Saturday, December 31, 2016

Puppy pics and weight

Here are some pics of our new "baby" - my son has chosen his name: Taizer.

I can't wait to see how he grows up and what he looks like eventually.

Yesterday was a nice busy day and so I only ate one meal. I had coffee and a few bites of food, but only ate lunch properly. And so this morning I am down on the scale again: 51.4kg. So basically I practiced calorie restriction, which reportedly is full of health benefits too, according to all research.

I even went for a run yesterday, because I FELT like it. I have noticed that when I eat less or feel lighter, I tend to want to exercise. If I feel heavy and over-full then I don't want to exercise.

Tonight is the last night of 2016. Here's to a whole new year.

I definitely feel blessed even though 2016 was hard.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fitness Diary and how to lose weight

Wednesday 28th December 2016
My weight this morning before my BM (bowel movement) - 51.9kg.
I have picked up the 900 gms I lost from my fast. Not too bad, I'd say. After Christmas I thought I would have picked up more weight.

Waist: 66.8cm/67cm. Somewhere there. It's hard to always get the tension on the tape correct.

My brother sent me a very interesting message last night. He is asking my help in devising a weight loss diet plan. Now he is a runner. He ran Comrades last year at such a light weight, I don't know for sure that he can lose any more. But maybe he has picked up weight now and needs to lose again.

Here's what I know for sure about weight loss - this is my own experience and not necessarily what will work for others: you have to be willing to make friends with hunger. You have to allow your body to FEEL hungry and you have to ignore that feeling for some of the time. Not that you can't eat, but in order to tap into your own body fat, you need to allow hunger. That is the only way.

Feel hunger, don't feed the hunger, then your body has no choice but to burn it's body fat.

Now this could be cutting calories. By calories, I just mean, cutting back a bit on food. Or it could mean some sort of fasting schedule.

Here is what I have seen in my own body with low carb - I can keep a constant healthy weight, but I don't drop weight if I am simply eating low carb. To drop weight lower than my body wants, I have to cut out some incoming food. It could be cutting out fat, total food, or both.

So when I eat low carb, I stay around 52kg. It's great. But the fat on my butt is THERE and unless I do something different, it won't budge. To lose that fat, I would need to drop about 2kg of body fat, and in order to do that, I would have to GET HUNGRY. I am sorry to say that but it's true.

Now, here is the thing this last 36 hour fast taught me: hunger is not the same as low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is like a crisis. It feels like a crisis to me, I get all hot and cold, shaky and sometimes even sweaty. But hunger is not a crisis at all. I can ignore it. I can carry on. In fact, that day of my fast, I felt brilliant and clear headed and my mood was improved. Go figure.

I want to fast again, but I am not sure about one thing: why did my blood sugar drop so low the next day? And were my ketones elevated enough to see me through? Is that safe? Would I have been ok if I had carried on? I didn't feel delirious but I did feel a bit weak. Could I have pushed myself through? Probably yes.

My blood sugar this morning read 5 mml. Higher than I would have imagined.

Thursday 29th December 2016

My blood sugar was much better this morning: 4.4ml. And yet, oddly enough, I ate a piece of cake yesterday afternoon. But my weight is up. 52.6kgs.

I have bad cake cravings lately.

Not chocolate cravings, but CAKE cravings.

And now, today I am so excited as I am about to meet this little guy: my new pup to be. These pics are from the breeder. The pup is coming on the plane from Jhb today. Gosh I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A new furbaby, a great Christmas and a wonderful holiday

I am excitedly awaiting yet another puppy. Seems like I tend to always get one around December/Christmas time.

This one is a French bulldog - very hard to get one - and I was in luck because the breeder I have inquired with happens to have TWO huge litters and they have many male pups available so we got this pup at a very good price. So the transaction is now in progress and I wait for the flight to get the pup on.

I want to fast again. Christmas was too much nice food, of course, and a little too much alcohol. I need a detox. Our one guest, my mother's good friend Denise, has done a five day fast years ago and she says it wasn't that bad. She has given me hope that I CAN do a longer fast. I will try a two day one next.

The weather is so lovely these days. Summer is HERE.

I haven't weighed myself. I will do so tomorrow.

I am dreading having to illustrate. I am hating illustrating nowadays. The joy and the life has been sucked out of it. I have so many to do nowadays.

I am discovering a new doctor and his views: Dr. Joel Wallach. You can find loads of his videos on youtube. Here is a link to another talk by him.

Dr. Wallach has written a few books, his most famous being Dead Doctors Don't Lie. He is quite controversial and yet something about the way he talks and a lot of what he says makes a lot of sense. Check him out this other book of his on Amazon too.

I am very content. It's so nice to reach a place in my life where I feel calm and content. I am no longer searching for something. I still enjoy new things and nice things, but I feel so much more settled. Getting older is wonderful for this.

Ok, now for my BIG NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: I aim to NOT buy any clothes for a whole year. No new clothes. I will allow a few shoes IF they are very super practical.

The reason is twofold: one, to allow me to afford this new puppy. Two: to save. If I save money every time I think about buying clothes, our family could go on holiday. Obviously, we want to do that. I am going to open a savings pocket/account and do that.

I made it through my first Christmas without my dad. It was not easy, but it was not that hard either. The fact that he and I were not super close does actually help me to move on. And the fact that I have my own family and my own child also helps. Keeping busy helps.

I wonder if I can stick to not buying clothes for a WHOLE year?

Well, I am putting it in writing here for this very reason. So let's see. Wish me luck.

I have noticed something with eating and fasting: the more I eat, the more I want to eat. The less I eat, the less I want to. Interesting.

Friday, December 23, 2016

After my one day fast: interesting conclusions

My weight today: 51.1kg.

I haven't regained the 900gms I lost. I thought I would have. I ate yesterday and I didn't restrict myself. Which leads me to conclude that it wasn't all water that I lost. I also at (horror of horror) a few carbs - a few bites of a rich, melty, chocolatey dessert and a few handfuls of popcorn. I even drank yesterday - just two drinks - alcohol.

I still slept well last night. But not as comatose as before.

And this morning my coffee tastes bitter and I don't want it.

I thought that it only tasted bitter or "funny" yesterday morning due to the fact that I had only put very little milk in it, but this morning, I added more milk, and the bitter taste was still there.

The fast may have cured me of my coffee habit! Hooray.

I don't want to eat this morning. So I will fast until I really, really feel like eating.

Interestingly, yesterday I didn't go crazy with food as you would think one would do after a day of no food. I actually enjoyed my food more, didn't want too much and felt satisfied.

So today, seeing as I have only had one tiny sip of coffee, I will not eat. Maybe only supper. Who knows. Or not. But I feel like the fasting has given me back some sense of being in touch with my body.

Biggest lesson: I WON'T die of hunger pangs and they pass very very quickly, within 10 minutes. And when they come back, they are less, not more. The other lesson is that low blood sugar is far worse than simply feeling hungry.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 2 of fasting

Yesterday during my fast I felt GREAT most of the day. Hungry now and then, yes. A little cold at times, yes. But my energy was constant, and best of all, by the evening, I felt crystal clear. I felt good.

And I slept SO WELL last night. And my nose/sinuses cleared up a lot. I could feel it especially at night.

I have lost 900gms on the scale, but my waist measurement is the same - in fact a little up. Could be gas/bloating. So this morning my weight is 51kg.

I have this stubborn belly fat that I would ideally like to get rid of.

This morning I tested my blood sugar and it's LOW. 2.9 mml.

I don't feel so good. I feel a little of the low blood sugar effects.

Maybe I should break my fast now, eat, and then resume it. Feeling so bad is not nice and I have to go food shopping. I am super tempted now to break it. Oddly enough, I don't feel hungry, I just feel a strong desire to eat. I think I will eat today, and perhaps try to fast again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fasted thoughts - day 1

It's now 11 am, and I have only had my morning coffee, and NOTHING else. I am sipping slowly on a can of soda water - the bubbles are nice.

A few things I observed: last night when I got those intense hunger pangs, I then grew cold afterwards. Also, hunger pangs only last a few minutes.

I just had a surge of hunger pangs but they have already passed.

I seem, oddly, more productive today than other days. It seems easier to just get on with things without intrusive food thoughts. My food thoughts are usually around what I will eat, what I did eat, what I am going to make for supper etc. This is freeing in that way.

I also notice how addicted to eating I am, even on low carb. I wake up, nibble, drink two cups of coffee (which is still a form of a snack) then I make breakfast, then I have coffee later...then I eat, then I might have coffee and grab a handful of nuts. Then I force myself to make it through till supper which I's never ending. I often pop a bit of whatever Seth's eating, into my mouth too. He eats often so I am always making or preparing or thinking about food. It's never ending.

I also notice how, if I am productive and busy on LESS food then maybe food in general nowadays is too addictive. I think eating out has become too much of a habit. Food should probably be boring and bland for the most part. Imagine living out on a farm where your farm provides the food - your own eggs, your own milk, your own meat and veggies. It would be the same food over and over. No sugar and salt to make it more exciting. Restaurants and food manufacturers certainly have us all hooked!

It's not easy. I am getting cravings. But they are manageable.

I was queueing in the bank to get a certified proof of my banking details for my late dad's estate, and I was marvelling at how free my mind was, and how clear-headed I felt. Normally I get super irate in a queue, but not this time.

Time seems slower - or rather, there seems MORE of it. Maybe due to the abundance of time when you are not constantly centering your day around food.

I love how much I learn about food, eating and myself when I fast. I am sure I will make it through today. I am feeling good. My calves are a bit crampy - but I FEEL like exercising. Can you believe that? I think I will go for a walk.

Day 1 of fasting - not so fast!

Well day 1 turned out to be just caloric restriction and not real fasting. Why?

Because I had such a bad night's sleep the night before, that I woke up really grumpy and tired, and that lack of sleep made me hungry! So I decided to load up on a fatty breakfast, which helped me feel better, and I thought I would fast from there. However, I got super hungry and irritable around 11ish, and I was getting irritable with my child, so I decided to eat something small, which I did. I felt instantly better,

I then ate a bit of bacon again at 2 and then I kept supper very small.

In the night, I woke up with intense hunger pangs - I was really feeling them! I ignored them and tried to go back to sleep, which I did eventually.

So this morning I would have thought I would have been groggy/grumpy/hungry but I am not. I feel as if I have more energy than I normally do in the morning, which is weird. I have had just one cup of coffee with a little cream and milk and that is it.

I hope to go through the whole of today with no food.

Interestingly, I feel a touch leaner today, but the scale is a teeny bit heavier this morning than yesterday, which I find very hard to explain.

I feel "stiffer" this morning, but that is not serious.

But my mind is clearer and sharper this morning, definitely.

Wish me luck. I am wishing myself luck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I want to fast

I really am getting convinced by the book I am currently reading, The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr Fung and Jimmy Moore, that I should try an extended fast for health and longevity.

However, my fears/issues are these:

1) My morning cuppa. I LOVE my morning cup of coffee. Technically I am not really meant to have it whilst fasting. I wonder though, if I could do my own version of fasting where I just have that one cup in the morning if I really, really feel like I must. Well, it's MY fast, I can do what I like.

2) Cooking for my family. How am I going to make and prepare food for others when I will NOT be eating? Yikes.

3) I am terrified of cramping. Happened to me before.

Yesterday I ate the leftovers and finished my fancy wine off, so I wouldn't be tempted by those. I had a bad night's sleep last night, so I am going to have a fatty breakfast now to give me energy and to satisfy me and I will start my fast.

I really am just curious. I'd like to also fast BEFORE Christmas day where food will be plenty and we all eat too much.

I imagine that, spiritually, fasting will be interesting.

Today my weight was 51.7kg on my scale in the morning.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Blessed. And a bit of fitness update.

Waist: 66cm this morning. Ok, 66.2cm, to be EXACT.

That's a 2cm drop!

And yet my thigh measurement has stayed the same. So I have not lost muscle there. Or fat, it would seem.

Best part is that I took the waist measurement before I even went to the toilet this morning, if you know what I mean.

My weight on my home scale: 52.2kg - also before my morning bowel movement.

Low carb diets definitely eliminate most bloating. There is still some bloating and some gas, of course there is, but for the most part, eating low carb keeps my tummy flat.

Today I get my son back. I miss him now. Although the break has been nothing short of REVITALISING.

The weather is so sunny and summery all of a sudden these past few days. The sun is out and it's hot already at six am.

I feel so blessed. I AM so blessed. I have a huge, nicely renovated house. I have three lovely dogs that are all lying at my feet as I sit and type this. I have aircon! We have a swimming pool and a Jojo tank and a garden and birds singing outside. We have SPACE.

I know my luck, I know my blessings, and it's a wonderful feeling. Really it is.

I haven't really exercised much at all lately. By which I mean, I haven't gone into the gym much at all lately. Their aircon is not working or they are just trying to save money, I don't know, but there is not ever any aircon there and in this heat, it's ridiculous.

I am currently reading: The Complete Guide to Fasting: Dr Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.
I have tried fasting and didn't really like it. One day of fasting and I was so slowed up at gym that I scraped my leg against a machine, and that scrape has created scarring internally and it hasn't healed up properly and looks like a big bruise on my leg still. That pissed me off. Also, the one day I fasted, I got bad cramps.

I believe that the real benefits of fasting come after a longer fast, say, five days or seven days. The benefits appear when your ketones rise up high. I don't know if I could do more that two days. It's possible, but who knows. When you are as small as I am, should you fast?

I am now curious about doing extended fasting because according to Dr. Thomas Seyfried, it's a way of preventing cancer. He also wrote a hugely expensive, voluminous book on cancer as a metabolic disease too. Plus there are many You Tube videos by him.

I don't know if I will actually fast, but it's something that is floating around in my mind. I don't want to lose much weight, and so, to be honest, I am a little scared that I am too light and not fat enough to fast. Lol. I will see. I will definitely keep you all updated if I do decide to fast.

On a side note: I have been making and drinking kefir lately, but it gets really tiring making it every day or every other day. I am far too lazy! Also, it really is sour, so it's not a pleasant thing to drink. So I will eat the grains, and be done.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A night out, restaurant food and dancing.

Last night my darling love and I went out for dinner, and then a bit of a "jol". I am definitely getting a bit too old to "jol" (I love that word, so South African!) but I enjoyed myself.

We went to one restaurant to eat but it was too noisy, so we simply finished our drink, paid, and left. I don't feel shy anymore to move on if I am not enjoying my time. The benefits of getting older! Yay.

We went elsewhere, had a nice meal, and then went to dance. We ended up staying out not too late, we were home at ten thirty, but it was lovely. All round good evening. It's nice every now and then to dress up, put heels on, and focus on your partner.

So yes, I probably ate bad seed oil and I am sure there was some hidden sugars and starches in my meal out even though I ordered it without the starch, but heck, you gotta live.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Child free, stress and weight loss

Today is day two and a half of being without my son. He has gone to stay at my mother's house for four nights. It's so cute. He is finally old enough for that.

And I love him with all my heart and soul, but I have needed this break. I am LOVING the peace and quiet. You just don't get quiet and calmness like this with a kid in the house.

I am waking up at my leisure, and enjoying my morning cuppa alone, with no little voice asking me for this or that.

The first evening of being alone was TOTAL BLISS. And by "being alone" I mean, me and my partner were home alone. I wasn't totally alone.

But to have adult time, real alone adult time, is bliss.

I cannot thank my mother enough.

It just shows me how stressed out I have been and how much I needed to unwind. I can actually feel all my insides "melting" with relaxation. I never knew I could be this relaxed in my house. My house seems like a place of work to me - usually - but now it feels peaceful.

Gosh, having a child is hard work. It's lovely, and rewarding and all that jazz, but a break really is so super valuable. So super wonderful.

It feels as if the reduction in stress levels has healed something inside of me. It feels, deep within, that unwinding like this has allowed my gut to heal, to unknot, or something like that. I can't explain it. I can almost feel that cortisol is going down. Has gone down.

I have had time to READ UNINTERRUPTED! That alone is a miracle.

I even had an afternoon nap yesterday. My love and I even watched TWO age-restricted movies - yay us! Tonight we'll go out for a leisurely dinner and see where the evening takes us.

You forget, in the chaos of a kid, how relaxing life CAN be. A child is a BALL of energy, and at this age, my son is a non-stop stream of chatter and questions and activity. Which I am so grateful for, because he is normal and healthy and has an inquiring mind but boy oh boy...this calmness is amazing!!!!

I can even HEAR the birds properly outside. I have more time to pet the dogs.

I haven't weighed myself but I swear I have lost a kg from sheer relaxation.

I am currently eating very low carb. Mostly keeping away from sweeteners, but I have had a few sugar-free, artificially sweetened carbonated drinks seeing as it is so hot outside and I haven't felt like coffee.

Currently reading: Caffeine Blues about the hidden dangers of caffeine. I love my coffee, I really do. I have considered cutting down, but I like the ritual of having a cuppa. And I am not sure what I would replace it with. I love sipping on something. Anyway, it's an interesting read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Let's talk about varicose veins and low carb.

This summer, I am suddenly noticing how swollen and painful mine are.

I can't quite recall last summer, but nothing jumps out in my mind. Last summer I was Banting and low carb-ing it properly.

Is there a connection here?

For interests' sake, read this article here - the author seems to get relief when she cuts out sugar, and the comments are very interesting too. Sugar causes inflammation, we all know that by now. So there is definitely a common sense notion that cutting out sugar will help.

Now, from what I have read, spider veins are just smaller versions of varicose veins - veins where the elasticity of the vein wall has been compromised.

I developed my varicose veins directly after pregnancy - SO I know where mine came from. But now I am getting the odd one or two more - and the odd one or two more spider veins. So of course, I want to prevent more from developing, if possible, and I want to stop them being so painful.

The other day I was unpacking boxes of stuff, and the varicose vein on my left calf started to really ache. It was a hot day and I had been on my feet a lot. It sucks, they make me feel like an old, old woman. I mean, really, what fit girl needs to go lie down and put her feet up to rest her varicose veins? Me, that's who!

Image from Butter Nutrition

No amount of exercise will get rid of them either. The exercise does help with the blood circulation, but other than that, I am stuck with them for life. I have already had a procedure on them where the doctor went in and collapsed down the tubes feeding them, but it seems the flow is back to them. I'd like to have them removed, but to do so, they need to make small cuts in my leg, and I am not quite ready to face that yet. Maybe by the time they are bad there will be laser options for varicose veins. I know there are laser options for spider ones.

Interestingly, my mother, who I have taken after A LOT in many ways, doesn't have a single varicose vein, and to my knowledge, no spider veins either. Or very few.

So even though mine are pregnancy-related, I wonder if the chocolates and carbs I ate back then (I didn't know any better) contributed to my getting them? I will never know. I can not go back in time, unfortunately, and change my diet, but I CAN see if eating low carb now will help.

Here is another article that suggests that diet can help.

So let me notice my veins now. The last two days I have been very strict low carb and once again, I have immediate relief from bloating. And my weight is down. I know they say it's water weight, but it's still nice to see.

I will report on my veins soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Where my head is at now, nutritionally speaking. And Ann Childers.

Firstly, sorry for not staying with the diet and exercise Fitness Diary. I was going to give it my all, go balls to the wall and try to build muscle and get

This year has been too long, and with the death of my dad this year, I don't know what the heck I was thinking. I don't think I have fully processed that yet. I have had my tears, had my cries, but now and then I still get a weird feeling...a pain, a lump in my throat, and I know that I haven't dealt with it properly.

Anyway, so after the boat cruise, where I ate too much nonsense and drank WAY too many cocktails, I came home a total wreck.

I am still not right. I am sick now, in fact. I got a bad bought of thrush, which I am still battling.

After our housewarming this past weekend, and my friends' Christmas gathering, where carbs were very available, I am not in good shape. I now have a cold as well.

So now I want to go back to a semi-strict low carb diet. Get all that sugar out of my system. And I know I cannot do it whilst cutting back on fat. There is no way. If I go low-fat then I start to crave carbs and sugar. It just happens.

And I am now at an age where I am tired of fighting my body.

I am tired of the struggle to "push" myself. I may want to get back into gym and be keen for all that again next year, but not right now.

So yesterday I watched an EXCELLENT VIDEO by Dr Ann Childers on You Tube. Click on the link and be amazed. Basically it reminded me of why low carb makes SO much sense to me. It really does. There is nothing else that makes such intuitive sense, nutritionally speaking. Carbs really are cheap, nasty garbage.

I traced back in my mind to when I fell of the low carb wagon, and it is definitely the death of my dad. I ate a cupcake at my dad's funeral. And it all went pear-shaped, or sugar shaped, from there. The next day I went out for caramel cheesecake. And on and on. Because my overwhelming thoughts at that time were: "Who cares? I am gonna die anyway. Look at my dad. Just died one day suddenly."

But after three months of this bad attitude, I am sick, I don't feel well, and paying the price now. So I am teaching myself, by my own very bad example, of what sugar and refined carbs do. And let me say something else, sugar is VERY addictive. I am really battling to get off of the sugar train at the moment.

But I will and I must.

Friday, December 9, 2016

General thoughts and feelings lately

I feel like I don't want to compete on stage anymore. I feel like it's a useless pursuit for me. I just don't have the genetics, I am very skinny on top and very muscled and chunky in my legs and I don't have what they look for.

Also, I am losing that passion/drive/competitive edge for ME wanting to do it.I am just starting to reach a point of accepting that I am the way I am, I am aging and nothing will stop that, and what is the POINT of parading up on a stage?

Well, I have certainly enjoyed it. I love being scared and challenged by something. But I am now 38, at an age where I probably should give this up.

Maybe I just feel that way now because it's holidays and my son is home and I am not in my usual routine and I am finally RELAXING for the first time this year.

I will see how I feel in the New Year.

I am settled in my relationship now with my ex-husband and soon-to-be husband again. Well, we don't know if we will marry again, but we have talked about it. Oddly enough this is the BEST our relationship has ever been!

I mean, we have made it through renovating a house WHILST living in the house! If that wasn't putting a strain on our relationship I don't know what is.

We are at such a good place, I also don't feel I need to chase anything, or prove anything anymore, so maybe this is why I don't feel the need to get up on stage?

I finally, FINALLY believe that he will love me even with my ever more wrinkles and soon-to-be saggy skin. I have not believed that before. I don't think I believed he really REALLY loved me until we reconciled, but now I do.

I think before, I believed he loved an image of me, an idea of me, but not the REAL me. Things are so different now and so very wonderful. I am in a very good place emotionally, and yes, I need a rest, but it's ok, rest will come. Rest IS coming.

I feel very blessed and lucky and I know it. That is the best part. I am not taking ANY of my life and my joy right now for granted. I know my good fortune and I am soaking it up. And I am happy even though my tummy is not as firm as it once was. Happiness really is an inside job.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I love Elizabeth Berg

Now that I have officially taken a break from gym and not going in regularly (went yesterday and did a short little workout) I am taking time out to "smell" the flowers, and appreciate other aspects of life. Life is good.

I am relaxing.

It's also relaxing now that my child doesn't have to get to school (it's holidays), so we are not rushing anywhere in the mornings.

I wish I could remain this relaxed and chilled.

I usually find that most mornings, I am shouting. A lot. My poor kid. But now I am unwinding a bit, and truly realising how stressed I have actually been, I am not shouting any more. I don't want to shout at him. I hope I can stop being dragon morning mom next year.

I finally found a book of Elizabeth Berg's that I had not read, a collection of short pieces by her from her social media sites, and I feel SO much more Zen.

I need to be more Zen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

And THIS is why I should not consume sugar! Reminder to myself.

Tongue thrush!

Yip, it's the white growth thing at the back of my tongue. Disgusting hey?

It hurt too.

So my trip on the boat with all that sugar and my after-boat sugar indulgences have added up to a major boat of tongue thrush. It was a bit painful.

It's clearing up now. I tried the tongue drops but they didn't work at all! Ironically, the tongue drop medication contained...yip...sugar! Crazy hey?

So I took a tablet as well - one of those that kill off all the fungus.

I also have a few extra kgs to get rid of now too.

Eish. I should NEVER have gone back to the sugar side.

Yes it gave me "energy" but it's a false energy.

In all honesty though, I have also been HIGHLY stressed with the renovations and our moving back across into our home. So stress has played a huge role.

Also, too much alcohol on the boat.

I am so over sugar and alcohol. Why I even bother to have the stuff, I don't know. But stress will make you reach for stuff like that to cope.

I just want to get back to eating clean. I will.

I have lost gym motivation now.

My body is changing. Getting older. Looser.

I am not sure I want to compete again. I don't know. I will see.

But for now, no more sugar. I am scared of cramping again, but let's see. I know that I don't have to eat sugar to prevent cramps, just a few natural carbs.

Mostly I need to relax. My body has been so stressed lately. No wonder my weight went up.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Middle aged!!!!!

I am a middle aged woman!

I know this sounds crazy, but somehow, that realization has only sunk in now.

At the very ripe middle age of 38.

I know that 60 somethings will laugh, and say "Oh honey,  you're SO young!" but what I mean now is that...I am NOT twenty something anymore. I feel like I am in my twenties. Guys, I am NOT.

I can't escape it. I am trying to fight back the aging process all I can, but it's catching me. On my neck/throat/upper chest area, the area that gets all the sun...I have so much sun damage. Spots and crepey skin starting. Ugh.

On my knees, when I stretch, the skin there is getting thin and wrinkly. It's even starting to show a bit on my arms.

There is really no such thing as anti-aging. Yes, we can look GOOD for our age, but we all age. A woman can Botox the crap out of her face (and I intend to, if I have the financial ability) but her other body parts will still age. A woman's hands ALWAYS give away her age. I always notice that. Sometimes the feet too.

I am also getting those white spots - little spots of no pigment at all on my body - along with those little, teeny red spots - those surface broken veins. Not to mention my huge ass varicose veins that are so yuk in my legs.

I can gym all I want, but these things will always happen.

Sad but true.

Although maybe not sad. Maybe it's part of letting go. Maybe it's the way God/nature forces us (me) to stop being so superficial. To stop judging myself and others based on their looks. Oh, I try NOT to judge based on looks. I try to look deeper, but sometimes I catch myself being caught up in superficiality. It's the modern world and the modern way. It's because of screens and photoshop and photo-shoots.

We hardly ever look at REAL people anymore, so much time do we spend looking at the Facebook images of our friends and family. Crazy shit hey?

Well, I am going to TRY to accept my age. I do worry that my man will find me gross, will think "ugh she's aging" and no longer want me. But I think he and I have come far enough now to know that he does love me and he isn't that shallow. But of course there is the fear anyway.

However, I don't want to live my life in fear of that. That is not a healthy energy to bring into a relationship. That fear is part of the energy that destroyed us.

So from now on, no more fear.

I am proudly, boldly 38 and if I look my age, then so be it. If I look my age, that's great because that IS my age.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Since our 3 night boat cruise...

I have been SO tired. I have been exhausted and flat and tired. I can't get motivated. I don't want to gym. I don't want to do anything.

I haven't been to gym. I have run, so that's something, and I have done push-ups.

Today is Seth's last day at school for the year. My little boy has finished Grade 1! I can't believe it.

On the boat I went cocktail crazy - which spiraled me into a sugar craze - sugar is definitely addictive.

I then ate cake like crazy - at a whole huge piece of Mugg n Bean carrot cake in one sitting - gave myself tongue thrush. Huge white growth on my tongue which I had to get treatment for.


I feel finished. With my dad's death this year, it has thrown me.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Recent pics

Recent poolside pics - taken by my son. It's funny, I feel SO huge lately, and yet, I look at the pics, and I am not. I am a little meatier than I have been but it's not ugly, it does look like I have picked up a teeny bit of muscle and yes, some fat, but overall, I look just fine.

Sometimes I just need to relax and chill - forget about my body - just be in the moment more. No one is critiquing me as much as I am with myself.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fitness Diary Week ending 11th November 2016

This week I did something interesting. My weight has been quite high, so I decided this week to listen to when I was really, truly hungry, rather than eat to a plan. No diet. I threw out all diet plans this week.

And I actually lost a kg! I decided to just eat what I craved, but not too much of that item. So if I felt like cake, I ate a bite or two of cake. I just didn't stuff my face. I ate, tasted, bit into things - and felt satisfied. I had good energy, I felt clear and good.

Tuesday was not a good day for me, gym wise. I just crashed after a stressful weekend of moving things - but finally we are mostly moved into our house again. Phew. It's been rough.

And my waist is down to 67cm.
So I am happy.

Weight: 53.5 kg
Waist 67cm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fitness Diary - Friday and Saturday 28th, 29th Oct

My weight has been fluctuating - around 54/55kg. One day it's up, then down by a kg. Now to go up and down by a kg in one day shows me that a lot of it is water or something along those lines.

Energy is fantastic - today a bit low due to having a few cocktails last night. We went out for supper last night and it was lovely. I just ate and enjoyed. No worries.

The freedom to just eat and drink is lovely. I find that I don't WANT carbs - I just like sugar, really, in a cocktail.

My shoulders do seem to be growing. They look like it. My arms are fatter, yes, as I have fat overall, but I can feel my muscle glycogen stores are full, my biceps FEEL full and firm. So do all my muscles.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fitness Diary

Thursday  27th October

The euphoria of eating carbs is now wearing off. I feel normal again.

Funny how every time I make a sudden dietary change I get that euphoric feeling, and I feel so full of energy and think it's the new diet change, when in actual fact, it's not - it's just the newness, probably. It's probably just the mental feeling of "freedom" that comes with not restricting this or that.

My weight was back up yesterday to 55.1kg. Cringe. I always said that if my weight goes over 55kg I will stop eating immediately. HA! That is so hard to do.

Yes I have fasted before, but didn't really like it nor did I benefit that much from it. I might try fasting again once I have established more of a healthy eating routine. Right now I am pendulum swinging - ricocheting from LCHF to CARBS. It's like the carb monster in me has come out of hibernation and is just saying "Feed me Seymour". It will calm down soon enough, I am sure.

I can actually feel the cravings subside somewhat.

I notice that I don't crave cake/sweets right now as I feel like I have had too much of them lately and the thought of them is not appealing right now. So cravings DO subside. They do come and go.

My belly at the moment is NOT a pretty sight. I sit down and it's just flabby and soft. It seems worse off now like this, since after going low carb. I wonder if eating high fat was actually not good for me in the long run?

Who knows. I will never have the answer - the point is, it's done. I did it, and I loved many aspects of it, but I just don't think it works for a weight training athlete.

Athlete - HA! Another laugh - I am so far off from being an athlete right now. But I will get there again. It's my dream to be a REAL and true athlete - one who trains properly, for life. I will get my athletic mojo back, I will.

From now on it's about sustainability and moderation.

The fact is, I am not diabetic, nor was I remotely insulin resistant. I should have tested BEFORE starting LCHF. But back then I didn't have the money. I was trapped. I had no money for anything. I will continue to test my blood sugar randomly.

Feeling a bit tired today, but felt great upon waking. I have been training hard and heavy, so this could be why.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My worst pics

I share the above two pics with a degree of shame because this was NOT my best comp by a long shot. My prep was not good, I was lost, didn't have a plan, really, I was winging it with my low-carb eating, had no idea how I was going to drop that last tiny bit of body fat, didnt' want to drop too much as I entered the "beach" section....I was a bit of a confused mess. I looked fine from the front, but not fine at all from behind. As you can see from the top pic.

This year, I am going to change all that.

I wish it weren't true but unfortunately, Banting didn't work for my prep. This was my worst stage look ever. I was just soft looking. Not fat, but soft. Something about high fat, low carb just makes my body soft, even if it's slim. Now don't get me wrong, this is fine for everyday folk, people who don't want to get on stage and look hard and toned and muscular. But those of us who like the sport of bodybuilding and want to achieve a certain look up there on that stage, then Banting is not for us.

I gave it my best shot. I really, really wished that high fat was gonna be the answer, but sadly, it turned out not to be so.

So the question, the BURNING question is: why did I feel so great when I started LCHF? Why did I fall in love with it so much?

I think the answer is this: I had deprived myself of healthy fats for too long. I was fat-deprived. So I literally soaked them up at first.

But did I need fat all day every day? Probably not.

To be honest, I don't have all the answers here, but what I do know is this: I need fat AND carbs AND protein.

So how will I get to my goal weight/look IF I eat carbs? Well, the truth is, I did it before. My first comp I dropped weight so fast, like crazy, actually, and I wasn't super strict. Then I got stricter AFTER that comp, thinking I will maintain that level of leanness. I tried to be strict throughout the year, which only lead to an imbalance.

Moving forward, I want to feel healthy. No drastic cutting out of ANYTHING. Yes, I believe that sugar is bad, but are carbs bad? I have to say, no, they are not. They do fill up my body with water. But that's a good thing. So yes, I am now 2-3kg heavier, carrying water weight I didn't have before. But I am not cramping anymore. I have better strength and endurance.

I will have to find a way to lose weight without cutting any macro.

I keep hearing about flexible nutrition and this #iifym which is: hashtag - if it fits your macros. I might try that.

I am always learning and experimenting. The beauty is that I am my own guinea pig. I tried zero carb, which was quite fun, but it just gave me the runs. I never once recommended that to anyone. Thankfully.

Even the Banters themselves talk about resistant starch in the form of cold, cooked rice. Well, hello sushi rice!

Fitness diary 25th October 2016

Weight: 54.5 (lost 600gms in one day - which shows it's mostly water loss)
Waist 69cm

Did 15mins cardio
40 mins glute weight training - mentally not that focused due to Natasha's birthday celebration
Taking L Carnitine before weights too

Wasn't hungry, felt good, no cravings. Had a few small bites of Seth's cake at Mugg n Bean but was easily able to resist.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Fitness Diary - 24th Oct 2016

So, who knows if I will keep this up but, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger's tips on bodybuilding, I am going to keep a fitness diary to see if I can track things that help.

1: I am back on carbs. And my mood feels great. And my weight has gone right up.

2: I ate cake over the weekend, a lot of it, so that could easily account for the 2kgs of extra weight.

I worked out really well today - trained back hard - and I ran this afternoon

5km - 30mins - in the heat. Strong. Good time.

This will be my second week on USN Testo Tribulus - I didn't take it yesterday as it was my rest day.

Pull ups: I went to failure
Low row 30kg max

Weight at gym: 55.1kg (heaviest I have been in a long time)
Waist: 68cm - gone up quite a bit

I am telling myself, for now, that I can eat whatever I want. I was wanting to drop weight for the boat cruise, but I doubt that it will happen in three weeks. I don't want to push myself too hard. I have just lost my dad. We have a stressful building situation. It's very tense. My stress levels are pretty high and I just don't feel that is conducive to being strict. It's clearly not as my weight is showing me how stressed I really am. I internalize my stress a lot.

Mentally very freeing to not be on ANY diet at all. All in the mind.
My last competition pic. Not my best comp, not my best pic. I just didn't like how my condition looked. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A total re-think

So I have been very, VERY quiet lately. So quiet that I have lost all, if any, readers that I had. That's ok. This is going to be MY blog for me and it doesn't matter who reads this.

I have left Banting Buddies. A few reasons.

No 1: My dad died recently and threw me into an emotional spiral
No 2: The word "Banting" has so many negative connotations associated with it
No 3: I was paying them a monthly fee in order to be on their website, but I never received a single client through them. ALL my clients came through my own advertising, so I just found I was paying for nothing. Plus, I had to pay them a small fee for each client I got anyway, even if that client was through my own efforts.
No 4: I have "bodybuilding" roots - and friends and my social network is full of them. And I kept on and on asking myself this one very important question: how do these people get competition lean and yet are NOT Banting? They eat the carbs. They get lean. So surely there are many, many ways to get lean.
No 5: My gym training has never been great on Banting. So lately I have been re-introducing carbs - clean, healthy carbs - and my training has improved again.
No 6: CRAMPS. No matter what, they never, ever completely went away. They improved. I'd supplement with this or that, and they would go away a bit, then come back. But the cramps never left my life. I have magnesium spray, magnesium tabs, taurine tablets, potassium, etc...all in the hopes of keeping the cramping at bay. But living with the constant fear that a debilitating leg cramp is going to bite into your calf at night is just not fun. I'm sorry. I'm done with that. I'm over that. I can't anymore.

So where does that leave me now? I am a little bit in no-mans land I must admit. I don't know, nutritionally, what I quite believe anymore.

I am still experimenting on myself. I have to admit this: I have been wrong to cut out almost all carbs. Carbs can be good in certain cases.

But I have learnt SO much during this time that it certainly wasn't a waste of time.

I have learnt about blood sugar testing. So now that I have re-introduced carbs (just one serving daily) into my diet, I have bought the blood sugar test strips and have been doing the odd random finger prick test.

Friday was my son's birthday, so we had a lot of left over cake in the house this weekend. This morning I joined my son in eating cake - we each had a piece. So I whipped out the blood sugar tester and have tested my blood sugar every half an hour. And you know what? The highest it tested is 6.2 mml. That' LOW for the amount of sugar/carbs I have just eaten.

Now this brings me to my point: last year, when I was low-carbing it, I had a piece of my son's birthday cake and then tested my blood sugar and it went up to 11.7 mml per DL. That is HIGH! Now what could the reason for the huge difference be?

Well, I have heard of physiological insulin resistance - and clearly, back then, it happened to me. I am someone who normally is NOT insulin resistant. But what happens when you don't eat carbs is that your insulin response to them gets sluggish. So after not eating carbs for an extended period of time your body almost "forgets" how to deal with them. Then, you eat some cake, and your insulin response is not there, and your blood sugar goes through the roof.

Now I have been adding in some carbs regularly, and so when I ate the cake this morning, my blood sugar has stayed well within a normal range. Normal is 4-6mml. My fasting blood sugar was 4mml the other morning. And after cake it has stayed low - only 6 mml. This tells me that I should NOT have gone on a low-carb diet in the first place, probably.

However, what about my hypoglycemia? Wasn't that the main reason I liked Banting? Yes, yes it was. Here is what I think about that considering everything I have learnt: for me, I cannot process sugar only. So a can of coke, a sucker, a sweet, candy floss - anything like that - will send me into a sugar crash straight afterwards. However, if I include carbs as part of a healthy meal I will be fine. For example - I have experimented recently having sushi - with the rice. So in total about a cup, or just less than a cup, of white rice with my sushi at lunch. And... no blood sugar crash. I attribute this to the fact that the fish has protein and some oils in it and so the meal itself is pretty balanced.

I am learning, this is all trial and error.

I loved low-carb eating, I still do, but carbs certainly have their place. What that place is, how much and how many and when to eat them is still something I am learning, but I will not stop self-experimenting until I get my answers.

One thing I am sure of: if you are diabetic or IR then going low-carb could just save your life. You will need to experiment with your own blood sugar testing and weight and see what works for you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Moderation with food...a lesson from Frank Zane

Frank Zane, one of the world's top bodybuilders, and rival to Arnold Schwarznegger.

So what is the BEST diet? As a Banting Buddies coach you'd think I would have a definitive answer. Well, unfortunately I don't. There is NO definitive answer! The reason is because we all have different hormonal mixes going on inside our bodies. I know this just from seeing the results of some of my client's blood tests. The ranges of fasting insulin alone is incredible and variable. Our Vit D levels all vary. Our exercise levels vary. Our ages are different. Etc. 

So I wish I had one diet plan that would fit everyone, but I don't. There is no such thing. It's a unicorn folks. Also, between men and women, the hormonal differences are so vast. 

The last consideration is: what are YOUR goals? Do you want to get shredded like Frank Zane? Do you want to build muscle? Do you want to run faster? Do you simply want to be healthier and slimmer? All this requires different tweaks in your eating. 

Getting shredded certainly requires calorie and fat and carb restriction. No doubt about it. I have seen it in myself and in competing athletes and I have read plenty of bodybuilder's guides. These guys KNOW how to lose body fat. Is it easy? No. Do they get hungry? You bet!!! 

That is why they have a "bulking" phase. They cannot be shredded and build muscle at the same time. That is why I say, there is not one dietary answer for everyone. 

Also advice changes depending on the era. In Frank Zane's time they were not as afraid of saturated fat. They even included some because they knew that cholesterol and saturated fat was good for testosterone production. 
But they still included carbs. They went low-ish, but not no-carb. Frank Zane would often eat  very balanced diet of 33% fat, 33%carbs, 33% protein. I read that in his magazine which is available still on Amazon. He trained and ate seasonally. Meaning he changed up his training and eating depending on the seasons, and I am guessing, depending on whether he was competing, but he never left out a macro-nutrient. And LOOK at him! And he maintained a great physique even as he got older. 

So that leads me to conclude that it's not only low-carb that works. Moderate carb can work too, with moderate fat. But then I am guessing you need the willpower, as Frank Zane had, to keep your calories within a certain range. He clearly never overate. And he trained. Hard. 

For a sedentary, older person, like my mom, low carb is brilliant. It's working like a charm for her. But she doesn't exercise. She doesn't even go for walks. Grocery shopping is her most strenuous activity. She doesn't need full glycogen stores every day like I do, as she will not be hill-sprinting ever. 

For diabetics the game changes completely too. Carbs for them are like sweet poison. The reason is because their liver NEVER stops making it's own glucose. So when a load of glucose from food enters their bloodstreams, it just raises their total blood sugar to dangerously high levels. So it's different for them as compared to someone with a normal insulin response. In people like that (me) my body shuts off gluconeogenesis until my blood sugar levels have fallen low enough again. 

So the conclusion is that we all need to become experts of our OWN bodies and our own health. We must not be afraid to do that. We MUST experiment on ourselves and find what works for our own unique mix of hormones and age/gender. 

Carb restriction can work but so can other ways of eating. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Busy and less carbs

Hi dear blog readers

Well, I have been a naughty, absent blogger. I am pleased to say, though, that I am busy with my clients, so it's for a very, very good cause.

I have been testing my blood sugar regularly (by which I mean, often, not daily, but there are a few days when I test a few times in a day) and I am thrilled to say that with my low-carb, sometimes zero-carb diet, my blood sugar never goes over 6ml/L. This is, according to all the research, a good thing. Apparently, someone with TRULY normal blood sugar will never go above 6.6 ml/L, independent of what they have eaten. I don't know about you, but mine will jump way over that if I eat sugar!

I remember testing my son's blood sugar once, after a carby snack, and his blood sugar was only 5.7. So this may well be the truth. He has (he is still young) perfect blood sugar control.

I am a big believer in blood sugar testing, now that we have the machine. I believe it is very important to know what your blood sugar is doing because it's such a dangerous thing if it's too high or too low.

I have been experimenting again with zero-carb eating and have found that even after a breakfast with lots of protein, my blood sugar hardly budges at all. Which is wonderful. Whereas I remember it going up to 6.4ml/L after full cream yoghurt! Needless to say, I don't eat much yoghurt any more.

Have you tested your blood sugar?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

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Email me NOW!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Blood sugar and low-carb eating.

Sometimes I wonder if my insulin response has become sluggish because I don't typically ingest sweet/starchy things anymore. That is a known phenomenon - low carbers can test almost like type 1 diabetics when they have their insulin levels tested in response to oral glucose tests. Apparently if they start eating some carbohydrate for two weeks, this normalises again and their insulin response becomes normal.

I wonder this because my blood sugar readings go very high in response to, let's say, cake with icing. My usual blood sugar readings these days are very low - anywhere between 4-6 mml/L. This is great! However, one time - a while ago now - my blood sugar in response to a piece of my son's cake went up to 11.2! My fasting reading is usually 4.0 -4.8 - and it has never ever gone over 8 except in response to cake! My son's blood glucose reading (the only time I ever managed to convince him to let me prick his finger) was only around 6.8 even after eating a honey sandwich. This is a good sign that his insulin is clearing out the high sugar from his blood stream, but of course, he needs to NOT eat too many honey sandwiches.

So I like having low blood sugar readings - it shows me that I am not doing damage to my body with unusually high levels of glucose coursing around my bloodstream. This is good!

One thing I don't like with regards to being low-carb - that I suffer with cramps - and I don't like that I sometimes feel achy in my legs - weaker - when I don't ingest carbs. It's a minor thing, but for exercise performance it's quite a big deal. My exercise performance suffers because I am unable to push as hard or for as long. And this is really my one and only complaint. But it bugs me because it doesn't happen to every low-carber, so I sometimes wonder "Why me?"

Today I tested my blood sugar before eating an apple - 4.9 - and then around half an hour after eating just half the apple - it went up to 6.4! That is after only half of an apple!

Make no mistake, carbs need to be treated with caution. So if you want to have some carbs daily to "maintain" your insulin response (although there really is no need to do this unless you're going to test your insulin post-prandial) then make sure they are from lower sugar sources like sweet potatoe, or perhaps pumpkin or even, as I did, half an apple. But don't get your carbs from sugar or are sure to be raising your blood sugar too high.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The dietary requirement for carbohydrates is ZERO....?

In this Huffington Post article the author shares from the Institute of Medicine's manual, which states that "The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life is apparently zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed." (IOM 2002).

That we can survive without carbs is a scientific fact. As the article states, yes, our brains needs glucose but our bodies can make it.

There is just one point I need to make here - a sort of caveat if you will for those who exercise: I have been experimenting with adding carbs BACK in, in small amounts, because of my weight training. I have to admit, I am feeling better for it. My cramping improves, my ability to push a bit harder improves and I feel slightly better. It's not a lot of carbs required, just a small amount of sweet potatoe, or half a banana (I am still experimenting with the correct carb source for me) but I have to say, a little bit of carbohydrate DOES indeed help performance, in my experience.

Monday, March 7, 2016

What if you DIDN'T EAT for 24 hours?

Could you not eat for 24 hours?
What if I told you that you could:
·         Dramatically lower both insulin and blood sugar (without a drug)
·         Raise your level of growth hormone (to enhance fat-burning, muscle building and anti-aging),
·         Improve your leptin response(to betterregulate hunger and satiety)
·         Activate your body'sinternal spring cleaning mechanisms (for cellular repair and regeneration)
…. and what if all of these things were known to:
·         Lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity
·         Increase your longevity
·         Boost your BDNF - your brain derived neurotrophic factor,(a substance that increases the growth of new nerve cells in the brain and protects the brain against stress and toxins)
…. and what if I told you that this would cost you nothing?
Would you do it?

These benefits are what Intermittent Fasting promises. IF (Intermittent Fasting) has always intrigued me but I have been "iffy" about doing it until recently.

My first attempt at fasting was in 2014 after I had been Banting for only a month. I felt so terrible (weak and lethargic) that by midday I just had to eat. I only managed to skip breakfast.

Now that still counts as a fast since I had fasted for 17 hours! I just didn't realise back then that I wasn't necessarily required to go a whole day without food and that there are various methods of intermittent fasting, one of them being simply skipping breakfast. I thought I had to go a whole day without food, but according to Brad Pilon, author of Eat. Stop. Eat(the book many call the bible on fasting) that would have been a 36-hour fast, and not necessary at all. He advocates doing whatever works, and mainly doing a 24-hour fast. You could stop at 3pm today, and resume eating 3pm the next day. Which means that you get to eat on both days, but you just put 24 hours in-between eating times.

So yesterday, I tried again, and fasted with relative ease. I did a 24-hour fast from supper the night before to supper the next night. Was it pleasant? No. I won't lie. But was it bearable? Yes. It was better than I anticipated. And I lost a whole kg! (Which I am sure will come back, but I was still amazed that a whole kg on the scale disappeared, literally, overnight. This may be useful for athletes to know if they need to make weight categories.)

I only got two really bad hunger surges the whole day, around breakfast and lunchtime. The lunch hour hunger surge was worse, but after that, I didn't feel hungry at all. I did have a mild headache the whole day and I felt colder. It was a hot day, and whilst everyone was complaining of the heat I was feeling cool and comfortable. Dr. Michael Eades, in an article he wrote on IF for the website, says that the drawback to Intermittent Fasting is a reduction in thermogenesis . Perhaps this is why I felt colder. His view is that this phenomenon explains why not everyone loses weight through IF. His view on IF is underwhelming as he concluded his article by saying that IF "looks good in animal studies, then not so good in human studies." He also states that fasting is "long on promises, short on delivery" meaning that although it works well in animal studies, we are not animals and the benefits seen in the animal models may not transfer to humans.

However, Dr. Jason Fung, a top nephrologist, is a big proponent of IF for health and restoring insulin sensitivity in diabetics, as well as for weight loss. He himself practices it and says that the first one or two times you may feel uncomfortable, but then it gets easier. He points out that for some people even a low-carb diet is not enough to decrease insulin to the lower levels they need, whereas fasting can do that. He says everyone can do it and best of all, there is nothing you have to buy to do it. Dr. Fung says that "you don't have less energy, you have more energy."

Admittedly I didn't feel that at all, I felt very "slow", as if my body was conserving energy, but that may change if I was a regular faster. Dr. Fung explains in thisYoutube video: " So growth hormone goes up to preserve lean muscle, then you'd be burning just fat. Adrenaline goes up to give you more energy and you're fueling all that energy with fat, because you can measure free fatty acids in the blood and they go up, so what's happening is that you're burning fat, you're preserving your muscle and you've got plenty of energy. Perfect."

Perfect, except, perhaps if you're a woman, or a female rat. In one rat study it showed that female rats did not cope as well as their male counterparts (they got stressed) with fasting, and in a three-week human study, women showed slight impairment in their glucose response to a meal. However, both these studies were conducted on alternate day fasting (one day fasting, one day eating), and not, as is usually recommended, a once or twice a week only 24 hour fast. Perhaps in that scenario the results would have been positive for females too? The research on that is lacking.

In general, for most people, a weekly fast seems safe but there ARE contraindications, whether male or female. For example if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue or malnourishment, then fasting is NOT for you. The same holds true for anyone under the age of 18 - fasting is NOT recommended as muscle and bone is still growing and forming.

Ultimately, fasting is just one of many health and weight-loss tools, and you have to decide if it's one you'd like to use.

By Louise Hughes

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Health Eating for Kids

Here is a brief summary from the talk I gave at my child's school the other night: 

Young brains need proteins and fats (both of good quality!) in order to grow and develop properly.
Young brains need NUTRIENT DENSE foods - not nutrient empty. 
Nutrient dense foods all come from mother nature - and the food IS the ingredient. Ie: eggs...ingredient is eggs. Spinach...the ingredient is spinach. Fish...ingredient is fish. 
So please read food labels and if it reads like a chemistry report then put it back.
The idea is to cook at home, from scratch (when we can) so that we know exactly what went into the food. Then there are no additives, colourants or preservatives.
Remember that most cereals are stripped of nutrients - the manufacturers then have to add some back in. Most of them are also then coated in sugar. That is NOT healthy food.
Brain boosting breakfast ideas:
·         1 - full cream Greek yoghurt with berries and nuts
·        2 -  scrambled eggs with anything  - chicken, bacon, tuna, cheese, veggies...whatever your child likes!
·        3 -  fish - prepared any way you like. Full of brain-nourishing omega 3's.
Lunchbox ideas:
·         1 - meatballs (preferably homemade)
·        2 -  cheese and veggie or cheese and fruit skewers
·        3 -  leftovers
·       4 -   chicken strips and veggies
·        5 -  hard boiled eggs
·        6 -  crudite veggies with hummus or cream cheese dip
Supper ideas:
·       1- -  deeply nourishing soups and stews - full of vegetables, meat, slow cooked bones
·        2 -  mince - chop and hide veg in it. (cottage pie, spaghetti, etc)
·       3 -   seafood mixed grill
·       4 -   stir-fry (quick and easy)
Healthy treats:
·        1 -  dark chocolate (pref 85%) and whole fruit
·        2 -  hand-made dateballs
·         3 - smoothies that you make at home - beware shop bought ones - usually loaded with sugar.

For more healthy eating info email: or give me a call 082 8449182

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Melanotan 2 Nasal Spray

Quick review: I wasn't impressed.

Long review: I paid and ordered and was impressed with that part - the order arrived as it was supposed to, within the time frame stated on their site. I bought through MelanotanZA.

The product claims to tan you over three weeks. The biggest problem was that one nasal spray DID NOT last the full three weeks. By the time the spray ran out, I wasn't much darker than my original tan. Yes, I did go a little darker, but really, not much at all. I would say one shade only. The tan was so slight that my husband could hardly tell.

The one side effect is a mild feeling of nausea - I felt that for sure. I also got the darkening of the moles and spots - they say that these darken first and the skin around them darkens later. Well, that never happened as I ran out of tan spray. Also, a few extra moles came out - which they say also will happen - and these should disappear when you stop using the spray.

Now you also get Melanotan as an injectable - you can buy the powder, you have to mix it with sterile water and get insulin needles and then inject...seems like a major schlep to me...but perhaps that way would have worked more effectively. I don't know. All I know is that, for me, the nasal spray was a bit of a waste of money. Far better to use a tan can, a sunless tan cream or just lie in the sun.

If you're wondering whether this is a safe thing to is a link to a video explaining how it works. It's a natural peptide - it mimmicks the body's own tanning melanin. It seems safe enough...although I don't know what long-term use of such a peptide would do.

Friday, February 19, 2016

A theory on how gym improves cellulite

Okay, this is just a theory, not science, so bear with me, but here is what I think.

I think that the mild inflammation caused by weight training (you know when your muscles are so sore the day or two after? That's inflammation) can actually make you look firmer to a degree. I say this because I noticed this in myself today.

November and December I didn't gym train at all. And every time I went out for a run, I noticed all this cellulite on my legs as I ran. And I don't even have that much fat on my legs, mind you. Some, yes, of course, all women have some fat. But the little I have, on my upper thighs, looked super-cellulitey as I ran.

I have been back in the swing of gym training around a month or so now, and the last two weeks I have hammered my thighs (called quads) quite a lot! And when I went for a run, I noticed my legs were not even half as cellulite-y as they were. In just over a month. Now, it's NOT weight-loss, not even in the least, because I have actually gained about 2 kgs. (I always gain when I weight train, especially initially. If I lose whilst weight training then it's during a time when I am dieting hectically - like in the past, for competitions.) Ok, so weight is up but cellulite is MUCH improved. And I can see on my upper arms that some of my weight gain IS fat, and my waist has gone up 2cm, so the reduction in cellulite appearance has got to be, in my mind, due to increased inflammation. Is it possible that SOME of the weight gain is inflammation too? Is it more fluid that is rushing around the muscles in order to repair them? Who knows?

What I do know for a fact is this: my quads ARE SO SORE today - this is how I know they are inflamed. I can hardly touch them. I could hardly start my run. And I know the cellulite is less obvious because when I run, I often look down and see my thighs - I run in running shorts in the heat. And today, for the first time in three months, I haven't wanted to cover my "old lady" legs up.

What do YOU think? Am I onto something?
female runner: Athlete running on bridge. action shot of runner in mid air. healthy lifestyle fitness woman Stock Photo

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why Are Fat People Hungry? How to control your appetite and release your...

This is one of the BEST videos I have ever watched explaining hyperinsulinemia - in plain english, when your body produces too much insulin. This video is by a guy who lost 145 pounds in 14 months through LCHF and intermittent fasting. Very well worth the watch.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lean Gains whilst eating LCHF.

So yesterday I went for a body-stat assessment. I last went in March 2013, can you believe it? Three years ago!

I was pretty nervous because I thought for sure I would have a much higher body-fat percentage now than then...but to my surprise and delight, my body-fat percentage was the same. A lean 15.1%! This surprised me because three years ago, I was competing in bikini competitions and really training hard. Back then I expected my body fat to be low.

This is NOT what I expected this time round. I am eating totally different. I am only just starting to get back into gym training. I am eating FAT, people!!!! I guess, somewhere in the back of my mind, even though I now "know" intellectually that fat doesn't make you fat, I was wondering if, really, it did. Maybe eating fat was making me a thin-fat person?

Not according to these stats. I weighed just over a kg more (good! I was too light last time) and yet, I haven't gained body fat. So according to the dietician, I have picked up LEAN body mass. This is what we are all striving for.

Falan's Nails and Beauty and Sunnies

When I get good service or find something really great, I must share it, even if it IS only with a few readers.

I live in a sleepy, coastal town, where service is slow but I was super impressed with Falan's Nails and Beauty Clinic. I made a booking about a week in advance, and the day before my appointment, I received a reminder whatsapp about my appointment. That is a winner in my book, as we all get busy and sometimes we forget these things.

When I arrived I didn't have to wait long and my gel toe appointment took about half an hour - very speedy! Another win! I am usually put off getting my nails done because it eats up so much time. The young lady who did my colour was very professional and did a great job!

Note the glitter middle toe

I will definitely be back!

I definitely have a "thing" for sunglasses. I have SO many pairs, much to my poor hubby's dismay. I picked up this pair today from MRP Sport. I love this wraparound style as I feel it stays on my nose better than the big owl type ones. I love the aviator style but I feel that all of them look terrible on me, for some reason. Maybe it's to do with the shape of my eyes. But this style, although very "sporty" looking, seems to suit.

Well, this was a girly post. And look, no diet-talk!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Carby fueled performance (sorry!)

I hate to admit it, but today I performed better at gym than I have in a while. Not that I was doing badly before, but today I just had that little extra vooma. The difference? Friday I had three (gasp!!!) Savannah's (apple ciders) with friends, and they contain a fair deal of sugar. Then on Saturday I had some mango with my son, and on Sunday I ate some beetroot and other veg. Small amounts of sugar on the weekend.

And so this morning, I could just feel my glycogen stores were full. I know it sounds wacky, but it's true. I had that little extra zing. It's what I often refer to as the "quick burst" energy.

So interestingly, even though I love low-carb, the truth is that some carbs certainly help with gym performance. And I didn't even consume many carbs, just those few over the weekend.

Just sharing this for interests' sake.

So I have to conclude that, for my own body, a few carbs are helpful if I am working out.

Oh, and also, since including minimal veg/fruit again, the runs I was experiencing on zero carb have stopped immediately.