Saturday, 25 June 2011

Signing Off...

...for the next while at least, and when I come back it'll be probably under a different vibe. I feel the blog was very much about my journey to finding a solution to my problems that I could live with everyday, and I'm there now, so the journey bit is done. Secondly, and more importantly, I no longer have time to blog. I'm studying for another undergrad (this time biological sciences) as well as working full time in an increasingly busy job. I'm trying to minimise commitments beyond the essential studying and earning, and blog writing will be a victim of the cull. I still have time to skim read lots of blogs most days, and try to comment when I can. I do love blogging and I really want to be out here in blogland contributing, but it's just not possible right now. Hopefully when I have a bit more of a grounding in the sciencey stuff I will come back to make a slightly more valuable contribution to all this discussion about optimum health.
Lots of love to all who have read here at any point:)
Eimear x

Monday, 6 June 2011

Diminishing cravings

It occurred to be in the last few days just how much my tendency to overeat and especially junk stuff (cake, ice-cream, chocolate. biscuits) has gone down and down over the last few weeks. While every now and again (especially if my blood sugar gets low) I do experience a hankering for something processed, most of the time now revulsion of factory food turns me away, and I've gotten better at finding healthier meals on the hoof- I now reach for a hard boiled egg, a banana, tinned (no salt) fish or a plain yogurt if I get really hungry, and most evening I don't even have dessert (I used to eat dessert pretty much every evening). The food I eat now is enjoyable enough and satisfying that I don't feel I need to eat chocolate just because it's there in case it's not tomorrow, if I don't get a bit, good. Eating whole foods, primal, ancestral, paleo, whatever you want to call it, has quietly chipped away at my tendencies to binge, crave and obsess over comfort food (not that they were very dominant tendencies, but it's good they've dropped off somewhat, and I don't turn to them for stress relief). It's like good food 'protects' me from poor choices. I have to say, though, although it may be a less rewarding diet a la Stephan Guyenet's current theorising over at Whole Health Source, it's more than tasty enough for me. In fact, the junk is kind of hyper tasty (or 'hyperpalatability, as Melissa McEwen has dubbed it) and while those foods do cause a tendency to eat more of them compared with more 'plain' fare, I definitely seem to find them sickening. Finally, enough knowledge about these things cultivates intellectual disgust strong enough to overcome the 'hardwired' cravings for energy as dense as possible (originally essential for survival, but now positively dangerous in our comfortable developed world). Just some thoughts, anyway.
Recent plates:

Lazy saturday morning: other half of friday night's sirloin steak, a bit of lip smacking cheddar and some chilli jelly

Two boiled eggs for breakfast, a bit of romaine that I was chopping for lunch. I got hungry two hours later and had a banana at work.

Tonight: beef stew- just browned off some braising steak, added into two roughly chopped onions, couple of sticks of celery, some lonely half used veg (half a green pepper and half a courgette) herbs de provence, a bit of sea salt, water (maybe 2 cups). Two hours in the oven= dinner for a wet evening, and no need for dessert.

Friday, 3 June 2011


I've been learning so much about the paleo diet/lifestyle recently, thanks mostly to Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser's podcasts, and some more blogs I've found. It's really encouraged me to stick to the diet because it's got the most solid arguments I've found in nutrition to date. Since I started doing paleo, I suppose for about only 2 months now, I've made a few tweaks- I started off eating nuts everyday but I've cut way way back on this. I've also learnt about being more choosy with my protein sources with better omega 6:3 ratios, so I'm going to be eating less poultry and mostly organic beef and oily fish. My meals are usually eggs and/or fish for breakfast, leftover dinner or a fish salad, maybe an avocado, for lunch, and usually some beef and veggies for dinner. I try to keep fruit to a minimum; berries, apple or banana every other day.
The only problem is, every few days I give into something non-paleo, almost always chocolate or ice-cream. Anyway, I'm working on it. I wish I'd more time to expand and the whys and a bit of more info on what I've learnt, maybe there'll be some time over the weekend.
Here's a selection of this week's meals:

Turkey breast and collard scramble (breakfast). Coffee in a cut mug my mum bought me:)

Turkey breast salad with avocado. Yum, finally I've come to love them.

More turkey, a salmon fishcake (homemade, with tinned salmon and some leftover boiled potato) and top of courgette ribbons in tomato sauce (onion, garlic, oregano, chilli powder and passata).

Half a sirloin steak, a big pile of butterhead lettuce with olive oil and balsamic, and a big spoon of Dijon mustard with herbs de provence.

And after that, I had this delicious concoction for dessert: two very ripe bananas mushed up and vanilla extract stirred into a tub of Fage yogurt and frozen.

So delicious, and satisfied my ice-cream cravings far better than any actual ice-cream, much creamier, tart and less sweet. I'm trying to keep dairy low, but this makes a nice treat and is healthier than regular ice-cream, which is by far my biggest weakness!

Oh, and before I go, a final piece of news- starting in the autumn, I'm starting another degree, this time in biology. It'll be by distance learning while I work, and I thought it would be the most enjoyable way to begin training for a career related to nutrition. I almost began a nutrition course a while ago, until I found out the organisation running it were quacks. I feel a strong scientific foundation will be the most insightful and give me a broad base and range of choices as to what direction to pursue after the course.