Day 107- NEW HABITS: Menu Plan 2

NEW HABIT: Create a 12 week menu plan & recipe flashcards. 

Two days ago I wrote about my frustrations with my menu plan or lack there of and the disappointment in those I’ve tried. I have had 48 hours to think about what it is I need to successfully overcome all my disorganisation and confusion about what to eat, to be healthy and lose weight.

This is my plan broken down into manageable tasks:

  1. Use up or throw out unwanted food
  2. Clean and organise kitchen cupboards
  3. Create a 12 week meal plan with recipes that are mostly healthy, enjoyable and easy to prepare using my favourite food diary
  4. Create recipe cards so creating shopping lists is easy
  5. Have a list of staple foods used regularly and keep replenished
  6. Follow the 12 week menu plan and at the second cycle, improve the recipes or meals if I am not losing weight or they are too challenging to execute

I am taking this approach because my world of food is just the same as all the other areas of my life I’m trying to improve. It just takes the creation of good habits to sustain success.

“I will use up or throw away unwanted food. I will clean and organise the kitchen. I will create a 12 week meal plan. For each recipe I will create a flashcard with the ingredients.  I will use these to quickly write my shopping list”

 

 

 

Day 105- REVIEW: Menu Plan

Just over a week ago I decided to join the gym and follow the vegan diet from the book, “The 28-Day Vegan Plan: Kickstart a plant-based lifestyle in just one month” by Kim-Julie Hansen. I was very excited because I hate making shopping lists and menu plans but this book had it all laid out for me. My youngest son and I have just managed the first week but I have to express how very disappointed I am in the book. Firstly, the ingredients in the shopping list don’t match the actual ingredients needed in the recipes, so I had too much of a lot of things. Secondly, some of the portions are over the top and excessively large. On one of the prep days it asked me to cook 200g of brown rice but it made sooooo much rice there was no way we would get through it. Thirdly, the meals are just not that great. Either tasteless or not tasting great. I can’t believe the kale salad recipe doesn’t request you rub anything into the kale to break it down first. Lastly, the prep is a nightmare. If the food tasted good, it may be worth it but a lot of the meals are just boring, dry or a bit rank. This is not a good book to endorse Veganism. I know there are plenty of delicious plant-based meals out there.

I have joined the gym for over a week and have been really embracing almost daily activity. The diet has also proved very awkward to follow now I’m busy with the gym. I’m spending way to much time faffing in the kitchen and making a big mess for quite nasty meals. Today was the first day I felt all my habits were getting on top of me. I never quite got all the housework done at the weekend, I still had 3 more chairs to build for my dining set and then there is all the pressure to prep lunches, meals and breakfasts.

It’s really important I feel back in control of my habits so tomorrow I am prioritising finishing the weekend chores, bringing the house back in order and completing all my habits, especially my evening beauty regimen which keeps being abandoned due to time restraints.

After that, I’ll enforce a new diet plan. I want to create my own personal 12-week plan, based on the things we like and the recipes I know are easy. I should also mention that after a week of gym and a vegan diet I gained 1lb. I just couldn’t believe it. It may be I have to count calories to lose this stubborn weight.

I want to print out a 12-week food diary and fill it with all the meals we know and love. Making meals regular just like my habits. I want to return to my recipe flashcards too. Write out my favourite recipes on them a long with the needed ingredients.

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Day 103- ETHICAL HAUL: Packet Food

Today was my fourth trip to the True Food Cooperative. On my previous trips I have started buying Personal Care, Kitchen Household Items and Cleaning Products. This week I bought any of these items I’ve started using (because I always want back up) and started looking at the Packet Foods I need in my diet. The loose foods like grains and nuts I will probably save for my next visit on 16th March.

Here’s what I bought based on what I will be needing on my plant-based diet:

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So I need all these foods for my plant-based diet followed in the book above but the products shown in these pictures are all from a food cooperative who only stock the most ethical brands and are a non-profit organisation. This is the future of grocery shopping if we are to sustain a growing population. I’m gradually moving all my shopping over from the big 5 supermarkets to the local cooperative. I’ll only be left with fresh food that I need to get from the supermarket because that will take more hard work to transition from. I even topped up my toilet roll for the third time and replenished the cleaning products I’ve started to use. Now I have two bottles of everything I can take one empty bottle back to use at the filling station.

 

MY EXPERIENCE: The Mircobiome Purifying Programme by Synergy

This is the account of my experience completing the Microbiome Purifying Programme by Synergy.

I currently weigh around 165 lbs. I’m often tired and suffer regularly from sinus pain. I’m prone to acne breakouts especially at the back of my neck.

Day 1: For the next 5 days I am required to start taking the magnesium tablets, 2 a day,  and cut down on sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy and processed foods. The diet I have planned for these five days is very healthy. I’ve planned a plant-based protein shake, or porridge, made with fruits and hemp milk for breakfast. Salad and protein like fish or chicken for lunch. Protein, vegetables and brown rice or potatoes for dinner. I also have almonds, apple and satsuma for snacks.

I’m having an okay day, eating the foods I’ve planned to. But I’m having trouble with cravings. I’ve eaten 2 biscuits, a few crisps, a cream cake and a cup of tea. I’ve got 5 days to wind it down and prime myself for shake week. I’m hoping the magnesium tablets will conquer the anxiety and cravings it promises to. Tomorrow, I will try and have at least half the amount of crap I ate today. I might even go to bed early tomorrow to help avoid temptations.

Day 2: Today was much better for the most part. I had a chronic headache half way through the day which felt like a combination of sinus pain and caffeine withdrawal. But my food cravings were much more tolerable than yesterday. It didn’t stop me pigging out on some Emmental on toast and a few chocolate cookies but on the whole it was more manageable. Tomorrow I am aiming for no caffeine and no giving in to cravings. I’m aiming for 100% the right food. These 5 days are about cutting down and priming the body so continuing to include these bad foods is not beneficial to the cleanse.

Day 3: Today has been the easiest so far. I got a grip on my cravings and went the whole day without a deviation. I slept terribly the night before possibly due to Synergy’s caffeine alternative, E9. I just couldn’t fall asleep to past 3am. Now I’m over half way through the priming phase I can’t wait to start the shakes and find out what everyone is raving on about.

Day 4: Getting a bit fed up with this part of the plan and my boring dinners. I’m excited to start the shake week because I’m dying to find out what I will experience. I had another bad headache today but hard to tell if it was caffeine withdrawal or sinuses. On the whole, a good day with very little temptation.

Day 5: I’m so happy to have reached the end of this part of the journey. I battled some temptations and withdrawal headaches but now I’m just eager to start the next stage. From tomorrow I will be taking several supplements; probiotics, pre-biotics and a protein shake for breakfast and lunch. All of this should flood my body with good bacteria and vitamins and I should start feeling the promised benefits. I’ll be having a healthy protein dinner and the shakes for 7 days. At the end of that I plan to follow a plant-based vegan diet.

Day 6: Today was the first day of shake week. That means I have taken lots of probiotics and supplements today. They don’t taste as bad as people say. I expected to experience some digestion sensations but really I haven’t. In fact, if anything, I think I may be constipated even though I’m drinking lots of water. I’m not adhering completely to the diet and allowing some naughty things but I’m comfortable with my choices and still think I’ll see results.

Day 7: Day 2 of the shakes and I’m not noticing much happening. I have constipation, probably from the protein shakes. I’ve done many strict diets and I usually can feel the health entering and manipulating my body but with this regimen I feel nothing. I’m still getting cravings and finding it really hard to adhere to the rules.

Day 8: The cleanse is going really well although I’m not being a saint and still craving chocolate and crisps and indulging a little. My meals are healthy though. I had my first interesting ‘elimination’. I could really tell I’d consumed a lot of greenery!

Day 9: So far, apart from decent eliminations, I can’t feel anything interesting happening for me. I know it’s early days and I have consumed the odd inappropriate food, but I did expect an experience. I’ve done so many diets and cleanses and this one has had the least impact or interest. The shakes just replace my meals and the supplements appear to improve elimination but nothing else of interest is happening. I will probably keep using the shakes for more than 7 days because of all the cheating I’ve done and the fact I have a visit to Amsterdam coming up.

Day 21: This marks the end of my 21 day microbiome cleanse. If it has done me any good, I’m oblivious to it because I’ve experienced nothing remarkable whatsoever. No improved sleep, no renewed energy, no clearer skin. I did eat the odd microbiome unfriendly food but not enough to outweigh the amount of supplements I was consuming. In fact, I’ve been eating vegan for 4 days and already I can see the benefits from that. I’m really not sure if I would do it again unless I had £200 floating around and I’d been eating clean for a while.

I currently weigh 165.5 lbs so not even any weight loss. Thumbs down.

 

 

 

Day 96- NEW HABIT: Plant-Based Diet

NEW HABIT: Start eating a plant-based diet

Monday will mark the end of my microbiome cleanse and then I will publish my results. I had always intended to move on to a plant-based diet after it so today marks the start of a two-week trial. I bought a great book in Waitrose after Christmas which has the shopping lists and menu plans all laid out and that makes success for me far more likely.

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Yesterday I had all the food delivered and oh boy, it’s a lot of fruit and veg! The daily plans are about 2,000 calories a day. Today I organised my food around the kitchen to make preparation that bit easier for me.

Today I weigh 165.5 lbs and I am 39.1% body fat.

“I will follow the plant-based diet in this book for two weeks”

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Day 94- REVIEW: My Daily Habits

Yesterday I explained how my job description and title is about to change on 1st April. Prior to that I had considered reviewing and changing my evening habits to help complete them. Now with this news, I want to reconsider all the daily habits because I want to be fit and thinner for my new job role and be even more efficient and professional. I’ve given it all a lot of thought and come up with my new habit plan which I will embark on from Monday.

Here is a brief description of my new habits in order:

I will wake up, make my bed and brush my teeth and then go to the gym for 7:30-8:30am. At 8:30am I will shower and get ready at the gym, follow my beauty regimen and go straight to work. These times can be adjusted if I want to walk to work and when work starts earlier from 1st April.

Recently, I said I need to improve my evening routine. I have now come up with a way to help me commit to my evening habits. After work, instead of getting into my lounge wear straight away, I’m going to put on the laundry and then go out for a walk or a run. After my exercise, I will put on my lounge wear and make dinner. After dinner instead of returning to the TV, staying up late and skipping my beauty regimen, I will do my blog post and perform my regimen straight away, as if I’m going to bed. Then I will lock up etc… and watch one episode of a programme. Just one- not dozens, one after the other, late into the evening. That should take me up to about 10pm and then I can go straight to bed because everything is done. I should be tired after all that exercise.

From Saturday, I am doing 2 weeks on a plant-based diet. I have a great book to follow which has all shopping lists and menu plans. I will prep breakfasts and lunches the night before and bring with me to work. I will weigh myself before and after and report on the results. By 1st April I would like to be slim enough to buy a nice new uniform for my new role.

Tomorrow, I will be visiting the gym to join up for 3 months. My son says he will come with me in the morning to train me. In a few weeks, we are going to Amsterdam for 4 nights. I will give myself a break then and then afterwards spend 3 weeks on the plant-based diet again.

This is a monumental development on my path to perfection. I have lots of habits to introduce, and complete, to succeed. It’s a sudden push but I’m feeling hopeful.

 

 

Day 86- HABIT BREAK: Give Up Tea

HABIT BREAK: Give up caffeinated tea with milk

Update: I have not successfully given up tea

I’m on a journey now to transition to a plant-based, vegan diet. I initially broke the habit of takeaways and now I’m ready to give up another habit. I haven’t had a cup of tea in a few days now. I’m ready to give it up until 31st December 2019. I’m going to give up a few things until then and then on the 31st I will review what things I would considering reintroducing in a controlled manner.

“I will not drink caffeinated tea again until I reconsider my options on the 31st December 2019”