Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Blog a While

It's been a while since I've blogged about diets. Not much has changed. I am still obsessed about my weight. And I still ferret out those diets that might work. If there was a name I could call myself, other than podgy, it would be Diet Da Ville. My body is not my temple, it's my diet vehicle. I say this unapologetically.

My last foray into dieting was rather disastrous. The promise of the Metabolic Balance, a German originated diet was shortlived. It was so hard to follow. On one hand, there was a purist premise to it all; no processed foods, just natural foods, no mixing of proteins and plain vegetables. Yes dull as dishwater is the phrase to use and I might as well have consumed gallons of dishwater, much as I tried to make my meals as appetising as possible.

Friday, 4 January 2008

The Vata-Pitta-Kapha debate

If you're wondering what ridiculous terrain I have stumbled on now, fear not. What I am about to tell you is crucial to knowing yourself, and, most importantly, what your body accepts or rejects in terms of food. Well what else would a detox maniac like me be raving about?

Today, at an wonderfully tranquil oasis in London, one of the top spas in the UK as voted by the Independent, the Shymala Ayurveda Spa, I discovered from the most courteous and bright Indian doctor that my dosha (body type) is Vata-Kapha.

Before you stifle a yawn and mumble what does this have to do with me, here's a quick lowdown of how Ayurveda, this 5,000 year old ancient science applies to you, your mind, body and spirit:

We all have three main elements (doshas) present within our bodies: vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (water). Most people have two of these elements, exceptionally balanced people will have three.

At any one time though, we most certainly will have two doshas subject to changes in our lifetime. However if we have more air for instance, which is what the doctor discovered with me, we find we get anxious, prone to depression, headaches, stressed, dry skin, inability to digest food properly and there's so much more I can go on but I don't want to overload you with information.

Hence I came to understand why acute stress, led to my shoulders being hunched up around my ears, chronic neck and shoulder pain and headaches - I have a Vata imbalance.

This is news to me because up until this point I thought I was a Kapha/Pitta type. Kapha types are slow, mother-earth types, have nourished skin and lustrious hair and generally have a very calm temperament. Pitta types are prone to rashes, redness in the skin if there is an imbalance and like the dosha suggests can be fiery when buttons are pushed!

At the end of my much needed massage, the polite Indian doctor gave me a Vata-Kapha diet to follow and for the first time I could see in plain black and white that all the foods I shouldn't have been eating, I have ignored my inner voice, grumbles and aches and pains and just kept on eating.

Check out the Shymala Ayurveda website and pay a visit. There are various detox/weight loss programmes too at a price but I would say well worth it.

Diet Drinks vs Full Fat drinks

Do diet versions of fizzy drinks make you believe you are not consuming that much sugar? I've been to see various nutritionists, including the UK's Food Doctor nutritionists, who say that diet drinks are full of sweeteners and give people the illusion of consuming less sugar.

Diet drink tip: avoid them if you can. Sweeteners play havoc with your blood sugar levels. Better to drink fruit juices - full fat like the Innocent smoothies/juices or Ocean Spray cranberry juice, a bit tart in taste but very good for you or pomegranate juice which seems to be the superfood of the moment.

If possible cut out diet drinks, especially fizzy ones completely from your diet. For those addicted to them and feel they can't do without, try drinking the new V-waters, a bit expensive but do the trick in terms of fizz and sugar but good sugar, because there aren't any sweeteners.

Pret's Pomegranate Power or Elderflower water does wonders too and great for glowing skin.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Wavering Happily at 9 stone

9 stone it is. 9 stone it has been over the past few weeks despite the odd indulgence in champagne and prosecco (my taste buds new found discovery) and mince-pies. To avoid the whole spirit of eating and the party season would have left me feeling miserable. I was able to look good at the all-important office party which was probably the highlight of the year. It was a very glamorous affair, champagne flowed and replenished thirsty office workers' glasses, the clinking of glasses to toasts.

Here are my top tips to maintaining your weight during the party season:

Sit still, close your eyes before you go to a party and visualise yourself in your party dress, slim and attractive, enjoying yourself, drinking, dancing and chatting away.

Take time over getting ready. Leave yourself half a day if necessary. If you are going from work, mentally prepare yourself at lunchtime about the evening's entertainment ahead. Try not to fret, instead focus on getting excited.

Enjoy getting ready, put on your clothes with love, do your hair and make-up afterwards, smile while you put your make-up on, your attractiveness will shine through when you are ready for the party to commence.

Friday, 7 December 2007

The pre-Xmas binge

I always find that the festive season is full of contradiction. On one hand, you have to steer away from the mince pies, stodge and booze to maintain your hour-glass figure, which face it has only taken a few months to achieve with all that compulsive-obsessive dieting. Party season goes into full swing and it's a really is a very taxing balancing act to keep your GI in check and still be seen to join in all the spirited fun and not be a party pooper.

Top pre-Xmas tips to avoid the inevitable binge:

When offered a mince pie, or a delectably pretty (fattening) cup cake as I was offered today, decline politely. Look at the offending sweet delicacy squarely and say to yourself, I ain't defeated.

Stick to one glass of white sparkling wine, sip slowly, don't gulp. The wine will last longer. Be creative, think of over-exaggerated stories to tell while you sip away, join in on the office banter, most of all relax. Remember one glass no more, the pounds will stay off. Think I am going to stay slim for the party season.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A week of Hob-Nobbing

Oh if only McVities Hob Nobs were a low fat, even better, no fat food. Last week, sheer boredom and mild weather-induced depression led me to snack every night for a week on hob nobs. At the beginning of the week, I allowed myself one hob nob. Tuesday night I increased my intake to two hob nobs. I can't say I was eating five hob nobs on Friday night but my sudden love for hob nobs, this insane eating behaviour was alarming for me. Still I didn't curb the hob nob pattern until the weekend when I discovered the pounds I had shed after weeks of eating sensibly were slowly but surely piling on. Love handles, bat wings, hipsters, thunder thighs you name all return in full force. I guess it's back to subsistence eating again.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Picnic days

What better way to spend a glorious day in the countryside, by the lake, having a picnic with friends. Yes, very civilised indeed. That's exactly what I did on Saturday. The picnic spread included; fresh french bread sticks (detoxer's nightmare), a selection of humous pots, cheese and ricotta quiche, salad and to finish a fresh fruit salad. Just my idea of total bliss. Oh and there's the bottle of crisp, cool rose too. Good picnic food, conversation, equals a perfect picnic day. My friend, Sangeetha, eagerly pottered around in the fierce afternoon heat, putting up a little mini tent to keep cool our various picnic sundries. She was keen to photograph with pride her picnic spread and the picture will follow soon.