Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life In The Fast(ing) Lane

Yes, crap pun for a title - my Dad would be so proud...

So I'm still on sick leave, despite the fact that I'm feeling healthy enough to get some exercise, or at least go outside in this lovely crisp-yet-sunny weather. But no, the GP gave me a good finger-waggle yesterday and has stamped "Laryngitic" on my forehead, so it's warm tea and bed rest for me for at least another day or so. This weekend is huge, with bumping in the stage for FAME on Saturday as well as a long rehearsal on Sunday, so the '5 day weekend' I'm taking really isn't a break.

However, the homestay side of things has given me a great opportunity to try out Intermittent Fasting. My schedule is getting a little wild in the sense that I'm on my feet, rushing around for a good 11 hours; teaching lessons, preparing for the musical, and tutoring a first-year university subject. Wild. So the ability to go without food for the majority of the day would be very handy! I already live on just breakfast and dinner, with a decent 12 hour gap in between, but when the show opens I can't afford to be hungry until 10pm! Members on staff are on board to cook food for us so there will be opportunity to eat between the end of the school day and the start of the show, but I don't fancy explaining to the staff that I only eat organic meat, vegetables and eggs! At best I could organise for someone to do a run to the local roast chicken place (free range, but not organic)... But until then, I want to get in control of my own hunger, just in case.

Yesterday I got out of bed at noon, and had The Usual (which I have still neglected to photograph), followed by a 'lunch' of prawns, and just before 5pm I had my dinner - grilled salmon fillet, sauteed red cabbage, wilted spinach and fried haloumi 'chips'. I was good and sated, and the feeling lasted right up til bedtime, which was shortly after midnight.

Today I rose at noon and prepared The Usual, and 90 minutes later had roasted zucchini and asparagus for lunch. I was planning to have 'dinner' at 4:45pm, but my beau picked me up a roast chook when he went to get his lunch at 3pm, so I tucked in to that while it was still juicy and warm. I then finished off my day's food with a pile of red cabbage, sauteed in coconut oil - heaven! So today's food is a Fast 4 rather than a Fast 5, so we'll see how that works. I'm drinking lots of water and tea to keep my fluids up, but I wouldn't usually include tea (if you're interested, I'm drinking Sencha Earl Grey from T2 Tea).

Bad blogger that I am, I forgot once more to photograph my food, so as penitence here are some shots of delicious, low-carb, primal food I've prepared recently:

A standard dinner for me on the days I miss lunch and work late - grilled chops (pork, this time), sauteed red cabbage, and fresh broccoli. Sorry about the bodgy photo - was too hungry to bother lighting it properly.

Cauliflower pizza with bacon, yellow capsicum and bacon, topped with fresh basil. If you haven't tried making a Primal pizza base of cauliflower, cheese and egg, you are missing out! Jamie Van Eaton explains the technique very clearly, and you'll never want floury cardboard pizza bases again!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Laryngitic Lethargy

My voice disappeared yesterday afternoon, so I have spent the day in bed or rugged up in front of the computer. I decided I might as well try Intermittent Fasting since I'm barely hungry anyway, and I'm close to the fridge should things get icky.

So, at noon I broke free of the doona & pillow prison, and had The Usual, plus three prawn (shrimp) skewers since I had defrosted them and they were going in the bin otherwise. Then just before 5pm I whipped up my dinner:

Grilled salmon fillet, haloumi strips fried in a pat of butter, sauteed red cabbage and wilted baby spinach. Superb.

So the plan is now to fast until lunchtime tomorrow, or maybe dinnertime... We'll see how I go! I know I won't need as many calories today since I've been lying around, but I also want to ensure my system has enough fuel to kick this bug, kick it hard and preferably in the crotch. I need to be fit and well by the weekend, if not sooner.

At least I have time to get this blog started, and to keep up with my reading. Oh, and I'm on Twitter now too - anyone know a good blogger gadget for sharing tweets? The ones I've looked at today have been pretty ugly...

What's this Primal business anyhow?

There are many many fantastic blogs and websites exploring what Mark Sisson refers to as The Primal Blueprint. Rather than regurgitate all the information I have been digesting and processing for the last six months, I refer y'all to Mark's site, and to the list of blogs running to the right on my blog. I won't be summarising recent findings or anything like that, since the information is already out there for you to find (and I really don't have the time). Rather, I will be using this blog to serve as anecdotal evidence for anyone interested in the Primal lifestyle.

By the way, I started cutting sugar, grains and starches on the 1st of January, 2009. Since then, I've dropped 9kg, and am perhaps 5kg away from my ideal healthy weight. I don't exercise formally, but I walk to work, and my job involves lots of walking and standing and bending - not a lot of sitting.

I want to refer you to the following two videos which sum up the ideology and scientific background behind the Primal lifestyle in an accessible way:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Tucker - 28/04/09


"The Usual"

"The Usual" is two organic eggs, cold meat (usually ham or bacon) and cheese (usually cheddar or parmesan). I have never photographed The Ususal, but will do so next time. For now, here's how it is prepared:

Heat 1T butter or coconut oil in frying pan til it melts and coats pan evenly.
Crack the two eggs into a mug or small bowl, then whisk (with a fork, if you're me) until yolk and white is well combined. Pour into pan (in one go, or in two halves for thinner omelettes and more fillings). Wait for mixture to start 'setting' around the edges, and flip over.
Chop meat and cheese finely, and sprinkle in a line down the centre of the omelette. Fold the egg 'wings' over the fillings, and press to seal the wings in place.
Wait for about 30 seconds, and then flip whole omelette so that the join is face-down. Wait until cheese is likely to be completely melted, then serve and enjoy!

Prep time - no more than 5 minutes if you cook the eggs together.


Tuna. Yes, tuna. As in the 75g of canned meat that comes swimming in 25g of water. I took it to work 'just in case I was hungry'. I usually can skip lunch, to have an early dinner at around 5 or 6pm. This habit has developed for two reasons: 1. I rarely have time to prepare, pack and actually EAT lunch at work, and 2. I am trying to only eat when actually hungry. I would like to ultimately try Intermittent Fasting, but while I'm working such long days, this isn't a good time to mess with my mealtime structure. Come 1pm, I was definitely hungry, thanks to fighting this cold, and the smaller portion of cheese in my omelette. The tiny touch of tuna did the trick. (Yes, if you hadn't picked it up from the title of this post, and the title of this blog, I always appreciate alliteration.)


Picked up a roast chook from the local - I get the legs and wings, the boy gets the breasts (typical male...). I also get ALL the skin, and give the bones a good gnawing to slurp out the nutritious and delicious marrow.

Sauteed a couple of cups of red cabbage in 1T of butter. I now have an addiction where cabbage is concerned. If I get cabbage as part of my meal, I don't even think about dessert.

Steamed some cauliflower, chucked a bit of crispy bacon and cheddar on top, then broiled until the cheese melted.

All served with a serve of baby spinach. Bon appetit!

No photos this first time around, but I shall endeavour to take photos of all dinners from now on, and get a snap of my delicious breakfast for you all to drool over. I particularly like waggling my breakfast in front of cereal devotees, who tend to stare at me with mouths agape. Mwahahaha!!