-ish anyway with a lot of roast meat and veg! December is always a perilous time with a lot of chocolates and biscuits in the office so it will be good to know I am on a plan. Mince pies, I fear you not.
-Be in bed by 10pm on weeknights. This way when the alarm goes 6.30 I'll know I've had enough sleep.
-Get back onto the exercise habit of gym twice a week, sprints once a week, and moving slowly outdoors whenever possible. On non-gym days I'm going to try to take a walk around the park before getting on the train to work; this would really help me wake up.
-Stop coffee from becoming a daily habit. A cup of coffee with cream on Saturday and Sunday mornings is OK. During the week I'm switching to ginger tea / rooibos / green tea / black tea with no milk.
-Keep up my meditation practice. In addition to this, apply mindfulness to eating and if feeling the urge to snack, stay with the urge and pay attention to where it is coming from instead of acting on it. Actually I should also apply this in the shop when buying "treat foods" like dates.
This sounds like a long list but I think the goals will support one another. I'll keep a journal here responding to the Transformation journal questions and also to evaluate how the other goals are going. I don't think I'll track my food on paleotrack though except where it's part of the Transformation challenge.
Starting the above goals today although yesterday ticked most of the boxes too.
Got up and went to the gym but it feels so difficult to get up while it's still completely dark. I grew up in Finland and so you would think I had got used to dark winters. But there the snow makes everything seem different. A snowy winter morning is so quiet and a bit magical.
For breakfast had a 2-egg omelette and 4 dried dates and a ginger tea. Going out for my department's Christmas lunch today which will be a big meal but one I'm completely looking forward to. I have a starter of pork belly with smoked eel, beetroot and horseradish, a mains of a lamb rump with dauphinoise potatoes and chard, and a cheeseboard. Might be struggling by cheese time! Main challenge will be not to drink too much. And after this I don't think I'll be wanting any dinner. I'm getting hungry as I'm typing this. Lunchtime, come soon!
Hullo. Weekend didn't work out so well and included a Sri Lankan takeaway which rather upset my stomach, and some treacle toffee.
But never mind, since yesterday I am on plan, day 1 of Transformation workbook, and all is well.
As per the book did a (half-assed! sorry!) pantry purge. I know I'll be baking for others before Christmas and indulging myself a bit during the holidays so I haven't thrown away the baking stuff however it has been moved onto a less accessible shelf. I did throw away other things like the rest of the porridge oats which used to be my staple breakfast.
Ate a spinach omelette for breakfast, some leftover cottage pie (a tiny amount of wheat flour in the gravy, yes) for lunch and broccoli puree with korean beef (like this recipe but it didn't come out looking quite as nice. Tasty nevertheless).
Funny thing was that I haven't had coffee for over a week now but did not have any major withdrawal symptoms until yesterday afternoon when I had a BIG headache from around 4pm until bedtime, which was at its worst during my journey home from work. After dinner I did have more dark chocolate than I was going to but I told myself it might alleviate the headache.
Went to bed very early last night and woke up without the alarm at 6.15 this morning which is good although I could have gone back to sleep if I had stayed in bed.
Should have read my today's challenges a bit more carefully; I know there is a primal shopping spree (which will be rather half-assed too because of time constraints but I'll make a little trip to Waitrose before my meditation class) and some moving slowly (which I did at the gym and was surprised that 55% - 75% heart rate wasn't as slow as I thought) but can't remember what the second one was; if it was winding down and having a quiet evening I think I'll succeed. What better way to do that than a meditation class and then maybe one of those coconut turmeric drinks Mark wrote about yesterday.
So yesterday's (day 2) challenges were:
A primal shopping spree: mine was more of a typical mid-week shopping trip but I did stick to primal foods and even found a heavily reduced organic topside of beef roasting joint. I love reductions. This went in the slow cooker with some garlic and thyme but I think I overcooked it and it came out quite dry. What a shame.
Some exercise at 55-75% of heart rate: I stayed on the stationary bike in the gym for 30 mins instead of just a 10min warm-up. The bike is good because it lets me monitor the heart rate. I find gym cardio quite boring and would much rather be outdoors but with the dark mornings at the moment gym is the best option.
A quiet evening: I went to my meditation class straight from work, then home, and did not watch any TV / go on the computer, just put the beef in the slow cooker, had one of those turmeric coconut drinks, and went to bed. Woke up at 23:30; again at 03:30 and then at 06:15 when I made myself get up. The 1.5hr-ish sleep cycles do seem to take place; so I had one sleep cycle, woke up, two sleep cycles, and another two.
My energy is still really low and I don't know if this is still coffee withdrawal, carb flu or just the time of year. I feel really sleepy.
One of today's challenges is a spontaneous play break and I have no idea how / what I could do for that!
I didn't manage to complete my 21 day challenge in December. Haven't been exactly Korging it since then but I did put on some weight over Christmas which hasn't come off yet. (Weigh 62kg at present and a muffin top appears when wearing my jeans or smart trousers so I'm living in skirts and comfy woolly tights at the moment.)
Anyway instead of focusing on what has gone wrong let me focus on what I'm doing right in the long term and make a list of bad habits I have broken:
- No longer eat grains as a staple food.
- No longer eat processed foods on a regular basis
- No longer binge on chocolate biscuits or ice cream; if I do binge it's usually now on dried fruit which still has the sugar of course but at least gives me some nutrition as well.
- No need to snack mid-morning or in the afternoon. I eat breakfast, eat lunch, and my only remaining snacking problem time is either before or after my evening meal.
- No takeaway coffees on a daily basis. Occasionally I get a really good quality one as a special treat.
- I make an effort to think positively about my body. It's not my body's fault it's put on extra fat and I need to be good to myself by feeding my body nutritious food that it needs rather than sweet treats I may crave.
- Exercise much more regularly than before.
This is all good. The only things I'd like to work on further are the action points from November.
- Three meals a day, no snacking.
- Follow primal eating guidelines
- Enough sleep
- Exercise plan
- Daily meditation.
The last one has suffered because I have found it very hard to get out of bed ever since December and as a result haven't had as much time in the mornings as I would like. But at least I have been getting plenty of sleep.
B: 3 eggs scrambled in the microwave.
L: Vegetable soup (onion, carrot, potato, beetroot, celery, turkey bone stock)
D: Going to a friend's house for dinner which I've been informed is roast duck with beetroot. Yum yum. Will have a glass or two of wine with dinner but will not have pudding which would be ice cream.
Exercise: A walk at lunchtime
Sleep: 8 hrs
Meditation: Did not do this morning.
Lunch trouble today. I went out to see a theatre performance last night and as a result wasn't able to have proper dinner (I did my best out of a bad selection in a corner shop and had a Peperami, some prawn and salmon sushi pieces and some dried apricots).
As a result, no leftovers for lunch and none of the hot food in the canteen seemed to be primal compliant. So I went to the salad bar. Never enjoy the canteen salad much and the only protein source was a hard boiled egg.
Primal food on the go is a huge challenge. Especially if, like last night, it's winter and I don't have time to sit down and eat somewhere but have to forage in a Tesco Metro and eat quickly in the street before my hands become too cold to hold on to the food ... Lesson learned: really need to put more effort into carrying food with me - dinner too, if I'm going out straight from work.
I have a new herbal tea blend which is lovely: Nettle, pepperming, ginger and ginkgo.