Goodbye Fattember, Hello Droptober…

igh…. I have to say that the past 30 days have been pretty good.  Not only are we back in Sydney and settling back into married life but it’s been the inaugural Fattember.

What is Fattember I hear you say?  Fattember is exactly what it sounds like.  Fat-September.  Think Mardi Gras or Christmas (we don’t have a parade or a mascot or presents—yet) but for a whole month.

Maybe it’s a reaction to 12 months of 30 day restrictive eating challenges, or just a nice change of pace after having worked out, weighed, and portion controlled my way into a wedding dress.  It could also be just plain lazy.  I prefer to think it’s the start of something bigger.  We already have Movember, FebFast, Dry July, Parched March, and many other months of restraint (or indulgence) so why not Fattember?

Fattember is exactly what it sounds like.  Eating everything I want and not forcing myself to go to the gym 5 times a week.  Ice cream every night for dessert, fries, the odd hamburger, Mexican, cakes, candy bars, the whole shebang.  I haven’t measured, weighed or written down anything I’ve eaten.  And I haven’t worried about it either!   It’s been liberating and delicious and well, a bit decadent but it’s exactly what I needed.  Ok, maybe I didn’t need it, but I’ve enjoyed it!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  Fat-tember can’t last forever- I mean it could but then I would have to buy all new post “Fattember” clothes and I would probably start to take up more than one seat on the bus.    So, as The Runner makes me my last ice cream of Fattember (and literally uses up ALL of the ice cream in the freezer), I wave goodbye to Fattember and say HELLO to Droptober.

Droptober IS a real thing.  It has a website and over 2200 followers on Facebook- so unlike Fattember, it’s not something I’ve made up!

I’ve signed up for Droptober to try to negate the effect of Fattember.  A friend in Sydney started it, and it encourages people to be healthy and lose 2kg in October.  It’s a fundraiser for  Variety Children’s Charity as well.   And I’ve signed up for it.  So from tomorrow, no more candy, no more ice cream, no more fries.  I’m back on the bandwagon and back to the gym.  No excuses, 2 kg (5lbs) in 30 days…  Let’s get ready for summer and let’s get back to eating healthy.

STOP….hang on a sec.

I have an ice cream headache from Fattember’s last ice cream.  Clearly a sign.   Right, let’s rock Droptober!

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Goodbye April, Goodbye Wine.

Farewell April, you’ve been awesome.  Eating what I want, celebrating my birthday, three public holidays from work- how could a month be any better?

But now it’s time to pay the piper. Waistlines have expanded and there are wedding dresses to fit into, bridal shower pictures to look back on, hens night outfits to find and honeymoon bikinis to wear– and I don’t want to be a fat bride with a chubby little face in wedding pictures captured for all eternity and future generations.  Not going to happen.  So it’s crunch time.  Time to pay the piper. Time to get real.

I have three months, 1 week and 2 days- 101 days and 52 minutes to be precise– but who is counting?!?  Ummmmm I am!

So I’m hatching a plan, well actually I’m hatching lots of plans, music playlists, RSVP lists, you get the drift.  But specifically the fun times are over in the He Runs, I Cook kitchen.

So here’s the plan-

Step 1:  30 day challenge

Yep, starting tomorrow we’re doing “No You May Not Drink in May”- yep alcohol free May!  And I’m putting it on the blog so that no one accuses me of having a little runner or little cook on the way.   It’s a 30 day challenge.  I repeat it’s a 30 day challenge, not a baby!

Step 2:  3 month detox

Yes, you read that right.  From May 9th, we’re doing a detox.  It’s one that a naturopath gave me a couple of years ago- basically it’s no wheat, no cow’s milk, no sugar, no shellfish, nothing fun really.   But it gets results.  I did it for 6 weeks last time and looked and felt great- I’m hoping that doing it for 12 weeks will help me look and feel twice as good!

Step 3:  Become BFF with my heart rate monitor

Basically, I’m going to exercise. More. A LOT More.  A Lululemon Lot More.  More cardio, more yoga, more Pilates, more Zumba, more Cycle, more who knows.. just more exercise.

Step 4:  Panic

Well, not really panic.  There’s no need to panic at this stage.  Panic will come after my dress has been altered and I’ve spent two weeks in the US without trying it on and it’s the night before the wedding and I’m worried that it won’t fit.  Then I will panic, pray and probably puke until it fits or someone sedates me.  Don’t laugh… It’s not outside of the realm of possibility but let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

So that’s my plan- I’m cautiously optimistic that I won’t need step 4– I mean if people on The Biggest Loser can lose half their body weight in 12 weeks then clearly I should be able to lose a kilo or two– right???

Wish me luck, I’m going to go finish a bottle of wine while it’s still April!  I’ll miss you my little red and white friends….

 

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7 days to go!

So, I’m nearly done with my 30 day Gluten free challenge and to be honest I haven’t done THAT badly!  I’ve had one full on cheat day (for Charity) and other than discovering that the muesli I ate had gluten in it, I really haven’t had to change my diet too much.  Yes, there have been the occasional cravings for sourdough toast, and yes, there have been a few restaurant meals where I’ve had food envy– but overall it hasn’t been that bad!

My tips for gluten free eating– not that I’m an expert after 23 days but- here’s what I’ve learned:

1)  Mexican Mexican Mexican- Ok, yes, it’s my favourite food but as long as you stick to corn tortillas it’s pretty much all gluten free!  Last night I made a fajita extravaganza- grilled skirt steak, pico de gallo, refried black beans, black and white rice, corn chips, corn tortillas, and grilled veggies- all without gluten!

2)  When in doubt, ask-– I’m amazed by how many restaurants will make alterations if you tell them you’re gluten free- I went to The Grounds in Alexandria (LOVE that place!) and really wanted a burger- because they look amazing– and they were able to do them on gluten free bread.  Ok, the gluten free bread wasn’t as amazing as the brioche looked, but it was pretty good!  Nearly everywhere in Sydney can accommodate – I’ve even had a cafe serve me polenta instead of toast with my breakfast.

3)  Read labels.  Wheat and gluten pop up in the most bizarre places- soy sauce, muesli, some but not all chocolates.  Read the label before ruling it out or shoving it in your face!

4)  Don’t be a pain in the a$$ but don’t feel bad about it either.  Everyone these days is on some sort of diet, special eating plan or just doesn’t like things– so many people are paleo, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, sugar free, organic, pregnant, detoxing, etc that it’s totally normal (at least in my group of friends) to have a “special” diet.  Actually there’s a great essay doing the rounds at the moment on how “special diets” diets are a First World Problem.  Click here to read it.
Everyone is on a diet of some sort but to be honest, no one wants to hear about it.  It’s not that interesting.  No one wants to go out to dinner or to eat with someone who either lectures them about the virtues of their diet or who turns up their nose and can’t eat anything and makes a big song and dance of it.  Ok, so you can’t have carbs, that’s fine, but if I’m shoveling rice and pasta and potatoes in my mouth and enjoying it, I don’t want to hear about how evil carbs are.   And, if you’re vegetarian and we’re in a steakhouse don’t be surprised when there’s only one option for you to eat– you’re the one who agreed to go, don’t make everyone else miserable trying to make you happy.  Which leads me to tip 5….

5) Research– it kind of follows on from point 4 but if I’m going out to eat, I have to do some legwork before I go.  What’s on the menu? Is there an option for me there?  Is it a pasta and pizza deal with nothing else on the menu?  If so, it could be a challenge and it’s best to know that ahead of time!

So, with only 1 week to go, I’m giving this challenge a 2/10 on the difficulty scale.  I’ve only used one of my official cheat days so far– and the second one I’m using on Saturday for a hens day (it’s high tea during the day and pizza at night).   So it’s not too bad…. next month’s challenge– 30 days No dairy…. I’m anticipating this could be a bit more difficult!

Me time and A bit of a let down…

Well, as you know I finished Les Miserables last week, after a long, drawn out battle with the book. I have to honestly say that now that it’s over, I really enjoyed the story and in the end, it was worth it- all 1600 pages.  

So this weekend while The Runner is away cycling for the weekend–  (He’s doing the Scody Three Peaks Challenge- 235km and three mountains in one day…. Nuts) I’ve been having some Me time, watching whatever I want on TV and sneakily having a bowl of ice cream (yes, I know I’m supposed to be detoxing but it was only one bowl!)  So last night, I watched Les Mis, the movie.  I wanted to watch it while the book was still fresh and to be honest, I was disappointed.  

It was only ok and having read the book, I feel like they glossed over a lot and left a lot out.  Granted at two and a half hours, it wasn’t a short movie, but I kind of felt like they didn’t really do the characters justice.  Obviously, I’ve just spent 3 months of my life surround by Jean Valjean, Cosette, Marius, and Javert so maybe I’m just a bit too close to them now to be obejctive, but I kind of felt ripped off.  It wasn’t the best representation of the book and I wasn’t overly impressed by the movie.  The performances were ok, but after 1600 pages of getting to know characters and their ins and outs, the movie didn’t quite feel right.  

I know I’ll have to watch it again with The Runner- I had promised to watch it with him, (oops) and maybe I’ll feel differently the second time around.  Hugh Jackman was good and it was visually striking, but I can understand why it didn’t have a strong showing at the Oscars.  

So for day 2 of me time, what’s in store???  No more ice cream (obviously)  I might bake some treats to take into work tomorrow…. or I might not, it’s quite nice having a Me day!  I might just go to yoga, do some errands, read the paper, and read my new book- Gone Girl.by Gillian Flynn.  I started it yesterday and am already 20% through it….I already have a theory on whodunnit if you will, but I’ll keep that to myself for now!  

Mission accomplished!

Yay! I am triumphant this week!

Not only have I finished Les Miserables but I’ve also done yoga and exercised 6 days in a row!

I have to say Les Mis is what I imagine childbirth to be like, overly long, a bit boring and very painful but quite rewarding at the end. And like childbirth, I couldn’t (or didn’t) just stop in the middle and move on to something else. I’m quite pleased that it is done, huge sigh of relief! I can now watch the movie with the smug satisfaction of someone who has read the book, but I doubt I will notice if anything is really that different!

Phew! Very happy that’s over! Now then, does anyone have suggestions for my next read? Preferably something under 1000 pages and written in the last hundred years!

A Trip to the Allergist…

Growing up in DC, I had allergies every spring.  Every. Single. Spring.  From just after my birthday until the middle of May, I would sneeze, sniffle, blow, and wheeze until I was miserably dragged to the Doctor for antibiotics (my sinuses always wound up infected) and a shake of the head (from both parties) and a hope that eventually I would grow out of my seasonal affliction.  

Fast forward a few years and a few thousand kilometers where I’ve been living happily allergy-free in Australia for almost 11 years.  I hadn’t really given my allergies a second thought until two things happen:  1, I went home for my birthday last year and it turns out, I didn’t actually grow out of my allergies, I moved away from them (I don’t think The Runner has ever seen me so sick or so miserable) and 2, I started sneezing after a few glasses of wine– every time I had a few glasses of wine.  

Not being able to go outside I can handle, not being able to drink wine– out of the question, too horrible to think about.  

For most of the last 10 months, I’ve been suffering, nose spraying, and drugging myself and enjoying wine as normal…. except it’s not really that enjoyable to go through a box of tissues on a Sunday or to wake up sneezing at 4am after a few drinks.  I’ve battled through and annoyed The Runner in the process.  (If I’m blowing my nose at 4am, he’s listening to me blow my nose at 4am!)  I went to a naturopath, who put me on a detox for 6 weeks– and yes, not drinking helped, in fact it solved the problem, but not sustainable long term….So, yesterday I went to an allergist…

And this is the result….

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I got allergy tested and this is my right arm.  It kind of looks like a Braille sign, doesn’t it?  Or one of those relief maps that we had in school that I’ve never seen in real life.  This is the arm that they tested for grasses, pollens, moulds, and dust.  Yep, I’m allergic.  Very allergic to all of them.  Not a single blank spot on this arm.  Completely and totally allergic to everything they tested me for.  It’s no surprise really, but it was interesting to see scientific proof….

Oh, and the other arm?  The food and animal arm?

ImageYeah, that arm’s fine.  Apparently the mini-bump that I had for corn is actually a cross reaction that you find in people who are really allergic to some grasses.  

It was really quite a funny experience.  Funny, in an burning, itchy right arm sort of way.  But it was really interesting to have it done, and I’d actually recommend it and would definitely do it to my prospective, future children.  For one, now that I know exactly what I’m allergic to, I can do things to mitigate the effects- especially for dust mites.  For things I can’t control, like Springtime, well, I’m starting a course of allergy shots.   Yes, I have to take them for 18 months+ but at the end, hopefully I’ll be able to play in parks in DC in April without itchy watery eyes and a runny nose which would be good.

The Allergist didn’t tell me what was causing my runny wine nose other than that wine, cheese, and a few other foods are Histamine-rich– and I have a bad, supersensitive nose/sinus system that will react to some things differently to other people.  There’s not a lot I can do, but he did give me a stronger nose spray, some advice on pseudoallergies and wished me luck.  Oh, and I’ll be seeing him every week for the next little while– for my shots– and not the vodka kind!

Update: Yes, I’m still craving Ice Cream….

Update: Yes, I’m still craving Ice Cream…. (Click me for the Sydney Morning Herald Article!)

Reading this article this morning didn’t help!  FYI, Kohu Road Cookies and Cream is AMAZING as is Serendipity’s Blood Orange Sorbet and also their chocolate ice cream!!!!!!!!!!  I highly suggest trying them all, they’re stocked at Maloney’s in Coogee if you happen to be on the way to my house and want to pick some up!