• The opposite to epicurean

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Permalink 0

    Occasionally when dining out I’ll tweet or facebook pics of delightful and decadent meals. More often than not they’re not actually  mine; rather they’re the choices of my dining partners who have a far more discerning palate than I could ever hope to develop or adopt.

    I’d like to blame my childhood and the fact that I grew up in regional Queensland with limited options, so - other than the local Pizza Hut – I only ever went to two restaurants before I actually left home for University.

  • Lose weight to bring sexy back

    Monday, August 11, 2014 Permalink 0

    A new show is about to start on Oz TV called, Bringing Sexy Back. From the ads it appears to be a program which has found once attractive / slim peeps who’ve gained a heap of weight and somehow helps them lose the excess weight to again become ‘sexy’. Apparently.

    There are SO many things wrong with this concept that I don’t know where to start.

  • Living in the here and now

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Permalink 0

    I received an email after my recent interview appeared on Lisa’s Random Acts of Zen; an interview in which I talked about being single and my weight. And about the relationship between the two.

    Emily Jean is a health coach and works with women who are wanting to give up the dieting mindset and just trying to find some peace with food, and love for their body. I thanked her for her approach but had to flag that I really couldn’t afford to work with her on my body image issues at the moment. Fortunately she was keen to just talk to me so we had a lengthy skype chat.

  • Fat Camp vs Health Retreat

    Friday, August 1, 2014 Permalink 0

    I’ve talked before about my experiences at Fat Camp (where I lost nearly 15kg in a month). My feelings about the time are mixed. I know eating 700-900 calories a day and doing 5hrs of exercise is not even vaguely sustainable. Or healthy. But sometimes now – when I feel really desperate to do something about my weight and my health quickly… I wonder whether I’d return there. I hated much about the place, but it achieved results. Briefly.

    Fortunately I don’t spend long pondering because I can’t afford it anymore anyway. But the other day I was doing that thing we all do from time to time….

  • Plus size, schmus size

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Permalink 0

    Last week this photograph appeared on my Facebook feed.

    Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 10.33.02 AM

    Firstly I thought to myself… that doesn’t look like Robyn Lawley. Secondly I hoped the magazine used the inverted commas because they were being facetious rather than actually defining the model (as she appears in that photo) as plus-sized.

  • So far and yet… not

    Saturday, July 26, 2014 Permalink 0

    Someone asked me recently if I was still ‘dieting’ so I planned to share a post about my health and my eating behaviour this weekend.

    CliffsNotes version:

    I quit Weight Watchers nearly 2mths ago having lost 12.5kg over a six month period. After a frightening display of binge and overeating (and lack of movement) I gained over half of that in less than 3weeks. Alas.

    I was looking through old posts for something to accompany the epic post I had drafted (for your reading pleasure) and came across one from 2010. My second year of blogging and the early(ish) days of the old Diet Schmiet blog.

  • Coeliac? 7 tips for new players

    Thursday, June 26, 2014 Permalink 0

    I’ll preface this post by saying that I’m no expert. At anything really. Other than watching-television and reading crime-fiction. Oh, and I’m pretty good with 80s and 90s movies. But anything health-related, well…

    However, because I’m always happy to share my magnificent insight and prone to be blunt, I figured I’m well-placed to share some tips I’ve garnered in the (almost) nine years since my coeliac diagnosis.

    Gluten free

    So, hold onto your hats and prepare to be amazed. #orsomething

    1. Don’t panic

    It’s not the end of the world. I know your diagnosis will feel like it, but it’s not. I had previously been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and that completely freaked me out. Little did I know my underactive thyroid was fairly minor on the autoimmune disease scale – with more to come! The coeliac thing threw me for a loop. “Life will never be the same!” I wailed – after basking (victim-like) in self pity for a bit of course!

    2. Arm yourself

    And no, I’m not suddenly going all ‘gun’-ho American style. I’m talking information. There are people who know about this stuff. In Australia there’s Coeliac Australia. Although you have to pay to join and re-subscribe each year, you HAVE to have a doctor’s certificate with your diagnosis to be a member. Parents of coeliac children are obviously eligible.

    5652f2f1b4096492de8f63007fde5b5d

    In Oz Coeliac Australia is a wealth of info. In addition to regular magazines and newsletters as part of your membership, you can buy some products such as ingredients’ guides as well as cards in a variety of languages which explain the allergy. (Perfect if you’re travelling!)

    I’m sure many other countries would have a similar official body.

    3. Food WILL cost more 

    It’s a sad fact that gluten-free food is generally more expensive than the stuff with gluten. $6 for a teensy loaf of bread is just the start. I recently paid an extra $3 (on top of my $17.90 eggs benedict brekkie) for one small piece of GF bread. It’s annoying but a cold hard fact that we coeliacs often have to pay a surcharge at restaurants and cafes. (It just pisses me off when it’s excessive!)

    I understand in the US there’s some sort of tax rebate available to celiacs but (as yet) there’s nothing in Australia like it. (I’m not sure about other countries!)

    4. Speciality stores have their place, but…

    When I was first diagnosed I was excited that I lived near a fabulous health food store. And indeed it was (and still is, I’m sure) fabulous. However… I initially made the rookie mistake of stocking up on all sorts of VERY expensive stuff – flour, sauces, pasta and the like.

    It wasn’t until I became more knowable that I realised local supermarkets stock HEAPS of that stuff, usually at a lower cost. And… some processed foods are naturally gluten-free. For example, you can buy expensive rice crackers (etc) which are ‘gluten-free’ but – as it happens – many of the generic brands are gluten free anyway.

    gluten-free-kick-face

    Okay, the incorrect form of ‘your’ kills me and I don’t feel this strongly… but understand the sentiment!

    5. Options are improving

    I should note that I’m fortunate to have been diagnosed in this day and age, as the range of GF options in supermarkets and restaurants continues to grow. More and more people know what I mean when I say I’m coeliac. And… my personal favourite: brands are CHOOSING to make gluten free products when there are alternatives (Gravox, Masterfoods and Hans come to mind!).

    I still think cooking for people with allergies should be part of any chef training course – or at least featured on reality TV cooking shows, but… small steps.

    6. Gluten-free isn’t necessarily healthier

    Coeliacs generally feel better once they’ve adopted their gluten free diet. Indeed, many with intolerances and others who give up wheat or gluten also feel better. But… there’s a trap which can catch newbies. Indeed I fell prey when first diagnosed, and later watched a friend do the same thing!

    After the “Oh my god I can’t eat anything!” depression passes, you find yourself excited when you see GF products on offer. Suddenly you’re plowing through recipes for cakes and biscuits or checking out local cafes and pantries for GF treats.

    “Oh wow!” you say as you choose one of everything and bake batches of ‘healthy’ GF muffins. It took me a while before I remembered I didn’t really like cakes and biscuits. I didn’t eat them before my diagnosis and I was really only eating them now because I ‘could’ and they seemed ‘healthy’. (Look mum; no gluten!)

    Sadly you’ll often find that GF products may be more-fattening or have higher Glycemic Index (and therefore be less-filling). I certainly found the latter with cereals for example.

    3839e352cda8184a88bcfff398b99420

    7. Don’t assume others know what they’re talking about

    This probably sounds a bit strange but I’ve written before about the issue of gluten-intolerance (or those who choose to go GF) vs coeliacs (with an allergy) in my ‘How coeliac are you?’ post.

    I’ve been in cafes when I’ve been told that dishes have been ‘fine’ and that other ‘gluten-free people’ have eaten them. And I know some non-coeliacs who say they don’t eat gluten but don’t worry about soy sauce or stock powder (or even beer!). And then there are others who just skip the basics (bread, cakes and biscuits).

    jimmykimmelgluten

    When you can (without being preachy) take the opportunity to educate others about the difference between intolerance and allergy and the fact that – it’s just not about ‘wheat’ (or even the usual ‘barley, rye, oats and wheat’ definition my mother favours). It’s the hidden gluten (in some processed foods) which can result in something that’s akin to food poisoning or worse for those with allergies.

    So – there you have it. My not-so-expert opinion.

    Of course if you’re wanting to know more about gluten, allergies and intolerances I’d suggest you check out legitimate sources such as health department fact sheets or coeliac societies and the like (rather than some idiot’s blog! ;-) ).

    Have you / anyone you know struggled with a gluten allergy or intolerance? 

    I’m flogging my blog With Some Grace today.

    * Obviously all of these memes came from various online sites – most shared too often to work out where they originated!

  • Vitasoy competition winner!

    Sunday, June 22, 2014 Permalink 0

    I’ve been terribly remiss in not announcing the winner of my recent (sponsored) Vitasoy (and Nuffnang) competition.

    We judges unanimously decided to award the ($150) prize pack to Chloe R, for her answer:

    oooooh the Easy Vegan Bean Tacos sound delicious & a little out of the ordinary! I love how you altered the recipe to your family – which is exactly what I would do.
    My son is allergic to peanuts, dairy, eggs & tomatoes & intolerant to gluten so we are always looking for different recipes and ways to smuggle extra veggies and protein in! I would omit the tomatoes, but add capsicum & cucumber and even perhaps some very finely grated carrot and zucchini to the bean mix!

    Source deviantart.com

    Source deviantart.com

    The challenges of her son’s allergies and intolerances leave mine in their wake.

    Chloe’s been advised and I understand her prizes are winging their way to her now.

    Congrats to Chloe and thanks to everyone who entered.

    Deborah
    xxx

     

  • On giving up (dieting)

    Friday, June 20, 2014 Permalink 0

    So… this is a post I didn’t want to write. But – as usual – I feel I’m lying by omission if I don’t share stuff like this. So here it is…

    I haven’t tracked my Weight Watchers points for three or four weeks.

    I started Weight Watchers online 5.5 months ago. My first and only pitch as a blogger was to WW – admitting to my desperation and wanting to make changes.

    It’s been a slow slog. On a positive note, I’ve not felt deprived and (until a month ago) didn’t feel at all tempted to ‘binge’. (As a binge-eater – and former anorexic and bulimic – this is a huge achievement!)

    hqlines-give-up-sad-life-love-Favim.com-548288

    I’ve tried to focus less on the scale and more on how I’ve felt. That’s made the slow weight loss tolerable. I’ve already mentioned how much better I feel and – though my stomach is still ridiculously problematic – I don’t feel as porky and bloated.

    I’ve been stuck on 12.5kg (27.5lb) down for over a month and just yo-yoing about.

    As usual I’ve become disillusioned. My six month free online membership is almost over… so for several reasons I emailed the PR company I was dealing with to say – despite their offer to extend my membership for another six months – I didn’t feel as if I was doing them (or the brand) any favours and thought we should part ways.

    My vague plan was to continue eating-healthily myself. Not dieting; but using what I’d learnt to just make smarter choices. No weighing or rules.

    However… although the occasional ‘treat’ was creeping into my life, this week has been particularly unhealthy. I know my ‘definition’ of over-eating and bingeing is very much shaped by my past. I told a friend recently I felt like bingeing but went shopping and just bought a 200g bag of corn chips to eat. She was horrified. I felt like I’d won the lottery and was proud of my choice.

    I’ve eaten KILOGRAMS of chocolate in recent days. I’ve made and eaten rocky road (with peanut butter and marshmallows) until I’ve felt unbelievably unwell. Yesterday alone I ate about one kilogram of chocolate. And I felt like crap. Overly-full, unhealthy and revolting.

    Source: jannis-yo0.blogspot.com.au

    Source: jannis-yo0.blogspot.com.au

    When I emailed Weight Watchers’ PR company and told my mum and friends I was stopping WW, I said that I didn’t want to waste my efforts. 12.5kgs lost is still 12.5kg lost.

    But after the past few days I’m struggling not to move straight to that knee-jerk reaction of going on some ridiculous shake or liquid diet to make up for the ‘evilness’ of my recent behaviour. But… of course I do know better.

    I just wrote about ‘NOT giving up‘. If I’m ‘not dieting’ anyway, is there anything to give up on? Or am I giving up on a healthier, happier me? (Faaarck!)

    So there you have it. No happy ending; no lessons learned. But at the same time I’m reminding myself that I haven’t failed. All is not lost. I’m still fallible it seems. And a work in progress.

    Do you make choices or do things you know aren’t healthy (mentally, physically or emotionally)?

    Disclaimer – I received a six-month online membership to Weight Watchers, but my thoughts, opinions (and failures) are all my own. ;-)

    I’m flogging my blog With Some Grace today.