July Health & Fitness Chat

Long time no health & fitness chat! Well, it’s been a couple of months now. Which I guess in the grand scheme of how quickly this year this going isn’t really that much time at all. I’ve been making some progress in this department, so here’s how I went with the last set of goals I set in May

– Try and cut back on processed ingredients in our dinners
– Write up a fitness goals list/chart for the next few months
– Look at joining a gym in our local area

– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout
– Eat more fruit
– Try a local pilates class

I’m struggling with the fruit thing because at this stage there isn’t much in-season fruit that I like that doesn’t give me stomach issues. Mandarins are the devils fruit but it’s really all I’ve been able to buy recently that hasn’t cost me an arm and a leg (out of season green grapes, I’m looking at you). So fruit has stopped being a priority for me. I’m still making headway in cutting out a lot of processed foods in our evening meals, so that’s good. It just means making a lot of stuff from scratch (rather than using jar sauces, etc), which usually tastes better anyway. Here are my goals for this month:

– Get a personalised fitness plan with my personal trainer
– Go to the gym 3-4 times a week
– Stick to Tuesday/Saturday “treat” days
– Continue to eat gluten free 90% of the time
– Cut back on coffee intake (this has crept up a bit since I started drinking lactose free milk)

How are you all going with your health & fitness goals for this year so far? Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already? Mental.

May Health & Fitness Chat

I feel like quite a lot has changed in my life since my last health and fitness chat, and if you’ve been reading my blog since then you’ll know it’s because I’ve cut about 90% of wheat and gluten problems out of my diet. This has cured me of my chronic stomach pain, which is a huge relief. Thankfully I’m not coeliac, so I can reduce my wheat intake but still have it from time to time without worrying about it too much. Here’s how I went with my goals for April:

– Keep a daily food journal and track any side effects I have from the foods I’m eating
– Start utilising the gym again
– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout
– Cut down on chocolate (Easter was a killer)
– Pick up my water intake again

– Switch to decaf tea 50% of the time

Not too bad all up. In general, my health has been on the mend. My fitness, however, has been lacking quite a bit. This is mostly because Sebastian has been unable to do any kind of physical exercise, due to a leg injury that he had surgery on last week. Thankfully this means he’ll be back on track for exercise soon enough, and I won’t feel so bad ducking off for an hour or so to get a workout in at night. Here are my goals for the next month:

– Try and cut back on processed ingredients in our dinners
– Write up a fitness goals list/chart for the next few months
– Look at joining a gym in our local area
– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout (I’ll need to continue doing this for a while)
– Eat more fruit
– Try a local pilates class

What are your fitness goals for the month?

Lets Talk GLUTEN

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while now, you’re probably aware that I’ve been working through some chronic stomach/digestion issues. Of course like any other stupid human being, I’ve googled my symptoms and have read through the million and one conditions that I could have. There are like 5 different cancers that trigger the same symptoms that I suffer from, so that has been super comforting. I decided to listen to my body, and one of the ways I’ve been trying to help the diagnosis (while I wait to have an endoscopy) is by tracking my meals to figure out what foods seem to cause problems. I did this for a couple of weeks, and it became clear that I have some issues with foods containing wheat and gluten. This is actually a bit of a living nightmare for me, but I’ve been feeling so terrible that I am willing to try anything to help dull some of my pain and symptoms while I wait for a diagnosis. I am in no way self-diagnosing myself as celiac, as I know how serious of a condition this is. Until I get official testing done, at this stage I am simply saying I am gluten intolerant, based on how I’ve noticed body reacting after I ingest foods that contain wheat/gluten. Some of the symptoms I noticed after ingesting wheat/gluten: headaches, dizziness, brain fog, bloating, acid reflux symptoms (burning, “hunger” pangs, nausea), chronic pain in my left (and occasionally right) side, digestive issues, deyhydration, and fatigue. That pretty much ticks all of the boxes for an intolerance. That plus the foods I’ve noticed trigger my acid reflux (tomato, onion, capsicum, chilli, fizzy drinks, alcohol, and coffee), and I have a pretty clear idea of what the culprits are. I decided to cut wheat/gluten and these additional culprits out of my diet for a week, to see how I feel. I have a doctor’s appointment on Saturday to talk to my GP (again), so don’t be concerned that I am self-diagnosing and making huge changes without professional guidance.

I’ve been “gluten free” since Friday evening, and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far. I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a bit disappointed that I didn’t miraculously feel better, but I told myself that I needed to give it a week before I would start to feel anything at all. Having this in the back of my mind has definitely helped. I’ve had chronic pain in my side for about a year or so now, and if the issue is what I think it is, it will take some time for my body to heal – definitely more than 12 hours, at least. Throughout the day I continued to feel pain in my side and back, and had a terrible headache creep in around dinner time. Throughout the evening my muscles ached (in particular my left arm), my stomach was upset, spots on my skin felt incredibly tender to touch, and by the time I decided to go to bed early to try and sleep it off (I think I was in bed by 8pm), my teeth were aching. The only thing that made me feel better about this (and not like I was possibly dying), was reading other people’s stories of gluten withdrawal online. This gave me some comfort that it was possibly a withdrawal causing these symptoms, and that it would pass. Thankfully, I woke up on Sunday morning with significant less pain in my side, and slight residual pain from a bad headache. As silly as it may sound, it feels like I am healing.

Moving forward, I am going to speak to my doctor about my concerns. I believe I’ve been tested for celiac before, but I want to confirm this fact. I think if I was initially told that I was negative for celiac I wouldn’t have worried about it too much, but I now know you can be sensitive or intolerant to gluten without being celiac. If that’s the case, I want to look into other avenues for testing for allergies or intolerance to wheat. If I can confirm that this is the case, I think I may also see a nutritionist to get a little bit of guidance as to what my diet should look like, if it does indeed need to continue as gluten free. I’d love to hear from any of you that live a gluten free life, or have lived with the same issues I’ve been having lately. And if anyone has a good gluten free recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’d love to hear it.

March Health & Fitness Chat

Time for another monthly roundup of where I’m at with my health and fitness. Guess what?! My stomach issues continue. I’m now on a third change of medication, and this combination seems to be working for me so far. I’m also “on the list” to have an endoscopy to try and see what’s going on in my stomach to cause all of these issues. Fitness wise, I have a renewed motivation after having cleared up most of the stomach pain I was suffering from recently. Onwards we go! Here’s how I did with my goals for February (hint: not very well) –

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise three times a week (more like three times a month)
* continue to increase water intake
* cut back on after dinner treats
* increase workout time gradually to 45 minutes

So yeah, not great. I really need to knuckle down now, even if I’m not feeling well. It’s all a vicious cycle but I need to be in the best health I can possibly be to try and figure out what’s going on with my stomach. Here are my goals for March –

* try and get at least 10 stars in my workout diary for the month
* continue to track food on a daily basis
* cut down (a LOT) on sugar intake
* get better at prepping food to take to work
* make healthier meal choices based on food tracking

How is everyone else going with their health and fitness goals for 2015 so far?

February Health & Fitness Chat

I feel like I’m constantly talking about how I’m sick, and how it’s stopping me from achieving my goals. At least, it seems like that’s been happening quite a lot over the last 6 months or so and I really need to try and get on top of it if I can. I was sick for half of January (and the beginning of February), so again I’ve not been able to successfully complete all of my health and fitness goals. My head is in the right place though, so with that in mind I’d say we’re off to a decent start for the year. Here’s how I did with January’s goals

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise twice a week
* increase water intake
* decrease “fake sugar” intake (ie: diet soft drinks)

* stick to a monthly meal plan

I think my biggest achievement in January was completely cutting out “diet” soft drinks from my life. I’d gotten into a bad habit of drinking them again (I quit them a couple of years ago, and as soon as I started drinking them again I noticed the detrimental effect they had on my body), and it was time to stop. I drink the occasional full-sugar soft drink (peach iced tea snapple is my weakness), but for the most part I just drink water. I’m back into my “backyard blitz” workouts, and hope to be increasing reps and times as the month progresses. Here are my goals for February –

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise three times a week
* continue to increase water intake
* cut back on after dinner “treats”
* increase workout time gradually to 45 minute sessions

What are your health and fitness goals for this month?