Monday, April 29, 2013

What Reboot has done for me

It's Day 29 of my Reboot Challenge!  Feels like just yesterday was day 1 and it felt like 30 days was an eternity, and here I am - tomorrow is last day of Reboot!

I want to reflect a bit on what this Reboot Challenge has done for me and taught me:

 - I can actually put my mind to something and stick to it, yay! Nice for this procrastinator to know, hehe.
 - I don't need to eat chocolate every single day
 - I don't need to drink wine when cooking or when enjoying a social braai
 - I can drink tea with no sugar or honey! In fact, I LOVE tea with no sugar added!
 - It's been lots of fun to be more adventurous with cooking... I was so stuck in a rut of same-old same-old, so I really enjoyed looking up different ways of making the same thing healthier, and more interesting at the same time! 
 - I don't think I'll ever make normal cottage pie again, cottage pie with sweet potato is so much better! 
 - I don't think I'll ever have oven chips again, sweet potato oven chips are delicious.
 - Coconut oil is AMAZING! Won't ever cook with another oil again.
 - It's really nice to not count calories or "points value" of foods like on Weight Watchers
 - My clothes fit better than they have in years
 - I'm doing all my usual weight machines at the gym on heavier weights, Reboot has made me stronger!
 - It's wonderful to not feel bloated after a meal
 - Coffee-shop and restaurant outings are not difficult at all - coffee-shops have awesome selections of tea's to try, and restaurants do steak/chicken breasts/fish with salad - yum!
 - My blood-sugar levels are more stabilised, I haven't felt dizzy or shaky while on Reboot
 - I'm sleeping better than I have in a long time!
 - I am so committed to my workouts - I gym 5 times a week, and I love it - it's my escape, my me-time, and I love how my hubby supports me and motivates me to go exercise
 - Hubby was also so strict with me, if I wanted a nibble of a "forbidden" food, he'll tell me, "no ways, you gave this challenge a name, you WILL finish it!" :-)
 - Yes, at times it was super tough and I felt quite gatvol - but the rewards make it totally worth it!
 - I will recommend this challenge to anybody and everybody, and love hearing from people who feel inspired to give it a bash!
 - Reboot is based on the Paleo way of eating - I will definitely be following this as much as possible - lifestyle, not diet!
 - Reboot ROCKS! ♥

Here is a progress piccie.  This weightloss mission is long and slow - but it's nice to see something is happening! :-)


Friday, April 26, 2013

Two Delicious Paleo Soups!

I cooked dinner for ten friends last night, and decided that doing soup would be easiest.  I decided to serve them all Reboot/Paleo-friendly food. (Besides the ciabatta bread which got devoured!)

After spending some time Googling soup recipes, I found a couple I liked, but ended up making my own combination of both soups.  I was a bit nervous as it was the first time attempting either of these soups - but they came out super yum, yay!

Please let me know if you make them and how you liked them!

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the soups, totally forgot - will take next time I make them and add to the post!

Butternut Soup
©       Butternut cubes (About 6 cups)
©       1 can coconut milk or coconut cream
©       2 cups chicken stock or water
©       1 granny smith apple (peeled, cored and cubed)
©       2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
©       1tbsp ground cinnamon
©       1tbsp ground nutmeg 

©       Prepare butternut in oven dish with coconut oil, salt, pepper and herbs.  Bake in oven for about an hour.
©       Put all other ingredients together in slowcooker.
©       When butternut is done, add to slowcooker.
©       Blend with stickblender for desired consistency.

Notes on this soup:
©       The reason why the butternut gets baked in the oven is that it brings the flavour out more.
©       I used dried sage when baking the butternut, with lots of pepper.  Divine.
©       If on Reboot diet, use water instead of chicken stock.
©       This soup is so easy and really yummy! 

Chicken Curry Coconut Soup
©       Big pack of chicken breasts (chopped)
©       Two onions (finely chopped)
©       One red pepper (chopped)
©       1-2 cups button mushrooms (sliced)
©       2-3 cups water or chicken stock
©       2-3 tablespoons curry powder
©       1 tablespoon almond flour (optional, for thickening)
©       1-2 tins coconut milk or coconut cream
©       1 teaspoon fresh coriander or ground coriander
©       Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

©       Add all ingredients to slowcooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
©       Adjust spices to taste
©       Use stick blender to achieve desired consistency 

Notes on this soup:
©       Adjust amounts used to the size of the soup you want.
©       Use water instead of chicken stock if on Reboot diet.
©       Don’t be scared of the amount of curry – I only added about 1.5 tablespoons curry powder and definitely should have done more.
©       I added some garlic and ginger too. 



Thursday, April 25, 2013

I couldn't stop laughing! ♥

This morning, Mia chose a book for me to read to her.  It's about a mouse, and Mia said, "mouse picks his nose" - which I found quite funny and couldn't understand where in the story she got that from.  I soon found out as soon as I started reading, "This is Mouse, he loves to investigate everything, and pokes his nose everywhere."  She thought he picks his nose!  Oh, how I laughed.

The more I laughed, the more Mia told me to "shhhh, be quiet!" - the harder I laughed until she told me to "close my teeth"!  Hahahaha, I'm just packing up laughing just thinking about it again!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Paleo Coconut Bread

I haven't had any bread in three weeks - and I really wasn't missing it at all, until our restaurant outing this weekend, and the smell of the fresh bread made my mouth water.

I did a search for Paleo breads, and found quite a few, but most called for almond flour, and I didn't feel like having to go to the shops for ingredients - then I came across this coconut bread one and realised I have most of the ingredients, yay!

Find the recipe here.

My alterations:
 - I didn't have enough desiccated coconut, so I had to halve the recipe
 - I didn't use any honey as it's not Reboot-friendly - but will definitely add the honey next time, it definitely had 'something' missing
 - I just used my stick blender to refine the coconut a little bit - would have been better with a proper food processor to make it more flour-like.
 - Due to only making half the recipe, my breadloaf tin was too big - so I improvised and put the batter into my muffin tin!
 - The cooking time was a lot faster in the muffin tin, about 25 minutes in total

It really came out surprisingly well - I love the coconut flavour - I served mine with macadamia nut butter - really delicious that way!  It's a little bit bland, but I think the honey would have made up for that.  And for someone bread-deprived - it was a winner! 

Will definitely make this again - who needs garlic bread at a braai when you can have coconut bread!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reboot Day 20!

I am officially two-thirds of the way through the Reboot Challenge!  (In case you missed it, read about it here)

So far, so good.  I have weak moments where I find it really hard - especially on weekends when everyone else is snacking on chips and sitting with a glass of wine, and also when we eat at restaurants, and everyone else is having something out of the breadbasket, eating chips and sauces etc - but I have stayed strong, kept my mind focussed on why I am doing this challenge - and it helps to think that I really don't want to have to start back at Day 1 if I do cave!

Weekends are tough.  During the week it's a lot easier to plan, prepare, and enjoy Reboot meals.

Results so far
Weight loss @ Day 10 -2.5kg
Weight loss @ Day 20 -1.6kg
Total loss for Reboot so far: -4.1kg

I'm stoked!!!

I'm exercising at the gym about 5 times a week for an hour each time.  Since starting Reboot, I have upped all the weights on the machines that I do, have never done them this heavy before!

The Reboot program ROCKS!  It's tough, it's an adjustment and a commitment - but I am loving that it is actually do-able when you put your mind to it.  Yay!!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet Chilli Tea! ♥

I have a new addiction.  Sweet Chilli Tea by Higher Living (I found it at Woolies) - it is so delicious!

The ingredients list:  Cocoa, licorice, chilli 15%, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, anise, black pepper, bourbon vanilla, cardamom and cloves.

It tingles when you sip it at first, and when you swallow you get the cocoa and chili flavour - oh so divine!

A winter warmer for sure - I'm so relieved I found it, who needs Milo or Hot Chocolate when you've got Sweet Chilli Tea! 

Highly recommended, can't wait to share this with all my friends!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oh my big little girl!

This morning while I was making oats for Mia for breakfast, she dragged her chair to the kitchen counter, climbed onto the chair, took a banana, peeled it, and ate the whole thing.

Little miss independent!  Now I'll have to find another place to hide her sweetie stash, the bread bin is within reach now, oops!

Growing up way, way too fast.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Awesome Paleo/Vegan Chocolate Mousse!

Oh wow, I am in chocolate heaven!

Reboot friendly chocolate mousse, only 3 ingredients, and decadent and delicious!!  How can that be? Let me tell you all about it.

Day 14 of my no sugar, no starch, no alcohol, no dairy and no grains challenge, and the only thing I crave is chocolate.

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest a while ago, and today, when I was wondering how I'm going to last another two weeks without a good proper chocolate fix, I remembered this recipe, and saw I do have, mostly, the right ingredients.

The 3 main ingredients are coconut cream, dates and cocoa powder.

I didn't have any coconut cream, only a quarter tin of coconut milk, so I used that, and only about 5 dates, and a small tablespoon of cocoa powder.  I forgot about the vanilla essence.  It is quite calorie dense, but such a small portion for a Sunday treat - just what I needed!!

It took me about 5 minutes, from start to finish - so another bonus of this chocolate mousse, besides having no added sugar or dairy, is how quick and easy it is!  I don't have a food processor, but the stick blender worked fine.

Mia helped me lick the bowl, and she loved it too.  Yay!

Find the recipe here!  This blogger who created the recipe is my hero!

Try it, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reboot Challenge: Day 10


I've surprised myself by hanging in here real good, and have reached Day 10 of the challenge!  (In case you missed what it's all about, look here)

At times it's really easy to follow, and at times I have had a battle of note with myself.
It goes something like this:
Just a bite of choccie? What harm could that do? No Jess! Don't do it! Aw, but who will know? You! You will know! You can't start this and not finish it! Aaaah, uuuuuh, crap! OK! Let's eat grapes.
Hmm, a small glass of vino? That's fine, right? No! It's not fine! Wait until May, it's NOT that far away! Ag OK then grumpypants, let's have some diluted fruit juice in a pretty glass with lots of ice and pretend it's a cocktail.
Ooooh Mia didn't finish all her pasta, shall I have a bite? No, no, no, you can't, you mustn't, you won't!


So!  I weighed and measured myself today, and the results are great!  Definitely enough to keep me motivated for the next 20 days and beyond!

Weight loss since day 1:  2.5kg
Centimetre loss since day 1:  -4cm around chest, -4cm around tummy, -2cm around hips, -2cm around thigh.  YAY!

I must admit that I've always been sceptical of eating plans that let you lose weight quickly, I have always been of the opinion that slow is good, slow is healthy.  But flip, this journey has been taking so long, I figured if I can lose the weight quickly, then I would much rather work hard to maintain the weight, than work hard to lose it.  Also, this is really not a 'fad diet', it's an eating plan, it's a way of life.  I'm definitely still planning on following the Paleo way of eating when this is done.

I had a bit of a detox headache on Day 2 and 3.  Day 4-6 I was really quite moody and irritable.  Since then my energy levels have been awesome, and it's so nice to not feel bloated.  So relieved that I'm sleeping OK - there were about 3 nights last week where I woke up and struggled to fall asleep again, and a few of my friends who did Reboot did struggle with insomnia.  Thankfully I'm sleeping fine again now!

Although cooking dinner does take me a little bit longer than usual sometimes, preparing veggies etc, I'm really enjoying the meals i've been making!  I like how this challenge has helped me think beyond my usual meals, and I really do my best to zhoosh my meals up so that they're tasty.  I honestly don't miss bread, pasta, milk, cheese, yoghurt or oats at all!

Wyn is super supportive of my challenge, which is awesome, and helps lots.

Breakfasts are hard sometimes, because the Reboot meals do take some time to prepare, whether it's scrambled egg or a smoothie - so if I need a super quick breakfast I just have a banana, and then a protein snack with it, like nuts or biltong.  Luckily mostly I do have enough time, and I LOVE scrambled eggs with tomato diced into it, and avo on the side, delish.

I'm wearing my college Guess jeans today - it feels amazing!!

Reboot is awesome!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Too much of busy!

Gosh, there really are too few hours in a day.

I have a to-do list as long as my arm, and when I look at it, I just shudder and carry on procrastinating.  I really need to get over this bad habit and manage my time better!

Today I made a small dent in my to-do list: I went to the bank to deposit a cheque payment from last week, I bought a new iron, I phoned the dentist for Wyn's appt, the oral hygienist for my appt, I confirmed my appt for Saturday's eyeliner touch-up, and I made a hairdresser appointment for me for Thursday (at last! The last two I made, I had to cancel due to clients!)

However, the BIG things on my to-do list - like sorting out my clothing cupboards for winter and tidying the study shelves... I've been putting them off for weeks.  I really must commit to finish these tasks this weekend.

I get so behind in my business' admin - mostly because I work from home, which means that when Celia is not here to look after Mia, I'm with her all the time, and when Celia IS here to look after Mia, I either have clients, or I go to the gym, or have errands to run in town.  Yes, Mia does sleep... And in that time I love to procrastinate, hehehe.  Priority to catch up on FB and my fave blogs! ;-)

Time management, I guess that's the secret...
No use having "look at to-do list" at the top of my To Do List, and not doing anything about it, oops!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter 2013!

Ah wow, we had such a special Easter weekend.  Just love long weekends!  And was so nice to be at home this weekend and not on the road.

Mia was superspoilt with not one, but TWO Easter egg hunts, one at our house, and one at my sister's house.

We had lots of special family time with my folks.  Saturday night Wyn and I sat on the patio enjoying each other's company, and then I decided to try out the bunny footprints I wanted to make, I printed out a template off the internet, cut it out with my craft knife, and then Wyn used flour and a sieve to make the prints - we had such fun!

Mia wasn't AS impressed by the bunny footprints as I thought she would have been, but she did inspect them.  Then gleefully into the garden to find the colourful choccies awaiting her!

Happiness! xx

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reboot Challenge!

Today is day one - I'm doing the SleekGeek 30 Day Reboot Challenge. 

A few weeks ago when some of my friends started trying this challenge, I had a look at it, and all I saw was: no sugar, no alcohol, no grains, no starch and no dairy - what!!! And I wrote it off as a bad idea.  But, the more success my friends were having on this plan, and the more I was reading up about Paleo way of eating, the more it inspired me, made sense, and got me keen to give it a shot!

I'm really struggling to lose weight this year - Weight Watchers just wasn't cutting it.  I've been seesawing a kg up and down since January - not cool.  I'd like to lose about 7kg to get to goal weight.

This challenge is going to take lots of willpower but it's possible, it's do-able, and I know I'm going to feel great when I complete it - and it's just going to get me into better habits.  I don't need to finish all of Mia's snacks that she doesn't want.  I don't need to eat chocolate every night.  I don't need to drink wine every weekend.

It's not a diet.  It's a way of eating.
My plan is to complete the 30 day challenge, then have some pizza, chocolate and wine - and then carry on with the Paleo concept, following the 80/20 rule - so being super good 80% of the time - which will give me about 3 "cheat" meals per week - cheat as in including some starch, dairy or wheat - not cheat as in overindulging!

However, if I listen to other people who have completed the Reboot - they just don't want these sugary, starchy foods anymore!  In fact, when I was following the low-carb eating plan the last few weeks, when I had some pizza, I felt so sick and bloated - and when I had some cake, I got such a bad headache.  Interesting how the body truly tells you what it does not need!

Here is a shopping list of food that is allowed on the Reboot plan.
And here is a breakdown of what to expect during the 30 days - sounds scary at first, but can't wait for the energised feeling!

There's a group on Facebook dedicated to this Reboot, find it here - for lots of info, inspiration, motivation and recipe ideas - it's just fabulous, and helps so much to know there's lots of people in the same boat as you!

There are lots of awesome websites with delicious food ideas - all I need to do is Google it - but for now I've put together a list of meal ideas for myself for easy reference:

• Eggs – scrambled, omelette, hardboiled - with mix ‘n match of following: bacon, steak, chicken, tomatoes, spinach, ham, mushrooms, etc.
• Fruit smoothie
• Nut cereal – mixed raw nuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon, optional to add coconut milk
• Fruit salad
• Supper leftovers
• Paleo banana bread muffins

• Steak with mixed roast veg
• Paleo meatballs with mashed sweet potato and homemade tomato and onion relish
• Sweet potato cottage pie
• Fish (hake, kingklip, salmon, haddock) with sweet potato oven chips and salad
• Tuna fishcakes with asparagus and beetroot
• Chicken sosaties with roast veg or salad
• Chicken/beef stirfry with veg
• Beef stew made with beef stock, onion, baby marrows, carrots
• Lamb curry with mashed sweet potato
• Mince bolognaise, serve with squash instead of spaghetti
• Hamburger patties with loads of salad
• Tuna salad
• Avo and egg salad
• Bacon salad
• Chicken & veggie soup
• Lamb chops with roast veg, sweet potato
• Beef & Mango Salad

• Biltong
• Raw nuts: pecan, almonds, cashew, macadamia – NOT PEANUTS
• Fruit
• Veggie sticks – dip in almond butter or macadamia nut butter
• Fruit smoothie: Banana, blueberries, strawberries, ¼ tin coconut milk, water and ice

• Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries – with some coconut cream
• Paleo Choc Mousse: recipe on Pinterest, includes dates, coconut cream and cocoa

Yum, sounds delicious!  Who needs cheese or chocolate!
Let's do this, whoop whoop!