News! And olds.

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I have several things to share today.

  • First off, it seems like I have exercise-induced asthma. Bummer. But the inhaler seems to help and at least this means that I am not gasping for air and feeling like a panic attack for no reason at all. It also means that I am not wheezing and panting through some sort of serious heart related issue, which is a relief. You know, a doctor once looked at an Xray and told me I had a small heart. What am I, the Grinch?

I forgot to take my inhaler yesterday, so when I went to the gym I did a bit of gasping and realized how much better I felt on my runs over the weekend when I used the inhaler. It also makes a huge difference in heart rate since I was well up into the mid 180’s without the inhaler, but only mid to low 160’s with it. I have an appointment tomorrow to get a final diagnosis, but I am pretty sure the doc will just give me a refillable ‘scrip for the inhaler.

 

  • Second, since I did that 8K run with the vibram 5 fingers (my rubber gorilla feet shoes) I have had a bit of a twinge in my right calf. Not painful exactly, but a bit stiff, especially when I have been at rest for a while. It also seems to swell up when I am running, again, not exactly painful, but certainly a weird pressure feeling. I shall have to watch that carefully and be sure to stretch well.

 

  • Third, I took another body fat percentage reading with the pinch-tastic callipers. I am now 20.4% fat, apparently. That is less than 1 percent change. I had hoped for a bigger change, since I am aiming for 18% body fat and also since I seem to have dropped at least one clothing size (my clothes were a bit to big to begin with anyway, so now is the time for belts!). I forgot to weigh myself at the gym yesterday, but I will try to remember again today. I think I can try to get my body fat percentage checked at the gym too, but with an electrical resistance measure instead of the pinch method. Might give a different reading.

 

  • And finally, I am seriously craving everything inappropriate. Bacon and cheddar scones? Yes, please. Chocolate by the heap? I’ll take two. That’s right. The red menace has return to scupper my plans. Damn you, physiology! It is also throwing a spanner in my mental works, which is making it very hard to write the current chapter on chaos theory for the thesis. Nevermind. Victory will soon be mine. In the meantime, I am trying out hazelnut milk in my morning oat-goodness. I like it. I like it a lot.

I should have posted this belly shot yesterday, but whatever. I haven’t heard any complaints about my lack of punctuality yet.  I can feel the muscles really well now but they are not quite showing… At least not in all lights. Anyway. Enjoy!

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Watch what you eat

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So, for all my curious readers (cricket sounds…) I thought I would share a bit about what I eat on a normal day. Today, in fact, and only what I have eaten so far. Not sure what will be for tea later.

Today’s foodosity began with… Drum roll, please… Porridge! You guessed it. Oatmeal again. On the other hand, I did experiment with the liquid. I used almond milk instead of water. It tasted quite nice, and seemed to be less adherent, which made it easier to wash up. However, since I use a small non-stick pan and a rubber spatula, stickiness is not really an issue.

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Is that an entirely unreasonable amount of alcohol in the background (I hear you cry out en masse)? Yes it is. It has been there since a pre-holiday party. Not sure where to put it because we don’t really have suitable place for a liquor collection. I am working on it though. Post cooking, porridge looked like this.

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It was plenty sweet enough from the almond milk, but I will probably go half water/half almond milk in the future. This shot also shows the background hooch a little better. For example, you can see that none are particularly empty. That is the kind of party I rock these days.

But today is a work day, so I packed myself a lunch and set out, and here it is!

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As you can see, irritatingly healthy. In list form, this is what I had:

  • Wholewheat roll, with marmite on the top, grainy mustard on the bottom and a vegetarian sandwich “meat”, cucumber slices and ruccola… arrugula… rocket. Whatever.
  • A lengthwise cut carrot.
  • About a third of a red bell pepper, cut into slices.
  • About and inch and a half of cucumber, cut into slices.
  • A small handful of sugar snap peas.
  • A small handful of broccoli florets.
  • A celery stick, cut into three short sticks, and a small pot of light peanut butter with some dried cranberries mixed in. Celery is used to scoop out some of the peanut buttery cranberrified goodness before being crunched with delight.
  • A small selection of dried fruit.
  • A small banana.
  • Two mandarins.

Oh yes, so tasty, with the added benefit of being easy to keep next to my keyboard for all day, guilt free snacking. I ate everything but the mandarins, which are a little bit sticky and so not great for eating while typing, and some of the dried fruit, mainly two prunes. With this much fibre, I don’t really needed the… uh… notorious effects of prunes.

Now, go out and be fruitful!

I got the backslider blues…

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Unfortunately, it looks there was a bit of a time lag over the festive season. As much as I thought I had got away with it, the chocolate, carrots cooked in masses of butter, and totally excessive amounts of fried potato products have caught up with me. I have the backslider blues cause all my work and progress has been lost in wobbliness.

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Sigh. Nevertheless, the picture came out better because I took it in the front room instead of the bedroom. Better light, also warmer. It is now just too chilly to be getting dressed in the bedroom. Ahh, winter. How you try my patience.

The plus side is that I am back into a routine. Working a typical 8 hour day means I get several WorkRave motivated 10 minute ab workouts per day, I am walking the 2 kilometers to work every morning and another 2 to get back home, and I am in charge of my food again! Hooray!

Porridge breakfasts might change as well, since I found several recipes for overnight oatmeal on one of my favourite hipster-ish blogs. You didn’t think that my blog name was totally unrelated to my style, did you? Sucker.

To lend even more credence to my hipster credentials, I am considering ordering a few of these bad boys to give me some more healthy lunch and snack options. Today I did bring celery sticks with a little pot of peanut butter and dried cranberries (so delightful) but who wouldn’t want a coordinated bento set in a mason jar to tote all that about, eh? You know you do.

I am also considering buying a 24 hour fitness wearable, like the fitbit flex or the jawbone up. I already have a heart rate monitor that I used for intense exercise sessions, but I would be interested in a total day perspective, and maybe even sleep quality. I actually had the second worst dream ever in my life last night. Like the first worst that I can remember, it involves insects and my feet. I wonder what that is all about. I also have an android smartphone, so that rules out a few wanker (Oops, I mean Apple) based options. Anyone want to give me feedback on those? How do they work for you? What do you like or not like about them? What do you find useful or annoying?

This porridge is too hot. That porridge is too cold.

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What else am I doing in my quest for a defined tummy? I am eating breakfast.

Normally, I am not a regular breaker of fasts. I am not what you would call a “morning person”. I used to be. I remember being totally awake as soon as the alarm clock turned on my local rock music FM station. But that, my friends, was at least 17 years ago. In those seventeen years I have gained a lot, so the loss of some bright eyes and bushy tails within an hour of waking up seems more that a deal.

Where was I? Ah. Breakfast. Have you noticed how disgustingly unhealthy most breakfast cereals are? I mean, even the tree-hugging hippie muesli ones or the ones aimed at paranoid dieting women are LOADED with crap. Expensive crap too. There are some classics, corn flakes or wheat biscuits or what have you, but even they are creeping up with added salt or taste-preserving chemical whatever. Just terrible.

Plus, the packages are always tiny small, definitely not a week’s worth. Annoying if you prefer to do one big shop a week.

What to do? My usual answer is to make it your damn self, and that applies to breakfast too. My breakfasts will now be quite largely based on porridge (oatmeal for those in the States) and whatever flavourings I happen to have lying around at the time. Chopped nuts, fruit, honey, maple syrup, all options. So far I have had dried cranberries and brown sugar, but I may pick up some bananas tonight on my way home. Cheap as, easy to cook, healthy, especially when made with water instead of milk, and if I control the sweet stuff that I add to it, and easy to clean up after since I have a wee non-stick saucepan that is just the right size for a bowl of oats.

But it won’t stop there! I am also planning to try the Hairy Dieter’s cook book recipes for home made muesli mix and baked granola. Tasty! I’ll keep you informed about how that works out.

Also, tomorrow marks one week in this challenge, so I shall post another pic. Exciting!