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….



Challenge 1: Done! Bring on Challenge 2!

Phew!  I have exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes left of my 30 day Gluten Free challenge and to be honest, it hasn’t been that bad.  I’ve had two cheat days- one was for charity and one was a hens day high tea.  Yes, I made the most of it and had high tea, pizza and McDonald’s all in the same day because well, if you’re going to fall off the wagon, why bother drinking light beer.  I’m not missing any foods really and I feel pretty good and am feeling slimmer and trimmer.  It could be my imagination but I’m pretty sure it’s true.  Lots of athletes- Novak Djokovic for one-  have switched to a gluten free diet because they swear it’s made them fitter, healthier and a better athlete.  (See here for an article) Well, I probably won’t win Wimbledon or the US Open any time soon, but I’m glad I’ve given the gluten free thing a go (again!)  because I do feel pretty good.  It’s surprisingly easy to follow and hasn’t really affected my daily eating habits- especially since I’m not a big toast eater and at home we’ve subbed gluten free pasta for normal pasta.  It’s definitely something that I may continue with longer term– although I may have a chicken schnitzel sandwich or bowl of pasta tomorrow– just because I can!

Sadly, October’s challenge is not going to be as easy.  For October (drumroll please!) I’m giving up dairy foods.   Yep, that’s right, no milk, cream, cheese, custard, gomme, yoghurt (frozen or not), gelato, kefir, lassi, etc for the next 30 days.   I’m going to avoid butter where possible but without being the crazy lady who interrogates the waiter in a restaurant to find out whether the chicken, fish, beef, etc is cooked in butter.   I’m not going OTT, but I’m challenging myself to avoid it as much as possible.  Two things I’m worried about the most:

1) My daily breakfast of yoghurt and berries

2)  My coffee.  Sometimes soy just doesn’t cut it.  

3)  Cheese.  I LOVE CHEESE!

I’ve cut out cow’s milk in the past and it wasn’t too bad– mainly because I was having sheep’s milk yoghurt and lots of goats cheese when the craving set in.  This time I’m going all the way.   And cutting out everything…. see the list here.  If Wikipedia says it’s a dairy product, I’m going to do my best not to eat it.  Sigh……  tempted to have one last cheese and ice cream binge in the next 69 minutes but I don’t think that’s the best idea ever.  

The Runner is doing a 30 day green smoothie challenge which I’m not officially doing but all the recipes make enough for two so… am having mini smoothies as well.  I’m also starting to run- which I hate.  But that’s a different topic all together.

For now, I’m going to go and spend the next 62 minutes foraging for a milky treat before I kiss it all goodbye for the next 30 days! 

No, Sorry for the next 30 days, I don’t.

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!