Saturday, October 27, 2012

No More Rules.

In the past few months, (since stopping blogging), I've really tired of the rules surrounding food and exercise that I've given myself over the past few years.  I don't know how much it comes through on this blog, but I am strict with my diet - it's fine because I enjoy it, but I've regularly been at a point where pasta is the devil, eating any sort of carb was a 'bad food day' and, on more than one occasion, even a gram of sugar was completely forbidden.  I finally cracked when I realised I was pretending to like Slim Pasta.  Great stuff if you need or want to lose weight or stay on a low calorie diet, but guys, that is not spaghetti, and I am not overweight..

Living like a health-nut (as above) sure does get you slim and, in conjunction with 4x weekly gym visits mixed in with some intense home cardio, pretty fit and toned too.

But! I was that girl, you know, the one that cooks you an amazing risotto and then piles a heap of vegetables under hers because she doesn't want to eat the rice.  Or goes to an Italian restaurant and scours the menu for the fish and steamed vegetables option. 
 Italians make excellent pasta!  I don't want to be that girl! 

So I've decided not to be.  

A pretty and irrelevant photo from flickr.

Don't get me wrong, I make healthy food choices because I have too much knowledge not too and I genuinely, genuinely love everything that I eat. But I also love pasta, wine, eating out, my mother's lasagna, bread (rye sourdough, but hey), and, believe it or not, sometimes I want a piece of grossly sweet and sickening Cadbury chocolate instead of the dark Lindt I usually reach for.  You heard it here first, she eats (crappy) milk chocolate.  You know what I don't like?  Feeling guilty, so I've stopped doing that.

Allowing yourself everything is great - honestly, I've lost weight since I started.  What it lets you do is eat your piece of chocolate and put it down, rather than finish the row or block because you 'won't eat any for the rest of the week'.  It also stops you eating 10 healthy cacao balls because you  feel like some chocolate but they're not hitting the spot.

I'm not saying I'm about to go out and eat McDonald's, that is still not food to me, and I still eat my 8 veg and 1-2 fruit a day.  I'm also not saying I've started eating pasta every night - why would I when I can have it whenever I want?  I've just started listening to my body, enjoying food for what it is, and not being scared to glug a little olive oil in my minestrone.  For most people, this is normal healthy eating anyway, but for me and a lot of other nutrition-nuts, this is a huge step!

So while I respect the no sugar crusaders, the paleo lovers and the (fricken' amazing) men & women who train to be in body building contests, those lifestyles are not for me and not at all suited to my highly-strung personality.  I needed to relax about food!

Do you ever get tired of all the rules we place on ourselves, or do you need those rules to maintain a healthy diet?

I'll leave you with my new mantra, taken from Michael Pollan, who's book I have just purchased and will read soon...

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants".

Stay well,
Nat x

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart my Body

Hello!  I haven't been here for a while, but I have certainly been thinking about coming back.  I miss sharing food with you, as I don't have many people in my life that have a passion for healthy food (and food in general) like I do.  Sometimes I have this amazing edible item in front of me and think, 'Gee I wish there was someone here as excited by this as me'.  Enter blog readers!  So I am back.  It may not be regular, but as I want to share, I will come on here.  I've spent the past few months getting settled into my new job (which I fricken' love and am amazed by this opportunity I have been given), and I think, now that I've picked up the majority of the base responsibilities, (one reason I love it is it is constantly changing), that I have some space in my brain to come back to the blogging.

I also read this post from Living, Loving Learning, and learnt about this 'Heart my Body' blog link up.  What a great note to return on.

First, an image of myself I love -

This is an oldie, but I love it.  It was the first Summer I was at my favourite beach after being ill for so long.  In a bikini and denim shorts, lying on the beach with no sound but the waves is my happy place.  I was very thin here, a lot thinner than I am now, but this body had just got me through the biggest, 5 year long physical challenge ever (not just the illness, but the medications to fix it).  I am still amazed by my body and it's ability to recover, and whatever it looks like, I will always admire and respect it.  Note that this is also why I am covered in sunscreen here and never do this for more than 20 minutes.  After living inside in the dark for 3 years due to a medical treatment, I can not describe to you how insanely amazing sun feels on my skin.  I still run outside to feel it at every opportunity.  

Three things I love about my body - 
1. It's ability to recover and repair. 
2. It's strength.  I can't believe how little I could lift when I first started going to the gym, and with regular visits I'm able to lift more and more.  It's amazing, and makes you feel like you could do anything in your day to day life.
3. My waist.  It's a bit vain, but I love that I have a small waist and an hourglass figure.

What do you love about your body?

In other news, I am currently dreaming of travel, trying to abandon eating purely for nutrients and lusting over outdoor settings, decking, lawns and vegetable gardens.  M & his Dad just build two big garden beds out of rail sleepers and I can't wait to see them filled with soil, tomatoes, beans, herbs, pumpkins... everything!  I will share when it's all up and running.

I hope you're all incredibly well and happy and I'll be in touch!

Stay well,
Nat x

PS.  I need need need to share this!  For anyone reading this wondering what happened with my ongoing sinusitis and wondering how they can get their sinusitis to go away - people!  Listen up!  Go to your dentist!  No, he will not extract your nose, but there is a chance that, like me, you just have a whopping great abscess on a tooth pushing into your sinuses causing all the problems and you just need a root canal!  So remember that lots and lots of things can be caused by your teeth!