Thursday, 27 June 2013

How to keep following The Science of Beauty after Google Reader shuts down

I am sure, by now, that most people have heard that Google Reader is shutting down as of 1st July 2013. If you used Google Reader to follow The Science of Beauty and other blogs then you need to find another way to save all of your favourite blogs. This weekend is your last weekend to move all of your RSS feeds before you lose them all. I follow 171 different blogs from a range of fields and would never be able to remember them all. Here are a few suggestions on how to stay connected with The Science of Beauty:


If you are freaking out about losing all of your blogs, here are some super easy methods to save your entire RSS feed library so that you don't loose all of your precious blogs:

Feedly.com
It is super easy to get all of your RSS feeds across - in fact you just have to click one button and your entire blog library is saved. You can then categorise all of your Blogs (I haven't done that yet). It took me less than a minute to get all of my feeds across. It is literally as simple as going to Feedly.com and clicking the blue button and boom, all of your blogs are saved.


This is what your feed list looks like



Bloglovin is another great way to store all your blogs and I think it looks a little bit prettier than Feedily - it lists all the blogs with a thumbnail image from the post. If you don't have a Bloglovin account, then, once you sign up it will ask you whether you want to import your blogs from Google Reader - simply click yes. If you already have a Bloglovin account, just follow these steps to get all of your Google Reader feeds across:

1. Click on your image on the top bar of the Bloglovin home page (if you haven't uploaded an image it will be a love heart)



2. Click on Edit Your Profile



3. Scroll down to the bottom of your profile page and click import blogs from google read and all of your blogs will come across - simple!



I hope these tips have been helpful and that you are able to save your blog list before Google Reader leaves us on Monday. Make sure that you get it done this weekend before it is too late!

HUGE John Frieda Precision Foam Colour GIVEAWAY: 5 winners and over $400 in prizes!!!


Last year I had the opportunity to review John Frieda Precision Foam Colour (hereif you missed it). At the time, I had just had Kiki so I had a newborn and a 2 1/2 half year old therefore, making it to a salon to get my hair coloured was near impossible. I was in the market for a salon quality home hair dye and that was exactly what the Precision Foam Colour promised. It was also exactly what the Precision Foam Colour promised delivered. It was so easy to do that I managed to dye my own hair whilst both bubs napped and the results were fantastic.

On the 1st of June, 2013 John Frieda expanded their hugely popular range of Precision Foam Colour from 20 to 25. In addition, they have also released a stand alone conditioner to compliment the range - the Intense After-Colour Conditioner, a 150ml bottle of the conditioner that comes in the Precision Foam Colour so that you can maintain the results for much longer.






To celebrate the launch of both of these products I have a MASSIVE giveaway!! Five winners will each win 3 packets of the Precision Foam Colour in the colour/s of their choice (from the 5 new releases) plus a bottle of the conditioner. The the Precision Foam Colour retails at $22.99 and the conditioner at $16.99 so each pack is worth a massive $85.96. The colours you can choose from are:

Blue Black

Dark Red Brown

Extra Light Ash Blonde

Medium Ash Brown

Medium copper brown


How to enter
There are two ways in which you can enter this competition (and you may enter both for more chances):

Hair Dye Disaster - tell me you best hair dye disaster story. Did you botch up a home job or did a hairdresser give you the colour from hell? Or did you simply rock a colour that you thought was awesome but in hindsight was pretty awful (in late high school I may have rocked the Ginger Spice look with the bleached fringe...except that I used Sun In to get the look so really had an orange fringe with my dark brown hair! Super classy!). I will pick two winners based on the stories that amuse me the most (or make me cringe the most!).

Random draw - never had a hair dye disaster? Not to worry. You can also enter just be following me. I will randomly pick 3 winners out of all of the entries using random.org. You just need to follow me by either Bloglovin, Facebook, email or Nuffnang X - the choice is yours! (you can find all of the follow buttons to the right)

Please comment below and follow these steps to enter:
1. Tell me how you are following me
2. Please choose up to three colours from the choices above that you would like to win. You don't have to choose three - just make sure that you choose at least one colour as I don't want to send you a colour that you can't use. If you do choose more than one colour, could you also mention whether you are happy to receive a mixed pack (if there are multiple winners who want mixed packs I will try my best to send out a selection of colours but I won't send you colours that you haven't selected).
3. If you have a hair dye disaster story then post it third (after the above two steps). If you don't have any stories then finish your entry at 2.

This competition will run for two weeks and will be drawn at 8.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday 10th July. Winners will be contacted by email (so please make sure that you leave your email when commenting - it will only be visible to me). This competition is only open to Australian residents.

Thanks and Good Luck!! I can't wait to read your stories!!

(just a heads up, once you are done entering this giveaway I have another one running that you may be interested in entering - win a L'Occitane gift pack)

Monday, 24 June 2013

My Bodytrim Journey: Week 1

I have officially completed one week of being on the Bodytrim diet. So, how did I go? Lets get stats out of the way first.

Weigh In:
Starting weight: 72.5kgs
Weight after week 1: 69.4kgs
Total weight loss: -3.1kgs

I weighed myself after the carb detox and had lost 2.5kgs then and so lost an addition 0.6kgs the rest of the week. The majority of weight that is lost during the carb detox is water weight so hopefully after that, some of it also became fat lost.




Measurements:
Starting waist - 89cm
Waist after week 1 - 83cm
Loss = -6cm (whoa!)

Starting hips - 105cm
Hips after week 1 - 102cm
Loss = -3cm

Starting thighs - 57cm
Thighs after week 1 - 54cm
Loss = 3cm

Starting arms - 29cm
Arms after week 1 - 30cm
Gain = 1cm

Starting chest - 95cm
Chest after week 1 - 93cm
Loss = 2cm

I am sorry but here are not any photos this week. It is absolutely freezing in Sydney (I don't think that it got above 12 degrees today) and I just can't bring myself to get into my bikini!

I am ecstatic with my measurements! Especially my waist measurement - dropping 6cm seems like heaps to me. You are actually only meant to measure yourself once a month but I have decided to do it weekly so you can follow the progress. I am not too concerned with the gain in arm size - I am pretty sure all my fat didn't just relocate to the arms! Most likely I muffed up the measurements last week and there has actually been no change (although The Crazy Kid and Kiki are only getting heavier by the day so perhaps all that weight lifting has increased my arm bulk!!). I felt like I had lost weight off my body - mostly my stomach. I have definitely lost some from my face (I am fast returning to owning just one chin!).

How did I find the week

The first three days on Bodytrim were the carb detox. During this phase you can only eat protein. No carbs. No vegetables or fruit. It was bloody, bloody hard. Well day 2 was. This post would have been pages long if I went through the carb detox and my stats and the rest of week 1 all in one post so I wrote the carb detox up as a separate post. If you missed it you can find it here.

After the carb detox I did not crave sugar at all. This really surprised me, considering the size of my sugar (especially chocolate) addiction. I was really craving greens and vegetables. For dinner on the last night of the carb detox we had salmon. The Crazy Kid and Hubby had salad with their salmon. I just had salmon and was so jealous of their salad!

I found the diet much more enjoyable once I could add unlimited veges to my meals. Once I commence the weight loss phase (the phase the follows the carb detox) I was then able to add one serve of complex carbohydrates with breakfast. This could be a piece of toast or cereal or fruit. I was really missing coffee - you are not meant to have dairy during the weight loss phase and I just couldn't bring myself to have black coffee. So, some mornings instead of having carbs with breakfast, I would have a protein breakfast but serve it with a milky coffee.

I have mentioned previously that when I was pregnant with The Crazy Kid I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. When I initially got the diagnosis, my husband and I were devastated - it came as such a shock and we were so worried about our unborn Crazy Kid. Once we realised that my diabetes could be controlled by diet, and I was fully compliant to the diet, it wasn't such a bad thing. The diet was brilliant - it was all about managing your carbs. You were only allowed a certain amount per day (12 carb serves of 15g) so you juggled your food accordingly. For example - a cafe bought muffin contains 75g of carbs which is 5 carb serves - nealry half my daily allowance. It was not worth wasting that much of my daily allowance on one piece of food. However, if I made it to the end of the day and I still had spare carbs left in my allowance then I could have a treat like a magnum (2 carb serve!). I am finding Bodytrim similar. The diabetic diet is designed so that you don't lose weight, but rather only consume the carbs your body actually needs. The weight loss phase of Bodytrim is much more restrictive as you do want to lose weight. I just found it the similar juggling act - if I really needed a milky coffee, then I chose to have my carbs with that rather than a piece of toast. Once you get past the weight loss phase and into the weight maintenance phase you are allowed more carbs.

What I ate

I outlined what I ate on the carb detox phase in this post. For the rest of the week I ate:
Breakfast - omelet with tomato, chili chicken and dill; The Museli (sugar free museli); protein shake
Lunch - chicken and lentil soup (recipe here); left over roast beef and salad; smoked salmon and salad
Dinner - stir fried spicy chicken and steamed veges; BBQ'd spatchcock with veges (no potato); curried sausages
Snacks - tuna; deli meat; peanut butter cookies (Bodytrim recipe with next to no carbs); Bodytrim choc nut delight bites
Dessert snack - I discovered a recipe for choc hazelnut ricotta cakes on the Bodytrim website (you can view the recipe here) and it has been my saviour! All your snacks on Bodytrim are supposed to be protein snacks but, I am sorry, I just cannot bring myself to have ham or tuna for dessert! This cake is perfect. If you do follow the recipe, it doesn't say the quantity of ricotta - I screwed up initially as I couldn't find the brand they suggested so just grabbed another brand which comes in a 300g tub. I was then in Woolies and found the correct brand which actually comes in a 500g tub. When I remade it with the correct volume it was a million times better! Also, I can't stand the taste of artificial sweetener so add as little as possible. I add it by the tablespoon, mix it in and taste as I go and as soon as it is sweet enough I stop.

Free Day
During the weight loss phase you get one free day a week where you are able to eat whatever you want. They advise that you still have a Bodytrim compliant breakfast, protein snacks and then have whatever you want for lunch and dinner. If I was really craving chocolate then this would be the day to have it; however, I didn't as I wasn't missing it so didn't want to reignite my love for it just yet. I was pretty good on this day - I ended up having a salad focaccia for lunch (ordinarily I couldn't have had the focaccia) and for dinner a massaman curry that we cooked in the slow cooker, with rice. I liked having the free day as it meant that we could plan a meal together and not think about how to adjust it to make it suitable for my diet. The funny thing was, I was looking forward to the free day in that I no longer had to be so regimented with what I ate but now, the day after, I am feeling a little bit lost. I had got myself into a routine of what I could and couldn't eat and the free day broke the routine. I'm guessing that is just because it is early days and once I am more used to the program it will become easier to incorporate the free day.

Compliance
I am pleased to say that I have been about 95% compliant to the diet. One day I missed one of my snacks (you are not meant to go more than 3 waking hours without eating to keep your metabolism firing) and I ate nuts as one of my snacks when you are not meant to (simply because most people don't stick to the correct portion size and over eat them - I weighed them out and put away the packet to avoid temptation!). I haven't been consuming nearly enough water. I am probably up to about 1.5L/day - I need to be at between 2-3L. I am now out of the habit of eating my kids food (though it is still bloody hard not to lick the Nutella knife in the morning!). This is still hard as I hate wasting food and it is seriously frustrating when there is just one mouthful of yoghurt left, one piece of mandarin, a couple of strawberries...

Along with the eating plan, part of the program is to walk 10,000 steps per day plus go for a 30 minute walk. My pedometer isn't working (on day 1 I was so excited to see how many steps I had walked all day and the total was 114 - considering I walked over 8km either I have bloody big strides or it is broken!). On Mondays and Tuesdays I have no problem clocking up my quota as I like to walk Crazy to and from preschool - a 4km round trip twice a day. On Friday I walked a 3km round trip to the post office then did the 4km round trip down to Lane Cove to get some groceries. However, on Wednesday and Thursday I was more sedentary and don't think that I would have reached my quota. I find it hard to go for a walk as Crazy goes to bed around 8.00-8.30pm and I don't want to go after then and Kiki is up between 5.00-5.30 in the morning so there is no way in hell that I am getting up earlier than that! Maybe when summer comes back we could take the kids for a walk after dinner, I just can't bring myself to do it during winter. I suspect that if my progress comes to a halt then i am just going to have to find the time, no matter what.

My biggest fear when deciding to do this journey so publicly was failing publicly - either not losing any weight or being unable to adhere to the diet. As I said before, 'before' photos are only good when they have amazing 'after' photos next to them - I found it quite confronting posting before photos on their own. But, I felt I needed to do so to make my journey honest. I am committed to reviewing this honestly so if I do fall off the wagon I will write about it. I want people, especially people in a similar situation to me, to know what they can realistically expect to achieve on Bodytrim. I am so happy that I have made it through week having being about 95% compliant to the program and to have lost weight and more importantly lost cm's from all over my whole body.

So, that is 1 week and 3.1kgs down - I have another 14 weeks to lose 7.4kg to reach my goal weight of 62kgs by my birthday. At this stage it is looking very achievable.

Follow the rest of my journey here:
I am about to embark on a weight loss journey
Day 0 - reality check
The carb detox

What goals are you currently trying to achieve?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Bodytrim program was provided for consideration.

The cleanser I turn to when my skin is being a hormonal bitch

I pretty much never get PMS. I remember it hitting me a bit when puberty first struck but since then I have been fairly free of the mood swings associated with that time of the month. In fact, I didn't really have a concept of what PMS was until I became a hormonal maniac with my first pregnancy.

Whilst I have escaped the emotional turmoil that our monthly friend brings, my skin hasn't been spared the same fate. My skin was pretty much perfect throughout my early to mid 20's but as soon as I went off the pill, to commence the breeding phase of my life, I really noticed the impact hormones have on the state of my skin. Without fail, whenever that time of the month rolls around, with it comes a minimum of three pimples. And, as I am now 32, that is bloody annoying. Therefore, I needed a powerful weapon in my arsenal to tackle said hormonal acne outbreaks. Enter Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser.

What they say: Because precious skin and dirty dishes have nothing in common. The first and most crucial step in any effective skin care regimen is cleansing, however, it's often the most neglected part - often an afterthought. Take a quick glance at the ingredient listing on your average cleanser and compare it to the ingredient listing on a bottle of dishwashing liquid and you'd be shocked to see the similarities. A lot of thought has been put into the best way of achieving a fresh, clean skin that does no harm, but actually enhances your complexion. Purastat is the result of an extraordinary one-of-a-kind cleansing formula that will exceed your expectations and change the way you think about the simple act of cleansing your face forever. Benefits:
  • Purifies by removing imbedded dirt, makeup, excess oil and damaging pollutants
  • Renews by gently unplugging congested pores and discouraging imperfections
  • Restores with lactic milk extracts which penetrate and attract moisture into the deepest skin layers increasing skin hydration for up to 4 hours
  • Protects with a botanical coat of armour against pollutants and environmental aggressors
  • Comforts even fragile skins with 7 calming botanical ingredients




What I say: This cleanser is a magic potion! It seriously whips my skin back into shape within a couple of days of using it. As I am constantly reviewing products, I chop and change cleansers all of the time but the Aspect Purastat 5 cleanser is one that I return to time and time again. It is the cleanser I use as soon as my skin is looking anything less than perfect and it is the only one I use around that time of the month.

I find that if I do have blemishes, it helps the clear up within a couple of days, if not sooner. Yet, as powerful as it is, it is surprisingly non drying. My skin never feels tight, stingy, dry or itchy after using it. It just feels completely normal.

Purastat 5 has a nice refreshing lime fragrance. It is not particularly strong so would be well tolerated by most. To match it's fragrance, the cleanser is lime green in colour! The cleanser comes in a huge 240ml bottle so lasts absolutely ages. I only need one pump to do my face and may use a second pump to cleanse my decollage if it is looking a little spotty. The skin there is so sensitive and fragile so this cleanser is so much better to use on the area than a harsh shower gel.

On the bottle it states that Aspect cosmeceutical products are free of parabens, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, mineral oils and are never tested on animals. So you can rest assured that anything that you wouldn't want in a skin care product, isn't in this cleanser. Rather than using the standard harsh SLS to strip oils from the skin, this cleanser uses a unique mix of coconut and sugar to very gently cleanse.

Here is a super quick 37 second video that goes over the benefits of the cleanser and lists the key ingredients.





I love this cleanser and truly believe that if I didn't chop and change products so often and only used this cleanser, I would probably be rid of pimples for good! I am not the only one who thinks this way either - in case you missed it, I had Vanessa guest review it as part of the acne series and it made her rave as well (you can see her review here).

I challenge you to find another cleanser that is this effective whilst being so gentle, and without any nasties in it.

The Aspect Purastat 5 cleanser is RRP $61.50 ans available exclusively from salons. Check here to find one near you. or call 1800 648 851.


Have you discovered your Holy Grail cleanser yet? Does your skin become a hormonal bitch too?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The cleanser was provided for consideration.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Orly Macabre Masquerade from the Secret Society Collection

I have another new nail polish to show you - Macabre Masquerade from Orly's new collection, Secret Society. Macabre Masquerade is described as a 'midnight blue with red and silver glitter'.

This is a super sparkly polish, jam packed with glitter. Two coats and it was totally opaque. It applies easily and lasts for ages. For this manicure I applied a base coat, two coats of Macabre Masquerade then two coats of top coat and it lasted 9 days chip free, which I think is really quite amazing.

I love the thick glitter look - like little disco balls on my nails. I was really impressed with this polish and can see myself getting heaps of wear out of it.







Other colours in the Secret Society Collection are:

  • Lavish Bash - clear base with tiny gold and silver flecks
  • Voyeuristic Adventure - Ultra glam taupe foil shimmer
  • What's the Password - burnt orange with golden shimmer
  • Masked Ceremony - sophisticated charcoal with holographic shimmer
  • Risque Encounter - Perfect strong red creme
Hopefully I will get the chance to bring you more swatches from this range.


The Secret Society Collection will be available from July 2013 for $18.95.


What colour intrigues you the most from the Secret Society Collection?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This polish was provided for consideration.

BYS Caviar for Nails

BYS Caviar for nails are the newest nail art offering from BYS. The glass beads, when applied to the nails give it a funky textural caviar like appearance.

It is super easy to apply. All you do is paint your nail with the base colour then, whilst it is still wet, dip it into the nail polish. I found it easiest to do one nail at a time. Don't worry if the beads appear all clumpy. Wait 5 minutes for it to fully dry then, with the mini brush included, brush off the excess beads. You will then have an even layer of beads.

I wanted to love this. Oh how I wanted to love it. The effect looks spectacular on the nails. However, it just doesn't last. I first took it for a test drive whilst I was in Thailand and within a couple of hours the beads had started to fall off. I applied it at about 4.00pm in the afternoon and by the following morning there was not a single bead left on my nails. I thought that this might have been either due to the high humidity in Thailand or maybe because I didn't apply a top coat (I didn't take one away with me). When I was back in Sydney, I got one of my friends to take it for a test drive for me. She has acrylic nails, applied two coats of the base, did the nails one at a time, left them to dry for about 10 minutes before brushing the beads then applied two coats of top coat and she texted me to say that all beads were gone by that evening.

This would probably be fine if you have an event to go to and want some spectacular statement nails; however, be prepared that the look won't last much longer than the evening.














BYS Caviar for Nails is $7.95 and can be found in KMart, pharmacies and other specialty stores.


Have you had more luck with this type of nail art than me?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided for consideration.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bin the ordinary & get 15% off the EXTRAORDINARY with Illamasqua


Just a quick post to share some awesome news from Illamasqua. They are currently having a makeup amnesty whereby if you bring makeup from any other brand to Illamasqua counters at Myers stores nation wide you then receive 15% off any eye or nail purchase from Illamasqua. Considering that Illamasqua have already reduced all of their prices, this makes for some real bargains to be had. 



Illamasqua have one of the funkiest cosmetic ranges on the market. You are bound to find some truly unique products there. I have yet to try one of their eye products but there a couple that I am lusting after:

Paranormal palette

Liquid metal palette

How amazing are they!

Even their nail varnishes are really unique. I previously reviewed the speckled egg polishes from the Perfectly Imperfect range and now they have UV Glow Nail Varnish. How cool is that! Sadly, I don't go anywhere where there are UV lights to show it off to the full effect. Back in my clubbing days (which spanned the years 18 right through to 19!), I would have LOVED this! I seriously wish that there were some UV lights in the supermarket for me to dazzle everyone!



The  Illamasqua makeup amnesty with 15% discount will be available at Myer counters until 14th July 2013.


Will you be trading in your dodgy old makeup for some lovely new Illamasqua?


All images i this post are from http://www.illamasqua.com/

My Bodytrim journey: the carb detox

I was originally only going to post weekly updates but Week 1 would end up being too long as it encompasses two phases - the carb detox phase then the weight loss phase. I'll discuss the carb detox on it's own, here, so that I can go into more detail.

What is the carb detox phase?
Well, for three days you are to eat nothing but protein. You have three protein main meals that are 100-150g and three protein snacks of around 50g protein. Anyone who regularly reads my blog would probably be thinking right now 'hey, didn't Sarah just write a post on how detoxes are a waste of your time and money' (post here if you missed it). Before you start thinking that I am a hypocrite and have jumped on the detox bandwagon let me explain a little bit more about the carb detox phase.

When I first read that I had to do the carb detox, I got a bit worried about Bodytrim. I know that weight loss in these high protein crash diets is just water, and now I was being made to do it and this made me dubious. But my respect for Bodytrim was regained when Geoff (Jowett - founder) came right out and said that in this phase you will mostly just lose water weight. He is not trying to trick anyone into believing that it is true fat loss and I respect that.

So why the hell would you do the carb detox then if you are not really losing fat weight? Three reasons:

  1. The main reason is that this phase depletes all of the carbohydrate stores in your muscles. Your muscles preferentially turn to carbohydrates as their energy source. When there are no carbohydrates available then your muscles burn fat as their fuel source. The carb detox phase sets your body up for the weight loss phase in that it has your body primed to burn fat.
  2. By completely cutting out carbs you stop craving sugar, which would be one of the biggest enemies to people trying to lose weight. In the Bodytrim DVD's, Geoff guarantees that after this phase you would no longer crave sugar. I didn't believe him. Sugar is my evil master, one that I thought that I'd never be rid of but by day 3 I was no longer craving it. Amazing stuff!
  3. For a psychological boost. I never considered the power of this but have found it to be quite true. If you see awesome results on the scales it makes you more inspired to stick with the diet. 
So, whilst a crash carb detox on it's own is terrible for weight loss as, if you return straight back to your previous eating habits it just sets you up for immediate weight gain, the carb detox followed by the healthy eating plan of the weight loss phase should result in fat loss.

How did I go?
I'm please to say that I was 95% compliant throughout this phase though it was bloody hard. Much harder than I was expecting. To be perfectly honest, part of the reason why I was so compliant is because I am doing this publicly. I am not sure how I would have gone if I was just accountable to myself. This is how I found it:
Day 1: I went really well. I had all my snacks of lunch meat, smoked salmon and hummus laid out in portion sized packs. I actually had to have more snacks than the three recommended but that is ok, as long as you leave at least an hour between snacks and meals and as long as the snacks are all protein. I am not sure whether it was because I was starting a diet so it made be a bit obsessed with food but I was very hungry on this day. I had no problems sticking to the diet, until I had to pick The Crazy Kid up from preschool. It was then that I realised just how much I snack and graze around the kids. As I was leaving to get him I remembered thinking to myself 'Crazy will want a Kinder Surprise from the servo (we live across the road from a service station that we have to walk past most days) - I wonder what treat I will get myself' then I suddenly remembered oh yeah, I can get any treats. When I did pick him up we went to Thomas Dux to get some more lunch meats for my diet and he wanted a packet of raspberry lollies which I said that he could have. When he asked me to open them, the first thing I did was grab two for myself until once again I realised nope, can't have them. When both Crazy and Kiki were having their dinner I caught myself a few times going to eat the last mouthful, slurp the last sip of yoghurt, finish the unwanted banana. It actually shocked me to suddenly be consciously aware how often I graze on their food without realising it. I caught myself before actually doing it so I was 100% compliant on day 1.
Day 2: This day was my hardest day. I had a headache all day which I initially thought was due to tiredness because Kiki woke at 5.04am but then realised that I was actually having a sugar withdrawal headache. In the videos Geoff promised that you would no longer crave sugar. I craved sugar BAD on this day. One thing, not helping my cause was that my monthly cycle has only just returned after breast feeding (best thing about breast feeding is not the benefits to the babies but no periods...woohoo!!). After being pregnant for 9 months then breast feeding for a year, it had been nearly two years since I had had a period and, of course, had my second one during the carb detox. All women know that you crave sugar terribly during that time of the month but, somehow, I made it through day 2 100% compliant. By the end of the day I was SO sick of eating meat. I couldn't stand the texture of protein any more. I remember having to force a tin of tuna down as my afternoon snack. I did pick up a packet of the Bodytrim Choc Nut Delights from Coles (I think they were $3.50) and that helped with the sugar cravings. I had that fr dessert and I have to say they were quite nice. Not in the league of a Snickers Bar but a way better dessert option than ham or tuna!
Day 3: By day 3, much to my amazement, the sugar cravings had completely gone. This was the only day that I wasn't 100% compliant. During the carb detox phase you HAVE to have three snacks and three meals to keep your metabolism pumping. I only had 2 snacks this day so had no morning tea. Also, I had a snack of cashews after dinner. Nuts are high in protein and low in carbs but are not allowed on the Bodytrim diet as they are also high in fat, plus most people have issue with portion control when it comes to eating nuts. I was very careful, weighed out 30g, put the rest away before I was tempted to eat more and just ate my portion. I just could not stomach meat for dessert again. So, although I wasn't completely compliant I still think that I did pretty well. I was really craving vegetables by the end of this day, which was a nice change from craving chocolate!

What I ate:
Day 1 I pretty much just stuck to deli meat, smoked salmon, tinned tuna, hummus to go with the deli meat then I made roast beef for dinner for the family and I just had the meat whilst the family had vegies with it.
Day 2 More lunch meat, BBQ chicken, for lunch I invented a delicious soup that only took 5 minutes to make (I'll post my recipe below), fish for dinner, Bodytrim Choc Nut Delight snack.
Day 3 Sausage for breakfast, the soup for lunch, deli meat, salmon for dinner then cashews for dessert

One of my favourite snacks - smoked salmon with hummus
and dill, rolled up like sushi


Soup Recipe
This really helped me vary up the textures of what I was eating and it only took 5 mins to make. I ate it over 2 servings but think that they were probably a bit big (ie more than 100g protein) so it prob should have been three meals.
1L chicken stock
BBQ chicken
1 tin brown lentils
Dill
Fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

I simply put the stock in a pan and brought it to the boil. then added come cooked BBQ chicken (approx one breast, no skin), tin of lentils, squeezed the juice then added the dill (I am seriously obsessed with dill at the moment!). That's all! And it was bloody delicious.

Tips to get through this phase
  • Variety, variety, variety. Get as many different protein sources as possible to keep yourself sane
  • Be prepared to spend more money than usual as protein is expensive
  • Buy protein sources that you love so that you look forward to eating it. I love the Sunshine Chili Chicken deli meat from Thomas Dux but it is expensive at $37.95/kg so I usually only buy a couple of slices. This time around I bought 250g as I get excited about eating it. I also bought smoked salmon as that is a real treat to eat and for dinner had fish two nights in a row which I wouldn't usually do. Hummus really helped add some excitement to plain deli meat as did my beloved dill which I would have with the smoked salmon.
  • Study the list of protein recipes on the Bodytrim website and make a few snacks that are more dessert like so you don;t have toe at non stop meat. Or buy some Bodytrim snacks to spice things up (I have only tried the Choc Nut Bites but will be reviewing some more next week so I will let you know how they go).
  • I was incredibly thirsty during this phase - probably due to the high salt content of all of the deli meats. Drink HEAPS of water - it also suppresses the appetite (most people confuse thirst with hunger and so snack when they really just need a drink).
You are not meant to weigh yourself until after week 1 but of course I was curious to see if I lost anything after this phase (I'm a bit scared of publicly failing...of doing to the diet but achieving no results - but my aim is to review it honestly so, if that is what happens then so be it). It looked liked I lost about 2.5kgs during this phase as my weight was down to 69.7kgs. This is where I understood the psychology of the carb detox - even though I know that I have pretty much just lost water weight, I was pretty chuffed to be back under 70kgs and to see that I had made some progress.

 So, there you go. That was the carb detox phase. I will be reviewing week 1 on Monday, including a formal weigh in, measurements and progress photos.

Have you done a carb detox before? How did you find it?


You can follow the rest of my weight loss journey here:


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Bodyytrim kit was provided for consideration but all other items were purchased myself, unless otherwise stated.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Rimmel London BB Cream


This is my second foray into the world of BB Creams and is much more successful than my first (the first being the L'Oreal Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream).

What they say: Rimmel London BB Cream locks in moisture, reduces the appearance of pores, and helps protect the skin with SPF 25 sun protection. The cream conceals blemishes, covers and smooths skin and mattifies and brightens. It lasts all day with natural coverage, leaving the complexion flawless and shine free. Available in three shades: Light, Medium and Medium/Dark.





What I Say: The colour I reviewed was medium and I found that to be a very good colour match to my skin. It look natural and wasn't too dark and definitely wasn't orange like the  L'Oreal Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream.

The first time I applied it I was trying to be very careful and blend it into my skin really well but the product actually dries and sets quite quickly so when I kept working it in it started to ball up and peel off. So, I washed it off and started again. This time around I rubbed it in really quickly, just as I would a moisturiser and I then didn't have any issues with it balling up. It look streaky at first but once it dried it looked very natural.

Once it did dry, it didn't budge. I have a baby whom I cuddle a billion times a day and she didn't end up with any BB cream on her - it doesn't transfer at all which is brilliant. I actually initially trialed this during summer -one day it was 36 degrees in Sydney and so I was hot and sweaty but the BB cream still didn't budge. I did become slightly shiny but not nearly as much as I usually do when I am not wearing it.

It also feels more like you are wearing a moisturiser than a foundation. It is very light and comfortable on the skin. I found the coverage to be good - it evened out my skin tone but still let my natural skin shine through - so it doesn't completely cover everything but does dramatically even it out.

I found the Rimmel BB cream to be an excellent alternative to makeup. I found that it looked much more natural than foundation and is great for everyday wear. So far, this has been my favourite BB cream that I have used.

The Rimmel London BB Cream is $12.95 and can be found in Priceline, Kmart, Target, Big W, Coles supermarkets & selected pharmacies nationally.

(apologies for the lack of photos - I have had this draft written for months but failed to take any photos before I used up all of the product - but the fact that I used it all up is a good sign!)


What is your favourite BB cream?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided to me as part of BeautyHeaven's trial team.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Kam Dhillon pink glasses from Clearly Contacts

This is another one of my way overdue posts that has been sitting half written for over 6 months. Not sure whether you remember but late last year my little family got annihilated by gastro. Although it is only a short lived illness, having all four of us get it really knocked me about and brought my blogging to a halt. Then Christmas came, then suddenly it was May and I went overseas and now it is June and I am like like 'Oh crap, I still haven't posted pics of my cool pink glasses'! (in case you don't remember, here is my original post describing how I will be reviewing the pink glasses from Clearly Contacts)




Well here the pics (they were taken last year, hence some of the Christmasness!):










(I love this pic of The Crazy Kid wearing Kiki's Christmas
Pudding costume hat!)

I have quite bad eye sight - I'm around -6.0, which means that I either end up with quite thick lenses or have to spend big bucks to get high index ultra thin glass. Because I have such a strong prescription, it means that I never qualify for the 2 pairs of glasses for $199 deal that gets offered at places like SpecSavers. Last time I needed new glasses I went to SpecSavers, specifically to get that deal. I wanted a pair of specs and a pair of prescription sunnies. I chose frames that were included in the 2 pairs for $199 but once my high index lenses were added it suddenly became two pairs for $500. I did get a good chunk back from health insurance but it was frustrating none the less.

Although I was sent the glasses from Clearly Contacts to review, I asked for the price break down so I could see how it compared with other optical stores:
Frames - $105.00
Ultra thin air lenses - $79.95*
Shipping - free
*if you don't have strong prescription like me you could get the standard lenses for $9.95; however, if you do have a strong prescription I highly recommend you go for the extra expense of the thin lenses otherwise you will end up with very thick, heavy glasses
So, the glasses would have cost me $184.95 which is about $70 cheaper than what I spent at SpecSavers.

The glasses are as good as the ones I bought in store. The prescription is perfect and I honestly couldn't be happier. I was going out on a limb a bit, trying pink glasses as a rarely move away from dark (with my dark hair and eyebrows I always thought pale frames washed me out too much) but I actually think that they suit me.

I don't think that you can claim back your Clearly Contacts purchase from your private health insurance fund (though I could be wrong - please let me know if you have successfully tried). But this makes them an affordable alternative to turn to once you have blown your yearly health insurance allowance or if you don't have any insurance. It is a great place to buy your back up specs.

Clearly Contacts often have deals as well where they greatly reduce the cost of glasses or offer your first pair for free (though this is with standard lenses - if you need ultra thin you will have to pay an upgrade fee). Like their Facebook page to be kept in the loop of these deals.

To order glasses online, all you have to know is your prescription for each eye and your pupillary distance and then you are set to go (if you have an astigmatism then there are a couple of other details to fill out). Clearly Contacts have an amazing returns policy as well - if you don;t like your glasses or they aren't quite right then you have 366 days to return them. It really is a risk free way to get your specs.


Have you bought specs online before? How was your experience?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. These glasses were provided to me for consideration.

LaseMedics 3D Skin Analysis

Today I have for you a sponsored post from Vivian Yasmine. Vivian Yasmine is the founder of LaseMedics.com.au, an online store focused on providing quality skincare products at great value. Vivian introduced me to the LaseMedics 3D Skin Analysis which is a cool little interactive tool that allows you to map out your problem areas on your skin and then you get recommendations for the most suitable products to treat these concerns. Vivian is going to chat a bit about LaseMedics and the 3D Skin Analysis tool.

LaseMedics

LaseMedics mission statement is one which is unique to the current online skincare provider. LaseMedics employee fully qualified beauty and skin therapists with an abundance of experience in the beauty industry. With them they bring a wealth of knowledge aimed at helping our customers to understand their skin type and skin concern before individually tailoring a treatment plan for true results. Here is how they do this.

LaseMedics 3D Skin Analysis

 LaseMedics provide a unique live chat service where users can talk directly to a qualified therapist regarding any questions they may have, though the true gem is their online app known as the 3d Skin Analysis (http://lasemedics.com.au/3dface/). Vivian has worked closely with engineers and programmers to deliver a virtual tool allowing clients to select their skin type/concern, they are then able to instantly mark which areas of their face are affected by this concern. As the client marks the spot our app automatically decodes the skin type/concern selected and which area of the face has been marked, it then provides a list of recommended products accordingly. 


Step 1: choose your gender (this tool works for both male and females)

Step 2: From the list on the top left choose your skincare concern then, on the face
on the right, circle the areas in which you suffer from these concerns  

Step 3: you can even turn the face around to more accurately indicate the
areas of concern. A list of recommended products will then appear


Though it doesn't end there. The customer then has the option to complete an in-depth online skin consultation form which is then emailed directly to LaseMedics qualified employees along with their marked 3D face. LaseMedics therapists then puts together an in-depth report outlining specifics relating to the client's skin type/concern, an additional breakdown of recommended skincare products following a proven 6 step system. The therapists also recommends in clinic treatments which may benefit the client as well as any additional tips. Basically the 3D skin analysis is the closest thing to a true in clinic/salon experience at a time and place that's most convenient for our customers.


 Feel welcome to try the 3D skin analysis, if you have feedback and feature request for version2 please email them to vivian@lasemedics.com.au.

Monday, 17 June 2013

My Bodytrim journey: Day 0 - reality check

I have now commenced my weight loss journey (you can read about why I am taking this journey and my weight history here). I received my Bodytrim kit last week and have been working through the DVDs. So, what is Bodytrim? Before starting this trial, I had thought that it was one of those shakes and meal replacement diets but have been pleasantly surprised to learn that it is a whole lot more. It is actually an education program, created by Geoff Jowett, that teaches what you can eat and when. Geoff is a former personal trainer (in fact personal trainer of the year) and has spent 16 years researching the science of weightloss. The Bodytrim program promises that can still eat all the foods you love. As I am yet to start, I can't confirm that, but sure hope that it is true! When you purchase a Bodytrim kit, you receive a box containing seven DVDs and three audio CDs that teach you absolutely everything you could possibly need to know to be successful in your weight loss journey; a pedometer; tape measure; food diary; visual inspiration poster; and a comprehensive reference manual to flick through if you need reminding of what you learnt in the videos. The manual also has a huge number of recipes. In addition, when you purchase your Bodytrim kit, you get 30 online access to the Trim Club where you can find more recipes, enter you weight and measures plus get live access to nutritionists.



The Weigh In
I have been living in a state of denial for the last year. My scales ran out of batteries and I never bothered replacing them. When my Bodytrim kit arrived, I promptly replaced the batteries in my scales an weighed myself and was shocked to discover that I was 72.2kgs. I weighed 68kgs the day I have birth to The Crazy Kid and I was 72kg the day I had Kiki. So, how could I possibly be the same weight, or even heavier, than I was at 9 months pregnant?

A couple of hours before Kiki was born...and I am exactly the same weight
toady as I am in this photo


I am 164cm tall. I looked up my ideal weight (on the Bupa website) and found it to be 54-67kgs. That meant that I am over 5kgs overweight. I was actually quite shocked by is. I knew that I was wobbly and carrying too much fat but never considered myself to be overweight. I honestly thought that I would still be within the healthy weight range for my height. Not quite believing it, I calculated my Body Mass Index (BMI - I used this calculator. You are considered overweight when your BMI is between 25-30. Mine was 26.844. Overweight. A real reality check.



I used to watch The Biggest Loser and marvel how the contestants could allow themselves to get so big.Whilst I am not in the vicinity of those contestants, I now get it. It really does sneak up on you. I have put on 20kgs in the last 10 years, yet mentally I still feel like the athletic little thing that I was in my 20's, despite the fact that the only exercise I do these days is walking. I guess I am just lucky that I have had my reality check when I just have 10kgs to lose and am only slightly over weight. Another 5 years of eating the way I was then who knows...

One thing strongly suggested in the Bodytrim program is to write down your goals. If you write them down you are more likely to achieve them. So, here are my goals:

My Goals

  • I would like to lose 10kgs by my birthday (22nd September) - I am giving myself 3 months to achieve this goal, which I think is realistic (10kgs in 15 weeks). This will take me right into the middle of my healthy weight range for my height (54-67gs)
  • I used to be a size 8 on top and a size 10 pants. Now I am a size 12 all over (and that is starting to feel a little bit tight). I would like to be a size 10 all over (after breast feeding I don't think it would be realistic to expect to go back to a size 8 on top).
  • I want to drastically cut back on the amount of sugar that I am consuming and, once more, gain a healthy mindset about food. I want treats to actually be treats and not something that I eat everyday.
  • Drink more water. Such a small goal but I drink next to no water. I was having a coffee first thing in the morning and could easily go to mid afternoon before having another drink. I think part of the reason I snack and graze is that I am mistaking thirst for hungry.

Before Measurements

Waist: 89cm
Hips: 105cm
Thighs: 57cm
Arms: 29cm
Chest: 95cm

I am not too concerned about my chest measurements. I only finished breast feeding a bit over a month ago so my boobs are in their own state of remodelling, regardless of the diet. I am hoping to lose cms from my lower half, though - my stomach, hips and thighs.

Before photo

Initially, I felt quite uneasy about the thought of posting 'before' photos. Before photos are only good when you have an amazing 'after' photo next to them! But, the truth is, I am not ashamed of my body. It is strong and it grew me two beautiful babies. However, it is currently carrying too much fat and so it is time for me to be kind to it, get it healthy again and bring it back into the ideal weight range for my height.

You can see my face looks fuller than in the pregnancy
photo above.




I never used to have issues with my stomach area but as you can I still have a fair amount of overhang and loose skin in this area. It is probably the area that I most want to lose fat from.

So, there you have it. I have officially commence my journey. Actually, today was my first day on the diet and already I am becoming aware of how much snacking, especially of my kids food, that I would do during the day. I bought The Crazy Kid some raspberry lollies after preschool and when he asked me to open the packed my first action was to grab a couple before returning the packet. I stopped myself before eating them but this is the sort of thing I do all day. Kiki was rejecting her dinner so I went to eat it off the spoon before realising. She then left the most delicious looking strawberries on her plate...man I wanted those!

Anyway, I will explain more about exactly what I have to eat and what I couldn't eat in my wrap up of week 1, next Monday.

Wish my luck for the next week.


Is anyone else on a weight loss journey at the moment?

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I am about to embark on a weight loss journey

I am about to embark on a weight loss journey. It makes me cringe just writing that as I have always had a very negative attitude towards diets and would never ever admit to being on one but, one year after giving birth, I have not really lost any of the baby weight I gained so it is time to do something about it. When the opportunity to give Bodytrim came up I thought that this might be the kick in the arse that I need. 

I will start by sharing my weight history with you. When I was younger (ie under 22) I was 'lucky' in that I was effortlessly skinny. I say 'lucky' because these days I am not really sure how lucky I actually was. Back then I could eat whatever I wanted. And so I did. However, it meant that I never developed a sense of what was occasional food and what was everyday food. I just ate whatever it was that I damn well felt like. During my honours year I remember eating a family block of chocolate every day but, because I was so flat out doing experiments and so stressed, the weight still fell off me. My weight never really went over 52kgs. Back then I was super active. I played organised sport year round, walked my husband's family dog, Axel, 3 or 4 times a week. We would go go up to the park just to kick a ball around or to play with Axel. We had so much time off at uni that all of this was possible.

Then I started my PhD which was the equivalent of working full time. My weight started creeping up, as I had less time to exercise, but not necessarily in a bad way. My body just became a woman's body rather than a shapeless teenage boys! Whilst I was at uni it was a 1km walk from my apartment to the train station then a 2km walk to my lab from the train station. That meant that I was walking a minimum of 6km/day, 5 days a week. So even though I wasn't participating in as much physical activity, I was still getting plenty of exercise.

This all changed once I started working. I drove to work which mean that I was only really walking 500m from my car to the lab and back. The other big change was that I now had a disposable income to spend on snacks. During my PhD I was on a scholarship so was living on $350/week which was only enough for absolute essentials. Suddenly having an income, with no major financial commitments meant that I could afford to have a milkshake every day, or a chocolate bar, or buy lunch rather than make it. My weight around this time was about 62kg but it was actually a nice healthy weight for me. I was a size 8 top, size 10 bottoms and was very happy with how I looked. I liked that I didn't have to diet to be this size. My job was quite a physical one. I was on my feet most of the day doing experiments and the hospital I worked in was massive. I would easily cover a couple of Km's walking from one side of it to the other picking up samples   So, I guess I was still very active during this time.

I only ever lose weight when I am stressed and I found planning a wedding very stressful. I wasn't intending to diet as I was perfectly happy with how I looked but the stress caused me to lose 5kgs so I was about 57kgs when I got married in 2008. Then the honeymoon hit! Oh how we indulged! We were away for about 4 weeks and I swear I put on around 7kgs. I blame the booze. I rarely drink but on our honeymoon we went to Thailand so instead of drinking water I just drank cocktails - they were cheaper than water (and more trust worthy!). The buffet breakfasts didn't help either. Each day I swore that I was only going to have fruit and somehow ended up with donuts, and bacon and pancakes and all sorts of other crap...plus fruit! When I got back, one of my work colleagues even asked if I was pregnant.  I know honeymoon babies are common but no one shows that early...have some tact! I don't think that it took long for my body to settle back to its happy weight of 62kgs. 

The following year I fell pregnant with The Crazy Kid and became obsessed with weighing myself but not for reasons you might expect. I had shocking morning sickness and so wasn't gaining any weight and this freaked me out. I read the books and they said that you usually put on a couple of kilos in the first trimester then 0.5kgs/week in the second trimester. At week 20 I had not put on a single gram of weight and was really stressed about that. The midwives assured me that it was fine and that I was probably just losing weight from the severe morning sickness at the same rate that I was gaining it with the baby. At week 21 I finally gained my first kilo then gained a kilo a week for the next 5 weeks. At week 26 I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was put on a really strict diet. I mentioned before that I was very anti-diets. Well, I made an exception here and stuck to my diabetic diet to the letter. The thought of potentially having to squeeze a 5kg baby out of my hoohaa was enough to make me quit all evil sugar and carbs for 3 months. As fate would have it, The Crazy Kid ended up coming out of the sun roof and not out of my hoohaa, thanks to being the wrong way around, but he was a healthy 3.5kgs so the diet worked. Once I commenced the diet I dropped a kilo in the first week then did not put on any more weight for the rest of the pregnancy. I was so stressed about this that I went for an extra scan to check his size and all was fine. I was 68kgs when I gave birth and 64kgs by the time I got home (which was my pre-pregnancy weight). Two weeks after the birth I had dropped to 60kgs and was think that this whole breast feeding thing was awesome - the weight was falling off. 

Unfortunately, breast feeding made me ravenous and I turned to all of the carbs that I had been banned from when I had gestational diabetes. I was making loaves of choc chip banana bread and eating 3-4 slices a day, plus blocks of chocolate, biscuits, and liters of milk. I didn't really gain any weight in the first 6 months but then Crazy went on solids and I started supplementing with formula but didn't cut back or improve what I was eating so by 9 months I found myself back at 66kgs - I had put on more weight eating crap than I had in my entire pregnancy.

I really struggled going from working to being a stay at home mum. The loss of routine in my day meant that I was grazing all day long. When I was working I could only eat at set times of the day - I couldn't eat in the lab so I would have to wait for suitable breaks in my experiments to have something to eat. Another issue I had that was I knew that I wanted to get pregnant again so didn't see the point in dieting or getting my body back.

I was still around 66kgs when I fell pregnant with Kiki. I had even worse morning sickness with her and ended up losing 3kgs in the first trimester. I wasn't as neurotic about weighing myself this time though did still weigh myself weekly or so until the scales ran out of batteries. I think I finished the pregnancy at about 71 or 72kgs. I didn't have diabetes this time around. I had wanted to stick to the diabetes diet anyway, as it is super nutritious but I just didn't have the will power. I was exhausted chasing The Crazy Kid and was craving kilojoule dense foods. I assumed that the weight would just fall off like it did with Crazy but this time around it didn't. I never replaced the batteries in my scales so was living in blissful denial until we went for a helicopter ride for our wedding anniversary (9 months after Kiki's birth) and we all had to weigh ourselves. I weighed 71kgs - the same as what I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant with Kiki and 3kgs more than I was at full term with Crazy. I was shocked. I didn't feel like I was nearly 10kgs over my ideal weight. I think what had tricked me was that I had slowly been replacing all of my clothes with a larger size. I was telling myself that I preferred flowy clothing to the tight clothes that I used to wear when really it was just hiding my increased weight.

Another issue I had was that I refused to diet whilst I breast fed. I didn't want to compromise my milk. But then I was eating like shit so it was a stupid logic. I could have at least adopted a healthy eating plan. Kiki flatly refused formula. She's a stubborn little thing and there was absolutely nothing that we could do to get her to drink it. So I ended up breast feeding for pretty much a year. I stopped breast feeding about a month ago. 

So, I am now officially out of excuses as to why I can't shift my baby weight. After being on the diabetic diet I have all the nutritional information to eat very healthily but I don't have the will power. The reason is that I don't plan my meals - when I am hungry I go to the cupboard and grab something that I can eat immediately rather than taking the time to prepare a nutritious meal. Mornings have become hectic so I have just been having a coffee for breakfast then snacking all morning before having more junk for lunch. As I prepare dinner for the whole family, it tends to be quite healthy. When I prepare meals for the family I try to make something nutritious yet if I am making something just for myself then I just get something quick and easy. I am finding that I am really struggling to look after myself as I am exhausted after looking after my family that I just can't be bothered. Until I start treating my body with respect then the baby weight is not going to shift. I realised that I hit rock bottom when I invented the following awesome disgusting snack: I had bought some banana bread for the kids that was terrible (never buy cheap banana bread as it is unlikely to contain much banana). Rather than throw it away, I would cut myself a thick slice of it and then pour condensed milk all over it - a bit like sticky date pudding. I found a way to quadruple the amount of sugar in a slice of banana bread (and to make matters worse I would have it with a mug of hot Milo).

So, that is where I am at. I will be getting the Bodytrim kit in the next few days and have given myself a week to watch the DVDs and fully understand the program. Therefore, I will be commencing the diet on Monday 17th June. I plan on writing a weekly diary of my experiences. I am hoping that by making my journey public it will help make me accountable and that I stop eating that damn snack of banana bread with condensed milk. I will start my series of diaries with a weigh in, measurements and a before photo. I'm kind of scared about doing the before photo as I know some of my friends read this blog but it is time to stop being in denial. I am 163cm tall and so my ideal weight is between 53-66kgs. Whilst I am not hugely overweight I am currently overweight and it is time to do something about it.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever decided that it was time to embark on a weight loss journey and, if so, how did you go with it?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Live Well. Go Orange: 10 oranges in 10 days

For the last year I have been eating terribly. I have an abundance of excuses:

  • I breast fed Kiki for nearly a year. When you first start breast feeding it makes you so bloody hungry that you want to eat your baby. That is frowned upon in society so I turned to cakes, biscuits and a lot of chocolate instead. 
  • Around 6 months ago, when Kiki went on solids and the intense hunger subsided; however, 6 months of poor eating meant that bad habits had formed and that it was perfectly normal to drink a hot chocolate through a Tim Tam straw (or 3) for breakfast.
  • The fatigue of looking after two young kids is intense, especially as, until recently, at least one of them was waking up during the night. And this was happening more than once a night. And, to top it off, Kiki was really sensitive to caffeine. If I was to have even a single coffee in the morning, or a Coke during the day, Kiki would be up partying during the night...further compounding the fatigue. So, I had to cut caffeine out of my diet which meant that my relationship with sugar became even stronger.
  • Preparing meals for babies and toddlers and husbands is both exhausting and mind numbing. Once I had made their food I couldn't be arsed making myself anything nutritious. Unless I had leftovers to eat, my meals would almost always come out of a packet.
  • I usually end up skipping breakfast as mornings are hectic but that just means that I have zero self control when it comes to snacking choices later in the day as I am ravenous. 
  • The last few weeks Lindt chocolate has bloody well been $1.88/block at Coles, Woolworths and Thomas Dux. I couldn't escape it. And, to make matters worse, at Thomas Dux they had a massive barrel of blocks of Lindt right at the check out so when I popped in to buy The Crazy Kid's bananas I somehow ended up waking out with 4 blocks of Lindt.
All of this crappy eating has left me feeling, well, crappy to be honest. Therefore, when I was invited to take part in the Live Well, Go Orange challenge to eat 10 oranges in 10 days I decided that I might use this as motivation to clean up my eating habits. I am hoping to, at the very least, replace chocolate with an orange as my after dinner sweet treat. It doesn't matter how much I have for dinner, I don't feel satisfied until I have had something sweet, so hopefully an orange will make the cut.

So, why Live Well, Go Orange? We all know that oranges are jam packed with Vitamin C - and as we are entering the cold and flu season, we could all do with a boost in our Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin (as opposed to fat soluble) and so the body can't store Vitamin C. Therefore, it needs to be consumed each day. An orange contains 64mg of Vitamin C, which is over 1.5 times the daily recommended intake.

In addition to being an awesome immune booster, oranges also contain folate (which is necessary for preventing spina bifida in unborn babies), polyphenols and carotenoids (powerful antioxidants that slow down the ageing process) as well as fibre and potassium which help to keep your heart healthy.

I am not expecting to look younger after 10 days but I am hoping to feel healthier. Today was day one and I did have my orange for dessert, which was delicious...but then I followed it up with a slice of cake. so, I still have a long way to go. I really hope that in 10 days time I can report back to you that I have had my 10 oranges and that I haven't had a piece of cake since day one.

If you would like more info on the Live Well. Go Orange challenge then search twitter for #GoOrange or check out Citrus Australia's Facebook Page. One last thing that I would like to add is that when you are buying your oranges, make sure you check where they come from and make an effort to buy local. I often see Navel oranges that have come from the USA in Coles and these are not going to be nearly as fresh and delicious as Australian grown oranges (or, if you are reading this from outside of Australia, try to source oranges that are as local to you as possible). Oranges really are at their best when they are fresh.

So, who is with me and is going to give the Live Well, Go Orange challenge to eat 10 oranges in 10 days this June? I'd love to hear your reasons for giving it a go!


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. I was sent 12 oranges to complete this challenge but will no doubt be purchasing more as The Crazy Kid has already gotten stuck into my stash!