Saturday, 20 January 2018

Aldi does it too? Well, so do I!

I'm an idiot! I can't believe I've had my Fitbit for 2 years and have only just figured out the weight loss calorie adjustment!

I wondered why the heck it kept telling me to eat as much as I was burning, and then I ended up gaining weight after guesstimating a bit too much. I've now started using the food log properly, and though the first 3 weeks of the year now look a bit candy striped as I've apparently missed my goals loads without realising, I'm now on track to do better. But, 2lbs lost every week so far regardless. Heeey! 😇😇

Might as well use these tools, they're free! If you don't have a tracker but do have a smartphone, try these. I also used a combo of Strava, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal. And yes, I wasn't obese then, so those things did help.🏃

One of the things I've learned is that protein is such a huge factor in levels of satisfaction and avoiding cravings. And so is fat! I used to avoid fat and really load up on starchy carbohydrates. But, I actually think I've cracked this malarkey now. I eat nuts, seeds, avocados... the very things I used to avoid. I'm not hungry, and I feel great.

I must fess up though, and it pains me to say, but that First for Wellbeing thing may well have been right about the booze. I may have had my dreams haunted by missing bottles of Malbec, but I have not just gained in the wallet. I've gained actual time back. It means extra minutes in the morning, extra energy to fit in my exercise, less ennui generally. I don't get hangovers... but I now recognise I was extra tired and hungry thanks to booze. So happy to be weaning myself off that. Wonder what I'll do when it gets to February? (38 cans of cider in the kitchen...)

Absolutely no problem getting up for the last 3 weeks of Parkrun, and getting faster each week. 🏃 I even ran in the rain today! Plus I've already won 2 Workweek Hustle challenges on Fitbit.🏆

I'm also looking to save money and pay off my debts still, so this weekend I thought I'd address my new-found weakness for protein-rich snacks. I've tried various ones from Aldi: the Pecan Pie crush bars; the Macademia and Coconut Paleo bars and both flavours of Cacao brownie - almond and raisin and peanut and choc chip. They are tasty, have no nasty extras, and fit my macros. Unfortunately, they're almost as expensive as regular chocolate bars, which I wouldn't have bought every day, so they are adding significantly to my brought-in lunch costs.

I found this recipe for 'paleo' bars that looked so similar to something I was tempted by in a café near work, I just had to give it a go. But I tweaked the measurements to make them more Brit-friendly.

150g blanched almonds
55g walnuts
35g cocoa
20 dates (just the ones I had, bought from the awesome grocers in the arcade in Gold Street)
orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
pinch salt.

What that gives me nutrition-wise is this:

And cost-wise, this:
almonds: £1.49
walnuts: £0.55
cocoa: £0.33
dates: £1.24
orange: £0.16

Total: £3.77 - 31p per bar.
This compares very favourably to the Aldi Peanut and Choc Chip Cacao Brownie, which at £1.49 for 3 is 50p per bar, and much the same size.

Also, I can confirm, delicious!

I'm a tad busy writing tonight, otherwise I'd cosy up with a library book. I found The Doctor's Kitchen, which I've been listening to the podcast of. Soon, soon...

Monday, 1 January 2018

Chicken Rescue!

As promised, here is my rather dishevelled attempt at 80s style icon Caron Keating in her bin bag dress!

Well, one person remembered her wearing it, anyway. She might have been humouring me...
The advantage of wearing a wraparound binbag dress was that I could stow it away as soon as it became a nuisance. But the fact that it became a nuisance was because it was made of binbags. They tend to stretch, and the thing was constantly falling off.

Total number of people who bothered wearing fancy dress: 4, I think. Ah well. Mind, OH dressed as the second Doctor, so didn't even have the right decade.

Well, maybe the above can be my "before" image. One day into the new year and my new fitness regime is going awesomely! While OH slumbered, I went for my traditional New Year hike. 

I thought I'd go the 'pretty' way to get to the walk I wanted to do. Mind, the pretty way is not so pretty right now... loads of abandoned alcohol cans littering the way into the park behind the industrial estate, but at least the boggy conditions by the nature reserve seem to have deterred inconsiderate drinkers from going past the river.

Conditions were pretty squelchy as I went through the park, which is on the site of an old mill. Here you can see little eddies in the fast-flowing river.

 In order not to lose my shoes in the mud, I picked my way through the bracken at the back of the church.
 But the way really was very muddy! Some straw for the horses in a relatively dry spot, or a bit of equine line-dancing?
 Then on to the N6, Brampton Valley Way. It was a very busy day. People out with their dogs, their kids, their chicken...
Oh yeah, there was a chicken. Wondered what to do about that at first. A lot of people just shaking their heads and worrying about foxes, but the poor chuck was clearly just as worried by some of the dogs on leads who were showing her some interest. I was close to phoning the RSPB, but a family were out walking their Labradors, and they knew the owner, so were able to alert her to the fugitive fowl.
I continued apace, and wow, my Fitbit is currently on 23799 steps, just over 9 miles walked today!

It's so tempting to throw money after keeping fit and healthy and losing weight, especially at New Year, but I'm using what I have (the Fitbit!) and won't be joining any clubs. All it has been doing over Christmas is logging just how far behind I am with my steps groups... no more. I'm winning, winning the Workweek Challenge I tell you! Mwa ha ha ha ha....

Won't last. There are some very competitive bods in my group. I can sense them getting twitchy...