FitFriday, FatFriday XVI. Smallish bump, happy baby?

Baby.

Hoping so, anyways. Getting to that point where everyone who hears I’m at almost 30 weeks does a double take. I’m not exactly teeny. Seen smaller bumps in my age group just paranoia-browsing a little. But reactions are starting to mess with me. Jon keeps reassuring me that the bump will grow and/or the next scan on Tuesday will show the baby is strong and healthy. Well, he sure kicks like he is, anyway!

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Doesn’t help much that the midwife said I was measuring a few weeks small last time, though…

Diet.

I found out that it isn’t only diabetes that shrinks a baby’s hippocampus in the third trimester, but pretty much all junk food habits. So after taking it easy in an effort to “correct” the bump, it looks like I’ll be ramping up the strictness for a bit. Perhaps if I control my blood sugar enough I can reduce or eliminate the risk of my son inheriting some form of bipolar. Which would be awesome. The less rubbish he has to deal with the better.

So it’s root veggies, greens, plenty of protein, getting shot of the last remnants of dairy, healthy fats and the odd bit of home-made bread. Essentially back to clean eating 101 for the next ten weeks or so.

Workout.

Still been busy in the garden and the likes, but Jon thinks I’ve calmed down enough to get back to weights. Which is just as well, because they were starting to drop. Pretty angry at myself about that, but on the other hand I am pregnant, so perhaps it’s expected I won’t be throwing the better part of my body weight around every day.

Hopefully I can either build back up now, slam the weights once I’m recovered from childbirth, or do a bit of both and get back on track ASAP. Not that I’m looking any less muscled, but any drop in physical power concerns me.

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Proofs. Guns (and triceps, deltoids, quads and calves] still there, just no ammo apparently.

Then again, perhaps the muscle is the main reason for the small bump. Compression or something? If that’s the case I’m unsure whether to take it easier or to keep working out. The scan will give me some idea.

How did your week in fitness go?

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How To… assemble the compenents of a good stew.

Repost from a while back. ^^

Stew is awesome for you.

Think about it: it’s a combination of anything you want or need (fruits, tubers, meats, legumes, grains, fish, nuts, seeds, leaves, roots…), all cooked until perfectly digestible. If you want to preserve certain heat-unstable vitamins, then you can just add an ingredient at the end, when your bowl is cooled and ready to eat. The only utensils you need are a chopping board, a few knives, a pot, a stirring spoon and a ladle for serving; all of which clean easily because of the amount of moisture in a stew. You keep all of the nutrients that are lost in boiling and throwing the water away. You keep all of the fat that is lost in roasting or frying something. Chances of getting charcoal in it are very low, which reduces potential carcinogens. It is full of fluid for hydration. It can be recycled into soups, pies and curries. A stew is absolute nutritional and gustatory perfection, specifically because it’s so adaptable. You can make a Paleo stew or a legume-based stew or a fish stew or a vegetarian stew or a four-meat stew or a vegan stew or a boiled stew or a soaked stew… You can make it however you want or need and season it perfectly to taste. It is warming like a soup and hearty like a roast dinner.

It’s also amazingly good for you. But Jamie Lewis has already gone into this in far greater depth than anyone else; so, provided you’re not easily offended and/or can block images on your computer, read on: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Being the way I am, I’d also like to go into how economical stews, curries and the likes can be, as well as how easy they are to make. So, without further ado, here are some stews (new and from my old blog) that are cheap to make and good for you. Every one of these was basically made by hacking the ingredients up and putting them in a pot on a low-to-medium heat for a few hours. They are also hatchet stews: stews made with whatever we had lying around or needed to use up. So, whilst they’re all amazing and worth making, think of this more as an example of how cheaply and easily you can make an amazing stew with anything you have in the house.

Stew 1: Lamb and chicken stew.

  • Ingredients: 800g lamb chump chops, 6 chicken drumsticks, 5 chicken thighs, 800g chopped tomato, 700g potato, 2 large carrots, Italian herb mix, salt, pepper.
  • Servings: 9.
  • Cost per serving: 91p.
  • Nutrition per serving: 743kcal, 47g fat, 59g protein, 21g carbs.

Stew 2: Chicken liver curry.

  • Ingredients: 800g chicken livers, 300g rice, 400g peas, 200g mixed veg, 400g chopped tomato, (300g butter), tahina, paprika, anis, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, salt.
  • Servings: 6.
  • Cost per serving: 42p without butter, 62p with butter.
  • Nutrition per serving: Without butter: 375kcal, 7g fat, 28g protein, 50g carbs. With butter: 744kcal, 48g fat, 28g protein, 50g carbs.

Stew 3: Ox heart stew.

  • Ingredients: 300g ox heart, 10 mushrooms, 3 carrots, 1 onion, 300g chopped tomatoes, 75g butter, thyme, rosemary, basil, garlic.
  • Servings: 1.
  • Cost per serving: £2.14.
  • Nutrition per serving: 1093kcal, 73g fat, 64g protein, 45g carbs.

Stew 4: Sweet chicken stew.

  • Ingredients: 2 chicken quarters, 4 stalks of celery, 24 dates, 100g raisins, 100g butter, 600g potato, peppercorns, salt, cloves, thyme.
  • Servings: 2 without rice or butter, 4 with 100g rice and 50g butter.
  • Cost per serving:£1.07 without rice and added butter, 78p with.
  • Nutrition per serving: Without rice and butter: 1601kcal, 69g fat, 66g protein, 179g carbs. With rice and extra butter: 1484kcal, 76g fat, 35g protein, 165g carbs.

Bake in the oven near the end to brown the tops of the chicken quarters..

So not only are stews good for you and easy to make, but they’re probably one of the most economical dinners out there, regardless of whether you’re looking for pure value, value-fullness or value-calories.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Junk Food Is Entertainment For The Poor, Uneducated & Lonely.

We all know that junk food is bad for you. Even in moderation, it’s bad for you. Whatever you do, you’d be better off not eating junk food at all.

Some of us will therefore prioritize health and avoid it.

Some will indulge it from time to time, the same way we indulge alcohol or trash television.

But some of us end up consuming junk food very often, possibly for every meal, even between meals, even getting up at night to eat some.

And there is a reason for that.

It’s not just because we crave carbs, fats, sugars and salts. If that were the case, then why wouldn’t we see people eating buttered potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes the same way they do hamburgers? There are a few key differences.

The first is that fast food is fast. You can go outside right now and within 30 minutes you could be eating junk food.

Next, fast food is tasty. Junk food is carefully balanced to have the right combination of textures and flavours to keep us coming back for more.

It is also a shared cultural experience. You bond with people over food and junk food and takeout is a cultural theme.

It is everywhere. Not only is it fast, you’re very unlikely to be more than a few hours away from your closest junk food restaurant.

And finally, it’s simple. You just take the food and eat it whilst watching TV or sitting on a park bench.

Now, think about this for a moment, how often do you see these scenes in everyday life?

Parents and children silently staring at a TV as they eat pizza.

Kids going to get chips and dips together as an outing.

Families buying take-away food on a car journey.

Couples splitting a ready meal or take-away every night.

This all happens for the same reason: junk food is treated as a source of entertainment, rather than as sustenance. We don’t eat junk food to stay alive, we eat it for fun.

And when you don’t have the money, education or connections to enjoy yourself another way, is it any surprise that for many people junk food becomes just another thing to do, a source of entertainment to keep you busy until the next show is on?

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

FitFriday XXIV, FatFriday XI. Back to weights.

Seeing as I’m back, here are the updates. I have been pushing the weights more lately and doing my best not to avoid them. I have been weeding the garden, digging food-plant beds and filling the hedge with branches. I have been working on yoga daily. My diet has become more of an “as and when” cravings matter and less of a “set meals” matter, due to time and general low appetite. Almost entirely eliminating dairy after several trials. The hope is no dairy, but beating yourself up over every mistake is just ED all over again. Weight stable at 70kg, even though I’ve reduced my body-fat to where it was when I was at 60kg and stretch marks are showing correspondingly again. Lifting creeping up too, which is always a good sign. Thus: some muscle has gone on lately. Skin health very good and attractive, other than in the areas I can’t fill with muscle (armpits, belly button, etc) where the obese-skin still lingers and annoys me. Hair less happy now the damp weather’s going. I have generally been good and only once or twice gave in to lethargy or laziness and had a break or a lie-in.

With the text-wall over, my plans for the next few weeks are:

-continue abstaining from dairy as much as possible

-keep caffeine levels down again

-eat more at dinner to compensate for small or absent breakfasts and lunches

-eat more meat for better post-workout recovery

-do more walking

-increase weights every couple of sessions

Hopefully I can stick to it. 🙂

FitFriday XXIII, FatFriday X. Too much sugars. Meh.

Fit.

Being keeping at it with my weights and my intermittent yoga between lessons, so as far as exercise is concerned, I’m feeling pretty good.

BUT, between work and Jon being on night shifts I’ve not really given myself much opportunity to enjoy the recently increased sunlight. I need to fix that and try and make time for myself to get out into the garden in a t-shirt or a dress and dig, weed, get cold and get some sun for a bit. Otherwise I’ll have to look at VitD supplementation which, outside the darkest hours of Winter, is a little sad for someone who actually has the time to get some sunning done.

Diet has been OK, but sugars through the roof. Not so much the granulated, palm or cane sugars, though they have features more often. More dates and prunes, things like Nakd bars. Which, however good for you, are very rich in fast release sugars. This has sent my water retention a bit weird, so I’ll monitor my intake of salts and water until I’m back to normal. Safe to say, I won’t be abusing fruit again, especially not dried fruit, in the near future. Sugar is sugar.

Back onto some more calories, though, now work levels and workout levels are increasing. Body fat is pretty good and I really need to get some gains in whilst we keep wondering about the whole baby-plan. May need to rewrite my yearly plan, if we’re not working towards a baby yet.

Fat.

As mentioned, I haven’t been too lazy. Kept fairly busy, doing lots of work and exercise, house kept quite well, other than hoovering, which feels like a futile effort this time of year.

The naughtiest thing I ate was an amazing bread and butter pudding which shall feature in next week’s WWW. Already had a Supreme Bread and Butter Pudding, so maybe this one can be a Regal Bread and Butter Pudding? Either way, wheat, piles of dairy, sugar and sickeningly sweet raw custard with it.

The tastiest thing I ate was actually not the pudding, though it may be hard to believe. I actually preferred a bowl of corned beef with cheese, though, again, the dairy will have to be cut back. It can’t be doing me any good to be pushing my limits like that.

Next week I’m sticking to my workouts, cooking up plenty of fish and beef alongside lentils, salads and eggs, as well as rebalancing my sugar intake and cutting back the dairy.

How did your week in fitness go? How do you cope when you need to cut back on tasty foods, like cheese?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!