Tarantula

Tarantula
The 1st one of many

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Quick Salad

 This quick healthy salad is a lot more exciting than the word salad sounds. Its full of mega goodness and has my favourite super food avocado.
 This is a great salad to make as you can substitute various things depending what you have in your fridge. As well as tasting great  it looks so bright and shouts out  happy food. This will without exception provide a great boost to your low-carb lifestyle.

This photo is my version of it and is more or less to recipe.You can get the full recipe here.  Even though this salad is for two of us I have made the 4 serving recipe as we will take the rest for lunch in work tomorrow.

 We have become very good at minimising waste food and shopping wisely. One of the great benefits of a low-carb lifestyle which has surprised us is how much we have improved our carbon foot print. The amount of packaged waste has almost reduced to nothing, we have gone from three bags of rubbish to one a week and that has to be a big plus.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fridge Graph

Here is my actual graph from Fridge Graph from when I started on this great low carb journey on the 1st March up until today.I hit my first target with some ease and on the 1st of June 2010. I started my second goal/challenge to end on the 1st September 2010.
As you can see from the graph I have not fully kept on target in the last few weeks, after losing 35lbs my weight is now becoming more difficult to lose. I had a leg injury that stopped me running for the last month but I have managed to maintain my weight by doing simple yoga and working on my abs.
Now that my leg is almost better and I am now running again I would expect my weight to start falling although I have to say that I have only 8lbs left to reach my final goal.

Fridge graph is a great way to boodt your weight loss by giving you a great visual tool to keep you motivated.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Low carb chocolate mousse

How can it get any better, I have lost almost 35lbs and yet I regularly eat chocolate mousse. Not all things nice are bad !

Double cream 1x 300ml pot
Cocoa (organic is best) 2x tsp
Perfect sweet (sugar substitute) 3x tsp
Vanilla extract 1x tsp

Add ingredients to a bowl and whisk until thick.

Share into 4 glasses and decorate with a piece of organic chocolate.

Place in the fridge for at least 30 mins. Wow how easy is that, we keep two for the next day so its mousse twice in a week.

Ratatouille

This is one of our favourites and its one that we have at least twice a week using various combinations of vegetables.
A good starter recipe is,

1 Aubergine
1 Onion
1Courgette
1 Pepper
1 Tin of tomatoes (drained)
A large handful of basil, a little extra virgin olive oil and salt/pepper

Slice vegetables and add to a pan with the oil (tea spoon)when these are cooked add the tin tomatoes and continue cooking until its all nicely heated up.

You can serve this hot or cold but my favourite is hot with a good lump of Welsh goats cheese on the top.

Please remember the inspiration for me and my blog/website is " Fat people can't cook " a great and inspiring site and one that I have followed from the start and still use it as my motivation.

I have to say that I can't cook but I am learning.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Tomatoes stuffed with egg and and bacon bits

                                                                     Photo from seriouseats.com


This is a great and quick recipe that makes a great lazy brunch. You can add bacon or cheese. You can mix up the egg with herbs and and add a cheese top.

Cooking and preparing time is about 30 minutes or so and you could add salad on the side. I like it with mushrooms and a sausage on the side with extra fresh grilled bacon bits sprinkled over the top.

There are lots of websites with this recipe but a good simple one is

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/08/dinner_tonight_stuffed_tomato.html

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Green Tea means Go !

"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one." (Ancient Chinese Proverb)
 

Green Tea is a great addition to your low-carb lifestyle. Nowhere will you find people who disgree with the benefits of this great drink.

Check out http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa011400a.htm and read all the great things that Green Tea can do for you.

One of the best Green Teas is Dragons Well  you can buy this at many specialist tea websites. One great thing about Green Tea is that it is not expensive to buy and its very easy to get hold of.

Some websites that I have used include  https://www.exoticteapot.co.uk/
and also

You have to remember to give yourself a chance to adjust to the subtle taste of Green Tea and learn how you like it best brewed.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Holiday Blues, I think not ?

  So we went to Paris for a week and we were unsure as to how we would manage our meals. we were really keen not to gain to much weight on holiday but at the same time we wanted to enjoy ourselves.
 Our low-carb lifestyle was almost maintained to the full but we had a few extra additions as the situation dictated.
We had a superb night out at a Sushi restaurant and had rice and some ice cream desert, we were not concerned about the one off addition of these foods and I have to say the food was great.

We also had chips, yes real chips only once though with a steak but they did taste good. For the rest of the trip we managed to eat more or less within our low-carb foods.

One thing which I was taken with was Flan a custard based tart and I love it. I had at least 3 pieces while I was away.

We did succeed with our weight goals and I had only gained about 1.5lbs which I think was awesome.Within a day or so of being home I have lost half of that weight so a good holiday all around.

How did we do it, well you have to be committed to keeping your goal in sight, don't let yourself slip to much.
 As you can see you can eat outside your low-carb plan a little but keep in mind that if you stray to far you will gain weight.

We continued with our exercise while we were away and kept our running  going. We found a nearby local park and finished our couch to 5k running plan in Paris.

So you can go on holiday and have a good time without gaining the average 5/6 lbs that they say the average person gains on holiday. Have a great time.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A low-carb food pyramid guide.

lowcarbpyramid1ig

This is a low-carb food pyramid and its one that I have been using as a guide since I started this lifestyle. It makes it very easy to see what types of food you can eat more or less of.

The great thing with a low-carb lifestyle is that you can eat lots of foods, cooking becomes essential as you have to work with these foods and create great healthy meals.

You have to remember that not all food types are equal,if you take a Avocado which is a super food and has many great benefits in a low-carb lifestyle. If you look at its position on the pyramid its near the top which means only eat a little why? Avocado despite all of its great benefits also has a high fat content so you don't want to be eating to many of them. (I do love them though) So you do need to check out each food and that's where the pyramid is really helpful.

So get your cook books out (see below) and forget the packaged and processed rubbish that we now call food and get cooking.

Remember the pyramid is only a guide to help you out.

Holiday time

             I have just started a two week break from work and it is really important to get the most from this break on my low-carb lifestyle.
I think that just because I am on holiday that doesn't mean that my body is going to be allowed the same luxury. Low-carb lifestyle is a habit not a fad and I will not take a break from it to indulge myself in holiday goodies. Think of all the extra effort that you will have to do when your holiday ends.

A ordinary person while on a two week holiday with all the holiday indulgences gains between 3 and 6 lbs in weight. Do I really want to add that weight back on my body when I have worked so hard to lose it ?

I have another theory, I will use that holiday to work harder. Without the distractions from work I can concentrate on my low-carb daily food types and I can increase my exercise. We are going away this time so it will be a challenge to manage our low-carb eating in another country, also we have our running gear with us and expect to maintain our running plan.

Its about not allowing other distractions to push you off your low-carb/exercise path when on holiday. Yes I am going to have a great holiday but that does not include eating for the sake of it or being a lounge lizard and taking it to easy.

Go and have a great holiday but with the knowledge that when you get home you will look and feel fitter and lighter and far more relaxed with yourself.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Keeping it going





Today's weigh was good I am now down to 14st 8lbs and still working hard at the low-carb lifestyle. The fitness training has had to stop for 10 days but I have still been losing weight.
I have had a problem with shin splints since I started training (running) but over a 9 week period my right shin became very painful after and between runs. A quick visit to the doctors seemed to come up with a stress fracture of my shin bone, but an xray could find nothing. The doctor thinks that it could show up better in 3 weeks or so when its healing so maybe another xray then.

Today (10 days later) it feels much better not fully healed but I am hoping to have a light run on it tomorrow. I have on advice bought new trainers that match the type of foot angle that I have.Hopefully things will be a lot better with the rest and new trainers. Watch this space ?

Check out my website at    http://www.comfortably-numb.net/index.html

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

New website to go with the blog.

I have just uploaded a new website http://www.comfortably-numb.net/index.html to compliment my low-carb blog. It is a more permanent place for the information to be looked at . It is still in the early stages and will be updated twice a week with latest developments on this great new lifestyle.
Please check it out and email me if you have any questions.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Exercise is huge for losing weight.

As I am very keen on getting graphs and statistics regarding my weight loss and fitness training I use a couple of really useful items that do the job nicely.

The Nike+ Sportband is a great item that is used on every run. Once you have the Sportsband and register with Nike you can record all of the data from your runs.You get a sensor that goes on your trainer although you may have to buy a small holder for this extra.

The information recorded is time,distance,calories also when you upload it to the website you get a great visual graph with your run details. You can also add details of how your run was and can link your run to your Facebook account if you want to.

The Nike+ website (which is free) is a great site with the Sportsband has some great extra challenges like goals to set and targets to meet. You can also set up a coach to help with your training, simple but fun.
I use my Nike+ Sportsband on every run and although it is a great workout aid on its own I have matched it up with my Ipod touch and the great app Couch to 5K.




The Couch to 5K app is the best thing I have used for running. I started running in January 2010 at the age of 44 yrs and weighing almost 17st and really struggled to get momentum going. When I found the Couch 2 5K app in April 2010 I was down to 16st but not running on a regular basis.
This app leads you from the very start and has a great way of building you up as you progress with the program.
I challenge any non runner to run for 1 minute non stop now, well warm up a little first.
1 minute sounds very very easy but guess what, as a non runner 1 minute running is very tough.
Well that's where the Couch to 5K comes into its own, it trains you from the very beginning and leads you at a great and progressive pace until you build up your running to a final 9 week level of 30 minutes non stop.
I am just starting week 8 and I can now comfortably run for 25 minutes non stop and it feels awesome.

So with the Nike+ Sportsband, Ipod Touch and Couch to 5K app and also recording your weight on Fridge Graph you have a great set of tools to monitor how well you are doing, and believe me there is nothing better than a clear visual graph showing your progress to get your motivation going.

When you put this together with a low-carb diet you have a great plan to help you lose your weight and get fit at the same time.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

I use Fridgegraph and its great

Fridgegraph is a website that allows you to record and monitor your weight loss. One of the great features is that it clearly shows you a graph of how you are doing.

Having a display of your weight loss is so good for your mental attitude, that the mental boost it gives you to see your weight reducing is immense.

One of the toughest things about weight loss is being able to see how you are doing and being able to adjust your eating lifestyle to match your progress with the graph.

One question that we debated was whether to weigh everyday or once a week.
I don't really have a answer for that although I have a solid preference for weighing daily (morning).
My reasons for this is to make sure that I do not gain to much over a few days period. Each day is not always a weight loss day. Some days you can gain a little, but if you weigh daily you can adjust quickly if you see a steady gain.
To see yourself losing ounces or sometimes a pound or so over a few days weighing is a huge boost and it really encourages you to try harder.

So my suggestion is to weigh daily and keep the motivation going.



Weight loss since start: 22.2 lbs lost
Latest goal progress: 2 lbs below
Time to Goal End: 3 days
Target weight change: 8.3 lbs/month
Body Mass Index (BMI): 30.8
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1941 kcal/day

These details show your progress with stats. The really important one for me is the Body Mass Index (BMI), my BMI was 39.5 when I started and even though it is still high it is going the right way.
I need to add 4lbs to the weight loss since start stat as I lost this before I found Fridgegraph. My total weight loss so far is 26.2 lbs.

The thing to remember is that I am only 12 weeks into this lifestyle and my progress has been huge. It is getting better all the time because now I have an understanding of how this lifestyle works.


This data shows you the short cuts to get things updated on your graph. Also if you have friends following this low-carb lifestyle and using Fridgegraph you can add them and keep yourselves updated with each others progress.

Fridgegraph is a great free website, you can become a premium member if you wish but I have found the free version to be more than helpful.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Low-carb cook books.


I love cook books they are a great inspiration and make me want to succeed. They offer me the means to cook all the great food that will help me keep this healthy lifestyle going and keep this weight loss going down.

Here are some great books that will keep you on the right track and will without doubt inspire and impress you with the great food that they contain.

My first book is Mastering the Art of French cooking by Julia Child,Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.
This book is truly inspirational and if you ever get the chance please watch the film Julie and Julia which is based on the book.
This is a film that left a huge impression on me and has motivated me to cook.
As Ian Lumsdens great website says " Fat people can't cook" well because of that website and this book and film I can now cook, not great but its a start.




The low-carb gourmet by Karen Barnaby


The low-carb cookbook by Fran Mccullough

Another great little book for your shopping trip is Carb Counter by Collins Gem, this little pocket book is a handy way to check out your low-carb shopping.

Plenty of choice and all highly recommended, tried and tested.



So what is going right.


Everything ? yes it is all now going the right way. I am working hard at keeping this lifestyle going and it is getting easier all the time. It was fairly difficult in the beginning just because old habits die hard. I can only compare it to when I gave up smoking 12 years ago I kept reaching for the cigarette even though I knew that I should not have it. It was the same when shopping for food it was easy to look at sauces or pastas, packaged and processed foods because it seemed the easier option.

You have to choose your foods very slowly. I don't mean in slow motion or freeze frame I mean think carefully about what you are looking at and take your time selecting it. Choose your fresh vegetables with care and interest. I had never eaten avocado in my life or courgettes or aubergines now I love them. I enjoy choosing the items I want to buy, where I can I choose organic the taste is so much better and is always worth the extra. I try not to use supermarkets for my vegetables, small independent shops/stalls are much better. I try not to buy pre-bagged items I like to touch and feel what I am buying. Always try and incorporate specials, we have had some great asparagus and blueberries on specials lately.

I now choose all my fish myself, I look and ask questions of the fishmonger and select the items I want and if you need to ask the fishmonger for preparation and cooking tips, they are very helpful.

I found that when starting on this lifestyle of eating it was very helpful to start shopping for a recipe, it meant that I knew what items to shop for and what I was finally going to eat as a meal.

Friends often ask how difficult are the low-carb recipes,and I say they are as hard as the effort you put in to them. As an example breakfast can be omelette (my favourite) with bacon and mushrooms or it could be lo-carb waffles (I love these) or it could be berries and cheese, it could also be the ratatouille left over from last night.

You see we are now breaking the mould here, why not have berries and cheese (a small amount) for breakfast. Berries are a super food although like everything you have to have moderation, take avocado a super super food with so many good benefits but again only in moderation. You could have slices of last nights beef or chicken, you see I am saying that you can step out from the "norm" and eat how you feel like eating and not put food types into set times of the day.

I am not forgetting desert here either we have had some great low-carb courgette cake that tastes awesome and as good as some of the best carrot cake I have eaten. And I cannot forget the chocolate mousse which is the best. Oh and did I mention the chocolate mousse ?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Email to Ian Lumsden

http://www.fatpeoplecantcook.com/
Below is an email I sent to Ian thanking him for his inspirational website. If I could shake his hand and share a glass of red wine I would, Thank you Ian.
The reply I had from Ian continues to provide encouragement and support and it continues to drive me on to greater things. You may not know it Ian but you have changed peoples lives.
I wish you every success in the future and will continue to support you and your website.

Hi Ian, I am emailing you to thank you for your website. I started reading it about 9 weeks ago and was truly inspired by what you were saying. My wife and I was so impressed with the eating lifestyle that you suggested that we followed it fully and I can honestly say with remarkable results.
As a brief overview I have lost 25Lbs in 9 weeks and my wife has lost 17Lbs we have been totally amazed by our progress and we are continuing to reduce our weight on a daily /weekly basis. I have to admit that we have totally embraced your ideas with great success.
My main reason for emailing you is that I have started my own blog http://wazwiz.blogspot.com/ following my success with losing weight and also other successes including aspartame and salt. I have made reference to your website and your ideas and I am hoping that you will take a look at it.
I have to say that I have only given praise and support for your website We are both of the opinion that your website has had a major impact on our lives and now we have added exercise we are building momentum and charging forward.
I have a target weight of 14st which is 3st lighter than when I started, I had a horrendous BMI of 39.5 and my doctor was having real concerns. I now really believe that I can now make this happen and my weight is currently 14st 13Lbs with a BMI of 30.9 so its all going the right way.
We are cooking all sorts of food and its brought out our cooking ability to the front, I have to say that our low-carb aubergine cake is awesome and yes I can now cook and I adore red wine.
Ian I thank you for your website and the inspiration that it has given us. I to am a ex soldier, serving in the UK Army (Royal Signals) and instead of dreaming of my past fitness I feel that I am getting closer to a point of challenging myself again and stepping up to the plate .
In October this year we have signed up for a running event in the UK called the mud runners 10K http://www.mudrunner.co.uk/ this will be a real challenge but we are training hard for it.
Just thought I would let you know how important your website is to us and we look forward to following you into the future. Kind thanks

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Making it happen

We are going to do this but we need no distractions or temptations, we go through the cupboards and fridge and get rid of everything that does not fit in with this low-carb lifestyle.We bought Ian's starter guide and shopped to that for the first week or two.
The results were almost instant. Greatly reduced salt, no aspartame no processed or packaged food and incredible results in a short time.It is great to be cooking with and eating real butter, omg I forgot how good it tastes and I am now a huge fan of avocado after eating my first one in 44 years.

We are cooking again, real food with real ingredients and enjoying every minute of it.We cook extra to have in our lunch boxes every day and none of it is difficult

We included exercise slowly at first but now after 9 weeks we are running 10 miles a week and home workouts as well. We started running with an Ipod app Couch to 5K and it has been great.
The important bit is that my weight is down from 17st to 14st 12lbs and my BMI is from 39.5 to 30.9 and all this has happened over 9 weeks. it is amazing, one of the best perks is that I can still drink red wine. This is a win win situation.

We have a number of Low-carb cooking books that we use and we will give details of soon and a great cook book by Julia Child which is inspirational. These books include great things like waffles and chocolate mousse and a great simple omelette.

Remember we are only 9 weeks into this eating lifestyle imagine what we can achieve in 9 months ?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I read a Blog

I like Stumbleupon, its a tool bar where you click a button and get a random website. I love it. You can adjust what websites you want and best of all its fun and free.
One evening I was stumbling around the internet and I came across a website http://www.fatpeoplecantcook.com/ and what caught my attention was the line "I realized that one of the reasons that I am fat is because I can't cook" it was the opening line on Ian Lumsdens blog and I started to read on.
Now, I don't know Ian personally he lives in Australia and I live in the UK but when I read Ian's blog it was like reading a mirror image of me. Ian was hitting all the right points, my fears and concerns my problems and despair at being overweight and my starting to suffer from health problems. I was stunned at what Ian was saying. It was reading this that showed me there was actually light at the end of the tunnel, At only 44 years old it finally sounded like I could make a realistic start to losing weight.

Now I had been here before, a eating plan that suggested that I could lose weight and promised everything, weight watchers/slimming world plus others. The odd thing was that this lifestyle that Ian was suggesting was nothing more than eating real fresh food.
Now thinking about eating real fresh food seems like a easy thing to do, wrong! What it meant to us was a complete eating lifestyle change. Throw away everything that we thought we knew (and did not work) and embrace what Ian was saying 100%. Now why would I follow this bloke who I know nothing about, because it sounded right it sounded like common sense.

Think about what Ian says about shopping in the supermarket " only shop at both ends of the supermarket" if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. In the UK supermarkets, the fruit and veg is normally at the front and the fish and meat is at the rear everything in the middle is processed or packaged food. Now I know that you need coffee and tea etc but not foods.
The eating life style that Ian suggests is based on low-carb eating, something that I knew nothing about.

So here I am, I like what I have read. I am prepared to give it a try and I have committed myself mentally to making this work. Ok that is the easy part done so lets give it a go.

Monday, 3 May 2010

So I followed the norm ?


So I took out aspartame from my daily diet,I didn't reduce it but stopped it altogether. It was like cold turkey,I was feeling like I was coming off a major drug and it took a good few weeks of resisting it to finally get it out of my system and more importantly my mind.
That was a good start and things started looking brighter but I still had a problem with high blood pressure, and not forgetting that I had not lost any weight
I started looking at the salt content in foods that I was eating and again this was a revelation. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3650578.stm
A lot of the processed and pre-packed food that we eat on a daily basis has huge amounts of salt/sodium in it. In fact ready meals which formed a big part of our work lunch boxes have a appalling amount of salt, sugar and fats, not including the preservatives in each portion.

So after many weeks of checking out information on the internet and other sources, I came to the conclusion that loosing weight,lowering my BMI and reducing was not going to be as easy as I thought.

By now I had realised that calorie control was no good for me, forget weight watchers and slimming world they just did not fit my life style. So what do I do next.
I was at a stage where things were going quite well despite not loosing weight. My depression was seriously reducing and I was getting confident that a solution to my excess weight was just out there somewhere but I had not found it yet.

So things were better, I had greatly reduced salt/sodium and I was completely off aspartame. I had realised that various fads and diets were not for me so it was only a matter of time before I found the solution.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

So what happened next.

I knew that I had to lose some weight, no not some weight but a huge amount of weight. I was almost 17 stone and according to my doctor I should be closer to 13 stone that's a bit of a difference and a very big target to hit.(exc pun).
So I attempted to lose weight and as most people do I started buying/eating low fat foods and lots of fruit and after a few weeks my weight started going up! How can I be getting bigger, I had cut out the sweets and chocolate, gone was the crisps and biscuits and healthy low fat food was being eaten every day.
Nothing to worry about things can only get better, so I kept on going and guess what? I kept getting bigger.
Then the problems really started, my asthma was much worse I was actually starting to lose some simple mobility getting up and down was sometimes a struggle and I suffered from rashes and chaffing in some areas which was very painful.
The start of the road to recovery was two fold. First in November 2008 I started to suffer with quite severe depression something which had never occurred before and something which sent me into a completely new dark and nasty world. The second problem which added to it was my blood pressure which was very high.
I was now in a completely new ball game I was in a place that I had never been before and things were looking pretty grim.
Recovery from all this has been slow to happen but it has happened and it has led me on a road to put things right.
I have learnt about food and additives and salt and sugar and I now understand what I was doing wrong.
One of the key food items that I used every day and in every drink and on every bowl of cereal was Aspartame, thinking that this was better for me than real sugar and after using it for many years it was possibly the cause of most of my problems.
Check out Aspartame at http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html It is one of many many websites that has valuable information on this chemical.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

I have really tried.

It was about 2 years ago that my weight became a real problem. I was having huge problems with Asthma and my general fitness was appalling. I was at a stage where my mental and physical state were a mess and it not only affected me but my wife and family as well,you don't realise that your problem becomes other peoples problems as well.
So I decided to do something about it and lose some weight and become a happier person. Now that sounded like an achievable target two years ago and despite my best efforts in lots of different directions nothing worked.

Monday, 5 April 2010

How it started

I stumbled this web page and that was it, I was reading about myself I could have written it as it was so close to my life. I read the pages over and over and it all made sense. I am 44 years old and 5ft 9" tall and I weighed just under 17 stone. I was big and yes I was fat.
I have known for a long time that I needed to lose weight and over the last two years I have really tried, on all scales I was obese and according to most medical opinion I was a heart attack waiting to happen.
After reading Ian's website things have started to change and for the better.
I will attempt to write on how I am doing in my battle with weight and give some of the reasons that led to me being as fat as I am (was).
Is it a diet ? no its a lifestyle change, is it easy ? well its easier than I could ever have dreamed of.
To see how it all started I have included the link to Ian's website it is truly inspirational.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

So its time to get real ?

I am 5ft 9 inch tall and until very recently I have been almost 17 stone in weight, but that has all changed and my weight is falling rapidly. I actually believe that I will be able to get to my target weight within the near future.
I will update how this happens soon.