Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Oh to be sugar free...

I have been watching Sugar Free Farm over the last couple of weeks, with the final episode being tonight and it has made me think again about how unhealthy my diet can be.
This time last year I began making more of an effort to cook from scratch and reduce the processed foods in my diet.
However, this was far easier when I was only working 2.5 days a week and had the time to plan and organise myself better. Also I fell out of the habit of eating better a little during spring and summer as the kids and I are fortunate in that we spend many of our weekends and holidays at my parent's caravan. Obviously while this is great fun it does have a certain association of eating naughty indulgent or convenience  foods. 
Following caravan season is the lead up to Christmas. Therefore all in all my super healthy eating phase for one reason or another lasted about four months before beginning a gradual decline. 
Anyway to get to the point, although I am active and reasonably slim, my diet isn't as good as it could be. 
I eat a lot of 'diet foods' such as cereal bars, low fat crisps and yogurts as well as the occasional ready meal. My calorie intake isn't huge but my diet could definitely be healthier. I also think if I can be half decent at running on a mediocre diet, imagine the improvement I would see if I are more healthily....
'Eat healthy' is such a generalistic, sweeping term  though which means different things to different people. For example, people following a calorie controlled diet might see it as sticking to eating under a certain magic number of calories regardless of food intake, vegans might see it as 'not eating animal products or bi products' and sports enthusiasts might see it as protein, protein protein! 
I therefore feel that for me, the way forward is to set a few targets which relate to my own shortcomings and areas to improve regarding my diet. I know for example my sugar intake is high as is my salt intake due to eating a large percentage of processed or diet foods. 
Also at times I am inclined to scrimp on meals in lieu of treats such as chocolate the reasoning being that my calorie intake is not high. 
So in order to take positive and realistic action I will begin with 3 goals: 
1. Instead of eating ready meals I will explore and create simple meals from scratch
2. Instead of snacking on cereal bars or low far snacks I will eat natural foods such as fruit or nuts in controlled portion sizes
3. I will aim to give up chocolate for lent.

I feel that these are effective goals as rather than just saying ' I won't eat...' I have offered alternatives for the first two. With regards chocolate, I feel that by following the first two goals no action other than my own will power is required.

Anyway... I will update on how I am getting on tomorrow 
Happy days xxx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

End of first month...

My goal for the long month of January was to exercise daily. I am pleased to say I have actually managed this all bar about two days when I have simply been too tired.
I have been going to the gym three times a week and started running once again. While I can't deny that at times it is hard getting motivated, I am always glad I made the effort. The reason why I like running is because I can set goals and see progress. Like for example my first goal was to run 5k in 30 minutes-this is the goal I set when I first started running almost a year ago and a repeat goal I set just over a month ago after taking a bit of a running break and using the cross trainer instead. 
Once I achieved this I tarted trying to beat my times and also increase my distance. I am made up with myself that in a month I have gone from taking near 60 minutes to run 10k to recently doing it in under 55 minutes. 
As an additional goal I have signed up to a 10k in May so not only do I have something to aim for but it will encourage me to keep on with my training.
Anyway; as I said my goal was to exercise daily. Its impossible for me to visit the gym every day and likewise I don't have a huge amount of time but needless to say on non gym days I have been doing sit ups, squats or exercises from an app I have down loaded onto my phone. 
Today is February 2nd so I am, all be it a day late, setting my month two goal which is to read daily with the kids.
We are part way through a novel called Rooftoppers aimed at young readers. It is set in Paris and follows the story of a young girl found abandoned in a shipwreck embarking on a desperate search for her real mum. 
I am so busy working every day that often I am guilty of putting the TV on for the kids in the evening while I get jobs done. However, I aim to set aside at least ten minutes before bedtime to read together. 
As for month one challenge, although I have not exercised today, I will be keeping it up and going to the gym 3 times a week (or running outside weather permitting) and exercising in the house where this is not possible.