Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 8: Some free (nutrition) advice and a giveaway


Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

I'm two days behind with #blogeverydayinmay. A very minor head cold, combined with lack of sleep, has made my brain feel a little muddled up making it difficult to write coherently. I'll confess I spent most of yesterday on the couch sleeping and watching TV.

My very late day 8 is all about advice. Rather than me give you some advice I'm going to tell you about the professional advice that I got last week. And then I'm going to offer a $150 Woolworths gift voucher to the reader who can give me the best bit of advice.

        Read on for more details...

The BB and the (famous) nutritionist

The Skype session started and Dr Joanna McMillan's familiar face was beamed into my bedroom. It felt really weird speaking to someone I know from the telly. I was quite nervous at first but it didn't take long before Jo's friendly smile assured me I was in good hands.

Dr Jo asked for my background story. "How long have you got?" I replied with some playful sarcasm.

I tried to sum it up in a few sentences: I told her that I had a history of drug and alcohol addiction as well as anxiety and depression. I told her I had five years of sobriety under my belt but was still very much addicted to sugar. I told Jo how I'd quit sugar for seven weeks last year but when I fell off the wagon with a chocolate cake on my birthday I have not been able to get back on it. I told her about my lapband and my struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle because of my self saboteur who visits with all too much regularity. That about sums it up, right?

First up Dr Jo told me to stop being so hard on myself. With five years of sobriety up my sleeve I ought to be proud. And of course I am but I told her I wish I could do with sugar what I did with booze and drugs - let go of it. She told me I needed to take baby steps to turn my food habits around. And that jumping in the deep end with any extreme lifestyle change (like IQS or 12wbt - both of which I have attempted) was only doomed to fail.

Back to basics with you BB!

With the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan in mind we talked about "taking one day at a time", or even one meal at a time, rather than me setting huge unachievable goals that were doomed to fail. Dr Jo suggested I take "baby steps" and make small changes to my everyday eating habits.

From the Day on a Plate food diary I gave Dr Jo she concluded that I snack too much and that I needed to give more structure to my meals throughout the day. The day I diarised was actually a really good day for me and I admitted I usually eat a lot more chocolate, cake and ice cream.

A day on the BB's plate

Oats for breakfast - salad and cheese for lunch - a (tiny) bite of Noo's ice cream in the arvo

7.30am Black plunger coffee with one sweetener

8.00am Half a cup of Uncle Toby’s quick oats served with 1 cup of low fat milk, 5 chopped fresh strawberries, 5 raspberries, sweetened with 2 teaspoons of stevia, plus a dessert spoon of Benefibre for added fibre

11.00am 1 fun sized Kit Kat and a can of Diet Coke

1.30pm Shared two plates of mixed salad at the 13 Rooms exhibition pop-up café with my mum. The salads included quinoa, vegies, beef, salmon, rocket, white beans. Very healthy and gluten and sugar free. We also shared a cheese platter with gorgonzola and triple cream brie, fresh figs and grapes and lavosh crackers

3.00pm a mouthful of my son’s choc top Mr Whippy soft serve

4.00pm three slices of my son’s spinach and ricotta Turkish gozleme

5.00pm Black plunger coffee with one sweetener

6.00pm handful of plain potato chips and a handful of red grapes

8.00pm four chocolate covered scorched almonds

All in all not that bad a day. Usually I would have also had at least an ice cream or piece of cake plus much more chocolate.

Advice from the expert

The best advice I got from Dr Jo to incorporate some better eating habits into my day include:

  • Take one meal at a time. Aim to make the next meal a healthy one. And then the next and the next. Slowly but surely make changes to my everyday rather than expecting to wake up one morning as a health freak who never eats sugar, cake, chocolate, ice cream, hot chips... because that ain't gonna happen. I need to make gradual change.
  • Back to basics - Eat three solid meals a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously, that basic. Eat until almost full so I can be sustained through to the next meal without reaching for a bag of Malteasers. 
  • Make sure half my plate is salad or veggies. The other half needs to be divided three ways: protein, carbs and oil - oil being just a little bit.
  • Try to reach for health snacks between meals - a piece of fruit, handful of nuts.
  • Think of cutting back chocolate and other sweet foods like giving up cigarettes: go without for one minute, five minutes, one hour, two hours... and see how it feels and build up from there.
  • Dinner is my weakest area. Because Noo is so fussy and won't eat very much I've got lazy about cooking for one. I need to get more disciplined with dinner to avoid snacking on junk all through the evening until bedtime. Make something easy (eg steak and salad). Sit down at the table with Noo. Eat together. Offer Noo foods he doesn't usually like. Don't resort to giving him treat food.
  • Take large doses of fish oil (9000mg a day). This has also been told to me by three psychiatrists. Fish oil has been seen to help with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and ADHD. 
  • Don't rush into personal training, aim to go for a half hour walk every day and build up from there.
  • Notice as you slowly take control.
  • Avoid black and white thinking. If I have a piece of chocolate don't see it as a major fail and fall completely from the wagon. 

There's some really great advice there that I'm slowly incorporating into my everyday.


Now it is your turn to give me some advice for the chance to win a $150 Woolworths gift voucher.

Just answer one of the following three questions in the comments below for a chance to win. The most creative answer will win the $150 gift voucher.

1. What is your most delicious, nutritious and simple recipe for dinner that is suitable for one mum and one fussy eater?

2. What healthy activity do you do to relieve stress (rather than eat junk like me)?

3. What is your most delicious, nutritious snack for kids?

My session with Dr Joanna McMillan and this post were sponsored by Australian Pineapples. Extra points will go to entries that include pineapples in them.

Competition details:

1. Answer in the comments section one of the questions above.
2. Like on Facebook.
3. Follow on Twitter.
4. Subscribe to (see the form at the bottom of the post).
5. Australian residents only. Sorry!
6. Most creative answer wins.
7. Judge's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
8. The winner will be notified by email so please ensure you subscribe.
9. This giveaway is in NO way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

EDIT: Competition closes next Friday 17 May 2013.
Entrants who don't use Facebook or Twitter will not be penalised as long as they subscribe my email.




Disclosure: I was given a free half hour session with Dr Joanna McMillan to discuss my nutrition issues as well as a $150 Woolworths gift voucher to giveaway to one of my readers. No cash has exchanged hands. All opinions are my own in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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Kylie Gardner said...

To relieve stress I like to put on YouTube and dance to 80s songs in my undies. Seriously! :)

Angela East said...

For question 1 I would say anything that goes into one pot is excellent! I'm a big sucker for stirfry and pasta because you can load veggies in them and they still taste delicious. Wholemeal pasta or rice alongside it can be great if you're trying to lay off the carbs and they taste the same as white anyway :-)

Your breakfast and lunch above sounds soooo good!

Marnie said...

Hi - I guess I won't qualify for
the prize because I'm not on facebook or Twitter, but it doesn;t matter. I thought I'd pipe in
anyway, because like you, I've struggled with food and other demons throughout
my life. Through some serious therapy lately I have realised I put a lot of
'rules' around my eating. ie: I had only been allowing myself treats on
weekends (basically as a reward for making it through the week). As a result
though, I was tending to binge all weekend because on Monday it was all back to
healthy eating. By recognising this, I hope to be able to break down these
barriers, stop punishing myself (because we know bingeing a) makes you feel
physically sick and b) brings with it so much guilt and remorse) and hopefully
turn my bad eating ways around. The other thing I have been trying to do is
reward myself in different ways. For example, rather than scoffing a bowl of
ice-cream, then some cake, and then some chocolate, I will have a bath and take
a book with me. Or I have been leaving my son with someone so I can go and have
some time out on my own. Even if this is just to go window shopping, or to enjoy a
coffee and magazine in a cafe. Movie downloads from i-tunes are good too when
you want to chill out for a bit but can't be stuffed going out to get a dvd.
It is so hard though, and will be a slow process. Like you say, one meal at a
time, one day at a time...

In terms of healthy eating for my family, I add grated vegies to everything.
Carrot and zucchini are particularly tasteless. I sometimes add mushies I blitz
to breadcrumb like consistency in the food processor. Peas, corn, broccoli,
etc. My 20 month old son is super fussy too, and really only wants to eat slop
that comes out of a can (you know, that toddler 'food' Heinz sells). But he
will eat my spag bol or satay chicken and rice. Sometimes he'll have those a
couple of times a week (as I freeze leftovers) and I don't mind so much as I
know they contain plenty of vegies.

Good luck! I look forward to reading about how you continue to get on.

Bubfriendly Winnie said...

Question 3 - my little one really enjoys fruits - so I tend to make it all into a healthy fruit salad bowl with whatever's in season. At the same time , I eat the same too. She loves the fact that she is 'sharing' with mummy and we are both having healthy yummy snacks!!!

Caitlin said...

Sweet and Sour Chicken is always a favourite healthy meal in our house. Packed with brightly coloured vegies, it's good for you, but it's the bits of pineapple throughout it which is the biggest drawcard to young little tongues. My children love pineapple, and if I'm ever fruit shopping with them, I normally give into their pleas and include a pineapple in the trolley. The last time I did, they were so ecstatic they met their father at the door when he got home, jumping up and down yelling that they had a pineapple! Such a proud Mummy moment that they were more excited over a pineapple than they do when I bring home ice-cream!

Claudia littlecottagebiglife said...

Burgers. Yes burgers! I make these for my two very fussy eaters and they eat the lot. Just shove any spare veg you have in the fridge in a blender and waz it up with a little garlic and a big tablespoon of vegemite (for that salty flavour without using salt). Then mix it into 1/2 kilo of mice with some breadcrumbs (we use wholemeal crumbs for lower GI) and make into patties and freeze them. You could even add cheese at this stage too. They're then ready to pull out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge in the morning when you want to use them for dinner. Ned can choose whatever toppings he wants to go in the bun with the patty and you can rest easy knowing he is getting his vegetables hidden away in a very tasty burger. You can add or subtract any ingredient to your own liking, but we have never had a bad burger doing it this way.

Wendy Parks said...

My toddler is fussy too, but she loves pasta, cucumber and broccoli. It's hard to get her to eat meat, and I know I need to eat more fish for the omega 3.

So my tip for a quick, nutritious dinner that meets her needs and mine, I make a Tuna Pasta Bake.

Cook 150 g wholemeal pasta until tender.

Melt 60 g butter in a saucepan

Add 2 TB wholemeal plain flour and stir to mix. Remove from heat the gradually stir in
1-2 cups milk, stirring until boiling
Add mixed herbs, pepper to taste
Add one finely grated carrot

1/2 cup corn kernels and

1/2 grated zucchini (To get in those extra disguised veggies)
Add a large tin of drained tuna and combine well

Mix sauce through cooked pasta and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle either with dried breadcrumbs or some grated cheese.
Bake 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes

Serve with a salad of fresh lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pineapple, celery and salad veggies of your choice.

All the best with "one meal at a time"

Kathryn OHalloran said...

I used to give my son peanut butter on celery. He loved that. Sometimes peanut butter on weetbix. I think a lot of the old school biscuits like butternut snaps are actually better than most of the muesli bars and stuff you can buy - so good as a treat sometimes.

Megan Webb said...

Answer to Q3, because I LOVE coconut products, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water, coconut cream (so so good for you) I put a half a tin in the blender along with one pineapple cut up, then I blend and then I freeze in ice block moulds. DELISH, HEALTHY treats!!! :) xxx

Bullroarer AustralianBulldogs said... favourite healthy stress reliever is doing a Housework Workout Routine while listening to my favourite tunes.. You kill 2 birds with one stone doing this! Exercise & Housework :)

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Claudia said...

I forgot to include pineapple! I love pineapple on my burger for a tropical twist. Slice it really thin for a more delicate texture. I bet Ned would love it too V. (I already follow BB on FB and twitter and now I subscribe also xxx)

Elise said...

For my fussy little eater, I go to the old standby of bolognaise sauce. I use the blender to make my veggies (carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, sometimes more) into a paste which gets stirred through. No obvious texture to giveaway that the bolognause is filled with veggie goodness! The sauce can be frozen and reheated to be served with pasta, a steamed potato, in a taco shell (or on cornchips). Its a little messy, but toddlers love messy and because it can be eaten in many ways and freezes well its worth cooking a decent size batch even for only 1.5 people! Great giveaway, I suspect alot of your diary outcomes apply to me as well

Kim Maree said...

I know it's simple, but my daughter loves eating frozen peas, I don't know if its the novelty or not, but she loves them, and I love her eating them.

Kim Maree said...

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Grace said...

Chilli Con Carne is a big fave in our home - lots of protein and you can hide the veggies in the pasta sauce.
Running's a big one for me to relieve stress. Just get those joggers on and go!
And nutritious snack? Yoghurt is always an easy, yet healthy one.

Kell Kelly said...

2. What healthy activity do you do to relieve stress (rather than eat junk like me)?

To relieve stress I get my boys out into the backyard or local park and kick the ball around, play soccer or fly kites. Not only is it good exercise and a stress reliever for me but it also benefits my kids by getting them outside, learning teamwork and getting their 30 minutes exercise.

Mystery Case said...

following via facebook, twitter and email.

Mystery Case said...

Depending on what we have in the fridge we do a rice flour variation of Japanese pancakes, jammed packed full of shredded veggies. I top mine with a crunchy salad with a low fat salad dressing.

Stacey Shailer said...

2. My healthy activity to relieve stress was to get outside and build a vegie garden! I enjoyed the whole process of making something productive so much that the one bed turned into 3 more. Sunshine, fresh air and getting my hands dirty while I tend to the plants helps me to switch off from everything else for a while. The best bit is that there is always a little something to do each day in the garden that forces me to stop and go outside to do it, whether it be watering, weeding, mulching sowing seeds, planting out seedlings, or the best bit, harvesting yummy, organic vegies and fruit that I grew all by myself. Plus I enjoy having fresh produce to base healthy, filling family meals around :)
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Chubba said...

I try and dedicate 30 mins playing with my kids to relieve stress and I mean really playing not that kind of playing really doing something else at the same time playing. Little people, tickles whatever get em laughing gets you laughing.

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