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