Tag Archives: food

Your Questions Answered, Part 1

15 Jan

The other day I sent out a tweet and a Facebook status asking people to send me any questions that they might have in regards to my weight loss journey over the last 2 years and I was blown away by all the questions that came flooding through!  So, I will answer as many as possible over the next few blog posts and you are definitely welcome to keep sending them through!

@enzee17 asked:

I’d love to see an example of a food diary for a day from your old life compared to your new life.

I’ve been thinking about doing a post on this for a while now!  So here it is:

Old me:

Breakfast – would usually be toast with vegemite and margarine or 3 weet-bix with a teaspoon of sugar and milk.

Morning tea – cup of tea with milk and 2 sugars and biscuits from the biscuit jar at work.

Lunch – I used to buy my lunch a lot so I would either get a sandwich, sushi, salad… whatever I could grab really.  I tried to eat healthy where I could but I didn’t really understand nutrition the way that I do now so often my food choices were not the best but I rarely ate fast food so I thought that I was being good!

Afternoon tea – muesli bar, diet yoghurt or a piece of fruit always followed by… more biscuits. 😐

Dinner – I used to use those Masterfoods meal bases a lot or jars of sauces like Kang Tong or Chicken Tonight to make casseroles, pasta dishes and stir fries.  I used to think I was a really good cook when using these things!  A regular Martha Stewart!  I didn’t realise how full of sugar, salt and preservatives they are… Also, my dinner servings would be HUGE and were always washed down with soft drink.  I’d also make buttery mashed potatoes and fatty cuts of meat (pork chops, sausages, lamb cutlets etc) but I would always serve them with salad or vegetables and this made me think that I was being “healthy”.

Dessert – I’d generally always have something sweet after dinner like ice-cream or chocolate.

New me:

I’m not really able to give out my full diet in its exact entirety as my coach has devised it for me and it is her intellectual property but I can say the basics!

I eat a lot of oats, eggs, low fat natural yoghurt, berries, tuna, brown rice, fresh vegetables, fresh salads, fish, chicken, lean cuts of red meat, sweet potato, whey protein, rice cakes, low fat cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, fruit (one piece of low sugar fruit daily)… It’s very varied at the moment!  I don’t know exact calories, I just eat as clean as possible.

I do not have artificial foods or diet soft drinks – everything I eat is as close to its natural state as possible (except cheat meals where anything is fair game)!  This is the way I have been eating for a good 6 months or more now and have gotten great results.

I use flavourings like herbs, spices, chilli, garlic, ginger, tamari and stevia.  Essentially it’s pretty much a typical body builders diet.  In the next week or so it will tighten up A LOT and I will go into a strict comp prep diet that isn’t reasonable for anyone to follow, except if you are competing!

Progress Pic, January 2012

@Addicted_Cloth asked:

I would like to know how you conquered seeing food as a fuel and not pleasure – my BIGGEST problem.

Some time ago I wrote a blog post on this called It’s Time to Disconnect.  I just read it then and I still feel the same way.  Actually, I feel even MORE comfortable with seeing food as fuel because of the results I have gotten from eating clean and the close proximity of my comps!

I guess when you want something SO BADLY all temptation falls away.  I am so intently focused on my goal of rocking it on stage and achieving the best physique that my body is able to give me that I find it easy to switch off the little voice in my head that is begging me for tasty treats when I need to. You just have to make your goal THAT important to you.

But I will be honest here, over the last week or so I have been having more cheat meals scattered throughout the week because I know that in a weeks time I will be going 100% clean so I’m getting any last bits of cravings out of the way now so I can totally switch into machine mode when I need to without feeling like I’ve missed out on something.

I also thrive on routine and repetition.  Knowing that I have all my meals set out for me and ready to grab when I need them is extremely comforting to me and makes me feel really at ease, even if it is the same meals over and over again.  I don’t know exactly why, but I guess it’s because I just don’t have to worry about it and I can focus my mental energy into my training and getting through my day-to-day life.  It’s just one less thing to worry about.  If you make it not an issue, it won’t be an issue.  It really is a mental thing that takes quite some time to figure out, I won’t lie!

Welcome to the Gun Show!

Well, there’s 2 questions answered!  I’ve got a whole heap more coming up!  This has been fun actually and has helped me get my blogging mojo back!  Looking forward to what else you guys come up with and I hope this helps.  🙂

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Amanda’s Protein & Oat Pancakes

22 Nov

This post comes from my sick bed, where I have been for the past 2 days. 😦 I contracted a stomach bug but all is fine – just need to keep hydrated, eat bland (come at me white bread!) and I should be fine in a day or so.

Now, even though I can eat an abundance of white bread and crackers at the moment, the only thing I REALLY want are these gorgeous, fluffy pancakes. They are so devine. One day I ate them for breakfast AND dinner… DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE ME!

I’ve fooled around with a few different recipes but they were never quite right. So I made some of my own changes and came up with these.

The trick is in the protein powder – you really have to get a nice tasting protein powder. I use Gaspari Myofusion in Milk Chocolate and it is DELICIOUS. You can buy it from BMB Supplements. Enter in the code “mevsbulge” and get 10% off any products til 1st February 2012! 😉

These can pack quite a calorie punch though – about 500 calories (and an amazing 55g of protein!) if you have them with the yoghurt and berries but you can remove the oats and use only egg whites to make them lighter.

Ingredients

1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup dry, uncooked instant oats
1/4 low fat cottage cheese
3 egg whites
1 whole raw egg

Add everything to a bowl.

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Stir well or blend for a smoother consistency.

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Pour into a non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Meanwhile, heat up your grill.

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Wait a few mins for bubbles to form…

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Then stick it under the grill for a few minutes. I do this because it is too big and awkward to flip over without breaking!

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Add a tablespoon of natural yoghurt and a few berries… And voila!

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Yum!

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Hope you guys enjoy – let me know what you think! 🙂

Review: Dietlicious

7 Jul

Recently I was contacted by Dietlicious who asked me if I would like to try their meal service.  My response?  Hell yes I would like to try your meal service!  So they VERY generously sent me a weeks worth of lunches and dinners to try.

What I love about Dietlicious is that it’s not a DIET.  There’s no heavy restrictions, just good quality real food that has been portion (very important!) and carb controlled.

Their meals taste absolutely delicious (hence their clever play on words – ‘dietlicious’) and very gourmet.  The philosophy they stick by is that you shouldn’t need to sacrifice taste to lose weight, you can still eat tasty (but healthy!) food – it’s just all about the portions in which you eat it!  I think this is very true for successful weight loss.

The meals are conveniently delivered straight to your doorstep and on top of frozen meals they also provide you with fresh salad ingredients and airlocked bags of fresh vegetables which you can add to any meal as you see fit.  Everything is labelled clearly and has heating instructions.  The ingredients and nutritional values are also clearly displayed.   You can read about what plans Dietlicious offers here.

Now, about the food!  My favourite meals were:

Chicken Cacciatore (373 calories)

Baby lamb fillets marinated in lemon, garlic + sumac, ready to grill (137 calories)

Honey Soy Chicken Noodles (429 calories)

I also had a couple of gorgeous curries that I can’t seem to find pictures of on the website, but trust me, they make a GOOD curry!  Even though the above were my favourites, I did thoroughly enjoy every meal they gave me.

The smaller serving sizes were a little hard to get used to at first (I’m used to a more generous serve of protein) but by the end of the week I was absolutely fine with it and even felt full at the end of each meal.  I have now carried over the smaller portion sizes into my own diet.

You can pick and choose the meals that you want delivered or you can just ask them to send you a variety, it’s up to you.   There’s also snack packs, fruit and breakfasts’ that you can add to your order.

Another thing that I found really cool is that they have husband/partner meals, larger serves of the same meal that you can order along with your meals so that your partner isn’t missing out and you get to eat the same thing at meal times!

Having tried another meal delivery service in the past, I can honestly say that this was far more superior in terms of taste, freshness, nutritional value and convenience.

So, if you are looking to lose weight yet still get to eat delicious and nutritious food, then Dietlicious is where it is at!  Give it a go.  You will not be disappointed.  🙂

Update!  FREE snacks for your first order
Place an order for one week and receive a free snack pack. If you place a multiple week order you will receive free snacks for each week up to 5 weeks.
promo code: snacks

It’s Time to Disconnect

18 May

One of the hardest things that I have had to overcome during my lifestyle overhaul (and especially during Project Tighten Up) was to stop eating food for pleasure.  I loved food (I still do, but not as intensely) and whilst I didn’t eat extremely unhealthily, I still made taste the main focus of my meals.  A lot of people would think, “Duh, taste is what it is all about!” but when you embark on a mission to TOTALLY reshape your body, taste can no longer be the primary or only focus.

When we eat something yummy it sends little signals to the pleasure centres in our brain that says, “Om nom nom, this is GOOD” and we want more.  So we eat more.  And the whole time there is a little party going off in our mouths and our heads and it’s a glorious time.  Ever been to a party and there’s some amazing soft cheese there?  How hard is it to stop at one piece?  Bloody hard, if you’re a cheese-a-holic like me.  That’s because food is almost like a drug – you become addicted to the pleasure it provides.  Hence, fat happens.

So, how do we disconnect these crazy little signals?  It all comes down retraining the way you think about food.  At the moment, I think of food as fuel.  I figure out what I will need throughout the day to fuel my workouts and I plan my menu around that.  I know I will need low GI carbohydrates to give me slow release energy, lean protein to help my muscles grow and aid recovery and healthy fats to keep me full.  I can make these things tasty and therefore give my pleasure centres a lil sumpin sumpin by adding garlic, herbs, lemon and chilli without increasing the calorie content.

People ask me if I get bored eating the same thing every day.  I honestly don’t because I’m now so focused on food being fuel that it doesn’t bother me.  I make my lunches for the week on a Sunday and I will happily eat the same breakfast, lunch and snacks every day resting assured in that fact that by doing so I will be moving closer to my goal of taking over the world of achieving ultimate health and fitness.  And a bangin body to boot.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t reward those pesky little pleasure centres every now and then because I certainly do and would probably die if I didn’t.  Okay, I probably won’t die but I would be a sad little bulge battler.  Once a week or so I’ll indulge and have a treat – that might mean a few pieces of chocolate or it may mean a delicious takeaway thai beef salad but I maintain the discipline not to go overboard and to keep it within a reasonable calorie limit.  Only on special occasions do I allow myself to indulge further and have something that I really want (like my favourite pub meal – steak, salad and chips) and maybe even a few glasses of wine.  But apart from these moments I stay strict on my food and alcohol intake because I don’t workout this hard to go and undo it by eating foods that offer me no nutritional value.  I’m going forwards people!  I do not want to stay at a stand-still or go backwards!

Think before you reach for that chocolate or that piece of pizza next time and ask yourself – why do I want to eat this?  Is it purely because it tastes good?  If so, you’re falling back into the old “food for pleasure” cycle.  Have something that offers better nutritional value instead and treat your body like the temple it deserves to be.

Do you think of food as fuel or are you stuck in the “food for pleasure” cycle?

Cleo Shoot: How He Really Feels When You Lose Weight

16 May

I was lucky enough recently to be asked by Cleo magazine if they could do an article on Justin and I about how men really feel when their wife or girlfriend loses weight.  It was such an amazing experience – I felt confident and happy with what they had chosen for me to wear, my hair and makeup was perfection and I was definitely less nervous having Justin there with me.

We interviewed with the lovely Bec Whish and she sent us the questions in advance to mull over.  Now, Justin and I had never really talked about how or if my weight loss impacted our relationship, so this was an interesting experience!

We chatted about the questions for a few days (it took a few days because, let’s face it, you can’t expect a man to talk about his “feelings” for more than 15 minutes) and it was kind of like a little lesson in communication for us.  At first it was difficult for him to really put into words how he felt about it all but eventually he told me how proud he was of me, how much more confidence he sees in me and how much I inspire him to be a healthier person.  Naw.  My heart.  She swells.  😉

So, this post is dedicated to Justin – your constant and unwavering love and support has been invaluable to me.  You’ve stood by me even when I made the stupidest of decisions and you’ve picked me up when I’ve felt the lowest of lows resulting from those decisions.  You’re my rock and I thank you for everything.  Say it with me now – nawwwwwwww.

Here’s a copy of the article (thanks Bec) but do make sure you go out and get the mag (not just because I’m in it, but because Cleo is AWESOME).  It hits the stands today! 🙂



What’s In My Fridge?

15 Apr

Happy Fridge Day Dudes & Dudettes!  Oops, I mean Friday! 😉

The most important part of losing weight is nutrition so I always make sure my fridge is stocked with lots of  goodness so I can quickly and easily prepare healthy meals.  So, I thought I would do a short post on what you can usually find lurking in my fridge! 

This is riveting business people, strap in your seatbelts and feel the G’s!  Or is that the cheese?  I’m never quite sure…

Top shelf – butter, lindt dark chocolate

Second shelf – ham, salad I prepared for lunch, parmesan, light tasty cheese, pre-made quinoa g

Third shelf – apples, strawberries, margarine (Justin’s!), fresh ginger & garlic, mini frittatas

Fourth shelf – grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, bag of lettuce, fresh thyme, cherry tomatoes

Crisper – oh god, where to begin… asparagus, more lettuce, baby spinach, carrots, capsicum, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, plums, zucchini, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot… Just a whole bunch of fresh fruit and veg!

Fridge door – olive tapenade, low-fat whole egg mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, hot english mustard, wholegrain mustard, capers, bottles of low alcohol sparkling wine (I bought a whole box about 6 months ago and I have barely made a dent in it!), flaxseed oil, lemon juice, jam, pizza sauce, satay sauce, rice milk, sparkling water, still water

Freezer – chicken breast, chicken thigh, chicken tenderloins, lean cuts of pork, beef and lamb, lean mince, frozen soups, frozen berries, puff pastry

What are your healthy fridge staples?

Bacon Wrapped and Stuffed Chicken Breast

6 Feb

Hey peeps! Sorry I have been a bit MIA in the last week. I’ve been preoccupied with a full week training course but that’s all over now so programming will presume as per usual! I’ve got measurements coming up soon that I will report on so keep your skinny little fingers crossed for me!

I’ve cooked some lovely and healthy things over the past week and this… well, this isn’t really one of them! Whilst this isn’t especially healthy it’s not particularly un-healthy. It’s an example of what I consider a treat meal.

It stemmed from me having two rashers of bacon leftover in the fridge. I thought they would pair nicely with the two chicken breasts I had set aside for our dinner.

It’s pretty simple really. Doesn’t even require an ingredients list. Firstly, preheat your oven to to 180 degrees then just grab a chicken breast and make a pocket in it’s flesh. Spoon a little olive tepanade inside and stuff in a little light feta cheese. You could also use light mozzarella or tasty cheese. Insert a few leaves of baby spinach, wrap the chicken breast with bacon (or prosciutto) and secure with a toothpick.

Grill the chicken in a pan over medium heat for 2 minutes a side or until bacon is browned. Take out of the pan and place in an oven-proof dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a fresh garden salad dressed in extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.