Every single mouthful today tickled my tastebuds!

530am – Breakfast:

The delights of restraint!

The delights of restraint!

Two fried eggs

Two buttered toasts

Baked avocado with sandwich spread dollops

Chobani (quasi-Greek) yoghurt’n’nuts’n’fruit

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied-Full

 

*****

945am – Lunch:

Every morsel a pleasure!

Every morsel a pleasure!

 

(Sunflower) seeded bun with butter – large sized

Tofu. peas and potato curry with rice – small portion

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

 

*****

 

945pm – Dinner:

 

I loved every second of this meal-without-seconds!

I loved every second of this meal-without-seconds!

 

Mug of homemade broccoli, celery, carrot, leek and onion soup – Medium serving

 

Herbed baby cucumbers in lime juice – Medium portion

 

Tofu curry and cheese sandwiches – Medium portion

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

 

*****

1.15am – Late night cup of coffee with honey and double cream

 

*****

Today’s food was just, so wonderfully satisfying. I was quite hungry come the morn and I managed to fry two eggs perfectly with runny, velvet yolks! I also managed to not overcook my baked avocado too… (and by “not overcooked”, I mean ever-so-slightly undercooked! But it was very decent nonetheless. If I have avocado for my next breakfast, I expect to cook it to perfection.)

‘Lunch’ was at the decidedly unlunchly time of 9.45am. (Barely even Brunch-time!)

But I was a little hungry then and felt fully justified in eating what I did, when I did it! Besides which, I then left it a full 12 hours before eating anything again.  (Because my body felt adequately fuelled until then.)

Spent much of the evening helping to make 56 Christmassy cookies for sale at a Christmas Fayre tomorrow (funds raised going to charity.) Didn’t taste a single one! Took absolutely no willpower. (Whereas, in recent times, I’d’ve easily polished off four or five without even blinking!)

Late hour+socially active weekend ahead= short post tonight. G’night!

 

 

Heavy weights at the gym doesn’t have to mean heavy food intake!

530am – Breakfast:

Eclectic Breakfast

Eclectic Breakfast

My OTHER culinary creation has a Michelin star!

My OTHER culinary creation has a Michelin star!

Veggie pasta leftovers with slice of Havarti cheese – Small portion

Toast with butter – 1 small slice

Fruit’n’nut’n’yog combo – medium to large portion

Baked avocado and egg – Medium portion

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied-Full

*****

Lunch: Skipped

*****

745pm Dinner:

Not the most beautiful food in the world!

Not the most beautiful food in the world!

Homemade Stir Fry Veggie Noodles – Medium portion

Homemade Egg fried rice – Medium portion

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

130am – Late night coffee with honey and double cream

*****

I was really rather hungry at 5.30am. So I had a relatively substantial breakfast. The leftover pasta was fine. The toast with butter was divine! As was, as always, my fruit’n’nut’n’yog combo which I failed to eat the previous night. The baked avocado and egg was odd. Well, I overcooked the whole thing, so the egg was rather rubbery. But the avocado was interestingly nutty. It kinda reminded me of roast chestnuts. Certainly pleasing and I might even give it a go again in the morning.

So, yes, breakfast was the first time in a few days that I’ve approached being full. But then, I naturally compensated for that by not eating again until 14 hours (and a heavy gym session) later! But I wasn’t depriving myself or using incredible willpower to forego food. I simply wasn’t hungry until after I went to the gym. I was toying with the idea of making some lassi or drinking some kind of milkshake to aid recovery of my muscles. But I knew that I’d only be doing that because you are supposed to ingest a large dose of protein post-workout. My body was not crying out for anything much at that point. So I listened to my body. And it was about an hour after I stopped lifting weights that I had finally got home and rustled up the unappetizing-looking, but perfectly tasty, dinner of noodles and rice. Recently, I would have drunk about a pint of lassi or milkshake, eaten about twice the amount that I did tonight and probably would have made some tofu too to intensify the protein hit. Oh, and I’d’ve had some sort of dessert.

Instead, I accurately judged how much food I’d need to satisfy my hunger, ate it and then ate nothing else. In terms of my strength at the gym, I didn’t notice anything untoward. Even though my food consumption has been very limited this week, I still felt I was getting stronger.

I managed the 80kgs (which is the maximum weight) on the shoulder press machine, which I have been lifting recently, a little easier than I have before. I only did three, slow reps. I concentrated on good form and targeting the muscles. I managed 80kgs on the lat pulldown machine without any difficulty. I managed 70kgs on the chest press machine. And I managed 85kgs on the front row machine. I did 12kgs with strict form and slow reps on the triceps pushdown machine and I did shoulder shrugs with a 20kg dumbbell in each hand. I also did 7.5kg bicpes curls (doesn’t sound like a lot, but the constant tension on the muscles made it quite taxing) using the bottom handle of the triceps pushdown machine. I also did some of those cross-body extensions for the shoulders (7.5kgs, I think.)

These are at the upper limits of what I can lift with strict form and at a snail’s pace. And, beforehand, I was wondering whether my restricted food intake over the past several days would result in a corresponding depletion of energy. Well, it didn’t! I almost feel as if excess food leads to excess sluggishness and a more difficult time at the gym. Because tonight’s workout felt quite easy and I don’t feel at all sore now. (Some of that must be to do with the chi-generating exercizes and 20-minute meditation I did immediately post-workout, but I always do those. Tonight I feel more energized that I usually do post-gym.)

So, yes, I’ve managed to crack the tyranny of trainers the world over, whose unfailing advice on how to eat – both pre- and post-workout – I completely failed to implement! In future, I will not over-compensate for exercize by overeating. I will continue to follow my body’s signals and eat modestly in response to them.

 

 

 

 

How eating meat could hamper your fat-loss goals…

915am – Breakfast:

Sufficiently substantial - and sufficiently light - breakfast

Sufficiently substantial – and sufficiently light – breakfast

A hugely satisfying palate-cleanser!

A hugely satisfying palate-cleanser!

Homemade veggie pasta – medium portion

Cup of coffee with honey and double cream

Three small cucumbers with assorted dried herbs, a pinch of sugar and lime juice

Satiety Level: Neutral-Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

Lunch – skipped

*****

6pm – Dinner:

The fruit'n'nuts'n'yog is still in the fridge - I only ate the burger and soup.

The fruit’n’nuts’n’yog is still in the fridge – I only ate the burger and soup.

Quorn Quarterpounder with lettuce, mayo, date caramel, tomato and Gouda cheese slice in a small bun – medium portion

Cup of homemade curly kale, carrot, potato, leek, onion, yellow pepper and sweetcorn soup – medium portion

Cup of coffee with honey and double cream

Satiety Level – Neutral-Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

Well, I didn’t manage to get to the gym. Hence the rather light food intake. If I properly listen to my body, as I have been doing since following Paul McKenna’s rules again, I really don’t need a whole lot of fuel in the form of food on a day like today. (When activity levels are minimal.) If I properly understand my body’s signals, as I have been doing since restarting this blog, I only need to eat about a quarter to a third of what I was eating before! That’s a big difference. And healthy weightloss (fatloss) is inevitable.

It’s only if I begin to eat because I think I ought to be eating a certain amount or if I eat out of boredom or if I eat mindlessly while focusing on something else (TV, or Radio or reading material)… it’s only then that I will, inevitably, eat more than my body needs and end up maintaining my excess weight or, even, adding more fat in preparation for those periods of famine which never come!

I wonder whether one of the ways that many people who unsuccessfully try to lose weight – even by following Paul McKenna’s rules – manage to self-sabotage is to do with the idea that we should be eating, for instance, 5-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables.

Now, if you are an omnivore (as I was when I was following McKenna’s rules in early 2013), even a small portion of the meat/fish that you eat will, very quickly, fill you up on its own! But you believe that, in order to be ‘healthy’, you have to cram in those 5-a-day servings too. So you actually end up eating more than your body needs.

I would contend that, on the whole, if you are eating two or three (even modest) portions of meat/fish per day and five portions of fruit and vegetables on top of that, that is more than many people really need. I accept that one size won’t fit all and that individual metabolisms and constitutions and genetics and energy expenditure will play a huge role in all of this… but I will use myself as an example. (Because I don’t have anyone else to use right now!)

I am a hefty chap. I carry most of my fat around my belly. But I also lift weights. While you’re not going to mistake me for Mr Universe anytime soon, nor would you mistake me for Pee Wee Herman. And while I’m sure I’ll lose some muscle as a result of following McKenna’s rules, I know I’ll lose a lot more fat. But my point is that, in spite of eating in a very spartan fashion since the weekend, I have not felt excessively hungry at any time. I haven’t exercised since the weekend, but during this sedentary period, it has typically taken me around 7-10 hours after (my modest) breakfast before I start to feel hungry. And the time between my evening meal and breakfast the next morning has been between 8 and 13 hours.

What I’m trying to suggest is that even though I am the size that I am, (relatively) very little food is satisfying my hunger and I feel a lot healthier and a lot sprightlier already. Oh, and my clothes are beginning to fit better already. And it has all been effortless.

But the key difference between now and my earlier stint in 2013 following McKenna’s rules, is that I am now totally vegetarian. This means that I am managing to eat a decent amount of fruit and vegetables without overeating at all. Last time round, I would often have a meal with meat/fish at its centre. Plus vegetables in some form. Plus my fruit’n’nuts’n’yog combo. So many of my meals – even though they were much smaller than my pre-McKenna meals, were still bigger than they needed to be.

Being vegetarian means that I am easily able to stop eating each meal by the time I am Pleasantly Satisfied, rather than pushing on to the Full stage, just to ensure that I’m stuffing enough fruits and vegetables into my diet!

These are, of course, early days. And I accept that I could be wrong about it all. But I have a hunch that being fully veggie this time round will work to my favour and will ensure that this losing weight business will be even more effortless than it was last time!

The benefits of a fruity, nutty, yoghurty evening meal!

730am – Breakfast:

Now that's a satisfying breakfast!

Now that’s a satisfying breakfast!

Date-caramel was gorgeous with the yoghurt. A perfect substitute for/alternative to Manuka Honey.

Date-caramel was gorgeous with the yoghurt. A perfect substitute for/alternative to Manuka Honey.

Homemade Noodle stir-fry (thank you, Mother!) – small to medium portion

Toasted curried potato sandwich (also, thank you, Mother – for the filling!) – small to medium portion

Fruit’n’yog combo with date caramel
Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

3.20pm – Lunch:

The sandwiches may not be pretty, but the eclectic ingredients had a party in my mouth!

The sandwiches may not be pretty, but the eclectic ingredients had a party in my mouth!

One medium-sized Havarti cheese, sandwich spread, 2 Quorn Turkey and Sage-style slices, tomato sandwich

One medium-sized Gouda cheese, date caramel, 2 Quorn Turkey and Sage-style slices, coriander chutney and curried potatoes and peas sandwich

Cup of Coffee with honey and double cream

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

10pm – Dinner:

Feels so much lighter - and absolutely satisfying - having only this for dinner.

Feels so much lighter – and absolutely satisfying – having only this for dinner.

 

Half a banana, small section of pear, a few small apple pieces, 1/3 of a persimmon, full fat Greek Yoghurt, teaspoon of Manuka Honey, small handful of cashews, small handful of raisins, ground cinnamon and date caramel.

 

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied

 

*****

I  don’t know if I will have the inclination to do this in the long-term and I know this isn’t going to happen every day, but I wonder whether, at least a few days each week, I should have this light evening meal consisting of nothing more than a variation on my precious, delicious, fruit’n’nut’n’yog combo?

It feels fantastic to be sat here, light-of-stomach, sharp of mind, neither hungry nor full, but just right. I crave nothing now, whereas in the very recent past, I used to crave a lot at around this time (around 11.30pm.) And, I’m ashamed to say, I would give in to those cravings in a big way! It really isn’t a mystery as to why I piled the pounds back on throughout the Spring and Summer.

I guess I was also trying to prove to myself that I could eat consciously and healthily even if I was eating in front of the TV or while reading. I was also trying to prove to myself that I didn’t need to be documenting my food intake on this blog in order to be healthy. Unfortunately, I failed massively with that experiment! I DO need to follow Paul McKenna’s Golden Rules to the letter. I DO need to stay away from distractions while eating. And, of equally vital importance is this blog, because it forces me to confront my food intake in a very stark way. And it is there for the whole world (potentially!) to see. Apart from water, which I drink throughout the day according to thirst, every single thing that I consume daily is detailed on this blog. [Although I forgot to mention about 6 mints that I had yesterday when I was healing. Unfortunately, they were essential. I had done a lot of talking and was doing a visualization with a patient when I began to have a minor coughing fit. My throat needed soothing before I could go on, and the mints did the job. ]

My point is, what you see is what I intake! (I don’t always photograph my cups of coffee – especially if they are imbibed independently of my meals – but even they are listed and everything else eaten or drunk is photographed. And since I haven’t drunk any fizzy drinks for nearly two years and alcohol for more than three, I’m not gonna be indulging in hidden calories that way. I have, recently, been drinking a lot of milk, lassis and milkshakes. And I might still partake a few times a week – mostly after gymming/exercise. But if I do, you’ll know about it! And I’ll know you’ll know about it! So overindulgence becomes next-to-impossible. And when I follow the rules meticulously, I simply don’t snack. So all the biscuits and crisps and puddings and assorted other rubbish that had crept back into my diet in Spring and Summer have now disappeared of their own accord. And I am craving a vegetable smoothie as shown on the sceptical yogi’s blog here:

http://theskepticalyogi.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/glowing-green-ugh-are-you-eating-that-smoothie/

I know I also linked to her site yesterday, but she is a very engaging blogger and I will continue to do so if she continues to be engaging!]

I’ve made pasta for my family’s lunch tomorrow, so that will be one of my substantial meals tomorrow too – probably breakfast. I’m very tempted to make a soup with the few ingredients we have left in the fridge – leeks, potato, curly kale, bell peppers, tinned sweetcorn.  And I’ll probably whip something up with tofu too. So that will be my lunch – and my family’s dinner – while I stick to my fruits’n’nuts’n’yog combo. Yup that sounds like a plan. I also plan to hit the gym hard tomorrow. Probably before lunch. And I want to write a substantial amount of my incipient novel too. And I’ve got about a billion pending chores to deal with too… So I have to be organized. (A virtue I constantly aspire to, yet never seem to achieve!)

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A day of travelling, healing, traffic jamming and not a lot of eating!

8.30am – Breakfast:

Recently, when healing, my breakfast has consisted of a large pack of Maltesers! Now, it's this. About 500 times more satisfying and about a thousand times less rubbish!

Recently, when healing, my breakfast has consisted of a large pack of Maltesers! Now, it’s this. About 500 times more satisfying and about a thousand times less rubbish!

One scoop of (full fat) Greek Yoghurt

Small handful of cashews

Small handful of raisins

Small tablespoon of Manuka Honey

Half a persimmon

Small section of a pear

Satiety Level: Neutral-Pleasantly Satisfied

*****

Lunch – skipped (because I was healing. I can’t eat anything at all substantial before healing.)

*****

6pm Dinner:

Dry... then quite lovely... then dry again!

Dry… then quite lovely… then dry again!

Really rather pointless and slightly burnt!

Really rather pointless and slightly burnt!

Slightly sour-tasting. Nowhere near as good as the best 100% natural coconut waters on the market.

Slightly sour-tasting. Nowhere near as good as the best 100% natural coconut waters on the market.

Pret a Manger Haloumi and Falafel Wrap

Pret a Manger Mozarella and Tomato Croissant

Pret a Manger Pure Coconut Water

*****

1015pm – Coffee with Double Cream and Honey

*****

I was out all day travelling to see a patient and when I am healing, I have to do so on a (close to) empty stomach. Otherwise digestion gets in the way and the healing energies don’t flow like they should. For several months now, I have been eating (copious amounts of) chocolate – often in the form of Maltesers or Munchies or Aero Bubble packs. Chocolate in these forms do not interfere with the flow of healing energies at all. But it has contributed rather a lot to my ridiculous size in recent months.

So I knew I had to ditch the choccies. I tried the fruit’n’nut’n’yog combo which was an absolute favourite of mine back when I was eating consciously in Jan/Feb. And, happily, it worked a treat! It is sufficiently light to not stimulate disruptive and uncomfortable digestion (like most other food would.) It is nutritious. It is home-made. And it tastes a lot more heavenly than 78 Maltesers do!

As you can see, I ate rather sparingly today. I usually end up (when I see this, particular patient) at a fine Thai place and eating superhuman amounts while reading. (Especially since, by then, I am properly famished.) But I popped into Pret a Manger instead. Partly because their portions are reasonable (ie not gargantuan) and partly because I wasn’t really hungry enough for a stomach-distending feast like I normally have.

I ate in the car (parked! Not driving!) without any distractions. Can’t say I enjoyed the croissant much. But the Halloumi Wrap was very decent. Several hours (and one major traffic jam on the M40 later and I’m Neutral going on slightly hungry.

Which means I will have a decent breakfast quite early tomorrow. I’m intrigued to try the oh-so-simple Vegan Caramel recipe that I found on here:

http://theskepticalyogi.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/528/

I believe it will go very well with my fruit’n’nut’n’yog combo.

Back on the eating properly wagon !

Back with a Vengeance ! Healthy By Christmas!

Breakfast: Skipped

12pm Lunch:

This is the first meal of the rest of my life!

This is the first meal of the rest of my life!

Leftover Chinese takeaway (Singapore veggies vermicelli noodles, tofu in yellow bean sauce and garlic aubergine) – medium portion

Very lightly spiced Jeera Potatoes – small portion

Steamed mixed vegetables – small portion

Satiety Level: Pleasantly satisfied

*****

8pm Dinner:

Completely satisfying and no need for a dessert!

Completely satisfying and no need for a dessert!

Leftover 6-inch Subway Veggie Delite with added jeera potatoes – medium to large portion

Bowl of steamed mixed vegetables with butter – medium portion

Satiety Level: Pleasantly Satisfied – Full

*****

945pm – Coffee with honey and double cream

(An indulgence? Probably. But a guiltless one!)

*****

It’s been too long since I fell off the wagon. My rapid weight-loss in Jan/Feb was very welcome. But I was also eating meat and fish regularly. I ended up with an acute, severe attack of gout at the end of March. I spoke to my rheumatologist about it and he thought my rapid weight-loss contributed to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in my ankle.

So I was, initially, somewhat wary of continuing the Paul McKenna regime and decided to stop following the rules until my gout was under control. I also made the decision to stop eating meat and fish and to resume the vegetarianism which has always felt morally (and karmically) right for me. The last bit of meat I had was at the end of May 2013, just before I began the Mind Body Spirit 2013 event at London’s Earl’s Court where I have a stand every year. That was a sausage. But once I began healing at the festival, I realized that eating meat and fish was incompatible with my healing. And this was borne out throughout my time at the festival. The energies I felt – and my healees there experienced – were incredibly powerful this year. And there was a refined quality to them which I simply hadn’t been experiencing during the previous, meat-eating year. I don’t suggest that this will be the case for everyone. If others can square meat-eating with healing, that is their business and their choice. But I have stopped deluding myself that, in my case, I can do both at the same time.

And my latest blood results (in September 2013) confirmed that becoming a vegetarian once more has already brought its rewards. My serum urate levels were comfortably back in the ‘normal’ range after being hugely elevated in March. Meat and fish do not suit me. I have to accept that. My body cannot process them properly. (Nor can my conscience, nor my soul!)

So, anyway, I have definitely put back on the weight I lost in early 2013. This is hugely irritating to me and I am determined to reverse it. This blog was a major reason for my sticking with Paul McKenna’s rules, a major motivating factor and, therefore, was a major reason for my weightloss. Which is why I am now resuming it with a vengeance.

Apologies to those of my subscribers and readers whom I have neglected for so long. I hope you can forgive my absence. I hope you will continue on this journey with me. I know success is certain if I stick to Paul McKenna’s rules. Please take my hand as I resume my healthy, conscious-eating quest!