CHAPTER THIRTEEN: If you’re anxious and you know it…

The blog is rapidly approaching real-time.

The buffer that I created of a month between my real-world happenings and when the corresponding post goes live has all but eroded.

And I think I’m going to be okay with it. I think I’m mostly doing okay.

In case I wasn’t clear, I was having some real issues with anxiety for all of the early part of this pregnancy. That over-whelming worry that something was wrong, or would go wrong was just, well … over-whelming me.

Anxiety Girl - able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

Anxiety is a bitch. And unless you’ve really experienced it, is super hard to explain. Here’s a tip; being told to ‘calm down’ is not calming. Being told ‘everything will be okay’ does not actually reassure the person with anxiety. And telling them to ‘just breathe’ may very well result in you ‘just being throat-punched’.

People who suffer anxiety are most certainly not dumb. We understand and are usually more frustrated and upset with ourselves than you could ever possibly imagine because sometimes we aren’t capable of just breathing, calming down or being confident that everything will be okay.

But we are working on it. All. The. Time.

For me, the constant worrying has dropped back to a totally normal level of pregnant-mum concern. Stuff may still go wrong, but it probably won’t.

Today I am nearly 19 weeks pregnant. That’s nearly half way. Blueberry kicks, and wriggles and has been perfect on all of the scans we’ve had. I am healthy and happy and still doing all the things I did before.

I am okay. But not everyone is. Be kind. Always. Because you never know what other people have going on.

xx

Bella

The Paleo Problem (or why I’m being a #foodwanker)

We hear it all the time: you should be the hero of your own story. But most days, that’s easier said than done!

Today, take 5 minutes to imagine how you could rewrite the story of your health, starring you as the superhero. What would your hero costume be? Would you have special superpowers? Is there a way to start acting a little more like that hero right now?

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I have chosen to be a super food wanker! Pardon the crass term, but a friend of mine uses it to describe a near-secret faction of healthy-food aficionados and it appeals to me right now.

A #foodwanker puts intense effort into their food. There are clever, health-ful ingredients. There is artsy, fancy plating or presentation ideas. And there is lots of caring about what the #foodwanker is actually eating.

You see, I don’t really care about food. I haven’t for a really long time. If it on my list, I’ll eat it. But sometimes, if it just happens to be on my plate, or the kid’s plates or on a platter at an event but isn’t on my list, I’ll eat it too.

My challenge is to be more of a #foodwanker. Especially as my recent blood tests have indicated that my body is struggling to handle inflammation and insulin and I’m not super keen on being diabetic. Not even a little bit keen to be honest. Diabetes sucks.

So I am doing 30 days of paleo eating and the worry I have about feeling restricted to no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no sugar and no alcohol for a month needs a way to be alleviated or I’ll go nuts. Activated nuts.

So my super power will be to care more deeply about food than I ever have before. Beware the foodporn and ridiculous hashtags!

Of course, the flip side to Paleo and any lifestyle so heavily focussed on organic, leafy, grass-fed, patted-twice-daily, holier-than-thou produce is that you can come across looking a bit, well….. like a smug ass-hat.

I am trying super hard not to do that. Because I am not in anyway smug (or even a foodie) and have already had a laugh that I might ever be considered a #paleofoodwankermum. However, #kid2 stole most of my chia custard and liked it so I gave him one #cleaneatingkids #notoxinsformybabies #bettermumthanyou (oops, perfect example of smug ass-hat moments!)

PS – if you don’t already, come follow me on Instagram. I’m very cleverly registered there as @bellafountain

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

A jar full of salad - tres #foodwanker!

A jar full of salad – tres #foodwanker!

Sorry in advance,

#foodwankerBella

Why would you Even Meal Prep your Food?


So, my life is back to super busy, as I’m sure all of you are experiencing as well!  Whether you’re a student, working, have a family of your own (or knowing lots of you – doing all three!) life is busy and can get stressful.  Eliminate the stress and time factor of having to scrounge to find something appropriate at each lunch-time and having to cook every single night by meal prepping!  It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating!  You can prep and plan for just dinners, for lunch and dinner, or even all three main meals of the day and snacks too!  The amount of prep you do, depends on how much time you have to dedicate to prepping and your personal preferences.

I prep my lunches for the week, cut up my veggies for snacks, as well as all my dinners for the week.  At different times, I’ve prepped my breakfasts as well but I seem to have a bit more time in the mornings to make it now that the boys are a bit bigger.

So what exactly is meal prepping?  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week.  This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers!  For those of you who just groaned and are turned off to the thought of left overs, listen up, I used to hate left overs when I was younger, well actually up until I was at uni!  Now I rejoice in their existence and you should too!  Left overs are a wondrous time saver!

If prepping and planning can stop you eating off track and keeping you eating good wholesome and nutritious food one extra time each week – that’s a fantastic result and will certainly help you on your way to your goals faster!

And no, I’m not ‘preparing’ for anything special at the moment. Not competing, no shoots booked any time soon. This is just my life. And meal prepping is a life-hack I’ve really grown to enjoy and see the benefits of.

What do you do to keep your weeks prepped and ready to enjoy?

With hugs I prepared earlier,

Bella

The post where I talk about the Healthy Eating Pyramid..

Nutrition Australia have finally updated their food pyramid for the first time in 15 years. Seriously – FIFTEEN YEARS!! The new pyramid is based on the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines, which was a thoroughly nerdy-wordy 52 pages, refined it back down into the pyramid and get this – it’s pretty fantastic! Not even joking…

I’ve been annoyed by the old pyramid (below) for SUCH a long time. There was so much weighting on heavy carbohydrates, a fairly decent allowance for junk/crap foods and demonisation of fats, healthy or otherwise.

old food pyramid

But wait – Check out the new food pyramid here:

New food pyramid

You see it? All of the amazing-ness?

Here are the major changes:

  • The food pyramid is now separated into five sections… way better than just three! This gives us a much clearer picture of what a healthy diet should look like. You know what I’d love? To turn it upside down! We read from top to bottom and I think it would help to see/read the ‘eat most’ section at the top. But hey, Healthy Upside-Down Food Triangle doesn’t have the same ring to it.
  • The new food pyramid very clearly gives veggies precedence over breads and cereals. Finally!
  • There’s so many greens. From a guess, I can identify bok choy, pak choi, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, basil, rosemary and lettuce – GREEEENS for the win.
  • More nutrient-dense whole grains are included. Like quinoa, cous cous, soba noodles and oats. Carbs are your friend.
  • Fruits and veg have different weighting. The new food pyramid calls for about three times as many veggies as whole fruit. This is exactly what I do with my kids, myself and my PT clients – quality proteins and filling up on veggies first.
  • There’s no junk food at all. Not even in the “sometimes” area like the original food pyramid. Actual REAL food for the masses, yeah!
  • Good fats are actually named up as good. The old food pyramid has margarine and reduced-fat spreads in the “sometimes” food. Now this spot is reserved for healthy fats like olive oil and almonds.
  • Spices and herbs have been included.
  • Avocados are included in the “eat most” section. Now there’s definitely no need to feel bad about having an avo a day
  • Margarine has been taken off the new food pyramid! Not even a food 🙂
  • There’s no allowance for added sugars.

What’s the bad news then? Hmm, there isn’t much. Not really. For a generic suggestion that needs to be broad enough to cover a whole country and therefore can’t possibly take into consideration each individual’s needs and reactions, it’s pretty great in general terms. If I were being really picky, I am still a little iffy on processed soy products like tofu. I don’t do soy at all and with clients who feel they need these in their diets I prefer they lean to the less-processed soy products. And personally, I run better on a much higher fat ratio in my diet. But hey – such an improvement.

So, that’s my thoughts on the new food pyramid, now I’m interested to hear yours. Sing out in the comments!

Cheers,

Bella

Check in. Boost my immunity! 16 weeks.

Life with pneumonia is annoying.

I decided I was well enough to go back to work and to my training clients. Unfortunately… The Frozen Island decided to throw me a MINUS TWO DEGREE day to celebrate the first day of winter. I didn’t do so well with breathing and had to cancel my afternoon clients to come back inside. Grrr.

But, as fate would have it, I didn’t start to die until after check-in.

So (keeping in mind I’ve literally been couch-bound all week) here it is!

Weight: – 200 grams down
Tricep: 19mm (down .4mm)
Supra Iliac: 24mm (down .3mm)
Quad: 24.2mm (same)

So overall, I’m pretty happy. I would have been happy with maintaining so any drops are welcome.

And in the glowing words of Coach Adam:

Down is still down. That’s all that matters.

Word. Somebody pat me on the head dammit!

Adam has also reworked my diet. Partially because I’m sick of kangaroo sausages, but also because while I’m sick I won’t be training much at all so I need to reduce my energy intake to match.

Also, we had a good chat today about boosting my immune system. As lots of you know, I’ve had autoimmune issues in the past. I also work with children. And have children of my own. One of whom is in his first year of kinder. I am essentially a giant walking germ-trap!

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Like me, Adam feels that a balanced diet from good food choices is the first point. But I’m doing that. So we are adding in a multivitamin in case I’m missing something unknowingly. And vitamin D. And Vitamin C. And garlic supplements.

I’d really like to be bulletproof by next week with all of that going on!

I’ve had a message during the week about what I’m eating – so in its bare-bones form – here it is!

Breakfast:
Coffee
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Garlic, Multi Vitamin
3 x Eggs
Vegies

Mid Morning Snack:
Almonds

Lunch:
Half my sweet potato
Turkey mince
Vegies

Afternoon Snack:
Protein Powder

Dinner:
Half my sweet potato
Beef mince
2 x eggs
Vegies

After Dinner:
Protein Powder
Coconut Oil
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Garlic

So that’s me. For another week. See you soon!
Bella

No Check-in. But Magic Soup (18 weeks)

Nope, I haven’t skipped out on a check-in already! I’m sick.

This week I wasn’t required to formally check-in with Coach Adam so I skipped the whole kit and kaboodle. No jumping on the scales, no body-fat pinches with Kate, nothing.

Its half nice, half worrying. I was just getting back into the swing of it but I understand the rationale behind not doing a check-in while my body is all up in a hormonal flux (which is why this particular week each month is my assigned week off check-in). It makes sense.

Women’s bodies do some crazy stuff and if I was getting bent out of shape over the TWO KILOS my weight jumps up because I had to report it to my Recomp coaches or be worrying about Kate pinching my GIANT PUFFY TUMMY there’s a good chance I’d be tempted to throw in the towel for the week. Instead, I get some breathing space to know this week is more about my body doing what it does, rather than it doing what is a reflection of my actions.

And the sickness… Blergh. I am pretty sure it’s just a cold but I’m a coughing, sneezing, ball of yuck on the couch. So plenty of hot herbal tea, big bowls of veggie soups and early nights for me.

So, magic soup time!

I usually just grab one of these organic packs from the supermarket (or, if you are less snotty and brain-fogged you can save money and buy each vegie separately!)

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I finely dice the onion and soften it in the pot with some good olive oil, about 4 teaspoons of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger. When the onions go transparent, I’ll throw in a hefty pinch of dried chili flakes. And a decent shake of good quality Italian dried herb mix.

All the other vegies get peeled and diced and thrown in and stirred well to coat. Then I turn the heat down low, add water to fill the pot and I leave it alone.

About an hour later, I remember I was making soup. Depending on levels of ‘blergh’, sometimes I half-blitz it with a stick mixer but mostly I just ladle it into a comically large mug and eat/drink it like that.

It keeps me alive while I’m sick and I swear it’s making me better.

Hope everyone else is doing well!

With snot and hugs,
Bella

Little plants, Big flavours!

I love cooking with fresh herbs. I’m also cheap. So paying  $5 for a half-dead bunch of basil at the supermarket has always irked me right into buying dried herbs and accepting the less flavorsome option.

Until now – Operation Herbs Gone Wild is go. They’ll live and hopefully thrive in my little balcony space and make me happier and food tastier!

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Wish us all luck!
Bella

Yes – I’m doing the 12WBT … Yes – I’m happy to talk about it.

Long time, no post. Sorry peeps. Life gets crazy. So… what the heck have I been up to lately? The answer is A LOT.

So much. But for now, this is the news:

I don’t make any secret of the fact that I followed the 12WBT program when I first started losing weight. It worked for me. It worked in baby steps to help me make better food decisions, to move a little more and and to feel more confident.

I had lost about 35kg with the program before I chose to leave some parts of the program so I could follow a ‘bodybuilder’ diet in order to compete. I kept many other parts of the program and in essence, a lot of what I learned I couldn’t forget if I tried. I’d managed to build a new network of friends all over the country who loved and supported my fitness endeavours and supported me in whatever I did.

I’m open about the fact I eat still in an IIFYM manner. IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. What that means for me is that I track and alter the levels of protein, fats and carbohydrates that my food comes from. I alter those levels depending on what I am trying to achieve. At the moment, I’m really focussing on getting stronger so that’s what I eat towards.

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I was asked to take part in the 12WBT 2015 advertising campaign and it was an honour to accept. I do still believe in the program and the way it is delivered. I feel it has improved A LOT since I first became a member in 2011. I appreciate any business that is prepared to constantly evaluate, listen to science and reason and EVOLVE not because they HAVE to (12WBT’s format has remained crazily popular) but because they WANT to keep improving. Which is exactly what they have done.

So, as part of my involvement with the program – I will be a card-carrying member of the February 4th round of the 12 Week Body Transformation. I will do the tasks that are set for all members (yes, even the ghastly running!) and am super happy to be available to chat, support and encourage other members both new and returning. And yes, the new program is so customisable that I will be staying true to my IIFYM beliefs, accommodating my food intolerances AND still training for mega heavy lifting too!

As well as blogging more, I’ve invited more current 12WBT members to come and guest-blog here so you can hear weight-loss and fitness experiences from people other than me. It’s going to be a fun trip!

If you’d like to know more about the program or even join, there are 4 days left until it all kicks-off and you can read about it here -CLICK ME-

So ask me questions. And I will answer them. Honestly.

In case you missed any of them, here are a couple of my pics from the 2015 12WBT campaign too!

Also – to make sure you aren’t missing out on any of my adventure, feel free to follow me on

Leave me a comment if you are on board too!

Much love and let the adventure begin!!

Bella

Bella Bellaafter

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Whose afraid of the big bad scales?

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Okay, for most of my readers,  it’s now the day after Christmas and home of the epic food ( and maybe booze ) hangover.

Whether you have gone into full tummy shock and had black coffee and guilt for every meal since or if you’re choosing the ‘bury my head in the cheesecake’ route  – there’s something I need you to know.

It’s okay.

Christmas with family, friends and people we love is important. There is a good chance in ten years time you’ll remember something special about this holiday. It probably won’t have anything to do with the protein/fat/carb/calorie content of what you ate. Life is important. Celebrate it.

If you’ve dared venture onto the scales today, you might be a little horrified, but this post from PauloSportz (if you don’t follow him on facebook you should) sums up my thoughts on it pretty precisely 🙂

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So, when you choose to bring yourself back to your normal shape or return to your health adventure, what can you do?

Step One;
Stop eating. I’m not being silly, of course I still want you to eat – but maybe pack away the ‘Christmas foods’. Freeze, toss away or feed to others any leftovers, onward gift sealed items and make a resolve that holiday eating is marvellous but done.

Step Two;
To help with the extra water your body accumulated in dealing with more carbs than normal – get stuck into drinking water. At least 2.5 litres each day, more if you are larger/overweight, if it is hot or if you are training.  This will help regulate your fluid levels and fight the fluid retention.

Step Three;
Move it! Chances are that either you, your kids, your partner, your dog or your neighbour received a gift that involves the outdoors and/or moving. These public holidays are a GREAT time to get out there using them. Moving will help get over that sluggish feeling we get when we eat more or differently than  normal. Aim for an hour minimum of active movement each day. Plus it’s awesome. This is where our memories are made!

Step Four;
Get snoozing! Did you know that much of our recovery, weight loss, muscle repair and growth all happen while we are sleeping? Between midnight gift-wrapping and 5am gift-wrap-tearings we are all a bit sleep deprived. Getting at least 8 hours sleep will speed up your journey back to the pre-Christmas body.

Step Five;
Breathe. The holidays were worth it. Celebrating with your loved ones was worth it.
Joy is worth it.

We have a whole year of kicking ass ahead of us. I really look forward to having you along for the ride with me.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Sailor Vee

Gone Fruitcake!

Kids in the kitchen!  Making a healthy fruitcake for a family get-together tomorrow and kid#1 LOVES to cook! I’m not militant about how my family eat but this no fat, no refined sugars fruitcake just happens to be delicious!
RECIPE:

Ingredients

1 Teaspoon (Metric) bicarbonate soda
500 Gram dried fruit
1 1⁄2 Cup flour (self raising)
1 Teaspoon (Metric) Mixed Spice
2 Teaspoon (Metric) honey/golden syrup
1 Cup orange juice
1 Cup pumpkin or sweet potato (kumara) (mashed)
600 Gram dried apricots (chopped)
75 Gram fresh ginger (finely chopped)

Notes
This is an excellent recipe idea for vegans and vegetarians as it contains no animal fat or eggs.

If you want to increase the fibre content, think of substituting half of the white flour for wholemeal, and remember sweet potato is a good low GI option.  Simple changes, big differences!

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 160oC.
Grease a 20cm square or 22cm x 12cm cake tin with a little spray oil, and line base with baking paper.
Remove skin from pumpkin or sweet potato. Steam until soft (about 10 minutes depending on the size of pieces). Allow to cool.
Place dried mixed fruit, chopped apricots and honey/golden syrup in a saucepan together with orange juice. Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add mashed pumpkin or sweet potato and mix well.
Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and mix spice together and add to fruit mixture. Add ginger and mix well to combine.
Place in cake tin and bake in oven for 1 ¼ hours.

Enjoy and remember to tag me in your results!

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#recipe #food #foodporn #vegan #healthy #instagood #cleaneating #yummy #foodgasm #nutrition #good #sharefood #fitspo #tasty #lunch