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The #WedFit Series

5 Jan

So, here we are January 2016 and I am less than 7 months away from my wedding.

Everything has stalled over the past couple of months, I couldn’t get lower than 15st2lbs before December and I still haven’t hit my 40lb off goal.

It doesn’t matter at all. I would say I plateaued but the reality is I wasn’t eating as well in November or being consistent. I became heavily re-addicted to sugar. And then along came December… Oh boy! It started well actually, I tried my hand at #AdventRunning and ran every day for the first half of the month until I got a virus or chest infection or something. I had an awful cough, lost my voice and spent a lot of time in bed.

As soon as I was better, the Christmas parties started, I drank every day, ate my favourite sugary foods, drank some more, ate oil and salt and fat. I ate so much over Christmas that it got to the point where I actually felt sick for about 3 days in a row, I still didn’t stop eating though.

I binge ate so hard that one day I ate profiteroles for breakfast (and lunch). I had fun.

I weighed on and off during Christmas and just before NYE I was up 5lbs. Could have been worse.

My only regret is that I was quite bloated by the time NYE rolled around and you could see my little tummy through my dress. I always use NYE as my comparisons for my weight loss as it was in January 2012 that my journey started.

Here is how it’s gone over the past 6 New Year’s Eve events (including the year before I started actively trying to lose weight).

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I’m not back at year 3 yet but getting there. But I have clearly been up and down.

I can’t currently tell you what I weigh because when I stepped on the scales on the 4th January… This is the message I got:

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Welp!

The batteries are dead, I’ve got some more now so in my next post you can have a weight update.

So, what now! Well I want to look my very best for my wedding in July 2016. With just under 7 months to go I have so much to do when it comes to planning and so much to do when it comes to being the best version of me I can be.

Welcome to the #Wedfit Series.

For the next few months the blog will be focusing on how I go about getting fit for the wedding, ups and downs, lefts and rights.

I know what you’re all going to say, because everyone has said it already. Yes I will look beautiful on the wedding day regardless of my size but I don’t want to look back at my photos and feel like I didn’t look my best. It is as simple as that.

And as for after… Well, what comes after weddings? I want to be in my best shape for the rest of my life. The wedding is an interim landmark.

Scales are not the only measure of getting in shape as we all know. I have also taken my measurements which currently stand at this:

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And my schedule for January is hectic with an eating and exercise programme that will kick start me back on the road.

I’ve gone back to minimal sugar… not zero sugar, but minimal. That means no processed foods, no alcohol, no sweets or sweet treats and fizzy drinks. I do have an exception to this though. It is my birthday in about 5 days and on my birthday I will have a slice of cake.

I’m not planning on beating myself up if I go to dinner and don’t check if they add sugar, but I will be making a conscious decision to pick the healthier options on the menu.

Home-made lunches (saves the pennies too).

Avoiding the dodgy takeaways.

It’s no use me working out hard if I plan on eating soft. The sugar free WhatsApp group is back up and running, my support system is epic!

As for the working out, I have signed up for a month of unltd classes at BoomCycle. A spin studio near my work. I love the sessions there, they work every fibre of your body and I feel cleansed at the end. My aim is to go three times a week.

I’m also still running with Run Dem Crew. They are family to me and I won’t be able to do this journey without them and their spectacular encouragement.

I’ve also purchased the new Davina McCall DVD for those times when I am at home and haven’t exercised. It is a series of 15 minute work outs and I’ve heard nothing but great things. Watch out for some videos J

My ultimate goal for January is to reach my 40lb weight loss. It’s been a long time coming and I need a new charm for my bracelet.

I’m going to be instagramming and giving weekly blog updates, so follow me on @specialee85 to see regular pics. I’m also going to be using the hashtags #WedFit, #FromFatToPhat, ~ItWasntFastButItWasDone and #TheAdus2016

Join me, let’s have some fun with it. Send me work outs to try, challenges to get involved with, invite me to train with you! Help me get #WedFit!

Bye bye summer.

1 Sep

Hello Autumn.

Today is the 1st September. I can’t believe where the year has gone.

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August was a good month. Since restarting the blog I’ve stayed on track and done well on and off the scales. But as we head into a new season it’s a good time to reflect and renew.

I finally hit my 2 stone weight loss thanks to a mild bout of food poisoning. 2 more lbs and I’ll be ready to get my new Pandora charm.

I’ve seen some great physical changes in my body. Some shape to my tummy which makes me think there might be some abs under there. I’m looking at photos and starting to like what I see. I ended up on TV last week. HD and live on BBC and I remember just feeling so thankful I didn’t look like a round lump.

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My face is changing shape too. My jaw is looking sharper.

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Old clothes are fitting again. Jeans and trousers are wearable again. My arms have a bit of work to go but there is one blazer I’m keen to get into again and it’s just a tiny bit too tight on the arms but I think another couple of weeks and I’ll be good to go. My old bras are fitting again and my newer bras are too big. Bin or keep?

It was carnival this weekend and I hit the roads in the shortest shorts ever and I felt comfortable. For the first time is such a long time.

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Exercise wise, I’ve been injured for a couple of weeks now and been advised not to do any impact exercise until my leg is no longer in pain and the bruising has gone. This is no good for someone training for a half marathon, so I’ve been keeping up the swimming and doing circuits at home. It’s helping me feel active even if not in the way I want. I think I should be good to hit the roads again in about a week or so.

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In the coming weeks I’m going to try and share more recipes with you.
I made a fab banana “ice cream” and my own version of Nak’d bars. Both were so easy to make and relatively quick too.

So I’m going to end this post with my renewed goals for the next month or so. Feel free to share your September goals with me 🙂

1. No alcohol.
2. No refined or added sugars.
3. No processed foods with added junk. 4. Exercise 5 days a week.

If I am in a situation where I can’t control what goes in to my food then that’s fine but I need to be conscious to make the best possible choice for me.

There are no weight goals in here because yes, I do want to make my 30lb and 40lb weight loss targets but they are not date defined and living healthier is more important to me than dropping weight fast.

Catch you on the flip side my lovelies.

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Review: Oppo sugar free luxury icecream

18 Aug

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I love ice cream. I like nothing better than sitting and munching my way through a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. All of it. It’s a contributing factor to my weight.
Being sugar free means no icecream. Sugar is what helps ice cream form. It’s a key component, but I’ve come to realise there is a yummy alternative to pretty much everything I’ve cut out, be it home made or shop brought.

I can’t remember if someone recommended Oppo to me or if I came across it on the interwebs. Either way, when I saw it in my local Holland and Barratt I had to give it a go. With no refined sugars and only natural ingredients, it ticked all the boxes.

It came in on the pricier side of £5.99 for 500ml but what the hey, I wanted it and what Leeanne wants, Leeanne gets.

A little bit of reading about Oppo told me that it founders came up with the idea after a trip where they survived on the fruits of a country they were trekking and realised how good living off the fat of the land could be.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Salted Caramel with Lucuma (what even is that anyway?). The ‘gold of the Incas’ apparently. A fruit loaded with goodness that has a sweet, yet salty caramel taste. Those Incas knew tasty when they came across it.

I was so excited to taste the ice cream I grabbed a spoon as soon as I got home.
My mouth is watering as I write this. Slightly soft from the journey home I went to my happy place as I tried the first mouthful. So creamy with fab hints of caramel. Rich and full of flavour, sweet but not over sweet and it tasted real. It didn’t taste like a weird frozen yogurt substitute for ice cream, it tastes like real ice cream. Blindfold me and I’d think I was eating a Häagen daaz or Carte d’or.

It took all my might to only have a few spoonfuls.

I was super impressed with the nutrional info for the icecream. Taken from the website:

Salted Caramel with Lucuma
Energy (Kcal): 77.3
Fat (g): 3.8
of which saturates(g): 2.8
Carbohydrate (g): 7.6
of which sugars (g): 6.7
Protein (g): 3.2 Sodium (g) 0.1

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Nice. And definitely guilt free.

It’s a very happy treat for me and I’ve been very good at not scoffing the entire tub. I’m defo going to keep an eye out for other flavours and this may just be my regular payday sweet treat.

Well done to the makers of Oppo. What a winner!

You can find Oppo at Holland and Barratt, Waitrose, Ocado and Whole Foods.

Let her eat cake

17 Aug

One of the things I’ve missed during my sugar free period is cake! I love a good cake. Sponge, icing, butter cream, jam. All of it.

Whenever there is a celebration, there is cake, it’s social, it brings people together and people think you’re weird when you say “no thanks”.

Over the weekend I headed off to a family celebration and there was going to be a cake baked by my cousin. I asked if she could do a sugar free one (only half joking) and she laughed in my face (over Facebook messenger) :-(.

I know a few people in the family are trying to eat less sugar and I couldn’t have all of us missing out so I decided to bake my own sugar free cake.

I AM NOT A BAKER. Let’s make that clear. I have people who make cakes for me when need be. I do not make the cakes. But in a bid to be independent I went for it.

I found a recipe for lemon drizzle on BBC Good Food and thought it looked good. Made some additions and adaptations and voila.

My adaptations were to swap sunflower oil for coconut oil and I didn’t use any milk. I used Yeo Valley natural yogurt (not fat free) and I also used stevia instead of xylitol.

I added raisins also some mixed seeds, because why not.

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I must admit I was quite impressed. I’m not a massive fan of stevia. I don’t like that after taste but I didn’t notice it in the cake.

It rose quite a lot in the oven but sunk soon after.

It definitely passed the taste test with everyone at my nans giving it a go and all of us being pleasantly surprised at how yummy it was.

It came out very brown though and looked more like a malt loaf than a cake but that’s not really a complaint.

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As of today I have only a teeny square left which might be my little treat this evening.

I’d definitely make this cake again. It was quickish and very easy to make and really satisfied my need for cake. Yay!

P.s. I also discovered ready salted hula hoops are sugar free too. Another win!

Sugar Addiction

13 Aug

So six weeks ago I gave up sugar. It came off the back of a usual binge where I’d bought a £1 giant bar of chocolate, sweet and salty popcorn and a loaf of soreen.  I ate the popcorn and chocolate right away and decided to save the soreen for after dinner as a little treat (lolz).

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By the time I’d eaten dinner I knew I had to stop. As I said in my previous post I’m getting married and when I went wedding dress shopping I found my dress but there was a possibility I’d have to buy it in a plus size. That would be an extra £400. Why, knowing all this, was I still eating in such a shocking way?

Sometimes you just reach that point where enough is enough.

I didn’t think about it or plan it. I just went straight cold turkey. No provisions or replacements I just had to quit my crack habit right there and then.

So although in my head and heart I was ready, I hadn’t been prepared for the effects of 30.5 years of sugar leaving my body. I hadn’t expected the cravings, the headaches or mood swings. 

After a day or two someone brought Krispy Kreme donuts into the office. There were actual tears in my eyes, but I held fast. I wanted one so badly, I felt sick.

I didn’t have one and im pretty proud of my will power. As much as it felt like it actually hurt me to say no, I think even after just a couple of days I knew I could do this. Donut-gate aside, I felt pretty good those first few days.

I stocked up on some goods which I’ll list at the end, and created a sugar free living pinterest board. There was no reason I couldn’t have goodies. They just needed to be refined sugar free. I was allowing myself honey and agave nectar at first, but I’ve mostly phased that out. Unless something is super bland then I’m not adding it.

At the one week mark, things went downhill. I had two to three days of intense headaches. I’m not a headache person so I knew this was a result of cutting out the nasty sugar. I was so grumpy, like PMS but worse. I couldn’t concentrate and I was mean. It was rough but then came the calm.

As the sugar left my system the cravings stopped. This is no longer a willpower jobby. I actually don’t want chocolate and crap. No biscuits,  no crisps, no juice.  Nothing.

I tell you what, it’s a revelation. I grew up putting tablespoons of sugar on my cereal or in my hot chocolate. Cream on everything. Cake and cheesecake and whole trifles.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I now dislike this stuff. I just don’t NEED it any more and I don’t really want it as much.

My snacks have been nuts and fruit. Hummus and olives. Nak’d bars save me if I’m caught out. I’ve been making peanut protein balls (recipes to follow), sugar free cocoa and coconut brownies, savoury homemade popcorn, gorgeous chia seed puddings. So I’m getting sweetness in just without the crack habit. 

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My homemade sugar free brownie

I’ve also given up booze. I miss Gin.  Need to check if it’s sugar free. (Checked and Gin with soda water and lemon is in)

Things I miss:
Ice cream. It’s summer and I want cold, creamy and refreshing. But I’ve been give  some faux ice cream recipes which I’ll try and let you know about.

Cake: cos everyone loves cake, but again I’ve got some recipes to try.

Slips ups:
Any slip ups have been intentional. A friend had a birthday dinner at an all you can eat buffet and I just thought “well I’m not gonna be able to avoid it here so I’m going all in”. Man it was good. Until the end, when I was so high off sugar that I thought I was going to die. Literally buzzing. A headache like I’d been drinking all night. I was hyper. And I felt so sick I thought I was going to vomit. Was fine the next up day but it was a reminder how bad all this stuff is.

We also had a family lunch and my dad bought a bottle of champagne as a  celebration. I got very tipsy very quickly on just a glass.

I have to be realistic.  There are going to be times where it’s going to be impossible to not have sugars but I’m pretty confident that these will be far and few between and I can control my portions and the amount I’m consuming. And on a hot day I might just want a cocktail or an ice lolly. I’m only human.

Lots of people have been asking me about going sugar free. I’m no expert, I know pretty much nothing but can offer whats worked for me, sharing recipes and support. To that end, I recently started a Whats App group where a group of us are working together to crack our sugar addictions and get a bit fitter. With a challenge to be sugar free by the end of August.

I think I’ll run the challenge monthly.

Look out for tidbits from the group. I’ll be posting my snack recipes as well because some of this stuff is so damn tasty.