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To ask you to tell me how you changed you unhealthy ways? Need inspiration!

(86 Posts)
450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 09:46:40

Im a working mother of 3 under-threes. I work 3 full days and have the children on the other days. My lifestyle is sedentary aside from pottering about with housework/looking after the kids.

My diet isn't ideal. Should probably consume less strawberry laces, biscuits, cheddar cheese, wine etc. I eat from a narrow range of easy options during the day (think cheese on toast) although I do make a home-cooked family dinner.

It's weighing on my conscience that I need to set a good example to the children now. I don't have the excuse of having a newborn anymore to excuse my lazy ways!

I have started going to the gym once or twice a week at 630 to do 20 mins on running machine and cross trainer to try to improve my flagging energy levels.

I need inspiration and motivation to make other changes though. Once the kids are in bed I just watch TV and chill out all evening. I can't find a thread on getting healthier generally as they all seem to be about weight loss and I'm quite thin as it is (Crohns disease).

Would love to hear your inspirational stories or any advice/comments.

450fromPaddington Fri 11-Jan-13 13:39:41

Thanks fro the advice healthy heartsmile

I might try dancing around the living room with my toddler to increase my midweek exercise!

fromthehealthyheart Tue 08-Jan-13 15:25:38

Hi 450fromPaddington

Glad you like the couscous ideas. If you reduce your wine to one glass you will already be halving the calories you are taking in through drinking. If you really need two glasses, a spritzer works well as it is still alcoholic but half the calories. Try to make one change at a time. So first tackle the morning biscuits or the wine but not both at once. I actually eat my breakfast in the car in the mornings on the way to work. Very bad habit but no other time so I understand your biscuits. You may want to swop these for a low fat muffin - you can bake these in advance and keep them in the freezer and just take out what you need for a few days, or one at a time if you will be tempted to eat them all! I know I would.
I am not allowed to give you the name of my website with the low fat recipes on the message board. If you are on Facebook you will find it.
I would never exercise at all if I had to be back in the house by 8am!! That really makes it difficult. Dancing around the living room for half an hour maybe during the day? Anything that gets your heart rate up and a gentle sweat for 30 minutes is good. I read somewhere that it is also beneficial if you do 3 lots of 10 minutes a day. That may be easier to fit into your schedule than one 30 minute workout.

450fromPaddington Tue 08-Jan-13 14:14:05

On a more positive note I have been eating Bergen bread with the family and having white bread and cheddar cheese less often than before. I have managed to eat some fruit most days which is great as I'd got into the habit of eating no fruit. Now I just eat some slices of the kids fruit when I peel it for them.

Less praiseworthy is my habit of still eating a biscuit or two for breakfast some mornings(usually work mornings as I'm so rushed). I also have two glasses of wine with dinner quite often.

450fromPaddington Tue 08-Jan-13 09:01:53

I can't wait to try some of these couscous suggestions! These descriptions make couscous sound a potentially very tasty dinner.

fromthehealthyheart - that sounds like a great amount of exercise. At the moment I find going to the gym on sat easy as it is at 9am. I'm struggling with my midweek visit as I need to be back in the house before 8am!! Would love some healthy suggestions for all the family - thanks smile

confused - I really need to build up the exercise I'm doing, you are doing so much, it's great!

I used turmeric in a dinner this week after the advice on here!

fromthehealthyheart Mon 07-Jan-13 12:51:54

Couscous on its own is bland as you say Debs75. I tend to think of it like rice in that it will absorb the flavours of the food being served with it - like a vegetable or chicken casserole/tagine. It is also lovely as a salad, though, but then I would use a vegetable or chicken stock in the water when it is soaking. You already have all that flavour then. Once the couscous has swelled up, add a tablespoon of olive oil and, using your hands, massage it into the grains to prevent any stickiness. Now you can add whatever you like to make it into a salad. My favourite is to chop up a large bunch of mint leaves, then add the seeds of a pomegranate and some chopped pistachio nuts. A nice dressing to go with it is 2:1 olive oil to lemon juice plus a teaspoon of allspice and a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon. A grinding of black pepper to finish off. You don't need any more salt as the stock is usually salty enough but add some more if you prefer. Mix it all together and you have a middle eastern tasting salad. It looks gorgeous with the red seeds and the green nuts and herbs.

Roasted root veg, parsnips, sweet potato, squash, etc go really well with couscous too smile

tinkerbelllisa Sun 06-Jan-13 22:12:17

try roasted vegetables, red onion,peppers.courgettes and some harissa paste with the cous cous - works wonders - or even chopped apricots and almonds if you use chicken stock and have with grilled chicken

Debs75 Sun 06-Jan-13 22:00:41

I like cous cous but I never know what to put with it. In summer I just cooked it with a chopped garlic clove then mixed it with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, pickled gherkins and onions, peppers and olives. It was really nice but still quite bland.

fromthehealthyheart Sun 06-Jan-13 17:55:19

I had to make some changes to my unhealthy lifestyle when my cholesterol spiked. Good idea to have your level checked as one should do so every 5 years even if not been raised before. It's a simple blood test you can ask your GP to arrange. I started walking for 30 minutes 5 times a week - a brisk walk around my neighbourhood. Anything more and I probably wouldn't have stuck to it. Done so now for 7 months. Was such a couch potato before but now I actually enjoy the 'me-time' aspect and feel fitter. Also devised low fat recipes that my whole family could eat and which helped get my cholesterol level down. Will send you a link to the recipes if you like. Good Luck!

I'm jealous of your cottage pie for lunch on Thursday, I love cottage pie for lunch, it's a bit stodgier than fresh and so delicious. Cottage pie is going on the menu plan for the week after next now grin

I second what super said about turmeric. It's an amazing substance. Great for your mouth too, brushing teeth with it helps whiten them (or rubbing the root if you can find it, middle eastern or indian grocers will have it), silling it around your mouth is supposed to be good for gums and it's great for your liver, guts, immune systems, etc.

super That couscous recipe looks great smile Totally putting that on my recipe book-blog grin DP and I have cous cous with a baked lentil dish and he is another who says he could live on a couscous dish!
Couscous is a nice grain to experiemnt with, as it's quite plain so you can flavour it easily, it has a nice texture and goes with a hell of a lot! I bought some giant couscous to play with yesterday, there is a great recipe in the Hugh book that I've been dying to try with it in.

I'm going okay, did a big 9.9mile walk yesterday, which was nicely over the 8 miles I'd intended to do! I'd posted the walk on a group on the Girls on the Go group on Meetup and 6 others turned up at varying points, there were five of us who did the entire walk and two who did part-way, they were all lovely too! I will walk 2 miles by myself today, probably an 'around the block' type thing but I live on a massive hill so around the block is a workout grin

How are you doing so far? Getting up early for the gym sounds very difficult! Getting up is not my forte wink I want to start getting up and doing stretches in the mornings now, try and get my muscles limber enough to do the splits for the hell of it haha.

450fromPaddington Sun 06-Jan-13 08:03:00

superfluous - I do have couscous in the cupboard but have yet to try cooking it! I just read the recipe on that link, it looks pretty substantial, thanks. I might try that this week. I've just never got round to experimenting with couscous. I'm not even sure what grain it's made from? confused

Ive been making more effort since I posted this thread. Eating fruit, and varying lunches etc. I ate rather a lot of liquorice Haribo selection yesterday but I'm thinking if I get out of the habit of eating sweets most days then maybe one or two days will be OK?

I went to the gym yesterday too. The midweek gym visit is less relaxing as I need to be back in the house BEFORE DH leaves for work. ( I'm going on a day I dont work). This requires motivation and will power these dark mornings smile

superfluouscurves Sat 05-Jan-13 22:00:06

(We do have it with chicken sometimes though I must confess!!)

superfluouscurves Sat 05-Jan-13 21:59:29

Just remembered 450 if it's any help, my dh is a confirmed meat-eater and yet he says he could leave on the cous-cous dish I do regularly.

It's basically cous-cous, to which you can add pine nuts and coriander if you want with a root vegetable accompaniment with chick peas... it's based on a Nigella recipe .. but you can vary it how you want .. adding turnips/butter nut squash .. whatever is in season

It's featured in this blog here

Good luck!

450fromPaddington Fri 04-Jan-13 12:56:28

superfluous - Yes, he does like curries. The one I made only contained veg. Maybe if I add pulses as you suggest he'll find it more satisfying. Your other two suggestions would certainly appeal to me, hard to tell re DH - worth a try though smile Thanks!

sparky - I think that's one of the reasons I eat so much cheddar cheese, because I know it has enough calories and also calcium which is good. But I'm a bit worried about all the cholesterol. I should try to eat healthier cheese I think.
Potato with beans and cheese sounds like a good idea. Even DH would like that!

How are you getting on confusedpixie? Good luck for Sunday smile

SparkyDudess Fri 04-Jan-13 00:20:17

I definitely feel better for limiting bread, butBergen bread is gorgeous - particularly for egg mayo / tuna mayo.

I saw a dietician due to being exceedingly chrohns skinny (at the time BMI was a touch under 17 - currently dead on 20), and her top tip was to add 'good' fat to everything. I addcream/cheese/butter wherever I can to my portion only (DH has high BP, is always trying to lose weight and needs to be as healthy as I can get him as he has cancer). It's a faff, no two ways about it.

DH is also unconvinced about meals without meat/fish, but will happily eat jacket potato with cheese and beans occasionally. I find replacing meat with pulses is less likely to find him rooting in the fridge 2 hours later!

superfluouscurves Thu 03-Jan-13 22:55:39

Sorry only to reply now ...have just seen your question

Would suggest replacing meat with strong flavours ...does the meat-eater in question like curries for example? Loads of good Indian dahl and curry recipes available on line that can be v. healthy and satisfying.. containing pulses, vegetables and spices such as turmeric for example (which has recently been found to contain curcumin and special compounds that help support the immune system, liver function, and joint maintenance etc). Chillies also have excellent health benefits.

I know these choices aren't ideal when cooking for under-3s though, although it is possible to make up the various vegetable recipes in a mild form and only add the stronger spices to the adult portions.

Pulses are good too ... how about black bean tacos with corn salsa or falafel with pitta breads?

Good luck!

450fromPaddington Thu 03-Jan-13 20:17:43

Thanks for the tips!

I followed some advice re eating a bit less bread as I ate cottage pie for lunch today - it was delicious and it certainly kept me going for a lot longer than a sandwich would. I have bought some bergen bread too. Haven't tasted it yet. . .

Something with mushroom. Mushroom has a meaty texture according to DP. Surprisingly DP has suggested nut roast as his most appealing meal. Apologies for the own blog link, it's the only thing I've posted on it though! This is the one DP makes:
t-rexlearnshowtoeatplants.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/carrot-cashew-nut-roast.html
It's really good with roasted root veg and sweet veg like squash.

A good recipe book is Hugh's Veg book, my boss (a meat eater trying to cut down on meat consumption) swears by it and cooks from it 3+ times a week. DP and I use it once a fortnight or so.

450fromPaddington Wed 02-Jan-13 19:45:41

Hi curves - grin at your name!

Funny you should mention oatcakes - I am currently trying to replace my mini-cheddars snack habit with oatcakes when I'm in work. They're definitley more satisfying for longer.

Fishy Friday sounds good - I think calling it that would appeal to the kids and if it was on the same weekday it would help me to remember fish was due. I cook fish when I remember but more often than not forget to. I made what I thought was a really tasty veg curry one night. My husband ended up having fishfinger sandwiches later as a "snack" because he found the veggie meal not satisfying enough. I wish I could convince him to eat a veggie meal once a week.
confused or curves - could you recommend a veggie meal to appeal to a meat-eater?

superfluouscurves Wed 02-Jan-13 11:15:05

I've got loads of improvements to make myself but meal planning really helps.

We have instigated a veggie Thursday and a fishy Friday for a start.

Agree with always having home made soup available. Only salad or soup for lunch for adults on weekdays.

Oat cakes are good slow release foods too.

450fromPaddington Tue 01-Jan-13 16:56:54

Thanks Debs75. I think I'll read more about that diet for the nutritional information rather than following it necessarily, a bit like you. I think I need to reduce saturated fats as I live on cheddar cheese. But I need to increase healthy fats like those on avocado etc. Don't know a massive amount about it yet though.

Debs75 Tue 01-Jan-13 15:02:02

OP we don't do the full diet as it is a huge change and would cause a ot of distress for ds but we do limit his sugar and we try and give him more meat products which are fattier. Tis hard for me and dp as we are dieting and we tend to drain off every ounce of fat.

450fromPaddington Tue 01-Jan-13 14:13:25

Oops! grin Not to worry, you'll get back on track!

Thanks 450, it's not blush I missed yesterday, it was 7pm before I realised I was supposed to go for a walk! But I did go on a nice casual walk with my Dsis, BIL and DP for 50 minutes on Sunday smile

450fromPaddington Tue 01-Jan-13 10:13:05

I have posted in chat in a shameless recruitment drive! Need lots of motivation

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