Friday, July 30, 2010

Healthy living

I know now that I am gluten intolerant, which to me is a blessing to finally know why I get severe cramping and to know it is NOT a cyst (I have PCOS and drs ALWAYS put my cramping down to cysts, even though it was different, yes, I can tell the difference between cyst pain and this pain, but Dr’s usually do not care.)

As such I have been researching HEAPS this week about what I should not be eating so I feel better. I am so glad there is so much advice out there. I have only been eating gluten free for a few days but I have lost 500g already. I am not doing it to lose weight though.

I have also run out of sugar this week and “accidentally” did not buy it, so it won’t get used here. I have managed 3 days so far and the kids are not bothered at all by it. I am trying to eliminate sugars in our house too.

I have written out an eating plan and it is soooo much easier to just know exactly what I am eating each day. It leaves no room for snacking. (For me anyway, I know that doesn’t work for everyone.)

Over the next week I will be learning more and experimenting with different recipes and things. I am buying only organic and going as close to the raw ingredient for all my cooking as possible.

What are you doing this week to lose weight/be healthier?

Join in this healthy living linky
How To Homemaker

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sorry

So I am a bit slow and didn’t realise I lost my blog back ground! Lol.

I am planning a big make-over for this blog, but have just been slow to decide what it is I really want to show what I do on this blog. It’s a real mixed blog about my life, craft, weight loss, cooking etc... Lots of things.

I want a design that will reflect who I am, what I am doing on here and have it be unique to me.

So, sorry it has been a bit all over the place atm, I will be working on it over the coming weeks though. In the mean time I will put up a new free back ground, whilst I work on other changes!

Commitment to living green

I am really striving to live a greener/more healthy life. I have changed many things in our house but there are still lots of things I would like to change.

I have done
- Switched from cleaning products to bi-carb and vinegar
- Stopped using cleanser and now use a microfiber cloth and organic coconut oil for moisturiser as needed only, not every day.
- I did a detox and have eliminated a lot of things from our diet (this is a work in progress)
- I have been educating myself about vitamins, how they work and interlink in our bodies etc... especially in accordance with my health issues.
- I try to buy pretty much only organic meat and am moving over to organic veg. When I don’t buy the organic produce, I soak it in apple cider vinegar and water and clean it before using it.
- I recycle as much as I can.
- I use water many times e.g. bath water is used to soak clothes then used in the washing machine then put on the garden.

Some of the things I plan on doing are
- Get a compost bin
- Switch to mineral talc free make-up
- Switch to aluminium free deodorant
- Grow fruit and veg

Where I am it is hard to do many of the things I would love to do to be greener, but I am doing what I can. Heck, I live in a 1 bedroom unit with 2 kids, that leaves a small footprint right?

I know there’s much more I could do, but sometimes I am just lazy. In fact I have gotten really lazy lately and it’s bad. So I am committing from today to live a greener life.

And to confirm that commitment I have joined this green blog hop

Friday, July 23, 2010

Test results - not what I expected

Yesterday I had to return to my Dr. We had run some tests a few weeks ago and I got the results yesterday. (I could have got them earlier, but I wanted to see my Dr, and she was away, plus they weren’t urgent.)

These tests were pretty much to check the levels of everything in my body and to check a few things we thought might be problems I have. Turns out we were way off.

I do have some problems, but not what we were expecting. In fact, what we discovered means I have to make some drastic changes to my diet. I eat pretty ok now, but there are certain things I can no longer have due to these issues.

I have to be pretty much vegetarian now and cut right back on dairy as well. Obviously I will be substituting things I was eating with options that are still high in calcium, iron, protein etc... All the reasons we eat meat and dairy.

I was in shock when the Dr was telling me this. We just thought I would be low in iron and vit B, but those levels were fine. It’s funny, previous Dr’s have always only checked for these things, whereas my new Dr had a massive list of what she wanted checked and I am so glad she did.

I am excited about the changes I will have to make in one way. I get to try new recipes and experiment more, plus I will get healthier (hopefully) and it will make a difference in my life. It will be hard though and I am having to rethink what I do.

It was so interesting at my Dr’s. She fully explained everything about how different things work in our bodies, why we need certain things and how they affect each other. Like for example vitamin D and calcium. Did you know vitamin D assists in calcium absorption?

My calcium level is good, but my vitamin D level is only 1/10 what it should be. I don’t get enough sun, because I get burnt hanging out the washing, so I have always covered up. This is a typical problem for Caucasians especially in Australia. Low vit D is fairly common, but did you know that when it is low, because it affects calcium absorption if you don’t increase it and it stays low it can lead to osteoporosis and other health problems like that?

Having PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) already puts me at risk for many things including diabetes and my visit yesterday showed that there are a few issues that now increase my risk of many things further such as heart disease, cancer etc... And considering the family history of these, that is not a good thing.

Now, I do have to make a lot of dietary changes, but here’s the kicker. Due to my age, the issues I have are more likely to be genetic, and not a lot can be done. How fantastic is that? NOT!

The dietary changes will help, but it won’t completely solve the problems if they are genetic. That’s ok though. These things happen and I’ll do what I can and hopefully at my next test results will be better and I will make a difference.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Changing it up - How I went from brown to red

Ok, so firstly, this week I lost nothing weight wise, but that's ok. I wasn't expecting much coz I just came off a detox and have gone back to more normal eating so my body is probably in shock! lol.

Anyway, I thought I would explain here how I changed my hair.

This is my natural hair colour. I get really bored with it though.


















So I went this colour, which was fun for a while...Then I really changed it up and went this lovely red.

Now, it is easier for me coz I am a hairdresser. There's no way if you put a red over that dark brown you'd get the colour I have now. So here is what I did...

1.) Bleached my brown hair up to a light orange. I sectioned it off, slapped bleach all over and wrapped each section in foils. I was careful to avoid my scalp and regrowth though.

2.) I washed the bleach off. I shampooed it once, then towel dried it.

3.) I dried it completely. Yes, there is no conditioner in my hair so it feels like straw!

4.) I mixed together 50ml of 6.43 and 25ml of 6.56 (I got those colours from Price Attack, their brand colours) and mixed in  75ml of 20vol peroxide.

5.) I put that on my hair, section by section and left it on for 25 minutes.

6.) Rinse it out, shampoo, conditioner and dry it. (After the bleach I should have treated it at this point, but my hair is amazing and I can bleach it from black to white and it doesn't dry out. Yes, I love my hair! LOL)

I plan on posting another time pics of exactly HOW I apply colour, as I do it in a spider web pattern, which from what I have been told most people don't do, which is why they end up with missed patches. I didn't take pics whilst doing my hair this time, but I will next time, promise!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ranga

Ready people? Here it is... A new hair colour!!!
Ta da!

Yup, I got bored last week and decided to change my hair. I used to do this pretty regularly, then I had kids and it got harder to find the time to do it. Yes, I do it all myself.

I took a few inches off and shortened the hair around my face. I am thinking of doing a more noticeable side fringe too. We’ll see.

So what are your opinions? Like it/hate it? At first I hated it, but it is growing on me. It will probably only stay this way for a few weeks, then I will get bored again.

(And yeah, I know, I am not very good at taking a pic of myself! lol)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Detox completed

I have completed my detox now and it has been an interesting experience. It was more tiring than I expected, but it was still a good experience.

I don’t know how I expected to feel after doing it, but I don’t feel that different to before I did it. I did lose 2.5kg doing it and I did learn some interesting recipes that were healthy and tasty, but ti was not as great an experience as I expected.

I felt very weak for a fair bit of it. I was also extremely tired which makes me really snappy and easily annoyed. I did feel good taking the extra vitamins and things and it did teach me some good habits, but I don’t think I would do a detox again.

Was it worth it? Yes. It has reinvigorated me to lose my weight, it taught me some things about nutrition, gave me some new recipes/food combinations and pushed me out of my comfort zone to try things I never would have eaten.

So overall it was a good experience, but not good enough to make me want to do it again! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weight loss rewards



I have been thinking about my different mini weight goals and the rewards I would like for them. You see, I have usually celebrated with food, either a nice dinner out or cooking our favourite meal and dessert at home. This is not good and a cycle I would like to break. Why does it always have to be about food?




Some of the things I would LOVE to do cost so much money, but I am saving for them. As such, I am thinking for each weight goal I achieve I will have my cheap reward and expensive reward and depending on how much I have saved will determine which I get. Both are something I would like, so they will be motivating for me.



Here’s my mini weight goals and rewards

78.5 kg – The Glass Works (it’s free)

73.5kg – 1 hour of child free sewing time OR Sydney Bridge Climb

68.5kg – 1 hour pamper time at home OR Surfing lessons

63.5kg – Free make-over at a make-up counter in Myer/DJ’s OR Day spa day

60kg – 1 item of clothing, no OR on this one!

Once I have maintained my desired weight for 3 months, I will get a classic wardrobe that I have been wanting for AGES!



The reason I don’t have an expensive one for 78.5kg is because I got there in the last few months then packed weight back on, actually I got to 77kg! Then within a few weeks I was back at 84kg. How did I let that happen? As such I chose the Glass works which is on my 101 list and I have been wanting to go for ages. I don’t have far to go, provided I keep the detox weight loss off (I will be revealing that on Wed!)



And yeah, I changed my weight loss goal to 60kg. My old aim was 65kg, but I really want to be 60kg. It is well within my BMI. That said it will depend on how I look. I looked really good at 65kg before and was pretty happy with that. I don’t want to get to 60kg and it look too skinny on me. If I look too skinny I will put some weight back on.



For those who don’t use kg to measure weight, my start weight in pounds was 184.08 pounds and my goal weight is 132 pounds. (It sounds much nicer in kilos I think! Lol)



Do you have mini rewards for yourself? I mean the weight loss is a reward of itself, but do you have little things to motivate you to reach it?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Queensland holiday plans

We are planning a holiday to Qld in Nov. It will be all my husband’s brothers and sisters. His sister lives up there and travels down to see us all so we thought we would do a Christmas in November so we can all spend it together.

No plans are set in stone. His brother gets married mid Nov, goes on his honeymoon, then we all meet up in QLD, but we don’t know dates.

We will be driving up with my mother in law. We had planned on driving as it is cheaper than flying for all of us, plus short trips play wreak havoc on her ears. So we will be doing a bit of a road trip and seeing a few places on the way up and back, which will be very exciting.

We know we will stay with my sister in law for a few nights, do the whole Christmas thing. We also know we will be catching up with one of my good friends up there. The other nights we were thinking a hotel, but we need to book soon, as they are filling up fast!

We would like to take our kids to see Australia Zoo as well, which is about 2 hours north of my sister in law. I have a voucher for 20%off for us and since our youngest would not yet be 3, she would be free!

Ultimately I would love to do this trip for under $1,000. As soon as I know dates I will be hunting out the best bargains for everything. Here is everything I can think of that we need.

Petrol for the car
Accommodation
Food
Australia Zoo

We will be getting some clothes and things, but they are budgeted for separately, so I haven’t included them.

I am aiming to only spend what we would normally on food. Not sure if I can, but it’s a goal. My mother in law will be pitching in with petrol money too she said (though I don’t expect her too.) I have some vouchers for cheap 4 star hotel accommodation, as in less than half price or we could camp.

We’ll see what happens. A holiday for under $1,000 would be awesome! It’s about 18 weeks, so probably 19 until we go (give or take) so I am planning on 18 weeks to save the money, which means $50 a week. I CAN do this!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tough decision update

As I mentioned here I have been facing a tough decision in regards to where to live, my house etc... I appreciate your opinions, but it looks like the decision has been made for me by the banks.




In order for me to buy here I would need to save $200,000, as my borrowing power is not so high. Even after selling my house, there is just no way I would have enough money and considering in the last 12 months I have seen properties here be sold then relisted now for $80,000+ more than they did 12 months ago, by the time I had enough saved I’d be completely priced out.



But that’s ok. I feel very happy and relaxed with my decision to move back to the old house. It is not a terrible area, even though I probably made it sound that way. It was more the people living there causing me problems and by living here I did not have to deal with them as much. They are close to me so I do have to deal with them, but they have changed a lot. They were in a very bad stage in their lives, but are doing remarkably well now and I have learnt to step back a lot.



I am actually quite excited about going back there. I do have lots of friends there and the school right near our house is fantastic. They are very multi-cultural, friends of ours go there and they have a Polynesian Dance group, which I want our daughters to be in.



And you will never believe what happened today! I was in the library and picked up a magazine. I had a flick through and one of the articles stuck out at me and gave me some ideas for my house in Sydney. If I had not been considering moving back, this would not have stood out at all.



I have just done the sums on if I did something similar to what I just read about and it would completely turn our property around for a small outlay. I won’t go into details too much, as I need to check up on a few things first, but I am quite excited now!



I won’t be able to go back there for a few months yet, as I have some loose ends to tidy up, but it looks like we will be going back. If I can get everything I have planned to be in motion next year and finished by the end of the year, I will be very happy. Doing this will help me to buy here, where I want, later. Yes prices will go up by the time I am ready to buy, but my little head is going a mile a minute and this way is the best way for us.

A loss is a loss no matter how small

That’s right. This week did not see huge losses, but a loss is a loss no matter how small. I lost 500g. Not the kilo I was hoping for but I know I was not the best over the weekend at my friends party. I was better than I usually would be. I only had 1 small serving of dessert, whereas usually I would want to try a bit of everything. Also I usually finish off whatever my daughters don’t eat, but instead I threw it out. Wasteful, but better for my hips!




I started my detox yesterday and it consisted of a banana mango smoothie for breakfast, a pear for a morning snack, chickpea and quinoa salad for lunch, nuts for a snack and an immune boosting soup for dinner.



The soup was pretty good. I like things like chilli and barley, so it was good. Breakfast on the other hand was hard. I like yoghurt. I like bananas. I don’t really like mangoes but they are ok in things. I am really not a fan of pureed banana. I don’t know why but I HATE it. I would have preferred to eat these things by themselves instead of in a smoothie, but I am doing it as the book says.



It’s not a diet where you feel like your starving either. Today’s lunch should be interesting as it has leeks in it which I am not a fan of, but I committed to this, so I will do it. I know I will feel better for it.



I also know that when doing a detox anywhere between days 3 and 5 you can begin to feel really bad, worse than before you started, but don’t let that deter you from completing it. You will feel so much better for it.



My aim when I finish is to continue on with many of the habits I develop during this time. You see, doing it for 10 days proves to me I can continue to do it and once you have done it for 30 days it’s a habit.



I am hoping for at least 1kg next week!



It's blog hop time at Diminishing Lucy too!

Oh, I will be posting more on my tough decision and responding to some comments later today! Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tough decision

I am faced with some very hard decisions at the moment. There is something I desperately want but don’t think I will get it. Ok, that’s not completely true. I have it, just not where I want it. Yes, I am picky!

I want a house here like no one’s business. I own a house, just not here. The house I own is ideal for me. It is on the size block I want, has 3 bedrooms, a good sized lounge, kitchen is good size, it has a rumpus room, it is fully fenced and the backyard has a separate fence again. All the aspects I want in a house. It is old and needs work for it to be my dream home, but it checks all my basic boxes. It does not check my BIG box though. Location.

It is located somewhere I vowed never to return to live. I frequently go there to see friends and family, but I did not want to live there EVER again. As such, my house is on the market so I can buy here.

Problem is I am not so sure I want to settle here and the house prices are RIDICULOUS. I would be adding $100,000 to my mortgage to buy here, even after the money I will make off my house! That is an insane amount of money.

I visited my house on the weekend and wanted to cry. I live in a 1 bedroom unit and here’s a house, I OWN (well, I am paying it off!) My unit would fit in the front part of my house. If I lived there my kids could play outside. I could have chickens. I could have a vegetable garden. I could have the life I want except for one thing.

It would not be where I want it to be.

If house prices where I currently live dropped drastically, I’d buy in a heartbeat. I am not willing to part with $500,000 for a house that needs work though. Sorry, won’t do it. If I am spending that on a house it better be the best house needing NO renovations or work whatsoever!

Which brings me to my hard decision; should I just move back to somewhere I never wanted to live again or should I suck it up and keep renting here until I can buy here?

I wrote out a pros and cons list for each, but won’t post it coz some of the reasons are very personal. Basically, I don’t want to live in the area my house is in, but every other aspect of my life would be better there.

I think one of the big things preventing me from deciding is pride. I don’t want to turn around and do something I said I never would. I don’t want to leave a really nice area to move back to a nowhere near as nice area.

The area I am talking about is not heaps bad. It has some rather undesirable areas and is dirtier than where I live now. I feel like a bit of a snob talking about it in this way. I guess I am. I did like many aspects of living there when I did, there were others that I did not.

One good thing is that lots of things that were completely awful when I lived there have drastically changed and are not the same anymore. They are much better and would not be a problem for me. Also I have grown up more and know better how to handle different situations. (Family situations that I will not give more detail on).

I do think that moving here 2 ½ years ago was the right decision as lots has happened in that time that I could not have dealt with living there.

It’s a big decision that I will be thinking about a lot. If I moved back it would only be until my eldest goes to high school. I don’t want her going to high school there. But by that time I plan to have our house paid off and be financially free, so will be able to live where I’d like. I am thinking I need to sacrifice living where I want now so I can live where I want when they are older and it is more important to me.

Any suggestions or opinions?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Detox starts tomorrow

The Organic Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Natural Health and Beauty

I start my 10 day detox tomorrow and I am very excited. The book above is the one I am using for it. I like it because it is not completely a soup and smoothie detox. It has salads and recipes I would use AFTER the detox as well. I really don’t think I will be hungry on this one.

I have wanted to do a detox for ages and as with everything I kept putting it off and putting it off. Last week I decided that Tuesday (tomorrow) is the day. I spent the weekend in Sydney and knew it would be bad (I was better than I usually am!) So couldn’t start last week.

I have written out my list and will be getting everything I need today. I will be packaging it into the right foods for each day so it will be easier and there won’t be as much temptation.

Since I am the only one in my family doing it I am also going to do a cook-up today for my daughters. I will be freezing things so each day it will be just a matter of defrosting their meals. This will hopefully stop me from nibbling their things, as I tend to “taste test” a lot.

I am very determined to do this as it is part of my 101 things in 1001 days and since I had to swipe a bunch of them off my list, I REALLY need to get cracking on completing some more!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Teething Relief


My daughter has been teething badly and I HATE giving her “medicine”. I mentioned before I was trialling a homeopathic remedy from a health food store and this is it. Click here to go to the site and read more if you’re interested.

I am so impressed. The taste is good. It’s all natural and my daughter is happy to take it plus it REALLY WORKS!

Actually last night I was reading The Organic Pharmacy for my 10 day detox I am starting next week and I came across a teething remedy in there and would you believe it is basically the one I bought? I was ecstatic when I read that. In The Organic Pharmacy it tells you how to make your own, which I don’t plan on doing, but I was so glad to find that what I had bought for my daughter was the right choice.

It can be really hard know what to use a lot of the time as products are often labelled as “all natural” or made from natural products when in fact they are not. Ok, so most things start off in a natural state, but after they have been processed, had chemicals and things added, heated, cooled, whatever and had their complete composition changed, they are no longer “all natural”.

I am on a mission to change everything in our house to as natural as possible things. I have been doing lots of reading and research and I have been slowly changing things in our house. I want to do it faster but I like to research everything properly.

So hang around coz I will be posting more things as I use them. (oh, by the way I am not affiliated with Brauer, I just LOVE the product!)