So, in 6 months what have I achieved????
1 I have lost 14kgs! yay! It was tough at times, esp when at 10kgs, everything stalled for almost a month. However, I am finding I am probably averaging a kilo a fortnight, which is just perfect thank you.
2 I have built up a lot of muscle and core strength thru my thrice-weekly PT sessions at the gym. I know my body looks heaps better and I'm really pumped that I continue to really enjoy boxing and training. Most of the credit has to go to my PT as she comes up with new strategies, new forms of torture and then has to bear the brunt of my displeasure at being made to suffer.....
3 I have lost ALL my physical symptoms of fibromyalgia - no pain in my ankles, wrists, fingers, toes, or other joints! It is truly hard to believe that I suffered this agony daily, with no hope in sight. (Thank you God)
4 I'm not nearly as exhausted and fatigued as what I once was; I have more energy and other than just normal physical tiredness from gym, I feel great, and am able to easily get up at 5 am on my gym mornings.
5 I've been gradually exchanging all my body products to organic or "safe" ones - I'm using Neways bodywash, mouthwash, toothpaste and facial moisturiser, have found some good Organic Care shampoo & conditioner, and am using a combination of A'kin, and Trilogy organic products for the rest of my facial care. That has been really difficult, as my skin and scalp always rebel with any changes made - I have had on & off dandruff issues and acne break-outs as my body not only gets used to a new diet but a new cleaning regime as well. As someone said to me - "these new "healthy" products have to work its way thru all the chemical layers you've piled onto your skin & scalp to be able to begin to nourish and feed your body again" - it does make sense.
6 I have a daily supplement regime too - While trying to stick to a candida diet as much as possible (except for that addictive maple syrup) for the last 6 months, I took a full course of Natren's Natrabifidus powder and then the Natradophilus powder - to clean out any icky yeast or fungi. I also take a good dose of Vit C powder as your body loses so much of that through stress, which is the number one reason of yr immunity suffering and resulting in yr getting sick. I also have a great mineral supplement from Neways called Feroxin, which gives me a boost of all those important trace elements that we never get enough of in our daily diet. These are all mixed into a small glass of organic juice that I have each morning. Throughout the day I will sometimes use some organic flaxseed oil, coconut oil, wheatgrass, or alfalfa as an addition to smoothees or salads. The multitude of supplements you can take is breathtaking but it is so up to the individual what they can or want to take. (Oh, and I also have homeopathic oral sprays that boost immunity, help the hormones & to help the liver function well - as you may have noticed, easy for me to forget too!)
7 DIET - *I have cut my coffee consumption (80% of the time) to 1 cup a day. My other hot beverage of choice at the moment is Tulsi honey chamomile tea. I occasionally will have a normal cup of black tea or moroccan tea (green & mint), but I really try to stick to caffeine-free teas such as peppermint & pomegranate & my honey chamomile.....mmmmm.
*My main liquid intake is water - and lots of it. I try as much as possible to have this with lemon juice as it is such a great cleanser and alkiliser - do not underestimate the power of doing this one small thing!
*I am still grain-free as much as possible. I avoid rice, pasta, bread, flours, pastry, crackers, etc - anything grain-based basically. I really believe in nutrient-dense food, rather than artificial fillers. I would much rather imbibe in hi-caloric, nutritious whole food, then settle for stodgy, gut-fillers that may have less calories but have little nutritional benefit. Instead I use nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, and coconut) and seeds (buckwheat, and quinoa are my favourites) and this has opened up a whole new world for me that I love. Nuts are especially known for having a higher fat content (esp coconut) BUT these are little packets of perfect nutrition with their health benefits far outweighing anything else. But like anything in our food world - gluttony is a sin, there is no reason to gorge on any of these things!
*I am loving RAW food - raw food is alive and FULL of very beneficial enzymes, vitamins and minerals that haven't been cooked out. I believe eating veges cooked can be healthy but I believe eating veges raw can be healing! I thought I would get sick of eating salads pretty quick but I have discovered so many awesome combinations that I still enjoy doing that as much as possible. I've also experimented with a lot of smoothees and sweets too, and have bought a dehydrator so I can experiment more with keeping things as close to their natural state as possible. I really try to focus on a 50% raw diet, with mainly salads for lunch and snacks that vary all the time as I do like a raw, vegan choc crackle, but still also enjoy a baked grain-free, sugar-free muffin too!
*My idea of sweet has changed a lot, I do not crave it most of the time but I still treat myself with "healthy" goodies as it's one of life's pleasures but I rarely ever touch refined sugar. My natural sweetener choices are maple syrup, honey, agave, and coconut palm sugar. I can use these as substitutes in almost any recipe.
*I have cut my dairy intake a lot as well. I admit my skim milk is of no nutritional benefit whatsoever - if I want calcium I eat more almonds, or more green veg - a much better way of acquiring it! My smoothees are either made with filtered water or coconut water. I still put organic full cream milk in the kids' but I always take out my portion first before I add the milk. I rarely eat yoghurt but I am known to imbibe in cream as a treat - mmmmmm - and I do love my cheese, a weakness that will prob never leave me. I use plenty of butter in cooking but my spread of choice will always be avocado! I use to hate those buckwheat crispbread I bought and now, I cannot get enough of them: loaded with avo, lettuce, tomato, grated carrot and a sprinkle of cheese - delicious! It's so funny how your tastes change as you get used to eating more whole and wholesome food!
Just some of my collection of nuts and seeds
9 I am so not perfect and I still make plenty of MISTAKES! Some days I still crave bread, esp when I bring in a warm, fresh loaf that has that magical sweet heavenly smell. Sometimes I will eat 4 pieces in a row spread with soft butter and sugar free jam - oh, it is delightful, and altho I don't feel the best afterwards, I will feed that need and then move on. This happens occasionally, and I'll wear that. I don't care for choc so much but some nights after the kids are in bed, I will make up a choc sauce (70% dk choc and cream) and pour it over sliced banana and guzzle it up. BUT I don't do that every day, and it could be a lot worse, so once again I won't beat myself up about it. (This is still pretty good on a Whole Foods scale - but not such a great thing to do last thing at night.
10 Learning properly about my body's digestion was also a major turning point. As the mornings are the time that our bodies are trying to eliminate the useless stuff, it is important not to overstress our digestion by scoffing down HUGE breakfasts that essentially stops up our systems and can cause a lot of fermentation. (The only exception being fruit as this is digested super fast so does not slow things down too much - so you are welcome to eat as much as you want.) This goes against the grain of everything we are taught about having a good breaky to start the day, but I've learnt too much about this all to ignore what works extremely well for me. I now fast for the morning, have a big lunch, snack through the afternoon (when our bodies are primed for taking in food) and try to finish eating at night a good few hours before bed so my body is primed for investing a lot of energy into utilizing all the nutrients I've taken in.
This is what works for me! I do not expect anyone else to agree with my ideas 100% as we are all individuals and what works for me, may not work for you. But hey! if you need somewhere to start this may be a good place. I am sooooooo thankful for the people who have supported me so much in this journey so far, especially my family and my lovely sisters. I want to know I am showing my kids how important it is for food to nourish you, not to make you sick and how excercise needs to be a part of our day-to-day activity. I want to continue learning and not pretend I know all there is to know. One of these days I may list some of the awesome books I have read which have really helped me - especially by Phillip Day, Eric Schlosser, William Dufty, Barbara Cousins, Gillian Mc Keith and the DVDs like Food Matters, Simply Raw and Food Inc.
But, most of all I am still learning that physical discipline is great to do, but spiritual discipline is of even more importance. I would never have come this far without the constant amazing graciousness of God - who holds me, comforts me and reminds me that preparing for our eternity and storing up things for Heaven, is of a higher priority than being consumed constantly with earthly worries, problems, and vanities. I believe my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit so I will continue to strive to give Him the healthiest & holiest place to abide - however, whenever those old doubts, lies, and stresses, start to weigh me down - I set my eyes on Jesus - my Saviour who has lifted me out of the miry clay, and set me on a safe and secure Rock. All thanks go to Him!