Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Before photo's

I promised before pictures yesterday and here they are. Sorry but I am not one to strip down to a swimsuit to show you my shocking stretch mark covered muffin top. In fact if you are ever fortunate (and I use that term oh so loosely! Lol) to see me in a swimsuit, it is accompanied by board shorts and a singlet top. That is not coz I hate my body, it’s a modesty thing. I’m not comfortable flashing (unlike most of Gen Y, I know, I’m weird and I’m cool with that!)

So here is my front

I realise I am not huge or anything. I am at an uncomfortable weight for me. I am in the overweight *BMI section which puts me at risk of numerous things such as diabetes. Add to that my lovely PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which already puts me at risk for diabetes and you can see I do not need to up my risk by remaining overweight.

Here is a side view. I really didn’t know how to stand and didn’t want my arms covering my delightful tummy bum so I stood like an idiot instead!

And last but not least is the bum shot. This is the one that screams at me. It screams “I’m gonna bust outta these jeans if you even try and move!!!GRRR!” See, my butt is an angry butt coz it is squished into one of the few pairs of pants I have. Poor bottom. Don’t worry, my tummy is screaming too that it is getting crushed when I try to do these jeans up.

Now I realise I am not overly fat and that if I dressed differently I would look much nicer. I already mentioned the diabetes things but add to that my mum and Gran died of cancer (mum was only 37), my pop of a heart attack, my other pop has had a few strokes as has my uncle (mum’s older brother). Given these few family diseases, I don’t think I need to push my luck too far. I’d like to live a healthy life for my daughters, not be killed young when I could have prevented it or have a lower quality of life due to my own mistakes.

Is it going to be easy? No. Am I aiming to be super skinny? No. I would like to be a toned 65kg, which is right in the middle of my BMI. To me that is healthy and what I would like to maintain. I was that when I got married and see no reason I can’t be again. Mind you, I was that weight and lived on a diet of coco pops, cheesecake and Krispy Kremes (yeah, my best friend/flatmate worked at The Cheesecake Shop and my boss’s wife was a high up manager for Krisy Kremes and since my friend was a Uni student and I was an apprentice free food was AWESOME!!)

So really, I shot myself in the foot when I was younger by taking for granted the ability to stay slimmer. I did exercise then, WAY more than I do now. But I was still not a healthy 65kg.

So join me as you see me got from OK to FANTASTIC!!

If you're gonna join why not check out this bloghop?

Weightloss after week 1

This picture is from Oct last year, but it is the only before picture I can find! I'll take another one today when I find my camera. As you can see I have some rolls I wish weren't there and me legs are thicker than I'd like.

Weight check in today. I have not been as good as I could have this week. It’s been a bit of an emotional one BUT I am so happy to announce I lost 1kg!

The biggest things I changed this week were basically cutting back on the carbs a bit, such as less pasta and bread, but eating more fruit and veg. I didn’t increase my exercise at all (lazy of me!) but I did start drinking chlorophyll again.

For those who don’t know chlorophyll is not strictly a weight loss thing. It is more to alkalinise your body and many people who drink find they slim down and get a better shape in their bodies. It works because our diet is too acidic and when your body has too much acid it stores it in your fat cells, making it virtually impossible to lose weight without alkalinising your diet.

I used to drink at least 1L of it a day and I lost 10kg which was awesome. I was doing a bit of exercise too then, but not as much as I should.

So the aim for this week is to step up the exercise (at this point even going for a walk once would be better than what I did last week!) and drink more chlorophyll. I have a party this weekend and I will be in Syd, which usually equals bad eating, so I am going to be much more conscious of what I eat. I REALLY want to be able to report a loss next week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Switching to more natural products

My poor little 1 year old daughter is teething. With my 2 year old everyone told me to use Bonjela and Panadol along with the teething rings. I read up on Bonjela and decided against using it. Here is some of what I found
“Bonjela Teething Gel sold in Australia (and possibly other countries) does contain choline salicylate and is the same as the adult product, and the recommended daily dose is once every three hours, applied to the area.”
Choline Salicylate is only suitable for ages 16+, yet here it is in a BABY product!! You can read more about why it is theoretically bad here. So I am not overly keen on using Bonjela and the likes.

I am also not a huge fan of using Panadol a lot. I have used it on the rare occasion when needed, but I don’t want my kids to be dependent on painkillers. Not that they would get highly addicted or anything, but I am just looking into more alternative medicines now.

I have realized how many things in my house and life are so bad for us. It’s no wonder kids have behavioral problems. They don’t stand a chance against goodness knows how many chemicals, preservatives, additives and everything they are bombarded with every day.

I have found a homeopathic teething relief I am trying out tonight. I am hoping it works. She has been most upset today, her cheeks are getting fairly red and she is chewing on her finger a lot. One of my friends told me about a homepathic one she got from a health food shop and it worked for her, so I thought I would give it a try.

I am getting more and more surprised at the amount of things in food and medicine that we take into our bodies that are so bad for us. Many things here in Aus are actually not allowed in other countries, so why is it ok here?

Many people from my parents generation say they grew up with it all and they are fine. Uh, no they didn’t grow up with all the preservatives and chemicals that are in food today. Yes to an extent, but there was nowhere near as much junk in food then as there is now. Besides, if you have the knowledge that something is bad for your body, your family, your kids, wouldn’t you avoid it? Isn’t that just logical?

There are many things in our house I am slowly changing over to more natural alternatives. I already clean predominately with bi-carb and vinegar. I have been changing a lot of our food to organic and if it can’t be organic I soak the fruit and veg in water and apple cider vinegar to remove as much of the chemicals as I can. I am growing some herbs and look to natural alternatives for our ailments before resorting to traditional medicine.

What have you changed? Any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creative Cooking Challenge

Thanks to this Creative Cooking Challenge, which by the way there is still time to enter if you’re quick, I have been rather experimental of late. So I thought I would put it altogether in 1 post to give you some ideas when doing your own pantry clean out.

First off I made things from a 3kg tin of peaches, which you can find here.
I then had lots of nuts to use up so I made a peach cheese cake with a nut crust. It was ok, but not brilliant

I made these fudgey brownies

I used up most of my TVP and lentils with things like TVP chilli, curry, beef soup (which contained no beef! Lol) and a stew. The beef soup was made using a packet my sister in law wasn’t going to use, adding some paprika, garlic salt and TVP. It was pretty good. My 1 year old had 2 helpings.

I have also gotten back into making my own rolls again. This is a habit I slip in and out of.

Today I made some paprika chicken, using a mix I made up some time ago, consisting of I can’t exactly remember. I tipped what was left in a bowl, covered the chicken then fried it. Super healthy, I know. Yes, I have not lost any weight lately, gee, I wonder why? Lol.

I do remember the mix had plain flour, chicken stock, garlic salt or powder and paprika. I added some extra paprika to freshen it up.

To go with the chicken I made turmeric rice and some vegies, see...

I also used up the custard powder I had sitting in the cupboard, along with the last of the nuts to make this custard peach pie.

I nearly forgot I made this one, chicken, avocado and feta pasta for a dinner I went to.

I also managed to use up some of my easi-yo, which got eaten and turned into some less than great muffins and things.

I can’t even begin to imagine how much money this has saved me over the last few weeks. As part of an extra challenge for myself, which you can see here I am aiming to use up all my food before buying more. All my pantry items are on my bench now, along with a list of what I have in the fridge/freezer so it can be used. I still have lots of food and ideas to go!

Fudgey Brownies

I made these chocolate brownies mainly because I was craving something chocolatey, but I did need to use up some nuts I had. I made them for this Creative Cooking Challenge, which by the way there is still time to enter if you’re quick!!!

250g chocolate
100g butter
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Melt the butter, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl together. Personally, I threw them in the microwave for 2 minutes because I am lazy!

Mix in the sugar, then the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased slice tray and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

I LOVED them. They were fudgey diving chocolatey goodness. Exactly what I needed. My daughters loved them too.

Since I needed to use up sweetened condensed milk and nuts, this was a 2 for the price of 1! Woo hoo.

And btw, nuts make it a HEALTHY slice! lol.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Toy Box Make-over

I got this wooden crate a few years ago and always meant to turn it into a toy box, but never had time. Originally I was going to sand and stain it, but since I can't do that around my kids I had to think of something else.

Firstly I had to pull all the nails out of the lid and sand it. I forgot to take pictures of the stages of the lid. I was just too excited that I had time to do something to this box!

After sanding it I cut out some foam. I used one of the cushions from my lounge suit I am about to take to the tip. I didn’t know what to cut it with, as I don’t really have any tools, so I used a big kitchen knife! It did the job. I cut the foam to size and placed it on the vinyl.

I bought the vinyl back when I got the box. It was a cut off I picked up for a few dollars, which I immediately planned to use for the cushion top lid. It managed to sit in my cupboard for 3 years before I got around to it though!

So I laid the vinyl on the floor, cut it to size and sat the foam on it. Next I placed the wooden lid on the foam and pulled up the vinyl to cover it all. I used a staple gun to attach the vinyl to the wood and keep it all secure.

With the actual box part I cut some of the wood that was sticking out the top to be flush with the rest of the box. Then I sanded it all down. I was so lucky with the Winnie the Pooh fabric. My sister in law was getting rid of it a little while back so I got it for free.

There was enough cover the box. I used a staple gun to secure it and that’s it! I have hinges I am going to put on it as well, but it was getting late and my daughters needed to go to sleep. They love their new toy box and it is easier to get them to clean up now!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unexpected free things

Gotta love freebies right? So Lambchop is giving me a screen for my new house lay out, which is very much appreciated.

Then yesterday my husband gave me a hat stand they were throwing out at his work. It's cast iron, swirly and very stury. This is the top

And this is the bottom.

My old hat stand broke so I was quite excited to get this pretty one!

Not only did I get a hat stand but I got a new microwave and speakers for my laptop. All FREE!

One thing i especially love about the microwave is it is WAY better than any I would ever buy myself. This looks like it cost a few hundred. Mine, which was dying cost me $80! I don't like spending on microwaves. I never saw the point in an expensive one, but boy do I love my new one.

I'm so happy. I love freebies!

Friday, June 4, 2010

De-cluttering and making a 1 bedroom unit more liveable

I have been thinking long and hard about what to do about my unit. How will I find more space and keep it tidy easier?

I started with de-cluttering and that has been great. I have tried re-arranging the furniture a bit but it doesn’t seem to work too well no matter how I put it. I also need to get a bed for myself, as the sofa bed is no good for my back.

I thought I would share with you the current lay out of my house and my plans and you can tell me what you think.

So here’s my house as is... (excuse the really bad image, I am not very good with it! lol)

Obviously it’s not to scale but it gives a general idea of what I am living with. Some of my ideas are...
1.) Get rid of the lounge. I only have 2/3 of it anyway. Part of it broke and I threw it out, so I just want to get rid of the rest.
2.) Get rid of the high chair. We don’t use it anymore, DD sits at the table now.
3.) Get rid of the cupboard next to the vanity. I emptied it the other day, it’s actually a bedside table that’s the landlords and they are happy to take it out if I want.
4.) Since I need a bed, I was thinking of getting one and putting it in the corner the TV currently is and moving the TV to the bedroom. I would also put a screen in front of the bed to give a little privacy.
5.) Move the toy box in the bedroom to be next to the cot (where the lounge currently is)
6.) Move the table more towards the corner where the couch currently is instead of in the middle of the room.

So basically all this would go

And things would be moved to look like this

Now the reason I feel this would work better is because one of my pet hates is havign the sofa bed pulled out. Another one is the table in the middle of the room.

We don't really watch TV and I am pretty tempted to just get rid of it, but there are DVD's my girls like to watch which give me some peace time, so I want to keep it as well.

Any thoughts on my plans? Also, it should only be for a few months, as my husband and I are working on things, and it's going well, so it will all change again, hopefully to a HOUSE instead of this unit.

Oh, and incase you're wondering, one daughter usually sleeps in the cot, the other with me. That's why only 1 bed for them.

Thansk for your in put!