Before I was engaged I became very interested in learning about health and nutrition driven by my desire to shake off some stubborn kgs that would not budge. What started off as a desire to lose a little weight turned into a revelation about nutritious eating.
After some research I discovered many fitness programs, eating guides and articles which were all proclaiming the same messaged related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Now I do not want to name any here because I don’t feel I am in a position to make serious recommendations to people about such things. However there are a few recommendations so practical and valuable that I felt it would be useful to share them here.
- minimise intake of processed foods or anything whose ingredients label looks like a science experiment
- minimise intake of wheat and wheat products
- minimise intake of sugar
- enjoy generous amounts of animal proteins
- enjoy as many vegetables as you like
- enjoy good fats (such as butter, olives and avocados)
- enjoy a moderate intake of fruit
- enjoy moderate amounts of nuts and legumes
- if following the above at least 90% of the time then allow yourself one “cheat day” each week on a day you exercise. Not only does this help you stay on track but it also fires up your metabolism into overdrive which helps burn energy faster
In all truth none of this is new and I am sure it comes as no shock to anyone. But I don’t want to sound preachy: I am the first to admit it is hard to stick to this type of eating. Yummy temptations surround us wherever we go and I really do love eating all sorts of different foods.
After becoming engaged I was very motivated to look my best for my wedding so stuck to the above rules as best as I could. I will not lie though, I did struggled. I am certainly not the type of person who thinks it is just easy to resist all the foods I love, no matter how bad they may be.
The other thing I started doing was exercising regularly. At least 4-5 times a week I went to the gym and burned some energy. I am lucky enough to have a gym right next door at work and exercised in my lunch break with very tough workouts. I did a lot of research about the most effective workouts and here are some useful things I learned:
- slow paced cardio workouts are not the most efficient form of exercise: your heart rate barely increases and you will not burn much energy given the time you are spending
- the best type of cardio workouts are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)– your heart rate soars and you burn a heap of energy
- weight training is vital (for men and women) as it ensures you maintain your muscle mass, stay toned and even makes you body keep burning energy for hours after exercise
Now I am not a person who loves exercise and getting to the gym every lunch time was a real chore but it did feel great when I completed a session and new I had done well for myself.
It is true that one’s eating patterns have a huge effect on their body but coupled with exercise the greatest results are achieved: for body and mind.
However we are all human and I admit I am the first to break today’s recommendations and rules…
After the wedding all hell broke loose. As a keen baker who now had her new kitchen and bright and shiny toys I just wanted to make and eat whatever I felt like. And I did. I am sure my loyal readers will notice that most of my recipes have been sweet treats or indulgent comfort foods.
I also decided I wanted some time off exercise. I worked through lunch breaks so I could leave work a little earlier and focus on the important things such as making a yummy dinner. When the weekend came around all I wanted to do was sleep in with The Hubby, tidy the house and spend hours crafting. The thought of spending time exercising was inconceivable.
But months of this took its toll. I was starting to feel very sluggish and heavy. For the first time in months I stepped on the scales and took my measurements and the results were not pretty. I had started to undo all of my hard work of 2011 and I was a little devastated. I moaned (to my mum) all my effort wasted. Wasted.
The next morning I picked my chin up and got my head straight. I made a resolution to myself: I will try my hardest to make healthy living the norm for my lifestyle. This includes healthy eating, regular exercise without compromising life’s pleasures.
So I would like to tell you, dear readers, that from here on I will try to include healthier recipes for us all to enjoy. They will still be yummy and very homely but just better for you. I will not stop baking the foods I love eating all together, because I really do enjoy making and eating them, I will just minimise their intake to special occasions. I also will try to be more inventive with the things I cook and bake in order to make healthier alternatives. (Fellow blogger Baker Bettie is also on a mission to make such healthier alternatives given her love of baking and realisation of the negative characteristics of processed foods and sugars).
Furthermore, and on a more personal note, I will try to stay on track and exercise during the week so I can enjoy my relatively sedentary hobbies in the evenings and the weekends…
I have now come to realise healthy eating and exercise should be the norm and how we live 90% of the time. If we do this, then we can still enjoy life’s pleasures and culinary luxuries…
To start off on the right foot please enjoy the recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Roast Chicken and Rostï below
- 3-4 chicken thighs
- olive oil to coat chicken
- heavy sprinkling of dried rosemary
- heavy sprinkling of dried garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the over to 2000C
- Coat the chicken with olive oil in an oven dish
- Sprinkle rosemary and garlic over chicken
- Mix until all of chicken is well covered
- Roast in oven for about an hour or until cooked through
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving
- Serve with rostï and a green salad
- 3 large potatoes, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 large onion, grated
- 60ml butter, melted
- sprinkling of mixed Italian herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Mix grated potato, carrot and onion
- Drain well, remove as much liquid as possible in order for rostï to be crispy
- Mix in butter, herbs and salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a frying pan large enough to fit 4 rostï
- Grab a handful of the mixture, roll it into a ball and place onto frying pan then flatten
- Repeat until frying pan has no more room
- Cook for 8-10 minutes on one side or until golden brown
- Flip and cook on other side for 8-10 minutes
- Let rest of draining paper just before serving