Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bad things about Zero Carb

I am not keen to blog too much about diet anymore because I have done that ad nauseam in the past and have just gone round in circles in my head, over thinking it and being too hyper aware of every morsel I consume and what "effect" it may be having.

However, after our holiday to Bali, I suffered with yet ANOTHER bout of oral thrush (too much sugar and alcohol) and so it was off to the chemist I went yet again for an anti-fungal medicine. So I know that sugar and maybe sugar with alcohol too, is no good for me. There definitely seems to be a dose or a threshold, above which,  I suffer. So I can tolerate small amount of sugar regularly (for example, a little bit of chocolate a day) but not too much in too short a space of time, like when on holiday drinking sugary cocktails and enjoying some desserts.

So all this lead me to want to go zero carb again for a while, to re-set myself,  to feel healthy again and to help clear the thrush faster.

It has now been a week, and yes, no thrush (I took a pill though)  but also...I feel like crap. I really feel ZERO desire to exercise,  I feel kind of...down or dull. Initially I feel great, after eating fatty meals for a day or two. The first day or two, I always think "Wow, how great, I don't need carbs!" And then, I start to cramp or I get stiff joints, or very thirsty, and I get a grouchy day and I want to sleep all the time. I know these sound like adaption issues, but they suck. And I also reach that point where I get sick and tired of meat and fat...ugh. I want variety!
I am also getting hectic sugar cravings and day-dreaming right now about cake and chocolate! So maybe it's normal for these cravings to come and maybe they would dissipate if I were strict, but now, after a week of just protein and fat I am obsessing in my mind about food, and that is the very last thing I want to do. I don't want to have constant food thoughts! I want to just eat, live, and get on with doing things. I want mental freedom from food. Don't we all?

So today I am probably gonna end my zero carb trial again...sigh. Maybe it's really just not the diet for me? Maybe it's a good cleaning out diet for me but is not good for me long term?

Also there is the issue I always run into: cooking more than one family meal if I go ZC. Plus, I can basically never eat out again...cos restaurants are just not set up for this type of eating. Then there is the runny eliminations, if you know what I mean. Yup, fat gets me going!

There are a lot of ZC pros but for me, there are an equal amount of cons, which is why it may never be something I do full time, but rather, now and again. And you know what? That's perfectly ok too!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Read this at the end of 2018

Another very personal post, this.

I know, you must be thinking: why on earth is she sharing personal thoughts on a public platform? I could, of course, write this in a notebook, but the trouble with that is I tend to lose things, and then I'll never be able to read it again. So yes, a blog is public, but I have nothing embarrassing to say, just my personal dreams or goals, so it's more a case of: this could be boring for someone else to read.

Anyways: Basically I want to jot down some dreams/goals for this year, and see how many of them I fulfill.

I'd like to reconfirm things that are important, and fulfilling, to ME personally, and see if I can spend more time doing those things.

1:I'd like to read properly, a bit more. I do read, but I find that with social media etc, I get distracted more easily, and I don't sit down and indulge in a book properly.

2:I'd like to discover and enjoy new coffee shops/restaurants, because that is definitely one thing I really enjoy doing: savoring a good cup of coffee, or enjoying a new, delicious meal. Without guilt. I know that the guilt of "spending money" on food/coffee out is always in the back of my mind, but I mustn't let it ruin the experience of eating out, or even just enjoying a coffee out, because these things are real, true, pleasurable moments for me and I do believe that we must take pleasure where we can in life.

3: I already spend a lot of time on fitness, but I'd like to continue to devote time to it this year. Comrades 2018 is my big goal for this year, and I'd really love to finish, however, I do realise that as a novice runner, this is a HUGE race, and it's really difficult. But I WILL give it my ALL.

4: Exercise for JOY. This is why I have taken up running more now, over gym. I get such a wonderful runner's high after each and every run, and it never really fails. Unless I feel overtired, from too much running. But at times where running is not happening, I need to find other joyous forms of movement, like a good Zumba class or something. I'll look into that more this year.

5: Investigate travel more. I know we just went to Bali, so this year, our travel has been done, but this year I will definitely use as a year to save up for, and plan, for next year. Bali definitely re-ignited my passion for travel, and it made me realise that there is A WHOLE world out there that I haven't seen, and that I WANT to see, before I die. So, for shits and giggles, here is a rough list of places/countries I'd like to see/go to.
-Amsterdam, Holland
-New York, California, Miami...heck, so many places in America!
-Italy: Venice, Rome, some beaches, there.
-Maldives, before they disappear
-Seychelles (This could be a great family holiday, quiet, peaceful and romantic.)
-Japan - more out of curiosity, just to see how they live/eat/work.
-Singapore, now that we flew Singapore Airlines, has been added.

6: Skydive for my fortieth birthday. I am terrified of heights, I believe this will be such a thrill and a huge mental milestone for me. What better way to celebrate my big FOUR-OH?

7: Spend less time on social media, more time on my own life.

8: Meditate. I haven't done much of that lately. If I can do a little more meditation this year, I think it will be beneficial.

9: STOP giving a crap about how much I weigh. Really. Seriously. Who cares?

10: Continue to smile more. I do try. I am naturally shy and introverted, so this, as an adult, has been huge for me. But I smile so much more nowadays. I am really changing. It's empowering.


Friday, March 23, 2018

My current thoughts post Bali holiday

It's taken a week since we returned from Bali, for me to feel rested and almost normal again. That travelling was actually hectic and intense in terms of how tiring it was. For us, it was a full 24hrs of travelling from our home, till we reached our hotel in Bali. If not a bit longer. (It's difficult to know for sure with the 6 hour time difference.)

Bali

My husband and I were so blessed and lucky enough to go on a trip to Bali, Indonesia, all paid for by his suppliers. The only thing we had to pay for was our spending, our drinks, and our lunches and suppers, although they did have some things organized for us, so they also bought us one lunch (included in a tour) and two dinners. So really, we didn't have to spend loads, but in Bali, alcohol is very, very expensive, and at our hotel, it was really pricey. But of course, we were on holiday, so we indulged a bit and I enjoyed a cocktail or two!

Travelling overseas, especially to such a far-away, almost magical place, like Bali, really opens up your eyes and your mind. I thought to myself "There really is so much more to the world than what I experience". I  had so many little epiphanies, that I am going to try capture them here for myself to remember, but some of them have already left my mind, I am sure.

One thing that stood out for me and most of the group we were travelling with was this: the Balinese people are amazing. They are so friendly, they are so smiley, they appear to be so happy. And yet, Bali is actually a third world country. So there is a lot of poverty and overpopulation. And yet...

Maybe it's just that we were on the receiving end of good tourist-welcoming staff, who smiled, who were so friendly, and so helpful, I don't know, but we really did find the Balinese people amazing. Nothing was too much to ask. They really did do everything with a smile, even out and about, away from the hotel. And I loved how they bowed to us all the time, which is similar to the Thai people. It's such a respectful way of greeting, I think. I love it. I bowed right back. I wish I could do this here in SA, but I would look silly doing it.

What I love, personally, about travelling, is how safe other countries are. No, we didn't take silly chances like leaving our stuff out in the open, but yes, it's safer over in Bali and there is no chance of hectic violence like we encounter here in SA. This ALWAYS makes me think. This always makes me question living in SA. Living in a crime-ridden country makes one feel uneasy ALL of the time. It's no way to live.

The world really is becoming a global village. Travel is easier and much more acceptable, nowadays. People fly all over the world, all the time. At my age (nearly forty, eeeeek) I have been to more countries and traveled more, than my mother has in her entire life. It's just a different world. I can only imagine the world my son will live in when he's an adult. My gosh. I can't wait to see the adventures he will have!

Travelling makes me feel alive! I felt young at heart, I felt that the world is full of endless possibilities, and that, although the world is SO crowded with like, a gazillion people, it's such a wonderful place to be. The world is rich with people, places and things. Foods to taste. Experiences to have. It makes me think that humans are, by nature, nomadic. I believe we probably were born to travel, roam, explore. Our very nature is one of curiosity, inquiry, questioning....I mean, just look at Elon Musk and his Mars explorations!

I am lucky, in a way, in that, as a child, I traveled around with my dad a lot. I was used to packing a suitcase. It's second nature to me now. Every second to every weekend, I would pack my little bag to go stay with him. And then, holidays away with him. No wonder I have such a wander-lust nature. Then, living in Greece and traveling around with my then-boyfriend. Ah, good times. No wonder it's difficult for me to settle in one place, to stay at home all day on the weekends.

Traveling to Bali now gave me hope for the future. In South Africa there is much doom and gloom but when you travel, you see a different way of doing things and it really did fill my heart with hope.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fitness, running and feeling good

I haven't posted in over a month, due to all the running I've been doing. I have gotten right back into the swing of my running training and, let me just say, it feels GOOD! My weight is exactly the same (I guess I am lucky in that regard, it hardly changes) but my fitness has improved and I feel fantastic.

Yes, I am stiff and sore most days. My son even said to me "You are always limping nowadays, Mom" because of the way I walk after long runs. Hee hee. He asks me why I am running so much, and the short answer is because I have entered Comrades and that is my ultimate goal, but the new, more complex answer is that, even though running distance hurts, and burns, and gets really challenging, nothing beats the feeling afterwards. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment I get after every long run. It's really incredible. I can't quite describe it, it's insane, and it's one I didn't realize existed. But it makes sense: I mean, why else would people willingly go and run marathons or even ultra-marathons? It's for that feeling.

A nice 5k or 10k run is awesome, and I've always done those (more 5kms, less of the 10kms) and I've enjoyed them, and enjoyed the "runner's high" afterwards. But now that I am capable of doing longer distances, I am realising that the feeling of accomplishment is that much greater with a longer run. I feel on top of the world after going a long distance. It's weird, I know. It doesn't make sense. But there you have it.

So, as a note to myself: I am finally back into my "fitness groove". I now realise that fitness and exercise is far less about the body and a lot more about the mind. It's a total mood elevator! I GET it now. I have never truly understood this side of being fit and active because I was never really active until my thirties. Yes, I was one of those teens who avoided PE in school like the plague, always faking some illness or the other to get out of it if I could. I hated swimming with a passion. I enjoyed Netball, but wasn't very good at it. I just never felt sporty. I was the nerdy, brainy one and I didn't realise I could be both.

It took having a baby and wanting to get into the best shape of my life thereafter, for me to seriously get into gym. And back then, I really got into that whole thing completely, and I remember this fit and healthy feeling. It was awesome. I loved it. But I wasn't sure if it was the fitness or the gym-diet that was giving me the good vibes. Now, I know. I no longer live in the gym, and I am not following any specific diet. I am running, I am avoiding sugar, and the rest is pretty much as I feel like. I don't eat many carbs, I just don't want them, but I am not super strict. I am listening to my body as much as possible.

BUT HERE IS MY POINT: Doing physical activity that raises my heart-rate and challenges me, really makes me feel good!!!!! I mustn't do it for the body, I must do it for the good feeling.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hello 2018

Ah, I am slowly bringing my mind into the New Year. It's so lovely, actually, not having to do the school run in the mornings. I feel rested. Our time away in the Transkei was so restorative: I can't explain how soothing it was to have NO internet. Makes me think how the internet is very stressful at times.

Don't get me wrong, I love being connected, especially when I'm at home and not planning to go out. I enjoy YouTube very much, as I learn so much.

I love Instagram but I also find I feel very depressed, mostly, after scrolling. Which is why I have started my "smile" challenge on Instagram. I am posting silly, no-make up, totally natural selfies. I want to spread a good feeling on social media, rather than make people feel like they can't compete or keep up. An image is always, ALWAYS so very deceiving, and then, if you had to see that person in real life, you'd think "Oh my God, they're only human." I am hoping to try to show the human side of myself and get people to think "Phew". But heck, I am just one small little fish in the huge wide social media world. What impact do I have? But maybe, just maybe, I make one woman feel ok about the skin she's in.

I know I tend to think that there is a "magic" diet out there that can "cure" most of our ailments. But I fear that this is probably wishful thinking.

My word for 2018 is SIMPLICITY. I want to keep my life as simple and as stress free as humanly possible. I really do.

Currently I am not wearing make up and therefore I find I have no need to wash my face. Before you say "ew, how gross" hear me out. I DO rinse it with hot water, of course, when I am standing in the shower. I rinse off everywhere. But I don't need to use a cleanser, because there is no make up to remove. This in turn doesn't dry my skin out, which, in turn, doesn't then need me to moisturize.

I mean, think about it: how often do you scrub and cleanse the skin on your back? Or upper thighs? There really is no need. We all just need to rinse off. I do wash my armpits, of course. And my "bits". But I am just seeing if my face actually needs scrubbing, and it turns out, it doesn't. It's probably more beneficial for the skin bacteria NOT to be cleaned off constantly. Apparently we need those poor little critters.

So anyway, not spending money on face creams will be a huge plus. I am also moisturizing my skin less in general, and if so, only using coconut oil. I mean, who says a lotion helps anyway? It gives the illusion of moisture, sure, but I see that most older ladies, regardless of all the lotions in the world, have drier, older skin. There is simply no real cure. The best bet, really, is probably the nourishment you take in from the inside. And on that topic, there is so much debate that I really don't know what the answer is.

However, once again, I am being drawn back towards Zero Carb. I can't really explain it. Something about the way it made me feel. Peaceful, I guess. And the good feelings from it were memorable enough. At the moment I am not ZC but I am almost there. I am having miniscule amounts of non-animal foods. Like today, some nuts and a quarter avo. But that's it. I am not rushing to eat veggies. I am filling up on animal products. And I feel pretty darn good!

Ideally I'd love to give it a decent go in 2018. I am not going to overthink it this time, nor am I going to document every small change or perceived change. I am going to continue to just be intuitive. Let's see. I want things to be very easy this year. And practical. And I want to stop chasing things that appear to be ideals but are actually not. I just want to freakin' well relax!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Keto, the new year, and my current thinking

Firstly, I am thrilled to report that my stomach is settling down with the higher fat, and getting used to it. It was a bit "runny" and "rumbly" for the first 2-3 weeks.

I am enjoying my keto or LCHF again. I have tried it all, as anyone who knows me knows, but I really do like this way of eating. It's not that I can't have carbs - today I found organic apples at Woolies and so I ate one. But I just choose to have natural ones, rather than refined ones. I feel better for it.

I still have to manage my electrolytes though. I take magnesium and potassium every day. I don't know why I have to, with keto, but I have given up wondering about that. I figure, it's simple enough to just take the supplements, and reap so many other benefits. If I ever figure out why I feel weak and tend to cramp without the electrolytes, I will most certainly post my findings. But for now, I keep my mineral electrolytes up, and I carry one.

Well, I was thrilled to "celebrate" New Year's with hardly much of a celebration. We were away in a lovely and remote part of the Transkei, and I loved it, I was in bed by 9:30am.

Lately my soul is craving...I don't know how to quite put it into words, but my soul is craving...simplicity. That is the word. I am tired of "normal" life. I am tired of worrying about my appearance, and of "maintaining" my looks. I just want to simplify. And so 2018 will be the year I do that. I want to completely simplify.

So with that comes the desire to have dreadlocks, because I hope that it will be less fuss with my hair. Although, I also believe that there is maintenance to be done on them, like keeping them separated at the roots. But the lack of needing to wash often, no need to condition, and no brushing them, really attracts me. I hope that I won't find them a pain in the ass. Having said that, I have my dreadlock-starting appointment booked. Next week Thursday, six days from now, I will begin my dreadlock journey. I am SO excited. So 2018 will be a new year and a new me.

But this year, there will be no resolutions. I don't want to resolve to be anything other than I am, but I do want to simplify things.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dreadlocks

It was inevitable, I guess....I had to, at least once in my life, consider getting dreadlocks. And that time is now. It just feels right.

I have stopped wearing foundation, for the most part, and am simplifying things, and that is feeling really, really good. I don't use anything nowadays to wash my face with, because I am not wearing make-up, so there is nothing to use a cleanser to wash off for. I mean, I sweat when I run, but a good rinse under the shower washes all that off. It's quite liberating.

Yes, I look a little older, with my skin showing it's marks, but it's OK. The liberating thing is that it's ok to reveal my true face to the world. Sometimes people might say I look haggard, but that's ok. So what? The joy and freedom in NOT doing so much beauty maintenance is SO FREAKIN' FREEING.

Hence the idea of dreadlocks.

Now, I know what your immediate thoughts are: they look dirty, messy, unwashed, weed-smoking hippie etc etc. I kinda thought the same. But upon doing loads of research into them (loads) I have learnt a few things: 1: you can absolutely wash them. And you should. So dreadlocks are simply condensed and compressed hair, which makes a ropey-like thing, but it's still a "fibre" like normal hair, and can be washed and treated as such. The only major CON to dreadlocks, in this scenario, is that they take LONG to dry because the hair is knotted into rope-like structures. But you can use a hairdryer, absolutely.

Dreadlocks can also be started off in a number of ways, which can influence their appearance. They can be started off mechanically, where you section the hair, and then knot up the strands within those sections, to create the start of what will become a mature dreadlock. If you section nicely, then the locs will look neater and more uniform than freeformed dreadlocks. You can also maintain and care for the locs, or just leave them to do their own thing.

The huge PRO's for me, and why I am thinking of getting dreadlocks right now: no need to brush or comb your hair. No need to "acheive" a silky look. No need to use any products on my hair other than the occasional shampoo.

So, what are my personal reasons for wanting dreadlocks?
1: I am going grey, but not very. So the few greys I have look weird in my darker hair, BUT I actually hate dying my hair. I just don't like the dyed hair on my head. It's never natural looking. I hate bleaching my head, even though the colour comes out better that route, it's never ending, constantly having to deal with touching up roots. My thinking is that, because dreadlocks look very earthy, my natural hair colour, with it's greys, will look cool in dreads. It's a way of growing out my natural hair colour.

2: Dreads just look cool. Now this is my personal opinion and of course, many will disagree. They look funky, arty, hippie, alternative and, in my humble opinion, rocking.

Cool looking, right? These are SO beautiful, in my opinion. 
3: They give the illusion and appearance of thick hair. I have extremely fine hair, so this one really appeals to me. Once the locks have matured and knotted up, the "ropes" thicken with the matted hair, and make the wearer look like they have thick hair. This is one reason I did actually like bleaching my hair: it swelled up the hair shaft, making my hair seem thicker. But I hated the drying effects of bleach, which made combing my hair a NIGHTMARE.

4: Instant hairstyles. To me, just dreads alone are a "style", let alone all the styles possible like dread buns, half buns, dreaded plaits, etc. You can decorate them with wool, ropes, beads, jewels, feathers, flowers....all these things are cheap and I can do them ON MY OWN. Which brings me to my next reason....

5: No more trips to the salon. I love my hairdresser, she is the best person in the whole world, I adore her, but I just don't want to go to hairdressers anymore. I am just over it for now. With dreads, there is the initial "dreading" session, which, by the way, I could, in theory do myself, but I won't, so I will go to a professional "loctitian" (yes, bet you didn't know there were actually dedicated dreadlock people, hey? Me either!) to start my dreads, but after the start, there is not very much I need to do. I don't need to go for haircuts. I can colour them if I want, or not. I just have to keep them separated, which is essentially me playing with the dreads, and apparently this is mostly in the beginning. Mostly with dreads, you just gotta leave 'em. Wash 'em, and let them be. HOW AWESOME? I really feel like I need a break and a change with my hair.

6: No brushing. No more fighting tangles. No combs. Not wet hair/dry hair breakage worries.

7: No worrying about wind messing up my hair. This is actually a biggie. I live in a VERY windy coastal town, with the wind constantly whipping my hair in my face and it's annoying AF! It's such a pain in the ass for me that I constantly keep hair ties and banana clips in my bag and car just in case I need to tie my hair up due to the wind.

These were created by the loctitian who will create mine. 

I think this is one of the coolest images I've seen. She looks so earthy and connected to nature. 

8: No hair in the shower/bath drains. This could end up being another big plus for me. My partner is often moaning about all my hair clogging the drains. Actually, it's my hair, plus my conditioner, that clogs up the drains. The conditioners are actually very slimy and don't rinse away. Ugh. I have cleaned many a slimy hairball out of our showers and it's gross.

9: Far less washing. Yes, you can and do wash your dreadlocks. No reason not to. However, you get to choose the frequency, because hair doesn't appear as greasy when it's in rope-like formations.

10: Shampoos are optional: Meaning, I have a friend with dreads who only rinses her out daily, but doesn't actually shampoo then other than once in a while. Makes sense. It's not like we ever needed all these fancy products to begin with, they have simply developed over time. Also, you can use plain shampoos, or even bar soaps for hair, which could work out cheaper.

11: I can just wake up and go. No worrying about kinks in my hair, or weird bed-head when my hair is "supposed" to be straight, because...well....locs are messy! Ta-da! I often take a while to "wake up" in the mornings and I am not very good with primping and preening before school drop-off time, so locs would, I imagine, suit me in this regards. My go-to with my hair now is to just always scrape it back into a ponytail.

So these reasons are what I am thinking I will enjoy about having dreadlocks. I do worry about people's opinions, but then again, I also know that they will soon get over it. They will write me off as "that chic with the crazy hair" or "that girl who can't stop changing her hair". Fine by me. Those who truly know me will get it.