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‘If you are afraid of butter, use cream.’ Julie Child.

I admit I used to be very afraid of butter.  I have always preferred butter to other ‘low fat’ alternatives but I am also a child of the ‘fat is bad’ generation (and have been varying-degrees-of-overweight most of my adult life) so butter has always felt taboo for me.  WellI am here to tell you my friendsI am a bone fide convert.  Staunch advocates of low-fat eating had best look away now!!

Until recently I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had a packet of butter in my house.  Seriously.  No idea.  However, a month ago I began a new eating plan (just as all the yummy treats are starting to appear for the festive season—way to go Sal!) and quite suddenly, and very unexpectedly, I found all my previous ingrained beliefs about food and dieting (and full fat versus low fat) started to crumble around me.  Butter has become my new best friend.

I admit when I came across the dietdoctor.com website my first thought was‘I wonder what they’re trying to sell?’  Imagine my surprise then to find that they didn’t appear to be trying to sell me anything at all, except perhaps a different way of looking at the food I eat.  There were no advertisements, no product placements and they even stated that they accepted no industry money for their research either.  So far so good.  It turned out that the site was run by an international team of doctors, clinicians and research scientists whose whole concern seemed to be an attempt to address the staggering rise of obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates all around the world today.

The more I read, the more interested I became . . .

I had heard about low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) diets before (wasn’t that what Atkins was all about?) but I had never tried one.  (I’d tried virtually everything else but not that.)  I was highly skeptical.  (How could high fat food possibly be good for me?  It goes against everything I have ever been taught.)  But I like to think I have an open mind (about most things at least) so I read everything on the site and I watched all the videos, and the more I read and the more I watched the harder it became to come up with excuses not to try it.  It all seemed to make perfect sense to me.  Could everything I thought I knew about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food be so completely wrong?

Anyway, long story short, I decided I needed to give it a go.  I am not diabetic, nor on any medication and I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose but the possible health implications of continuing to eat the way I was eating were enough to give me pause.  I decided to give myself over to the LCHF eating plan (full on, no cheating!) for one month to see what would happen.  No sugar, no grains, no fruit.  This was going to be interesting.

The first week was by far the hardest.  Everything they said might happen, did.  I had a searing headache for the first three days.  I had heart palpitations.  My muscles ached.  I had waves of nauseating hunger (don’t look at the lolly jar—don’t look at the lolly jar!) and I almost had an anxiety attack the first time I fried my hamburger in a pan swimming in butter!  But I persevered and then, towards the end of that first week, I started to realise I actually felt pretty good.  I was no longer getting hungry between meals.  I was sleeping better.  I wasn’t missing the bread, or the fruit, or the sugar at all, and all the butter (and cheese . . .  and cream . . . ) I was eating was actually really delicious . . .

Suffice to say, a month later I feel great.  Not only am I actually enjoying my food more (my girls are beside themselves with all the lovely smells that come out of the kitchen these days—yes folks, Sally has actually been cooking!) I am eating plenty of it—and Bonus!—I have also dropped nearly 6 kilos by doing it.  The proof is in the pudding (or lack of it). I am a believer.

But you shouldn’t take my word for it.  If anyone out there is interested in losing weight, or is diabetic (or pre-diabetic) this is a great site for information if nothing else.  All I urge is that you go onto the site with an open mind.  And here’s a small tipthere is a huge amount of free information on the site, but there’s even more information on the member pages (videos, films, presentations, etc).  Membership is only $9.00 a month, but you also get your first month free.  So sign up, read and watch everything on the member pages and if you still believe the whole concept is bat-crap crazy you can pull out before your first membership fee is due and the experience will have cost you nothing.

Go on.  I dare you.  www.dietdoctor.com.  What have you got to lose?

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘I can resist everything, except temptation.’ Oscar Wilde.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

Why is it, do you think, that the moment I decide—and I am talking the instant the decision is made—that I am (absolutely, definitely, starting right now) going to lose those extra couple of kilos which have somehow sneakily (re)appeared on my already ample backside since this time last year . . . that, suddenly, inexorably, all I can manage to think about is what I am going to eat next . . .

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands—and then eat just one of the pieces.’ Judith Viorst.

Chocolate.  Mmmmmm . . .

Over the years I have done the old ‘I’ll-buy-myself-the-‘family block’-and-make-sure-I-only-have-a-small-piece-(or two)-after-dinner-and-it’ll-last-until-my-next-big-shop’ dance more than once.  It never ended well.

I would start with the very best of intentions.  I would eat one small piece of chocolate (slowly, slowly, savouring it, letting it melt in my mouth) and then another . . . and maybe just one more. Then I’d ‘be good’ and put the rest safely away and go do some reading, or work in the garden, or get out my sketchpad and pens and . . . nope . . . no good.   How could I possibly concentrate on anything else when there was chocolate in the house begging to be eaten?  It was beyond me.  I would invariably end up eating the whole block and then spend the rest of the day castigating myself (‘. . . this is the  very last time  . . .  I will not be buying any more . . .  no more . . . ever . . . ‘) while also madly trying to exercise my latest indiscretion away.  (Where was Dr Phil and his ‘How’s that working for you?’ when I needed him?)

Moderation does not come easily to me.  For some people it is perfectly sensible to have only one piece of cake, or one glass of wine, or to buy one pair of shoes at a time.  I am not one of those people.  I struggle against ‘wanting’ things all the time.  I want another sketchbook (although I still have a stack in my office that I haven’t used yet).  I want that lovely red sweater I saw on-line the other day (I already have a red sweater, although, in my defence, it’s not the same kind of red)  . . . and I want another puppy (sssshhhh, don’t tell the girls . . . )

I don’t need . . . but I want.

I am (slowly) getting better at wanting less.  Wanting less ‘things’ at least (although, puppies . . .  sigh . . . ) but I still struggle hugely when it come to food.   Especially sweet food like biscuits  . . . and cake . . . . and lollies . . . and chocolate.  I (usually) manage to keep these constant cravings at bayat home at least.  I just don’t keep any of those lovely sweet, sticky,  yummy things in my house.  Out of sight out of mind.  Right?  (Fair warning: if you come to visit me you will need to bring your own cookies with you.)   Most of time this strategy works . . .

. . . but not at Easter.  Easter eggs are my downfall.  The first Easter eggs appeared in our shops here right around New Year.  I remember thinking, ‘Well, that’s just rude.  It’s pure commercialism and I am not going to buy into it.’  And I didn’t.  I made sure to quickly avert my eyes every time I came across them (or hot cross buns) in the supermarket aislesI was not going to get sucked in.  Not this year.  I felt all very virtuous and pleased with myself.

And then two weeks ago one of our college students presented me with a great big scrummy chocolate Easter Bunny.  He was gorgeous.  I took him home promising myself I would not touch him until much, much closer to Easter.  Who was I kidding?  I don’t think he even made it to tea-time.  Sigh.

Since then other lovely friends have also gifted me with all manner of glorious festive Eastery treats.  So that’s it.  I’m done for.  Chocolate coma, here I come . . . 

Happy Easter All!

This is an example of what can happen when Sally is let loose with her kiddie paints while on a chocolate high.
It got a little messy . . .
🙂

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.’ Jim Davis.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

I thought I might try to atone for the sugar-salt-fat laden excesses outlined in my last post and throw some love out there to the humble vegetable.

Jim Davis’ suggestions seem like a sensible place to start . . .

img033

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘If you’ve lost your appetite today, I think I have it . . . ‘ Anon.

animated eatingHave you ever woken up one morning, with no previous indication that there might be anything amiss, and suddenly find yourself inexplicably caught up in the throes of some kind of hypnotic trance, unable to do anything else all that day except eat and eat and eat (and eat . . . and eat . . . and eat . . . )

This happened to me last weekend and it caught me totally off guard.  Friday night I was fine.  After dinner (Penne Pesto Pasta—yum) I cuddled up on the couch alongside my girls (in my trakky-daks and fluffy slippers—me, not the girls) with a nice glass of red (possibly two) and watched ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ on the telly.  We were all comfortable, warm and fed.  All was right with my world.  Or so I thought . . .

woman and cakeOn Saturday morning I woke around 5.00am and my very first thought (and I still remember it vividly) was ‘I might go down to the bakers later and buy myself a sticky-bun’.  Say what?  Where did that come from?  I can’t tell you the last time I ate a sticky-bun.  And why a sticky-bun for God’s sake?  I can think of at least three more things right this very second which I would usually prefer to eat in order to sate any unexpected cravings (chocolate, cheese, more chocolate . . . )

And why was I having any kind of food cravings at 5.00am anyway?  I am not a big breakfast eater and usually have to force myself to eat something in the morning.  As it turned out the ‘why’ was irrelevant—all I could think about for the next couple of hours was that I going to get me that sticky-bun.  And, in the end, I did.  In fact I got two—and inhaled them both.

So that should have been the end of it—right?   I had eaten the sticky-bun(s)—I had completed the task—it was time to move on.

Caramello Koala Cake

Caramello Koala Cake

But—No.  It actually all went rapidly downhill from there and I, who have spent years and years diligently (although perhaps ‘diligently’ is somewhat of an overstatement) attempted to practice the art of not eating, seemed utterly unable to control myself.  I ate everything edible I could find in the house—that is everything that did not, in any way, shape or form, constitute a ‘proper’ meal.  (I was so not interested in eating a supernutrient-full-of-veggie-goodness ‘proper’ meal.  I wanted Caramello Koalas—or salt and vinegar crisps—or two large loaves of French bread dripping with garlic butter . . . Blissful sighs)

But this is not my first time around this particular block.  Although it has not reared its ugly head in a long time, this seemingly-out-of-the-blue-food-frenzy is not entirely unknown to me, and I was pretty sure I remembered how it was going to play out.  I would grumpily blob myself down on the couch and berate myself all day with ‘For-God’s-Sake-Sally-Stop-Eating!’ reprimands, and constantly remind myself of all the good work I was undoing—all the while stuffing my face with whatever sugar-fat-salt laden delicacy I had hold of at the time.  And, that is exactly what happened.

sick1As you can imagine, on Sunday I felt absolutely crapulous (I just knew that word would come in handy).  I was nursing a deadly sugar hangover (not to mention a severe case of ‘buyer’s remorse’—those sticky-buns had a lot to answer for) and trying to fathom what had brought it all on.  There had been no obvious triggers.  Nobody had upset me, there had been no major dramas, I hadn’t been fretting about anything—at least consciously.

Subconsciously, of course, is anybody’s guess.  Who really knows what goes on in our little heads when we are not paying full attention.  We think we have got it all sorted.  We practice the things that are supposed to be good for us.  We exercise daily, we meditate, we nurture relationships, we nourish our bodies with good and healthy food—and then while we are sleeping some mean, nasty, delinquent part of our brain slides over to the good, stable, responsible side, knocks it unconscious and issues orders for us to start eating the planet.  It’s all a bit underhand and totally unfair if you ask me.

overeatingBut you know—it’s done, and there is no point bitching about it any more.  I seem to have weathered the storm without too much damage and this week I have had no recurring desire to overload on—well, anything really.  I appear to be back in control.

But we all know appearances can be deceiving and I guess I shouldn’t get too cocky.  If this could all sneak up on me so unawares this time it could easily do so again.  I’m think perhaps I am going to have to watch my back for a while yet . . . and perhaps  drive past the bakers really, really fast . . .

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.’ Mark Twain.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

I knew Mark Twain was a favourite of mine for a reason.  

I think perhaps I should take his advice more often . . . .

sandwiche

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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