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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What are we really eating!

In the modern world that we live in I find myself always on the go, unfortunately I need to work, thankfully my kids are old enough to fend for themselves. I sometimes feel sad that we don't all have tea together but at the weekend we try make the effort on a Saturday night to sit around the table and eat and chat. I am the only one who eats low carb/Paleo but when I make food I cook it so we can all eat it. I make simple adjustments like they will have fajitas I will have my food in lettuce. It can be hard sometimes but my kids have got used to me not eating how they eat. I do encourage them to leave out Carbs as much as possible but they are old enough to make their own food choices. I just hope I can lead by example. One thing that annoys me is I make a choice to eat a certain way for me it has been low carb for a long time, but increasingly I noticed my progress slowed even stalled. Then I started looking at foods and looking at the ingredients. Thankfully in the UK by law they have to fully label the packaging with all ingredients. So you would think that when buying say Garlic Butter it would contain the ingredients Garlic and Butter, right? WRONG It contains Butter (75%) , Onion (10%) , Parsley (5%) , Garlic (3%) , Salt , Potato Starch , Tapioca Starch , Herbs , Pepper , Citric Acid , Natural Garlic Flavouring . Now the herbs and pepper and salt I can understand a bit of seasoning can enhance the product. But if it has garlic in it why then do we have to have natural garlic flavouring? Which I'm guessing is anything but natural. Why also does it have to have potato starch and tapioca starch? Ok so I want to buy some pre cooked chicken for convenience! If it is just plain chicken it contains stabilisers like triphosphates which supposedly keeps it moist. However if I want to add flavouring to that chicken that open up a minefield of additives! At home if making chilli chicken we'd add chilli, maybe some lemon, onions and peppers, salt and pepper And spices for seasoning. Buy it ready made and the food companies don't feel that that is enough. They think our taste buds need more. Most people have grown so accustomed to just accepting the flavour of food that they never look at what is really in the food they have eaten. In ready made chilli chicken the ingredients are as follows.... Cooked Chicken* , Sugar , Honey , Paprika , Modified Maize Starch , Salt , Rice Flour , Potato Starch , Chilli Powder , Cornflour , Stabiliser (Triphosphates) , Dextrose , Chillies , Natural Flavourings , Herbs [Marjoram, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Basil] , Vegetable Oil , Rosemary Extract , Maltodextrin , Colour (Paprika Extract) , * Made with 99g of raw Chicken per 100g of finished product . One of the first ingredients you will notice is sugar! When we cook at home who would ever think of cooking their chicken in sugar, but look at ingredients on pre packaged food and again and again sugar appears. If people choose to eat sugar that is fine they can choose to eat sugar in there foods but why take that choice away from the majority of people by putting it in everything. Most people have on their table salt and pepper, when I cook I don't use salt I let people add it at the table. Does this now mean I have to have the sugar bowl on the table for people to sprinkle on their food. As a young mum with two small boys I was always proud that I never gave my children ready made baby food. I knew from researching that one of the leading baby food producers used fillers in the food similar to the same ingredient in wallpaper paste. I also knew that nutritionally I would need to give my baby 6 jars for him to receive the correct amount of nutrients for one meal. I made the food myself usually from our meal the previous evening and blended it. After the cruise last year I realised that even with my busy life I have to choose my foods more carefully. I have moved towards Paleo I still eat low carb but by eating Paleo I do not eat processed food. If it lived or moved I eat it as long as the food industry hasn't got it's hands on it. But my relationship with food is a lifelong struggle and I realised today that often I miss out on vital nutrition because I am scared to eat!! I am also increasingly aware that even the good food choices I make may also be lacking in nutrients. So I am still learning and progressing in my journey, I try not to focus on my weight loss but on my glucose levels. With the increase in type ii diabetes you would think that the food companies would realise they are not helping in this. Only this week our government are trying to get leading food companies to cut the calories in their products, here is an article. I often think people should have the right to choose what they eat but when lots of the unhealthy ingredients are in foods that really don't need to be there, then I think these companies have a responsibility to the public. So when thinking you need to be watching what you eat, you really should look a bit harder at what is being put into your food. Even when choosing a healthier option they may not actually be healthy!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Absent minded ramblings of a pillion rider!

Today I spent most of the day trying to make some sort of organisation out of the chaos we are living in at the moment! Chris went to help a friend doing some building work, he returned home about 5 and said we're off for a bike ride to Willingham Woods. This is a well known bikers spot with a hut that sells hot drinks. So I donned my bike gear which makes me look and feel like Michelin man, but safety first right! As we set off I get a buzz of excitement, which very soon turns into a feeling of tranquility. When on the back of the bike I cannot be contacted by phone and I have a break from the world. As we speed up the only sound I hear is the wind whistling through my flip face helmet. It can be noisy but it's almost a soothing sound likened to White noise. I started thinking how long have I been going on motorbikes? Well my first memory was going on the back of my dad, I would be about 4 and a half, my dad used to pick me up from school on his Yamaha step through Scooter. I would just hang on to my dad, as I recall it was before helmets were legal in the UK, which was in 1973. Today I would never consider not wearing a helmet, the only time Chris and I have not worn a helmet is following a funeral corsage of a fellow biker, the police even gave us an escort and told nobody to put helmets on but we were following a horse and carriage at about 10-15 mph. Today was the perfect day to be on the motorbike, it was sunny and fairly warm, the verges were lined with golden yellow daffodils and the sky was clear. Normally while on the back of the motorbike I make pictures in the clouds, once I saw a cloud formation which looked like The Starship Enterprise! I wish I'd taken a photo lol. I love sitting back and taking in the scenery, although often it is a flash past. Lincolnshire boasts some of the best biking roads in England, I live close to the Lincoln Wolds, they are the highest point on the east coast between Yorkshire and Kent. They are full of rolling green hills and arable farming, and when on the high point give outstanding views. Getting on the back of a motorbike requires a lot of trust in the rider as your life is literally in their hands, on the back of Chris I completely relaxed. I once even fell asleep coming back from Scarborough. As we twist and turn along the country lanes I am very aware of the peace I get from being on the back, I do not need to concentrate on staying upright as my body bends and moves with the bike. I notice a field of Friesian Cows and think how lovely it is to see them roaming free grazing on the grass, in spite of the smell of the fresh country air! On the motorbike you do get a sense of feeling more at one with nature. We stopped at Willingham Woods, this is close the the race course at Market Raisen famous for Horse Racing. The town has lots of houses built in the style of Tudor times! We stand chatting, usually the men talk about motorbikes and I people watch, this is one of my favourite past times. I noticed a family with five children the first child who obviously was not related was nice and slim and looked healthy. The sibling however siblings however were all very obese. One of the girls face, she was about 8, was so overweight that her skin looked very red and shiny, in 15 minutes she ate 2 hamburgers and a packet of potato chips then a high sugar drink. This saddened me seeing this, as parents are we not meant to do the best by our kids! I had to turn away as I could not stand to see it any more! Getting back on the bike to return home the sky was beautiful, the sun was starting to set, all the way home it was like we were chasing it before it disappeared. It truly was a lovely night. Just coming out of Brigg I looked up and saw a plane with a long vapour trail, I got a warm feeling thinking this time in 6 weeks we will be setting sail for our annual low carb cruise. As we entered our town and stopped at the 3 way traffic control at roadworks I was acutely aware that my brief respite had ended. My irritation returned as we waited what seemed like an eternity, oh well it was nice while it lasted. We came to the top of the hill we come down to reach home and I looked at the wonderful view, the sun was just setting and there was a light mist over the ground in the distant fields. This made the view even more fantastic and I looked across the expanse in awe and though what a beautiful country we live in and what a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday evening. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Sorry for Absence, building in progress!

I realise it's been a while since I last blogged, thought I'd update and try sort myself out into a routine. We have been very busy in the last 7 months. Being 2 families moving into one house, yes a difficult concept really. Made me realise how much I compromise, which is a good thing isn't it? Some days I wondered and I'm ashamed to admit it, I had tantrums along the way, especially when going to the tip and lots of my stuff was being just tossed away. One day I was ranting so much, I thought to myself, when one of the guys from the tip came over and asked if I was alright! Did I stop with embarrassment? No! I just carried right on ranting. Thankfully the guy thought I was amusing to say the least! Any of you who knows Victor Meldrew will understand how I was ranting (YouTube him).

Our plans to expand the house finally got underway and Chris started his hard work. He amazes me how he is driven to just keep working, he does a full days work then comes home and gets straight on with the building work. Thankfully the boys were willing helpers and with team work good progress was made. we now have a dormer on the rear aspect of our house. Work has slowed a bit due to cowboy roofers and money but the external work is at least finished.

October was a sad month as my cousin and sister in law both lost their lives to cancer, it made me realise we don't see family enough! People often knock Facebook, but I am thankful for it as I can keep in touch with my family and friends more easily.

After Christmas I started my usual panic as the cruise countdown started, I needed to sort my body out. Although I have maintained my weight I needed to take it up a notch to try shift a few more pounds, yes my health is more important than the weightloss but I want to be fitter. With some wise words of encouragement from one of my very best friends I was able to give myself a kick up the backside. This is now my lifestyle and this time next year I will not need this panic as I will already be living a stable way of eating!

I joined our new leisure complex, The Pods, it was built last year although it looks quite impressive it still has quite a few teething problems! On our cruise last year we met Monique Le Roux Forslund her blog is called LifeZone she introduced me to Zumba. To be fair her session was not my best as I had climbed a waterfall in Jamaica the day before and could barely move my legs. But watching Monique made me realise this is something I think I would love to do. In the UK Zumba has just started to become popular so I now find myself doing 4-5 sessions a week! I'm at the point where I miss it when I don't do it so gonna set up the Wii this weekend and do it at home also.

My relationship with food has improved, I no longer see it as my downfall, it is there purely for nutrition and I no longer feel it has a hold on me. I still get that little voice in my head at times but I ignore it. I think as long as I keep up with the Zumba and other exercise I'm doing, it keeps me at a good emotional level to keep going. I try not to focus on my weight coming off but more on my sugar levels, they are coming down nicely and I want them to be at normal for the cruise! I am more energetic now and although I feel tired I think it is a good tiredness. I often come home from work and do not feel I can summon the energy to do a workout, but as soon as that music starts I'm away and really enjoying my session.

So I'm back and will be blogging at least once a week from now on, but you never know it may become another on of my obsessions x