Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My ever evolving diet and workout routine...

Health update and diet experimenting:
I started this blog to document my commitment to getting my health on track at the start of 2010. I had hormonal issues, IBS, dry, prone to breakout skin, poor circulation and stubborn fat around my butt and legs. I thought a vegan diet and running would be the answer, so I blogged about my commitment to this new way of life. About 8 months into this experiment, my health wasn't much better (I'd lost over 7lb though), and in fact, got worse, and I had to spend a few days in hospital because of pancreatitis. Since then, I've been experimenting. I went to see a dietician, and cut down big time of whole grain foods and pulses, and that helped the IBS for the most part, but I still had dry skin and amenorrhea. In January this year, I added yogurt, eggs and fish back and since then I've been reading a lot about paleo/primal diets and have been gradually aligning my diet along these lines. The thing is, apart from a spell of about a year when I was 19/20, I haven't eaten meat since I was 12. And meat is a big part of the primal/paleo diet...and when you give up rice, bread, wheat etc you need something to fill you up besides lots of veggies...and there's kind of only so much fish and eggs you can eat. So I'm toying with the idea of adding some organic meat in once a week, to mix things up and to up my iron intake, because despite eating brassicas every day, my intake is a little below the RDA and I had low serum ferritin diagnosed a few months back and refused to take the iron tablets. I still have amenorrhea and dry, pale skin so maybe a little iron boost might help. This is all still part of the experimenting to find something that works for me. I will say though that the most amazing transformation in my energy levels has been ditching sugar and grains. I have held on to things like brown rice and the occasional slice of bread but I haven't eaten any grain based foods for 2 weeks now and I now seem to be free of the post prandial bloat and discomfort I would get. I'm still a little constipated but I think that's because I need to ramp up my greens intake some more, but I've been doing this gradually because of my intolerance of some types of fibre. In fact, I eat more vegetables since I started eating eggs and fish than I did when I was vegan! I've also put weight back on on the scales (I'm now 125 lbs) but I'm two inches smaller around the butt than I was when I weiged 117lb!

Here are some of my recent meals:

Still eating yogurt most days: berries and quark for breakfast

Quorn pieces chilli with lots of bell peppers, topped with plain organic yogurt

Experimenting with protein powder: unflavoured whey, cocoa, peanut butter and plain yogurt, I ate some straight up, but the PB made it sickeningly rich, so I baked the rest for 20 mins and it was easier to eat:

Voila- chocolate PB protein cake. I actually find the unflavoured whey quite sweet.

After saturday's run, I breakfasted on a berry, banana and protein shake (just using water) and it was pretty good- not too sweet, thick and really voluminous! Half a banana, half a cup of berries, 30g scoop of powder and a cup of water made 3 cups of shake (that's only 2/3 of the batch in that glass)!
I had the shake because the rest of the week breakfast was usually eggs or fish: lovely but you do need to switch it up a bit.

Saturday lunch: panfried salmon, pesto and 1/2 a cabbage each(!)

So good, the salmon was a beautiful colour

For Mother' Day lunch, I made a provencale prawn stew (red onion, garlic, orange pepper, mushrooms, collards, smoked paprika, herbs de provence, tomato passata, lots of parsley and lemon juice) and fried some organic lamb steaks my Dad got half price. The prawns were a gift from one of my Dad's patients who is a fisherman. I cooked rice for my family too. I had half of one of the steaks, my
first taste of meat in four years(!)

The stew is a bit like paella without the rice.

Last night's dinner: veg omelette (an onion, 1/2 red cabbage, a huuuge courgette, 2 carrots, 6 eggs, smoked paprika and some mature goat's cheese), topped with super hot hot sauce and Quorn sausage.

Monday evening treat: glass of red wine and two squares of dark hazelnutty chocolate (plus some new paleo/primal reading).

Today's breakfast: canteloupe melon, yogurt, half a tin of salmon.

On the workout front:
I'm still a little jaded with running, but I did take MrPeskyRunner out on saturday morning for an easy prebreakfast 5k. He really struggles to have energy without a big dose of carbs so he found this tough but didn't feel too bad after it was over.
On sunday I went for a walk with my sister, and we did 10mins of on/off 30 sec hard running/walking near the end.
Other than that, I have been following Bodyrock, usually a day or two behind the schedule as I usually rest on mondays. I've been doing some weight lifting as well.

I'm off work today to go to the opticians and MrPeskyRunner is having dental work done (nothing serious). We're going to go for a nice long walk in the afternoon and then do a bodyrock workout. I did the Abs for Christmas this morning, ouch, lots of squats, but other than that, probably the 'easiest' bodyrock I've done so far (I don't know if you can really use 'easy' and 'bodyrock' in one sentence, haha). In any case, I'm up for yesterday's workout later this afternoon.
That's all for now, folks!


  1. It is so nice seeing items I recognise in your photos... hello Sainsbury's salmon and Lindt (tonight I'm on Toblerone!!)

    As for reintroducing meat... I think it's something that is obviously very personal to you. Therefore, if you don't feel that it's making you morally confused, go for it. Btw- I'm an eat-my-steak-blue-please person so by morals I mean if it makes you compromise your inner peace. Sheesh, deep!

    Also, iron levels... one you love to hate... black pudding. Works a treat. Honest- you only need a slice or so a week to notice a difference. I was seriously fatigued a few months ago and added this twice a week. Just a slice each time. Et voila! Bouncey person was back!

  2. I can see how a traditional blood sausages (maybe from France or Germany) might be a good idea but the stuff that's available in Ireland (even the fancy ones) are full of crap. Mussels and liver are pretty good sources of iron but yeh...liver. I'm a long way from eating that.
    As for the morality of it, as long as it's not factory stuff, I'd only eat organic meat. I wouldn't want to eat anything that had lived a horrible, stressful life from a taste point of view either.
    Glad you like seeing things a bit more familiar. I do most of my grocery shopping at sainsburys actually, so you might see that often enough!

  3. I think it's a great idea to experiment with all types of food until you find what works for you and your lifestyle! P.S. All of your food looks delicious! Especially the dark chocolate with hazelnuts!

  4. It sounds like you are gaining some muscle and finding some balance. It's about time!!! That protein cake looks awesome. Who knew that yogurt and protein powder could make cake?!

  5. I think Chocolate Covered Katie has a protein cake recipe that's basically just baked protein powder, cocoa and liquid. Yeh, it works quite well!

  6. i'm not primal...I eat basically everything :)
    But I have tons of digestive issues and am too stubborn to experiment :(

    I eat a lot of squash and sweet potatoes every day though with my meals. Not sure if that is good or not....
    do you eat starchy vegs a lot?
    Oh, and I am totally about the fats! Not sure if that's good either for me...I'm a digestive mess.