I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Paleo Piece

About a Week Ago


So, 8 days ago, I wrote about doing THIS diet because of THIS. I quickly realised that the Newcastle Diet was too much like suffering and crash dieting and would be basically impossible for me to manage for 8 weeks. I asked for advice and opinions from all and the ONLY person that was advocating for it was my brother! Then a trillion different people suggested Paleo, there were suggestions of other ones, but they had numbers in their title and that put me off, being number dyslexic and all! 

I had heard many online friends talk about Paleo in different threads, but I usually skimmed over them.  I was also clearly still in denial about needing to change, scoffing chocolate every day since Millie was born and living on high carbs easy quick saturated fat coated in breadcrumbs type meals most of the time.  It was like chocolate was my reward for doing a Gestational Diabetes diet during my pregnancy with her! Yeah I know two years is a long time to keep saying 'I deserve it!'. I deserve to be healthy.

Anyway,  I'd caught the jist that this was a way of eating that dated back to the beginning, before oven ready food and before agriculture found grains and before sugar. 

It's only been a week but  what I can gather so far, are that the things to be eaten are meat and berries and fish and seeds and fruit and chicken and veg and basically REAL food, not processed fish in a batter and chips, not garlic bread or tinned soup or quorn pie or pizza or filled tortellini with pasta sauce or porridge and most certainly not sugar.  No chocolate or crisps or biscuits. Easy quick tasty food.  And it is tasty. But not healthy. I did occasionally cook real vegetables but I almost always mixed it with some type of grain or legume (cous cous, pasta, rice, chick peas, butter beans, lentils- is that Paleo, no idea?!)  and of course chips. Usually oven chips.  I've already been converted on the benefits of cooking with coconut oil instead of vegetable or sunflower or any other high smoke oil, so that was helpful.

I'm reading about it now, lots of different articles, stories and I'm cooking food.  I'm making meals. I'm eating fresh real food just without the grains and the sugar and the dairy for now. I'm getting loads of encouragement and support which is totally brilliant and definitely needed with such a massive change.   I know I need to watch my fruit intake because blood sugar level reduction is my ultimate goal. Tonight my level was 6.8, the lowest for a long time! 

I'm still learning about whats considered paleo or not but I'm beginning to understand since joining the trail (see if it leads me to eating better) that many people do things differently and at their own personal pace and journey. There are just some foods that are harder to leave behind than others and as many people have pointed out, as we evolved, so did our food availability and no-one *really* knows.  

That means, I'm still eating ketchup, although I've made my own no sugar healthier version suggested to me.  I'm also seeing the problems arising since the initial flourish and highend kick ass motivation is dying down and I realise that I will at some point need to make food that my children and hubby will also eat, since I am still cooking separately for them.  Hubby is still on the quorn version and girls are still on pasta or fish fingers!! I'm definitely going to start missing things like chickpeas and cous cous and potatoes and putting things inside a sandwich or a bun and sometimes cheese but I'm hoping that this jump start onto healthier eating will allow my body to eat those things again if I need to. 

I am also pretty sure at some point, I'm going to want chocolate. Like milk chocolate. All the chocolate eggs in the supermarket are taunting me. I LOVE my chocolate.  I know there are substitutes and maybe the healthy eating and supplements with decrease my cravings but I doubt they will be gone forever. I mean just LOOK!

Of course I'm not forgetting the  massive  small issue of exercise and getting more....one step at a time!

I am obviously drawn to Paleo for some reason. Yet, it also makes sense. I raise my babies the cave way, surely I should also be eating the cave way!!!

Meltdowns - something is going on with Ellie, she is ALL over the place
Losing the Plot - in the restaurant today after the girls were just too much
Breastfeeding - yup! still happening.  All. The. Time!!!

Thinking about it....

(Post written on Thursday 3rd April that I forgot to properly publish)

I've started researching the paleo diet. SO many people have been talking about it and have said it's the best way to go. I'm dubious of my abilities to ditch the processed food and actually properly cook.  Not sure when I'll find the time and energy but here goes.....what harm could it do me? None as far as I can tell. Although the detoxing side effects will be tough and the cravings will be hell, apparently it will all be worth it.

I've downloaded the app Is It Paleo? to help me along. All I need to do is get rid of all the processed stuff which means eating it, so I won't be starting yet. I enjoyed my breaded Camembert tonight and my fish in a batter. I'll miss the easiness of sticking it in the oven. 

Oh crap. What am I doing? Oh yeah...getting healthy!!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Is it worth the MASSIVE effort?

Do I want to be free of high blood sugars and the threat of type 2 diabetes? 

Although I'm only prediabetic, it's inevitable that I will develop type 2,  the GP said. I have many of the risk factors. Genetics, overweight, stress....

This study on the 800 calorie diet, has only be done on 11 people, of them, 7 reversed their diabetes and there hasn't been a follow up yet. There is anecdotal evidence all over google of others who have tried it. Some didn't even do it to the letter. 

Sustainability afterwards is the key but maybe this is the injection turbo booster quick fix crash diet magic pill popping elixir I need. 

I anticipate that like lack of sleep, lack of food will create a crazed deprived mama and the short term result will NOT be fun. Or pretty. 

Long term though....it could be the jackpot. 

I crash dieted a lot when I was younger. I went through phases like most teenagers of poor body image and always *knew* my life would be better if I had a flat stomach. I became vegetarian firstly because I imagined it would mean eating less.  I tried that slimfast diet that was ALL over TV in the 80's.  I was so consumed with dieting I wished I was anorexic. I wished I had the will power and strength not to eat. How messed up is that!  Not eating was difficult. I like my food!  I was also bulimic for a few years. That was a joyful time. Not. Ultimately though it was all about trying to feel in control of my life. I see that now. 

This is also about taking control of a situation. I just don't know if I have the wherewithal or enough support. Could my family handle me even more crazy for two months! Can they afford not too? Diabetes can be problematic to say the least. I'm running out of time. 

Do you think this diet is possible for 8wks? 

Do you think I have the will power, the motivation, the strength?

Would you if your life depended on it?

Meltdowns - they will be mostly from me!
Losing the plot - I most probably will!! 
Breastfeeding - will it be affected?

Click the blue links for more information:

Info on the study:
from the University

Articles about the study: 

Articles from those who have tried it:
from The Guardian

Sunday, 23 March 2014


I've been swimming in denial for about a year now. I know I shouldn't be doing it. I know it's genetic and age related. I know my brother and my father both got it. I know ALL this, yet I just couldn't stop.

Every night, once the kids are finally asleep and I am finally settled on the sofa after my dinner, we eat chocolate.  Not talking a wee bar here, I'm talking the big big ones. The yummy massive ones. And sometimes a bag of something else chocolatey. It is my treat for making it through the day. E. V. E. R. Y. night. 

Except sometimes, I have it during the day too. Especially if I am feeling crappy. It boosts me with it's lovely chocolatey seratonin kick. I find I can't feel complete with my meal if I don't seal it with chocolate. I'm totally addicted. 

I have a very addictive personality. If it's in the house I can't ignore it. If I want some and don't get it, I get all withdrawy and edgy. It's quite scary. 

I knew I needed to cut down but I just kept ignoring it. Making excuses. I deserve it. I've earned it. I NEED IT DAMMIT!!

Well my ticking time bomb has finally been activated. My blood sugar levels are elevated and I have an appointment with the Dr tomorrow who will no doubt tell me to sort out my diet and stop eating my beloved chocolate. I'm still hoping it's all a big error (I know it's not). 

The diet recently has mainly consisted of pasta which hasn't helped either. When money is tight, pasta is cheap and easy. Frankly I am sick of pasta, so I won't be sad to cut that down. I just really need to get my arse back into cooking gear and start making proper healthy meals again. I'm going to need to dig out my gestational diabetes pregnancy food diet and start following that again. 

Honestly I am not looking forward to any of it. I love my chocolate. Giving it up is hard. If I go through a day without it, that's amazing for me. I had to stop all sugar during my pregnancy and all I did was dream about chocolate.  I even made a blog post about it.  I'm trying new recipes of pseudo chocolate with cocoa and bananas and avocados but it's just not tobelerone :(

The other thing I'm going to need to do now is more exercise. I'm dreading this too especially with my back pain. I guess walking toddler pace just doesn't cut it!

I suppose it explains my extreme tiredness and constant hunger.  I'm really quite depressed about it all which makes me even less inclined to want to take on this huge task of change but I'm going to have to. 

Basically I am a big fat mess of unhealthy and it's time to face reality, deal with myself and sort my shit out. 

Meltdowns - eldest is going through something, so on the increase 
Losing the plot - too tired
Breastfeeding - reduces risk of diabetes but doesn't completely stop it if you still eat rubbish!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Where's the party?

Today has been a day of ups and downs. Woken early. Middle of day sleep. Crazy evening. Late relaxing night. Insomniac awakening till wee hours. My body clock is doing a confused mumba. 

I was woken at 5am by two girls who thought it was time to get up and seemed most surprised when I told them it was the middle of the night. (It was still dark. It's the middle of the night for me. OK!). They decided to stay up and watched tv downstairs whilst I went back to bed for an hour before feeding Millie back to sleep for another while. When it was obvious through noise and milk needs that I wasn't going to get any more sleep, I got up and made breakfast, cleaned the bombshell kitchen and then swept the bombshell living room into the middle of the room to make a massive pile of contained mess. (It's a very satisfying way of seeing the mess).  

I decided to rest for a bit after that except Ellie decided she wanted to make money and chose cleaning the car for a £1. If you think it's a way of getting a bit of peace and quiet whilst they keep themselves busy, think again. I spent more energy filling tubs and sorting hoses and drying children and dealing with leaking hoses that had been fed through the house and were soaking the poppy room and consoling wet children and being unable to not be a perfectionist and leave them to it, that I was beginning to wish...well I was beginning to...try to realise the super extra connection bonus points I was amalgamating!! For sure! 

Anyways, we finally relaxed about lunch time then hubby took the girls out for the afternoon and I slept. Well I watched my new funzoneout show Psych (can be hysterically funny) then slept. 

The gang came back at 6pm and we got ready for going to Shul for Purim. It was all going so well until we arrived at the place and thought we'd either missed it or it was the wrong night. Turns out it was at a different venue. Signage would have been good. Typical us. Disorganised to the Nth. Anyway we found another Shul which is great considering they are slowly closing one by one. (Dwindling community). 

We were barely sat down 5mins when Maia says she needs the toilet. Ellie says she doesn't but comes with us. So we all traipse, by traipse I mean up one flight and down two flights of stairs, to the toilet. Millie is with hubby downstairs ( it's an orthodox Shul so men and women are separated) so it's just me and the girls. After the toilet, Maia says she wants to go the crèche play room so whilst she is in there I take Ellie, who has changed her mind and has therefore unwittingly reduced my patience. 

It's a bit of a disaster because Ellie has a sometimes irrational fear of toilets. But only certain toilets. It's hard to know which ones are scary. It's always a gamble. Lately it's been worse. My empathy today was not optimal I have to say. Oftentimes I feel she's hyped it up so much she has manifested it into a bigger fear. I can't understand how she can manage school and home and some toilet, but others not. 

Anyway, I thought if I walked into the toilet cubicle first she would follow and feel safer but she didn't follow and then refused to round the corner to the toilets. I squeaked the noisemaker (Purim necessity) to let her hear where I was but she wouldn't move. I probably should have come out sooner and let her see me but I thought she could see me and as I said I wasn't being completely patient with her toilet fear today.  After a minute or so shrieking, I got her. She then freaked and wouldn't leave the toilet then tripped and banged her knee running away from the toilet (because of her new trousers). At first I kind of freaked myself and said some not very comforting things, then I checked myself and calmed down and apologised. 

She was majorly pissed off with me and rightly so. I wasn't very motherly about it all. 

So then they decided they wanted to stay in the crèche and I had a 'we have come to Shul to hear the Megillah and make noise not play here' moralistic imposing moment and marched them back into Shul where Ellie moped and complained on one side of me, that she thought it was a party and she wanted to go home. Maia was complaining on the other side of me that she wanted to go to the playroom. Then down below Millie noticed me and started climbing off hubby to make her way to me. I have no doubt that she could have made it on her own. Somehow!! 5 flights of stairs and 4 sets of doors wouldn't have stopped her. I sent Maia halfway to fetch her.  She had only been sat for 5 minutes when she said she needed the toilet. We are on day three of no nappies outside the house so we are honouring EVERY request for toilet. So we ALL traipse back to the toilet and I decide not to turn Shul into a horrible forced affair and tell the girls they can go to the playroom. Unfortunately, I had closed the door and we couldn't open it. So we all go back inside. We've not been sat for 5minutes when Ellie decides she wants to go downstairs to hubby (who has been comfortably sitting, not moving, in one place all this time). So we all traipse downstairs.   I meet a mum with a newborn 'uterus ping!!' and we chat for a bit. It always amazes me when I see mothers out with their newborn less than a week after birth. I don't have the energy for that and also I'd much prefer to be at home skin to skin as much as possible that early on. Other kids? That's what Hubby is for!

Anyway, back up the stairs into the Shul again and the other two start wandering about exploring. It's a noisy service anyway (we have to make a lot of noise when the Rabbi, who is reading the story of Purim, mentions the bad mans name, to drown it out) so it's not too disruptive until Millie walks into a book holder on a pew and screams the place down. I'm done. I'm ready for home. 

By the time the service is over and we go back downstairs (5 flights, 5 doors) and into the function hall, I am not in the best of moods and hubby notices I am not looking so happy and points it out. Helpfully. It's too much to explain so I just bark back 'NO. I'm not!' and we leave it at that. 

Thankfully there is a bunch of soft play stuff in the hall so the kids have a blast and are busy. This gives me enough time to traipse back upstairs to find the missing crown and missing noisemaker. 

Back home they fall asleep pretty easily since it's late but I on the other hand am wide awake (damn you afternoon nap) which turns into insomnia. If the girls wake at 5am again tomorrow I am not doing the toilet runs at the next Purim party. 

Things I've learned today:-

- be more understanding of Ellie's fear. It's not worth the consequences. 

- take ALL kids to the toilet as soon as arrive anywhere

- choose a Shul that has same level segregation (or none) and same level toilets!

- eating at 2am is always going to make you need the toilet at 4am

Here's a funny video from today of Riley playing with his ball and getting it stuck:

Meltdowns - massive toilet based one
Losing the plot - completely
Breastfeeding - not in Shul this time so no need to deal with *that* situation.