Showing posts with label hints. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hints. Show all posts

Friday, 1 January 2016

Food tips for the holiday season

How did you go with christmas?  Did you eat all the food!  What did you eat?

We pretty much stuck to our LCHF lifestyle and shared it with my parents who came for the day.

It is the second christmas we have done this way and it is much easier than people think.

I have found over the past two years that the best thing when it comes to food is to keep it simple.  A hard less to learn as I waste heaps of money on recipe books I flip though, ooh and aah then never use.  If I were one for new year resolutions I think I would have to make one pledging never to buy another recipe book LOL

The holiday season is renown for entertaining and it doesn't have to be difficult or high carb.

I have shared some of my tips for the season below and hope you find them helpful

1. The thing with most foods is that they are unnecessarily sweetened.  Seriously, you can go without many sweeteners in things.
Make a custard from scratch and use high fat ingredients it really doesn't need sugar,  I use Quirky Jo's custard recipe and never put in the sugar and it is awesome!  As with most grain free cake recipes too.  This is my current fave from Traditional Cooking School but OMG!  3/4 of honey!  They've gotta be kidding right!  What I do is instead of using the honey I use stevia sweetened (avalanche) hot choc mix as the cocoa portion of the recipe and stevia sweetened choc chips.  This keeps the cake sweet enough without being totally over the top.

2. Go for savoury over sweet.  This is especially good if you are entertaining people who aren't into eating how you do.  Assuming they aren't vegan then go to town with the cheese platter.   Make some dips (don't buy expensive full of crappy seed oil dips), mash a couple of avocados with some chilli, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning, or whisk some herbs into cream cheese.  Seed crackers are awesome or make some seed bread for cheese and dips. Both tasty and LCHF/paleo.  Remember filling up on high fat will leave you satisfied for a lot longer than filling up on carbs.

3. Planning ahead is the third tip.  If you are caught short you will be able to stick to what you believe in and stay healthy.  I find if I am short of time then I am more likely to bad poorer choices food wise so I like to know that I have stuff I want to eat available. I have a well stocked pantry with nuts, seeds etc, I stock my freezer with good quality meats. And look for mark downs at the supermarket, cheese lasts quite a while, cream and butter can both be frozen too.  If you are in Launceston I recommend Casalinga or Conmurra Meats.  The latter deliver weekly to your door, grow and butcher their own grassfed meat and is really well priced.  At Davies Grand Central you can find a great range of LCHF products too.  Last year I wrote the Launceston Shopping Guide for LCHF 

4. Go seasonal.  Berries. Need I say more really LOL  Tis the season and all that.  I love summer berries.  We don't do much in the way of fruit (read:don't eat it really) for 10 months of the year but come summer we love berries.  The kids will occasionally have mango, watermelon and cherries too but I tend to stick to berries and occasional cherries.  We are blessed with some great local PYO (pick your own) farms or you can pop down to Laun Harvest Market and grab some.  We were very lucky to win a berry box from Paleo Providore that was delivered two days before christmas so we chowed on berries for christmas.  I also freeze berries for smoothies, cool treats and cakes.

At the end of the day it is about enough the company of others. 

 It doesn't have to be a banquet, a few good foods that are filling is the way to go rather than masses of rubbish.  And, don't beat yourself up if you have something not on a list.  

This is a way of life, it isn't a competition or a test so you can't fail or cheat.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

When life throws you lemons or stones.................

Make lemonade!  
We all know it helps alkalise your body :)

(that ain't no baby)

So, I think I have mentioned previously that I have been having some abdominal discomfort.   This has gone on for a few months and even though I had it during phase 2 (restricted no fat phase) I still suspected gallstones.   
Like most people I assumed they were caused by a fatty diet, so this of course puzzled me.  How could I have them when I didn't have a high fat diet?

I started reading up on what they actually were and how to deal with them.  
I refused to believe the only solution was to remove my gallbladder.

I was right!!

I had an ultrasound this week to confirm whether my issue was gallbladder related or not.  I figured this way I would know what I was dealing with for sure.  Despite this I am also aware that stones won't always show up.  Plenty of people have a scan and are told they don't have stones then do a flush and find heaps.
My scan showed up loads of very small stones and gravel with no blockages which is good.

This means, my body is working hard at controlling the problem and healing.

Gallstones are not uncommon, particularly the older you get.   Unfortunately surgery is also very common but in my opinion not necessary.

What are gallstones?  
Lets start with the gallbladder first.   
This little pouch like organ works in conjunction with the liver.  These work at processing and breaking down fat and helping us with our digestion.
Gallstones form when the bile contains excessive amounts of cholesterol. When there isn't enough bile to saturate the cholesterol, the cholesterol begins to crystallise, and you get a gallstone. 

Tim Noakes explains it very well.  Describing how years of high carb diets can cause crystals to form in the liver and gallbladder.  Switching to a low carb, high fat  stimulates the gallbladder to produce the bile necessary for digestion, thus starts to remove the stones that have built up.  Occasionally some of these stone will be large and get blocked. This is when people experience excruciating pain and discover they have a problem.

And this is where I differ from the norm.  I (and I am not alone) opt to let my body do what it is meant to be doing rather than have surgery and remove an essential organ.

Originally I thought I should be cutting my fat intake.  I worried that it was aggravating the problem, but after doing this (reducing) for a few weeks I found it was increasing the discomfort rather than lowering it.

It made sense that when I was in phase 2 of the HCG protocol and not having any fat at all that the pain was still there.  If the gallbladder needs fat to stimulate the bile production and isn't getting any then it struggles to aide digestion and to flow enough to flush any stones that have accumulated.  

So, low fat = low bile = increased stones

Back to dr google!

My next question was how can I find a balance in diet and also increase bile production?

I had already discovered that high acid increased discomfort.  
If I have more than two cups of coffee and not enough apple cider vinegar I notice a massive increase in discomfort.  
I upped my ACV to three times a day and made sure I had sauerkraut with each meal, even to the point of sipping the kraut liquid.
This definitely helped!

Because the gallbladder is an alkaline organ, as is the bile contained within it, it only stands to reason that if your acid levels are too high it will impact on the organ and stress it.  Bile will become acidic and this will contribute to gallstones also.

Keeping a balanced PH level helps keep the gallbladder functioning as it should.

The Digestive Detective has a great explanation on how the gallbladder works at making bile. 

"Bile is composed of cholesterol, bile salts (the end-products of bile acids), bilirubin (a breakdown product of hemoglobin from the blood), electrolytes, and water. Water is essential in bile synthesis, as a good deal is used to produce bile from the conversion of cholesterol happening in the liver. Bile serves to emulsify or break down dietary fat and clear cholesterol out of the body. Bile acids, a component of bile, serve other functions, including driving the flow of bile to eliminate catabolites from the liver, emulsifying fat soluble vitamins in the intestine, and aiding in the reduction of the bacteria flora found in the small intestine and biliary tract. ¹

When food digestion is not taking place, bile backs up the cystic duct and enters the gallbladder to be stored. While in the gallbladder, bile is concentrated by the removal of water. The removal of water and electrolytes allows the gallbladder to concentrate bile and store more of it. When we eat and fats enter the first section of the small intestine, a hormone stimulates the gallbladder to contract and spurt out stored bile. The higher fat content of a meal, the more hormone is activated to signal the gallbladder to release bile for digestion. When bile enters the small intestine, its typically accompanied by digestive enzymes from the pancreas such as lipase – a class of enzymes that assist in fat digestion."

After a terrible few days last week I decided this week to increase my fats and have had a great couple of days.

So, what am I doing so far....

*keeping my PH levels at a good alkaline level and sticking with LCHF
*sauerkraut with every meal
*water kefir probiotic
*plenty of leafy green veg
*ACV x 3 tbs daily (apple cider vinegar)
*increased magnesium dose
*remembering to drink plenty of water but not during or immediately after meals
*increased fat intake from low to moderate.

What does a standard day of food look like for me?

Coffee with cream
2 eggs fried in butter or scrambled with cream
2 rashers bacon
1/2 avocado

some nuts,cheese, berries or pate

palm size portion of meat with either salad or green veg mix

Bile is necessary for so many bodily functions and if it is low it can create further problems.  There is plenty of literature out there on how to increase bile production.  I found many of them want to sell you a supplement unfortunately.  That is fine but I would rather use food than take a pill. 

Some foods that aide in bile production are: 
artichokes (top of the list it would seem)
beets/beet tops
raw carrot
turmeric (take care of using this if you already have stones)
flowing health have a great list of foods that love your liver too

I hope that what I am doing so far will prevent the formation 
of any more stones and will continue to decrease the inflammation of my gallbladder and liver.  
Whilst this is good I am under no illusion that it will solve the problem.  This is why I do intend to do a liver/gallbladder flush in the next couple of weeks. 

Once I have done this I will blog some more about the process and the results I have.  There are many methods so I will give you some links and tell you which one I followed.

I really hope others benefit from this post.  I must admit I felt a bit like I had failed.  After feeling so awesome since changing the way I eat it was a bit of a let down at first to discover there were further health issues.
However, I do believe this is still part of the process of gaining wellness.  My body is working hard at eliminating years of toxic build up and this is just another step in the right direction.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Week three round up

Round 3 (started loading 11 Oct 2014)
Phase 2   (Started 13 Oct 2014)
Blood group A+
Third week down.   
I have found that I am suffering less from detox symptoms this week.   
Still have some pain in left ribs and a small amount in the right ribs.    
Loss has been slower this week again.  
I mean, seriously I have stalled for 3 days AND had a bloody gain!!
Not happy Jan!
However, overall average for 3wks is pretty damn good and I lost 8cm this week so can't complain really.
But I will.

Weights for this week are:

27 Oct - 71.6kg
28 Oct -71.4kg
29 Oct -  71.1kg
30 Oct  - 71.3kg
31 Oct -   70.9kg
1Nov-   70.9kg
 Nov -   70.9kg

Total loss for week=   700gr
Overall R3=7.1kg

Starting measurements 10 Oct:
waist    94cm
hip  109cm
thigh  52cm
upper arm   33cm
chest  97cm
calf  35cm

This weeks measurements:
waist    88cm
hip  102cm
thigh  52cm
upper arm   31cm
chest  96cm
calf  34cm

(I just added up total cm lost since starting the Protocol and I have lost 121cm!! Mind you I only started measuring my calf halfway through round 2)

Walked:  12km

Meals for the week:

Breakfast is generally an apple and a cup of black coffee.  Although this week I have had a blueberry smoothie and a blueberry sorbet.

 tuna and celery salad
Chicken and broccoli  soup
Mexican chicken and zucchini lettuce wraps
Chicken and asparagus stirfry
BBQ beef burger with zucchini chips and salad


 Veal zoodles
Chicken and Broccoli soup
Chicken and zucchini stir fry
morrocan beef cauliflower risotto
chicken bolognaise with zoodles
Asparagus and chicken meatball soup


Monday, 20 October 2014

Week one

Round 3 (started loading 11 Oct 2014)
Phase 2   (Started 13 Oct 2014)
Day 7
Blood group A+
Loss to date - 38kg
So week one is done and dusted.   
I have found that I am suffering detox symptoms quite severely this week.  Round two wasn't so bad with them.
I have had headaches, itchy skin and a shocking pain in left ribs.   The latter I had for much of round two  and it is back again.  My chiropractor thinks it is to do with liver detox so I guess I should be grateful my body is working hard at mending but gee it is annoying.

Weights for this week are:

13Oct - 78.1kg (post loading)
14Oct -76.4kg
15Oct- 75.5kg
16Oct 74.8kg
17Oct - 74.5kg
18Oct- 73.8kg
19Oct - 73.6kg

Total loss for week= 4.5kg

Starting measurements10 Oct:
waist    94cm
hip  108cm
thigh  51cm
upper arm   30cm
chest  100cm
calf  36cm

This weeks measurements:
waist    94cm
hip  108cm
thigh  51cm
upper arm   33cm
chest  97cm
calf  35cm

Approx 5.5km intentionally

Meals for the week:

Breakfast is generally an apple and a cup of black coffee.

egg salad with celery, tomato, lettuce, lemon juice
Chicken and Broccoli salad
Curried Chicken and cauliflower soup
Tomato, zucchini and chicken soup


Broccoli and spinach soup with shredded chicken
Poached chicken with spinach and cauliflower mash
corned beef (preservative free) and broccoli
Lemon chicken and asparagus with tomato
curried chicken and Cauliflower soup
Calamari and broccoli stir fry

Recipes for the week

Curried Chicken Soup
100gr chicken
1 cup cauliflower
water to cover
1tsp curry powder of choice

Simmer until chicken is well cooked through and cauli is soft.  Blend to a creamy texture with food processor/stick blender/bellini/thermomix.

I like to do multiple batches at once and then divide up for future meals.

Calamari & broccoli stir fry
100gr calamari cut into rings
1c broccoli cut very fine
1/2onion cut fine
1/2 lemon
Marinate the calamari for at least 30 minutes in the juice from the lemon and plenty of S&P.  Lightly steam the broccoli while doing this.  Heat your pan to very hot then add a splash of water and fry the onion, add the calamari and garlic and fry until cooked through, toss in the broccoli, cumin and coriander and let the water absorb so you get some colour in the calamari. At the last minute put a tbs of water in and swish around to create a type of sauce.  It will be brown from the previous step so don't stress.
Serve on a bed of lettuce greens.

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Why do you eat?

This is something I have been thinking about lately.  

We know that to survive we have to eat.  
But when we eat and why we eat is something I am working on at the moment.  Changing your lifestyle is such a huge thing.  It isn't just about ditching the crap and embracing the good stuff.  I have found it to be a massive psychological journey too.
In online support groups I see multiple posts daily from people lamenting that they have 'fallen off the wagon' or 'cheated'.   
These folk know that eating certain foods will make them feel ill, gain weight or have some other reaction.  Yet, despite this they still eat them.  This could be due to cravings, emotions, peer pressure, habit, boredom or time restraints.
For me, I don't tend to crave anything much since changing my diet.  I attribute this to being so ill beforehand and feeling so much better within six weeks of starting the protocol.   There is no way I want to go back to feeling like I did!  This doesn't mean I don't have the occasional flare up, but this is mostly due to testing something and finding it doesn't agree with me.  On the rare occasion (okay the other day), I will have something I know will react but do so anyway.  Damn that kebab was good!   Yes, I had a gain and my body aches but I doubled my ACV and water intake to try and flush it through faster.  
This isn't my biggest challenge though.

Ask yourself this.  
Are you hungry?  

Seriously, when you sit down to eat tonight really think about that.   

Do you have set meal times?

How often do you look at the clock and think about breakfast, lunch or dinner?
I know, right!!

I do it too.  

Because I home educate my kids I have two kids harping for food often LOL  Actually, I should correct that because since going LCHF (low carb, high fat) in our house they don't harp nearly as much as they used to.  
But they also clock watch!
"it's 12.30pm we have to have lunch now!"

Something I am trying to teach, not only them but ME! 

 Is to stop.  Just stop.  

Then ask "am I really hungry?" 

Because we start our day later than most because we can and arent you jelly around 9am we don't have breakfast until late, this means we don't really NEED lunch until later.   We have also been having high protein breakfasts, which we know is filling and will keep you going.  
Another reason to ask that question, "am I really hungry?"

Recently I went to the Primal Living conference in Hobart.  The food provided was very high protein, high fat.   This challenged me, I was full for two days and was not hungry at all, yet I struggled with that demand of the clock.  It is meal o'clock so I should be eating!
I ate a meal the following day and felt ill.
The next day I decided enough was enough and I didn't eat for 1.5 days after that.
You know what, I survived!  
I did not need to eat, I was not hungry.

I am trying very hard to break this habit of eating because the clock says to.  

Another question I ask is 


We often mistake thirst for hunger.  When did you last have some water?  Go have a drink now!
If you think you should be eating, go have a glass of water and wait 30 minutes then ask yourself if you are really hungry.

Do we need to snack?

I say no.
Again, I find myself offering food to my kids and I am trying to stop this habit.  IF they are truly hungry they will ask.  No doubting that!
When I think "oooh it is 3pm I better get them a snack" I am trying to stop myself.  
Again, LCHF they shouldn't need a snack.  If I fill them up with good food for main meals that should sustain them.
For myself, I rarely snack now. 
I will have the occasional raw date/nut ball and I often feel like something salty so I will sometimes sprinkle some himalayan salt on it for that hit.  When I am not in phase 2 I rarely eat fruit and again feel fine with that. In phase 2 I want that extra snack as my protein is reduced and all fats stopped for the duration but in phase 4/5 I am full most of the time. 

So, why do you eat??

Monday, 4 August 2014

Post Protocol living - guest post by Anna Kurz Rogers

I thought it might be nice to have a piece talking about life after the protocol.  As I am quite some time away from this I asked the lovely Anna from HCG Protocol Companion and Changing Habits if she would share her thoughts and she has kindly accommodated me.  If you don't have a copy of Anna's book, do yourself a favour and buy it today!
Enjoy xx

Walking and talking the protocol  three years on.

Wow, the things I have learnt along the way is incredible - and not only from my own experiences but learning from all of the wonderful people that I coach every day.  Everyone has something to bring to the table so to speak, and I am so lucky and blessed to be here every day assisting others.
These days my eating is very, very simple and basic - something I truly enjoy and I never get stressed over food let alone feeling sick from the humongous amounts of cadbury I used to eat!!
My back pain from damaged discs is gone - truly gone.  Three years of full nights sleeps and no longer living daily with the debilitating pain - it's like a new lease on life.
My stress levels are much calmer and not very much fazes me these days - if for some reason I do get a bit hot under the collar, the time it takes to settle down is very quick compared to yesteryear.  My thought patterns are clearer therefore I find it easier to work through my mind chatter and clear it quickly.
My monthly cycles have settled nicely.  Pre protocol I was always 28days but never understood the significance back then with our cycles corresponding with the moon.  So yes my cycle was a bit out of whack for several months until it finally settled and aligned with the moon.  Perfectly fitting with my age too now as every few months it will switch around – this is peri-menopause whereby we are given still a small timeframe of fertility.
My body shape has changed completely now - I was in P2 for 18days with a loss of 6.5kgs and left P2 with still noticeable 'rolls' around my thighs but weighed in just under my ideal which was 64kgs..  I don't know when it all happened but it's now all gone and has been for some time.  My body is sculptured (if that's the right word) – and yup, no more thigh rubbing - woot woot.  No gym or harsh exercise either – in fact I don't even walk every day, only a few days out of the week but tend to make sure I incorporate exercise into my daily chores - you know like mopping or parking the car a bit further away from the supermarket and school. 
My weight has been interesting too - leaving P2 back then I weighed in around 63kgs then the following two months I went up to between 64 & 65kgs.  As I left P2 below my ideal weight I knew that my body was putting some of those good fats back that perhaps it had consumed.  But then summer came, and bam, I went down to 62kgs like overnight!!  Quite shocked really but knowing what I know now, I realise that my body was releasing that winter storage ready to start building up again in late Summer/Autumn.  Each season since, I have noted and begun to see patterns emerge in regards to my weights and how this ties in with our innate body and what it requires for each season.  Taste buds changed every season too – coincidence?  I don’t think so.  When we become so in tune with our body, we listen, and we eat what our body is requiring and not what others say or what we think we should be eating. 
I feel brilliant and very youthful at the age of 48, and I believe my body shape has continued to change too - change back to how it was when I was 21.  Along with this body shaping (hmmm, if that's the right word) so to has my body released more - I now hover at the 60kg mark - yup in the old scale, that yes I'm still used to, is 9. 3/4 stone and as I said I haven't been that weight since I got married at 21!!.  Yet I eat more steak everyday than my hubby, I scoff at least a litre or so of almond milk everyday and god knows how many date balls.  I use coconut oil in everything.  I eat masses of zucchini and eggs.  I even make my own custard in the thermie using almond milk.  I eat only a few apples these days but will easily eat a punnet of strawberries in one sitting over the summer months.   And I also drink my fair share of freshly ground coffee beans. Truly, I never go without nor do I every feel that I'm missing out on anything.  My taste buds have changed that much I still find it astounding.  Blown away really!
My life is full in so many ways and I cherish every moment.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The 'C' word

I don't mean that C word.  
I mean the other one that polite ladies don't usually mention in public!


I know right!   

Everyone at some stage gets up close and personal with it but no one likes to talk about it!

If I do a search on the changing habits forums I come up with the maximum 20 pages, so over 200 posts where 'it' is discussed.  Certainly not uncommon while doing the protocol.

How do I know this exactly?  
Well, during my first round I became re-acquainted with candida and started searching to see if it was common during the protocol.  

Computer says "YES"

Because our bodies are detoxing when we do the protocol it is completely normal for it to go into overdrive as it tries to eliminate all the build up of crap.  During phases 2 & 3 we stop feeding the candida which is a naturally occurring yeast bacteria that lives in our digestive system.  When we have an unhealthy diet based on sugar, wheat and other highly processed foods it thrives and can go into overdrive causing unpleasant symptoms such as:

*bad breath
*itchy skin
*throat infections
*vaginal infections/discharge/itch
*irregular bowel movements

I put that last one down simply because I am constantly reading about people doing the protocol and having cravings.  Even without the protocol how many of you had sugar cravings?  

what does candida need to survive?  

Yup, not just warmth and moisture but like any other bacteria.

This wants sugar!

So, are you wondering why you get this on the protocol.  Particularly when you are eating a healthy diet and taking your probiotics?
They say it takes a month of good health to make up for every year of crappy diet and health.   So this too will take time.
The candida symptoms you might be battling are simply a sign your body is fighting to become healthy.  
I have found that after phases 1-3 I have to be careful not to eat fruit that is too sweet or use any sweeteners like honey/agave/rapadura/maple in excess.  It is as if the candida knows it is dying off and will grab whatever it can to survive.  I have something wrong to eat and start to feel the onset of candida overload.  
The sugar cravings you get are simply the candida channelling through your body and wanting to be fed.

What can you do to beat candida and heal your digestive system?

Make sure you take them daily because they are high in good bacteria which help to kill the bad bacteria.  If you are in phase 4/5 then why not try 
All of these will help the good bacteria grow and are known for their gut healing qualities.
Foods to avoid are sugars, yeast products, moulds like mushrooms, alcohol and I personally would avoid wheat products too.  
Some people say to eat yoghurt but when you consider most yoghurt has only about 3 strains of bacteria compared to the 60 that the average kefir/kombucha has, I wouldn't waste my time on it.   
Having said that if you have an outbreak and need soothing in your nether regions you can apply plain, good quality yoghurt straight onto your pink bits!


At the end of the day, if you are following the protocol by the book, all you can do is trust that your body is doing what it needs to do to achieve wellness.         All you need to do is be patient. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

What happens when the scales are fine?

I am finding that doing the protocol is such a huge education in how my body works. 

Although I have been an advocate of 'listening to my body' for a long time, it turns out I really had no idea at all!

Prior to the protocol I really didn't feel a huge reaction to food. Other than the common tummy bloating from wheat or milk I never thought anything really affected me.  I would occasionally get tired after eating something with pastry but that was as extreme as it got.

Imagine my surprise when I introduced coconut milk at the end of round one in phase 4, and nearly vomited from the combined nausea and stomach pain.   I was blown away.   I have always had coconut milk and never noticed anything. 

Then I started thinking about reactions that may have gone unnoticed during phase 2. 

Initially I thought that any reaction I had to a veg or protein would show on the scales.  I knew there might be other symptoms but thought they would go hand in hand with an increase in weight.  How wrong was I!   Yes, often there is a weight gain but occasionally the inflammation will manifest itself in some other way. 

For me I have noticed liver and kidney pain, joint pain, headache, itching, sinus, bloating, constipation, runny/itchy eyes/nose, back pain, cramps, nausea and my ribs go out of joint on the odd occasion.  All of these have happened during round two with very few gains on the scales!   

When I ate beef in round 1 I didn't really notice anything happening, yet this round I get excruciating pain in the first knuckle of my ring finger on my right hand.  Without fail!     If I have milk in my coffee my rib goes out of joint! 

Would I have connected these pains with food prior to the protocol?  Absolutely not.  I would have passed it off as 'god knows what' and kept ignoring it.  In fact, my health was so bad and I was in such constant pain anyway I probably didn't even notice it was happening.

I asked some other people on the protocol what their symptoms have been when their bodies have rejected certain foods and the list is vast.
  • full body pain
  • aches in various parts of the body
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • bloating
  • instant diarrhoea
  • diaphragm pain
  • breathlessness
  • blocked nose
  • eczema
  • gall bladder pain (under right rib)
  • wind
  • stomach pain
  • rumbly tummy
  • skin rashes
  • candida/thrush
  • stiff joints
All things we would normally pass off as something completely different. Sometimes accompanied by a weight gain but not always.

When people refer to the protocol as a 'diet'  I have very quick to correct them.  It is not a diet, it is a change in how we eat and think.  This is a life change for me and not merely a way to lose weight.  The weight loss is awesome, don't get me wrong but being almost free of pain is the biggest bonus for me.  

The list of foods I can't really tolerate include: beef, milk, cabbage, wheat, corn.  I can only eat leeks, garlic, onion and tomato in small doses.   A small sacrifice in the bigger scheme of things really.  Doesn't mean I have to go without them but I do have to be aware that if I eat them there are consequences.    It also doesn't mean that it will be permanent.  I still have another couple of rounds to go and things do change over time.  Things I couldn't eat last round I can eat this round and vice versa.   

It really is an ongoing educative process.   Listening to your body and gauging responses from foods.  Even long after you have finished the protocol you can always go back to phase 2 foods to give your body a rest.  Like having a 'safe place' for your dietary needs.

If you have any other symptoms or side effects I would love to hear them and what caused them.  Please share them so I can add them to the list :)

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Phase two complete for another round and

looking at having a successful phase 4 and 5.
I feel a bit disappointed with this phase as I didn't lose nearly as much as last round.  I attribute this to not paying enough attention to phases 4&5 last round.  I think  I carried across a lot of inflammation and it really affected my losses.  Lesson learnt!

I also believe that our body's needs change each round.  Last round I couldn't tolerate fish, other than small amounts of tuna.  I ate loads of beef (which I love) but this round I found that fish was much better than beef (*sob*).  I also think tomato in large amounts affect me negatively.   I hope that by the end of my rounds I will be ok eating all of these in balanced amounts.

Over all I lost 8.6kg which is bugger.  HOWEVER, it is 8.6kg lighter than I was 6wks ago and that is good :)

Preparations for p4 this time include:

  • Reading Anna's book The HCG Protocol Companion over and over.  I cannot recommend this book enough. It has fabulous advise and tips that can mean the difference between a successful or average  round.  Particularly for phase 4
  • Make sure I keep up with drinking loads of water.  And then, drink some more!
  • Following the list for food introduction strictly.  This means I will only introduce a food every 3 days and not try to rush.
  • Not getting down.  I know I have another 2-3 rounds until I have reached leptin sensitivity. This is all part of a bigger picture of health.
  • Be thankful everyday for what I have achieved so far and enjoy my improved health. 
  • Continue sharing with others on the Changing Habits forums and the HCG facebook page.  The support, ideas and camaraderie is invaluable.
  • Slowing down and not being so impatient!!!!
For the blog we move onto a new phase as well.   I still have a couple more phase 2 recipes to share and then we will move to my phase 4 foods.   I look forward to sharing these and hope they give folk some ideas for meals.   I also want to document what foods I am introducing and whether they have an effect. I know how challenging it can be at times to be inventive on such a limited range of foods.

However, I have learnt through this journey that sometimes we alter flavours of real food so often that we forget how great they taste when we leave them alone.  We also combine food way too much and lose the individual flavours.   I am really enjoying food rather than just seeing it as a means to an end and relish the natural flavours.  I know I am putting in good raw ingredients and gaining so much from them.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Hints and Tips

I really think being organised is the key to making phase two easier.  The first couple of weeks of this phase can be challenging.  Firstly you are feeling not so great due to the awesome work your body is doing in eliminating the toxin build up.  Hooray for your body!!
Secondly, you really have to think outside the square when it comes to your meals.  It is challenging cooking without butter, cheese, oil. This are things we take for granted and to suddenly have to cook without them is hard.

Thirdly, you are quite possibly cooking regular meals for other family members and your kitchen has suddenly become a restaurant!   I know this one well as I also have one child who has chosen to be vegetarian, one child who will eat pretty much anything and then me!

For me personally I find the following makes things much easier for me:

* I buy my meat in bulk from the farmer (Conmurra Farm), the day it is delivered I immediately trim and bag it up into 100gr lots.  I also do this for chicken breast.

* Add spices and herbs to your meats before freezing to save time and to add flavour

*Don't be scared to use herbs and spices.  I find I use them heaps more than I used to because I am not relying on oils etc

*Cook in bulk where you can.  If I make a soup I add at least 500gr of meat and 5 cups of allowed veg then divide and freeze.   I also do this for bolognaise sauce.

*Make your own stock and freeze in smaller portions for quick soups.

*Use a non-stick pan.  Normally I wouldn't touch these but it does make cooking without a lubricant much easier.

*Use a splash of water in your pan to fry onion etc

*If you have a phone that you can set reminders do so for your drops so you don't forget.

So, what hints or tips do you have for making this phase easier?  Please share them in the comments and I will eventually create a page with them all.