Monday, 26 November 2018

The Weight Loss Chronicles

                                Image result for surya namaskara
                                       (yoga salute to the sun)

Food advice from a friend

I was talking with a friend, and admiring how disciplined and organised that she was, about her diet. She said that she "had" to be this way, to keep her on the straight-and-narrow with food, and to help keep her weight stable. She is not young, but she does indeed look great. Youthful and glamorous.

So, being me, I asked her about her diet. Her answers were interesting:
  • she has 1/2 cup of a Sanitarium muesli for breakfast each morning, with a vegetarian milk, and mixed berries.
  • she packs a lunch each work day: the same lunch each day, with a couple of protein/muesli bars for snacks
  • she has fruit in season when she walks in the door after work, each early evening. At the moment it's an orange and a kiwifruit
  • dinner is the same every night: potato crusted fish, which she buys in frozen packs; and mixed peas and corn kernels. Because she loves those two vegetables 
  • and two decent sized squares of chocolate every night
I have friends who would find this boring. I think it's fantastic. Decisions made, and kept to. Wonderful for someone who prefers not to cook (moi). But all based on what my friend likes, and what suits her tastes and keeps her body feeling good.

                        find out which foods suit you

She recommended:
  • eat according to your values. For example, if you don't approve of the chicken and egg industry, (she doesn't), then don't eat them
  • eat little but often
  • do some research about food, to find out what to eat for your own needs. Scientifically. 
  • when you know what you need, adjust it to suit your needs

What does adjusting to your needs mean? She explained it as: 

  • if you need a mid-morning snack, and you have had a good breakfast, but are hungry at 9am, then have your morning snack at 9am. Eat it at the best time for you, not when the "best" recommended time is
  • and eat what suits you and your body
  • eat the food that you like. That nourishes you. On many levels, not just with the nutritional aspects. Food should involve the senses. It should be enjoyed

The whole food-diet thing does seem be crazy. Especially as the "best" and "latest" differs each year. I found it a bit upsetting trying to keep pace with it all. So now I honestly try not to get involved in the latest and greatest diets. (Sometimes I forget that I'm not being involved, though)

What is happening with moi?

I only weigh a kilogram less than before. The weight loss so far is holding, so that is very important to me. My tight fitting jeans are now quite loose, so that is something. But I confess that I'm not doing too well on the diet thing. I would be happier readdressing this, and soon. 

I am physically stronger than before, too. Thanks to doing two to four planks, and a few yoga salutes to the sun as fast as I can (makes one sweat, or should I say "glow"), five to six mornings a week, followed by a couple of poses. Sun salutes can be aerobic when they are done fast, and if you use a kneeling lunge. But it is harder than languidly moving in and out of poses. I don't do much, but, hey, I do it.

And I do special yoga breathing, which is reducing my body inflammation. It's also helping the weight loss to maintain. I have seldom ever taught this, but I learnt it decades ago, when I first started yoga. 

But, time to step things up, and remember:

find out what you need to do to maintain your weight losses

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Budget beauty

                         Image result for roses and rosewater

I read recently of a woman in her thirties who looks like a teenager, and she puts it down to using Savlon antiseptic cream, twice a day. Hmmm. This lead me to thinking that I would compile some budget beauty hints, both from myself and from people whom I've known.

Budget beauty from within

The first I would have to say, is to let our inner loveliness shine. Everyone is lovely, we just need to let it show. When I was young, I read of an Indian yoga celebrity who was famous not only for her yoga, but also for her youthfulness. She recommended to treat everyone as if they were your friends, and I like this. It is a nice way for our own beauty to show.

You can eat well on a budget

If we mainly eat rubbish food, it really shows on our complexion and general vitality. When I was a young mum, I really got into healthy eating for my children and myself. It really showed, as we all looked vital, and good. 

And rubbish foods really means processed foods; pretend foods; foods with added sugars and preservatives. When we eat foods which are not tampered with, our body doesn't have to work so hard to cope with any "invaders" in the form of chemicals. Our body can just do the work of digesting and storing. It doesn't get tired trying nor unwell trying to cope with said invaders.

How can we choose budget beauty foods when we don't have much money?

  • drink plain water. Our skin and whole body loves being watered
  • eat plain porridge for breakfast
  • eat local fruit in season, it's healthier and cheaper. You don't need much, maybe two pieces a day
  • as I write this I am using leftover uncooked vegetables by making them into a soup. Nutritious and cheap.

Water your skin on the outside

I have some beautiful strong smelling red roses which one of my daughters gave me, from her garden. As the petals drop, I am saving them to make rosewater. When that is finished, I shall probably make rosemary water with the rosemary stalks that she gave me. And I saw that she also has lavender growing. 

How to make rosewater:
  • place the petals in a pot
  • squish them down then just barely cover with water
  • bring to boil then turn off heat
  • I like to allow them to steep for at least a few hours
  • drain and store the water
  • I like to keep this in the fridge as it doesn't last long

Obviously, you would just use rosemary branches, or lavender flowers for waters of these. You can also make a strong small brew of chamomile tea, even using a teabag, for sensitive skin. Use the waters as a skin toner, or tonic, under your moisturiser.

                               Image result for lavender
                                        (beautiful lavender)
Skin care
  • use up everything that you already have before rushing out to buy more
  • use an oil for your body. When I run out, I'm going to use cold pressed grapeseed oil from the supermarket. It's quite inexpensive. 
  • you could use an oil like almond or apricot for everything: taking off make-up; moisturising body and face; as a conditioning hair treatment
  • sometimes in Indian or Asian food markets, you can find Ponds cleanser and Vanishing cream, quite cheaply. There are also inexpensive body lotions and oils
  • or the good ole $2 shops. Sometimes you can find ends of skin care lines there
  • for older, or dryer, skin, there is also Nivea original, and Vaseline. Warm up a little bit on your fingers, then pat onto the skin. With Vaseline, you can also add a few drops of water
  • use cheap salt on a wet flannel in the shower to exfoliate your body
  • mix baking soda with some water, oil, face cream, or yoghurt to exfoliate your face, and be very gentle!
                            Image result for baking soda to exfoliate

  • it's way better to look after your skin and go without a whole pile of make-up. It looks better, is better for your skin and your wallet
  • there are some great inexpensive make-up lines, such as LA girl, Elf. Don't be afraid to use what younger people are using. They know whats what with all of this
  • there are also great outlets which sell ends of lines, very cheaply
  • I use up my foundations as my own BB creams: I dot a strong SPF over my face, then dot my foundation, then blend them both, over my face

  • you can get good cuts cheaply in suburbia, of all places. Especially those where you just turn up with freshly washed hair
  • if you wear a fringe, learn how to cut it yourself, from youtube. Then get trims for the rest of your hair, less often
  • if you get your hair cut, coloured, or whatever, skip paying for a blow dry
  • if you colour your hair, you can always do that at home too


I do not get manicures nor pedicures. I prefer to save the money.

I find, for myself, when I consistently make a small effort each day to look, well, nice, just nice, I obsess much less about having "stuff" for beauty. That's just me, but it does make a difference.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Warm weather food

Yes! The warmer weather has arrived. And with it, a few changes in le regime (my diet, aka what I eat). I really get miserable eating salads and cold food in the colder months, but, surprisingly, am quite happy to eat warm soups in summer. Mainly because they can be light soups. And warmer weather also means lighter food for me.

                            Image result for muesli with LSA


I've been making an uncooked muesli for breakfast, and soaking it in any sort of milk (cow, almond, rice,etc) whilst I do a wee bit of yoga in the mornings. I use what I have:
  • ordinary rolled oats
  • oatbran
  • wheatgerrn
  • LSA (ground almonds, sunflower seeds and linseeds) you can buy it in a supermarket
  • I also add vegetarian protein powder
You can also use:
  • dried fruits (which are too sugary for me), so I don't use them
  • raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
  • chia seeds
  • any nuts that you like
  • coconut
I just make a mix, pop it into a container, and leave it in the fridge. Enough for about two weeks. And I only use two heaped dessertspoonfuls at a time, as it's so filling. I also add yoghurt, and fresh fruit.

I have a cooked muesli, too. Although I would actually call it granola. Granola is cooked, and muesli (used to be) uncooked. And I sometimes have this. It's so easy.
  • one and a half cups of rolled oats. I don't use the steel cut for this, I just use ordinary Scotch Oats 
  • I have also done one cup of oats and a half cup of wheatgerm instead, so I would just use whatever you please
  • three quarters of a cup of LSA. Again, you can use whatever you want here with nuts and seeds. 
  • one tablespoon of fat: ghee, coconut oil, oil
  • one tablespoon of sweetener: honey or maple syrup
Melt the honey and oil (coconut and maple is rather delicious) in your roasting dish at a lowish heat, about 150 - 175 degrees Centigrade. Then take it out, and add the other ingredients, mixing them well. This doesn't take too long to cook, but I keep taking it out, and stirring it so that it browns easily. Light golden brown is the best colour, if you let it go longer, it burns really quickly. You can add dried fruit after it's cooked.

Drink your greens

I also like green drinks. I crave greens. Every time I go past the fridge, I am grabbing whatever is green and uncooked, and having a munch. Lettuce, celery, asparagus. I was recently waiting for someone outside a cafe, and noticed the cafe herb box outside. Munch, munch. Then I got told off.......
  • water, coconut water, if you have okay blood sugar, you might handle some fruit juice
  • green leaves. I have also used frozen spinach, but whatever you have is fine
  • extras like cucumber, parsley. Whatever you have
  • you can add fruit too: banana, apple, half each or whole, berries. Whatever you have (this is sounding like a new mantra) 
  • you could add a bit of super greens powder like vegetable powder, or antioxidant powder which really is pink and red food powder
  • ice is optional but not for me, I don't like freezing food
You can make just a small amount, and whizz it in your blender or nutribullet. You can make a fair bit, cover it, and keep it in the fridge. 

Drink your fruit and/or greens at breakfast

You can also use something like almond milk instead of water, and add some vegetable protein, for a breakfast smoothie. To make it more substantial, you could add chia seeds, or LSA. You could emphasise the fruit, or the vegetables, or a bit a both. The permeation are truly endless.

                            Image result for Smoothie

Chickpeas, Indian street-style

When I was on a radio show on Saturday mornings, I would go to the food hall next to it, for lunch. All sorts of Asian food, cooked on the spot. And a lovely Indian lady would rustle up this dish for me. Keeping in mind that I'm allergic to tomatoes, there are none in this dish, but you could add them, and you could also add a touch of chilli powder.

  • cooked chickpeas (out of a can is fine)
  • yoghurt
  • tamarind chutney to taste. You can also add a bit of mint chutney. Or just use any chutney (use what you have)
  • my special dish always had chopped cucumber, and sometimes thinly sliced shallots. You could use red onion, and any other available vegetables
  • left over diced potato is nice as an option, too. Even sauteed first is nice.
  • my dish always had lots of chopped coriander, which I love. If you have parsley, chives, basil, mint, you could use these instead
  • some cumin powder, not much
  • some salt
  • if you want to be really creative you could sprinkle some roasted pumpkin seeds over the top before serving
  • my mix was: chickpeas, tamarind chutney - not much, salt, cucumber, coriander, cumin
  • mix and enjoy. Eat slowly and savour.
                          Image result for chickpeas in yoghurt

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

the secret is...

What is The Secret?

No, no, not the Secret in the book entitled The Secret. Not one of my favourite books, by the way. It's just too greedy for me. And, in a round-about-way, I find the whole darned thing to be too blamey: "If only one had focused on drawing....... into their life, then ........ would have happened, and .......wouldn't have happened".

So easy. And to me, so silly. And, a few of the people in the book, those amazing people who had it all sorted, apparently. At the time of the book going to print, some of them came to grief. They did the opposite of whatever ethics something like The Secret should have imparted. And things did not work out.

Secret #1

I'm not saying that, therefore the "wisdom" imparted in that book, doesn't work. I am however, saying, why not use what we have, in life?

Why not learn how to be happy with what there is? When we are relying on what we want, in order to be happy, then we shall never be truly happy.

Sad fact.

Secret #2

And, it seems that this is all tied in with gratitude. For, when we are grateful, we mysteriously are happier.

There is another secret, #3

The secret of anything is in the Doing of "It". What is "It"? "It" is whatever we are doing, and seeing as I made rude comments about The Secret book and method, I shall look at it from this angle.

Suppose we want something to happen? And being me, I actually, really, want it all done yesterday. But the sane part of me knows that will never happen. That voice of reason inside of me, knows that I truly do need to do things, for Whatever to happen.

Seeing as I don't want:
  • a fancy car
  • big house by the ocean (but I would settle for renting a wee abode on the seashore)
  • to be rich and famous (but humble and kind!)
  • etc
I therefore shall look at what I do want. One of the things, is to be more slender. And it is happening. But, oh so slowly. (gggrrr) What am I going to do to change things?
  • can I visualise it happening and attract it to me? Visualisation definitely helps. Messages do get through to our pysche and our body, that this would be a good idea. And I have found it easier to do the things that I need to do, and "think" the way that I need to think, to get to my goal, by doing visualisation about the weight loss. So, yes, definitely this part of The Secret does work. But for me, not on it's own. And I have found that I need to be very disciplined, and keep remembering to do visualisation.
  • maybe a vision board? Sadly, for me, this hasn't really helped too much in the past. But again, that's just moi. It could be that I wasn't doing it right, for me. However, I love books! So I made vision folders, which have been helping me, but, meh, not much.
  • affirm to The Universe that I would like to be more slender, thank you very much. Right now. I love this, and it has helped me heaps. But I shall be honest. Very honest. I don't demand it. I don't even ask for it. I mean, does The Universe even have time to do this for me? In between creating new galaxies and such? Is my weight a Universe priority?
Instead I state that I do certain things, pertaining to weight loss. And this is what has been of the most benefit to me.

Because what works for me, is that perhaps, perchance, I really do need to actually do whatever is needed to lose that darned weight? Botheration!

The special secret gives us mana

I think that this is the real secret. We actually have to do something/s to achieve. Because a lot of things in life, are about the process of doing. That's the learning curve. That's where and how we get mana (personal power). From doing, and learning, and growing, or in my case I would prefer a type of shrinking, but you get the drift.

secret #4

                   Related image

secret #5

                     Image result for sufi quotes on the secrets of life

I also feel that we need to attach love to The Doing Of. It is such a strong force, and fills up a lot of space so that it's quite hard for the negative aspects towards our goals, our dreams, to take a hold and thereby make it hard for things to happen in a positive way.

Secret #6

For myself, I often feel that several secrets, working in tandem with each other, give a massive push towards It, the goal, the dream. After all no man is an island, nor, and this is just me, is one secret an island. 

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