Paleo FAQ

Dec 21, 2014
Paleo FAQ

I have been on a Paleo diet for approximately 6 months now, and during that time I have been asked a lot of questions about my diet, my reasons for choosing it, whether it is working and whether my children and husband eat a Paleo-style diet too.  I thought the easiest way to address all of these would be to create a little FAQ post for you.

Are you Paleo?

Yes.  I am probably 90/10 Paleo, which means that 90% of my diet is completely Paleo.  The only non-Paleo food that I do eat on a regular basis is white rice, and I have the occasional cheat meal when we eat take out or have a celebration (I always eat gluten-free though, even when I cheat).

Why white rice?

With the amount of track and field training that I do, and considering I have very low body fat, I find that I need a little extra carbohydrate in my diet.  I try to get this from potato and sweet potato whenever possible, but rice is a great source of carbohydrate which seems to work well for my body.  I don't eat brown rice because I find the outer shell (the brown part) of the rice to be very irrational.  My stomach doesn't like it and after reading this article, I understand why.

How do you feel now, 6 months in?

Amazing.  My health and vitality has improved considerably, my dermatitis and fatigue are gone,  I am not experiencing the big drops in blood sugar that I used to, and my skin has improved.  I feel so much better that I am not in the slightest bit interested in grains, treats or those foods that I used to eat.

How much weight did you lose?

I didn't become Paleo to lose weight, although my body composition has definitely changed.  I was quite lean to begin with but probably still lost 2-4 kilos in the first month of becoming Paleo which I'd say has left me with very little body fat.   I know most people do lean out quite a bit, my father lost 14 kilos in his first three months of becoming Paleo.

Do you miss 'normal' food?

Not in the slightest.  Actually, that's a lie, I do miss soft cheeses.  But apart from cheese, I don't have any interest in eating grains, or foods full of sugar, because I never want to feel like I used to.  I love having energy and feeling healthy.

Paleo FAQ

Isn't it really expensive?

Not at all.  The first one or two shops I did were, as I had to stock up on things like coconut flour, coconut oil etc, but our grocery bill is pretty much exactly the same now as it was pre-Paleo days.  I find I can spend more on healthier meats, and sometimes organic vegetables, because we aren't buying snack foods/biscuits and other things that used to quickly add up.

Do you have to cook two meals?

No.  I cook one meal for the whole family and everyone has the choice to eat it, or miss out.  But it isn't a problem because both kids and my husband seem to love the meals that I cook.  To be honest, they aren't that different than the meals I used to cook, the only real difference is the lack of pasta.  I still make the pasta meals, but instead of pasta I use mash potato (for the kids) or mashed sweet potato (for us).

Are your kids Paleo too?

No.  Not completely.  They do eat a lot of Paleo food, and I have reduced their grains by probably 70-80%, but I do allow them a sandwich regularly, and normal kid treats at parties or celebrations.  I don't want them to feel like they are being deprived of these things.  When they do have them, I talk to them about how we only have these foods in moderation because they aren't good for our bodies.  My aim is to be honest in educating them exactly how foods can affect their bodies so that when they are old enough to make their own choices about food,  they will be able to make wise decisions about their health and the food that they consume.

Paleo kids

What about Olly?

Olly has always been a typical Aussie, burger, meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He pokes fun at me all the time and calls us something similar (but less politically correct) to 'The Gluten Police'.  In saying that, he loves our Paleo dinners, has started eating a Paleo-friendly breakfast, finds new Paleo recipes for me to try and he even made me some Paleo ice-cream!  He is on-board, he just doesn't know it yet ;)

How did you introduce Paleo food to your children?

We already ate quite a lot of the healthy alternatives, so I just had to reduce their Weet-Bix Cereal, bread intake and snacks over time and replace them with healthier options.  It is a work in progress but we have come a very long way in 6 months so I am really happy with how it is going.

Do you eat dairy?

The only dairy I eat is butter.  That is because I felt like it might be contributing to my skin problems so I reduced it out for a while, then when I tried to eat it again, I found it didn't agree with me.  I'm open to eating it occasionally, but I generally keep it out of my diet.  The kids eat a little bit of dairy on a daily basis, but it is limited to a little bit of milk, a yogurt.  They'll eat a few pieces of cheese every now and then.

I like the idea of being Paleo, but it's just too big a commitment.  I'd miss *insert variety of foods here* too much.

I get it.  It took me a year of making similar excuses until eventually my health got so bad that something had to give.  I am just thankful that my dear friend Kelly kept encouraging me to change my diet. I wish I could convince you to give it a try right now, instead of waiting until health problems arise, but I understand that people have to be ready before making the plunge, because it is a big commitment initially, but within a few months, you'll won't look back.

Paleo family

If there is anything else that I have missed that you'd like me to answer, feel free to ask below..

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New Chapter

Dec 19, 2014

Okay, so I am doing my best to hold it together tonight and not be a blubbering mess because this little guy had his very last day of preschool today.

Last preschool day.   Ever.

I can't believe he is so grown up.  In just a few months he is starting 'big school', and that brings a whole new chapter for not only him, but us.  I am so excited for him, he is a social butterfly who makes friends easily so I know that he will be fine.  I am a little nervous for me though - gone are our lazy mornings.  During the school term I have to get used to a whole new level of organisation in our lives.  On that note, I'd love to hear your best school organisation tips below.. 

I am so incredibly proud of the little guy my biggest baby is growing up to be.  He has made some wonderful friends at preschool, and although I know he is very resilient and doesn't like to show his disappointment, we had just a little moment when he realised that he wasn't going to see some of his preschool friends for a long time (as they all head off to different Primary Schools next year).

I pray that 'big school' brings excellent education, wonderful memories and a happy, safe environment for my little guy to grow, learn and develop.  I pray that he will experience loving and loyal friendships with kind and responsible friends.

And I can't say too much more or I may really start to cry..

I'd love to hear which you found more difficult as a mama - the last day of preschool or the first day of 'big school'?
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Tips For Staying Organised At Christmas

Dec 17, 2014
Tips for Staying Organised At Christmas

Today's post is a guest post provided by London writer, Victoria SharpI asked Victoria if she could share a post with us about her top tips for staying organised at Christmas, here is what she had to say:

With young children Christmas can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Navigating long queues and crowded stores while carrying loads of bags can be a nightmare, but seeing your kiddy's eyes light up on Christmas morning makes it all worthwhile.

To avoid the crazy Christmas rush this year, here are some tips for enjoying a relaxing holiday season.

On your Marks, Get Set, Shop!

Shopping for gifts can be hectic. To avoid extra expense, make a list, plan a budget and research online to find the best prices. But the real secret for a stress-free Christmas is shopping early. So please, don't leave it until December 24th!

Post Gifts Early

If you have friends or family living across the globe, this is incredibly important. Whether you send gifts, or receive them, they will need to be posted by the last Christmas post dates. Avoid the hassle of queues and use a specialist courier service that collects from your door.

Wrap as you Go

The last thing you want is to spend Christmas Eve wrapping presents. Evenings after children have gone to bed are your time to unwind, but it's also the perfect time to wrap. To make it more relaxing, have a glass of wine and eat some festive treats.

Organise Christmas Cards

Sending Christmas cards can be a chore. To make sure you don't forget colleagues, relatives, or the people from your yoga class,
make a list. Note down when cards have been posted and keep a tab on how many you've still got to send.

Freezable Baking Goods

There are loads of baked goods that can be made in advance. Preparing treats ahead allows you to spend more time with your family and less time fretting in the kitchen. Simply bake, allow to cool, place in labelled bags and pop in the freezer. Search online to find dozens of freezable recipes.

Food Glorious Food

The secret to a stress-free Christmas dinner? Delegation! Don't work up a sweat and spend all day in the kitchen, ask family members to bring a dish. It'll save on the washing up and allow you to enjoy the day.

The key to a stress-free holiday season is preparation. Ensuring you buy, send, and bake early, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities with your family. After all, isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Thanks for your great tips Victoria.  I definitely agree, especially with not leaving your Christmas shopping until the last minute - that would have to be my number one tip for staying on top of things at Christmas.  I usually start shopping in November, so that I can beat the crowds and have more time for other obligations closer to Christmas.

Do you have any tips for reducing stress and staying organised at Christmas?  Please share them below..
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Santa's Little Helpers

Dec 15, 2014

As promised, here are the cute pics of the kiddos enjoying our first family Christmas party of the year yesterday.  I think they are all just too cute not to share ;)

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Christmas Food Paleo Style

Dec 14, 2014
Paleo Mayonnaise

We had our first family Christmas party today.  I have been feeling so amazing since becoming Paleo that I have no intention of eating differently over Christmas.  Don't get me wrong, I do occasionally let myself have non-Paleo foods, but they still have to be gluten free as I suspect gluten is a major irritant for me.

The first dish I wanted to make was a potato salad, which meant that I would need to try to make some homemade Paleo Mayonnaise, something I had been wanting to try for a while now.  Mayonnaise is something I have really missed since becoming Paleo.  I have been searching for a store-bought Mayo without vegetable oil but haven't found one yet so I knew I was going to have to make my own.  Making mayonnaise can be a little tricky and my first batch failed miserably.  It just never thickened up, the first recipe suggesting using a blend of coconut and olive oil, I put the coconut oil in first but I think I may have added it too quickly to start with.  I searched for another recipe and found this awesome Paleo Mayonnaise recipe at Eat Drink Paleo.  It worked like a charm, although it didn't have as much flavour as I would like so I added some extra salt, pepper, rosemary and another tablespoon of mustard - the result was delish!! The potato salad was a huge hit.

For dessert I made these fudgy paleo brownies from Trainer Luke.  So easy and so yum.  They take about 5 minutes (+ baking time) to make! I'll be making these all. the. time.  Next time I'm going to add some Paleo chocolate sauce for total indulgence!

Christmas is nearly here.. I love this time of year once the shopping is out of the way and you can sit back, relax and enjoy spending time with the family.  Will be sharing some cute pics of the munchkins in their Santa hats tomorrow..

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I WILL: Believe in myself

Dec 12, 2014
Believe in yourself

I WILL:  Believe in myself

Do you have a goal that you'd love to reach?  Does it feel unachievable?  Do you need a little extra motivation?  Then let me tell you about the the Rexona I WILL DO campaign.   I WILL DO is designed to help you set and reach your goals in a fun and supportive environment.  You can visit the I WILL DO website to set your goal and gain access to expert advice from the Australian Institute of Sport to help you reach it. By setting and sharing your goal you will go in the running for fantastic rewards such as a personal training session with Adam Goodes.

I wanted to join in so I started thinking about my goals.  I knew I wanted to acheive some PB's (personal bests) on the track this season so I was going to make this my goal, but after thinking about it a little further, I realised I had a much more important goal that I really needed to achieve first - I needed to believe in myself again.

It has come to my attention recently that I am being plagued by self-doubt in many areas of my life and it has been holding me back from being the best that I can be.  I becomes very easy to doubt ourselves when we are mothers and we are spending so much time taking care of the needs of others.  Are we good mothers?  Are we doing a good enough job?  Are we bringing up our children right? Are we giving enough attention to our husbands?  Are we still able to be successful in our choice of career?  Are we juggling work and family well enough?  Are we finding the right balance?  So many things to think about.  So much room for self-doubt.  The problem with self-doubt though, is that it is like a virus and once you let a little in, it can infiltrate all areas of your life.

I once heard a very good quote - 'if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will'.  The gravity of that statement stayed with me for days.  It is so true,  just think about it..  if you ask two people if they are capable of doing a job for you:  one of them was unsure of themselves but the other told you confidently that they could do it, who would you choose?   I know I would choose the person who believed they could do the job, who had confidence in their ability.  Confidence breeds confidence.

"If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will'. 

My goal is to believe in myself, not just on the track, but in all areas of my life.  My goal is to stop letting that niggling voice of self-doubt into my thoughts and to have confidence in my ability as a wife, mother, friend and athlete

Do you have a dream you want to see come to fruition?  The first and most important step is to make sure that you really believe that you can achieve it. Believe it and tell yourself every day that you are going to achieve your goal. And for a little extra motivation, why not join in the I WILL DO campaign.  Owning your goal and making it public will help keep you accountable. If you need a little extra help setting your goal then check out my post on goal-setting which should help you get started.

I'd love to hear what your goals are, don't forget to share them in the comments below..
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5 Tips For A Cleaner Bathroom

Dec 3, 2014
bathroom cleaning tips
Summer has arrived and I know that we have been experiencing some gorgeous weather here in our part of the world.  If you are like me, then during summer you want to maximise the amount of time your family gets to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and the nice weather.  However, spending time outdoors can make it difficult to get the household chores done, and with two young children, I have found that our bathroom is one of the hardest rooms in the house to keep clean.

In the spirit of summer (and clean bathrooms),  I decided to share a few of my favourite bathroom hacks for keeping the bathroom reasonable in-between the weekly clean:

1. The bath time 'wipe down'

Bath time is the perfect time to give your bathroom a quick wipe down.   If your children are old enough to sit safely by themselves in the bath, then while you are supervising them during bath time, you can quickly wipe over the entire bathroom, removing dust and grime.  You don't need to pull out the chemicals, a quick wipe over with soap and water will make a huge difference to the overall appearance of your bathroom.

2.  Prevention is the best medicine

Any parent knows that toilet training can be incredibly stressful (here are my best tips for toilet training).  My children are now both toilet trained, but now that they are independent enough to use the bathroom by themselves, keeping the toilet clean has become incredibly difficult! (I'm sure there are a quite a few mothers out there that know exactly what I mean..)

A great way to keep a toilet cleaner for longer is to use specially designed toilet products that will clean a toilet and aid in unblocking the toilet for you, keeping it cleaner for longer without you having to lift a finger. 

3.  A place for everything

Simplify your bathroom cupboard.  Even the most organised home-makers tend to accumulate bathroom items.  Regularly go through your bathroom cupboards and throw out old products that you don't use.  More space inside your bathroom drawers or cupboards means less clutter on your bathroom sinks or benches.  Keeping your bathroom clutter free and putting things away can make a huge difference in the time it takes to clean a bathroom.

4.  Disguise your cleaning products

No-one likes the look of bathroom cleaning products hanging around their bathroom, but keeping them too far away from the bathroom can make it difficult to quickly clean when you need to.  Keeping some rolled face washers or small towels in a pretty basket somewhere in your bathroom can create a lovely feel for your bathroom.  Instead of using them for your face, they can be used to quickly wipe over surfaces when you need to.

Make your own non-chemical shower cleaning products and store them in nice clear plastic bottles or spray bottles that you can keep up on a high shelf in your shower (clearly labelled and out of the reach of children of course). Just make sure that everyone that uses your shower knows that they are there so they aren't confused for the body wash.  Having your natural shower cleaner handy in the shower means you can give it a quick wipe over right before (or after) you have finished your shower on a much more regular basis.

5.  Flushable Toilet Wipes

These have to be my new favourite product.  Harpic recently sent me some of their flushable toilet wipes to try and I love being able to kill germs and wipe away the small accidental spills that occasionally happen when children use the bathrooms.  Keeping some of these in your bathroom cupboard can save a huge amount of time running around looking for a bucket and/or your bathroom cleaners. 

I hope you find these tips helpful! If you have any of your own time-saving bathroom tips, I'd love you to add them in the comments below..

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