Lo and Behold, It’s March 2013!!

It has been the longest time since my last blog entry!

And I haven been truly busy since then …. Way busy during the last 4 months!!

Let’s take a peek at the bucket list of a busy mummy:

  1. Babysitting – keeps you perpetually busy
  2. Christmas and Chinese New Year – time of the year for lots of catching up and gatherings with families and friends
  3. Bringing 20 students on an overseas climbing trip
  4. Attending classes and seminars for personal development
  5. Sitting for exams
  6. Picking up basic skills on website design
  7. Getting lost while at it
  8. Housework

And I wonder why I have so little time.

This year, I have taken a big step in adjusting my career. The main motivation came from the twins, as my mum can’t manage them by herself while I’m at work. The Great-Grand has officially declared her retirement plans from the twins, thinking my mum and I should be able to handle them. It’s good that we learn to be independent of her, but we do have to make major changes to accommodate the change.

And so, I have taken a year off school to better manage the twins and their schedules. Aasha used to have to wake up at 6.30am with me when I was in school, because the school morning assembly is at 7.30am. I always dreaded the moment when I have to rouse her from her deep sleep!  Now that I don’t have to rush for morning assemblies, she can definitely sleep in later!

After the kids get dropped off at playschool, Mummy and Grandma scoots off to busy themselves with numerous tasks on hand! I keep myself occupied with the numerous items listed above. My mum turns her attention to quality marketing and re-organising her whole house. You can imagine how much work gets done when the twins are not home! A luxury only mothers will understand ….

There will be more entries coming up on new knowledge that I have picked up, as well as updates on new changes to come!

The Power of Intermittent Fasting

It’s funny how the world works, where the right people and things are attracted to you at the right time.

 


Just these two weeks, I’m trialing a new programme called Intermittent Fasting. I have journalled my experience in the previous posts. The first Trial Day last week had left me with a nagging headache throughout the day.

And as I was surfing and doing my work tonight, I chanced upon this article from BBC News, on the Power of Intermittent Fasting! Is this coincidental or what? It was an interesting read because I learnt new scientific evidences for the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

I just completed Trial Day 2 a few hours ago. It was another 15 hour fast which began the night before.I was pleasantly surprised that the experience today was vastly different from that of the first day.
1. I did not have bad cravings for food throughout.
2. No sign of any headache
3. I did not binge on food at the end of the fast.

Trial day 2 went by smoothly for 15 hours!!

If you would like to understand more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting, go ahead and understand more from BBC News here!

 

Intermittent Fasting – Plunging into the Deep

Yeah I’d say I plunged myself right into the deep ocean,because I made up my mind to go for it just over the weekend. I didn’t spend a long time planning for it. Nor did I spend an adequate amount of time reading up more details on the process of it and how I can better prepare for it. Nope, I kind of assume I will be able to handle it and just started doing it!

Like I mentioned in the last post, the chosen day for Trial Fasting was Tuesday, 9th October. So I started my 24 hour fasting cycle at 11pm on the night of Monday, 8th October.

11pm: Full of optimism and anticipation of the Trial

12md – 6am: Sleep

7am: Stomach growling but easy to ignore (busy getting twins and myself ready for school)

9am: Stomach still growling but still easy to ignore (busy at school); Drank 500ml water

11am: Drank 8oz water mixed with 3 teaspooons Greens+ (Definitely prefer eating my real greens!)

1pm: Still going strong ignoring the hunger pangs and drank more water. Started feeling a headache welling up in the head.

2.30pm: Headache still going on. Got unbelievably hungry while doing video editing! Decided to have a snack bar to tie myself over the afternoon rehearsals (wasn’t sure if there is a possibility that I’d faint from hunger later on in the midst of rehearsal)

4pm: Tummy still rumbling, headache still going on. But was still able to ignore due to distraction from rehearsals. Drank water throughout the rehearsal.

6.30pm: Done with rehearsal. Got unbearably hungry and snacked on a tuna bun. Drank more water. Got hungry again in a jiffy.

8.00pm: Snacked on two slices of rock-melon and felt significantly better. Got hungry again soon after.

10.30pm: Made myself a multi-grain chicken breast sandwich (from leftover chicken). Completely satisfied with my meal, though I didn’t feel particularly full.

And my 24-hour Fasting Trial Day ended when the clock struck 11pm.

My Conclusion

Progressive Fasting

I should have started with Intermittent Fasting in a progressive manner. I was perhaps too ambitious to try to achieve a 24-hour stint on the first ever Fasting episode in my life! Perhaps starting with a 15-hour fast once weekly for the first 2 weeks would have been more appropriate for my body to adapt to this new nutritional strategy – which is about right since I surrendered and snacked at about 2.30pm (15.5 hours). After 15, I could then progress to 18, then to 20, then to the final 24-hour goal! The nagging headache might also have been avoided if Fasting was done progressively.

Thank God for the Distractions

This is so true for an amateur in Fasting! The hunger pangs were perpetually present the whole time! If there were no distractions that came in the form of work, activities or the environment, my mind would constantly be reminded of the rumbling tummy and I would need a higher level of persuasive skills and mental strength to rid my mind of the feelings! So yes it was indeed a sound strategy to choose a busy day where it was easier for me to focus on other stuff than my tummy.

Starting Afresh

Though the nagging headache persisted for a good part of the day, it was gone by the time I woke up the next morning! Not only was the headache gone, I was largely aware that I felt exceptionally refreshed the next day! You know how sometimes your head feels clouded and blinded with numerous issues when you are at work? Well, I was feeling this way for the last couple of weeks. And yet I was clearly aware that I felt so different after the Trial Fasting Day – refreshed, light and energetic! I must say I cannot confirm if this feeling can be attributed directly to the Fasting Day, but I’d very much like to think so =0)

Is this what people call Detox? haha

Intermittent Fasting – How did this even Start?

As the name has it, Intermittent Fasting (IF) involves … yes …. Fasting.

Seriously, this is the last dieting/ nutritional strategy to ever cross my mind in my pursuit for a healthy, lean body. Why should I go hungry?

But when Fasting crossed my path recently, it caught my attention.

The Head Coach of Precision Nutrition, Dr John Berardi, experimented with Intermittent Fasting himself and shared his experiences with those who are interested in the topic. You could go to his website and download a free e-resource whereby he documented his experiences to share freely.

As what Coach JB said, he had to try it himself to discover and understand what IF is all about. It is not for everyone, period. But for those who are looking to get a leaner body, this may help achieve your goals. When a great and established coach like Dr JB bothers to put himself to test and experimentation, why shouldn’t I be open to it?

 And I am looking to get leaner anyway!

Also, Brad Pillon, author of Eat Stop Eat, mentioned that Fasting is great for productivity! For one it helps you save time because you don’t need to think about food. That got me sitting right up immediately! Though I love planning for the way I eat now, It’s not quite a bad idea that I do not have to think about food for a day! I can just spend all the time focusing on other stuff! He has a whole list of other benefits to promote fasting, which you can see from his website.

And I am always looking to do more with less!

Based on the above reasons and coupled with the motivation of wanting to be exposed to nutritional strategies that can work for myself, I decided to embark on the challenge of a 24 hour Fasting, in accordance to the plan recommended by Dr JB.

The chosen day was Tuesday, 9 October 2012.

It was a scheduled busy day in school.

There was no scheduled gym workout.

I should be able to complete my trial with the help of the many activities in the day to take my mind off the hunger pangs!

And so I started my Trial Fasting Day at 11pm on Monday, 8 October 2012.

I will be sharing my feelings and experiences on my Trial Fasting Day in the next post!

Look Out for It!

The Power of Habit

“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be”

Quoting from a book I recently read, The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, this statement makes perfect sense in our everyday lives, determining what we choose to do, what we choose to say, what we choose to identify with, or ignore.
As long as you adopt the right habits, you can become the person you always wanted to be and even determine the lifestyle you desire.

And right now, I’m determined to adopt two simple yet challenging habits in my life, that can have a positive impact on myself and my loved ones.
1. Eat Well, Eat Right
2. Half Hour Workouts

Eat Well, Eat Right
I was just talking to the hubs the other day about being selective over the types of foods we put inside us. Essentially, our sole purpose in life is not to just survive, but survive well. And the most important function to achieve that is our body.

If we do not take extra effort to care for our bodies – meaning the fuel/ food we put inside us, then we will not have the most basic but critical function to dictate our existence.
Luckily he agrees with my logic and is ever so supportive of my recent efforts in whipping up simple but wholesome meals. In any case, he says it’s always miles better than that “takeaway chicken from BBQ Express” – I take that as a compliment.

So I have kick-started the habit of cooking my own meals, even my lunches which I will pack to school. This definitely also means building the habit of doing marketing and buying my own list of fresh and whole foods. And lastly also the habit of planning for meals which I have to strategise, to make a nutritious meal in the most efficient manner.

Home-made Roasted Chicken with Stuffed Cous Cous

Easy Colourful Veggie Side Dish

Half Hour Workouts
Half Hour Workouts have started to become a part of my active lifestyle ever since the twins came along and I have to marry time spent on them with time spent on keeping fit and staying in shape.

The days where I have the luxury of time to go for long runs and spending a good 3-4 hours in a climbing session are long gone – at least until the the twins can be independent of their mum.
Most of the time now is spent feeling more exhausted and spent than anything else. So it is crucial for me to adopt this habit to design half hour workouts that can still help me achieve my fitness goals and keep me sane!

And the target is Half Hour Workouts 5 times a week minimally!

The Habits are not fully developed yet, and are still work in progress. I understand that I’m not perfect but I strive to work towards my targets by starting on a fresh slate every time I deviate instead of bugging on the wrongs.

What about you? Are you Ready to kick start your New Habits?

Time to Get Rid of Sugar!!

For those of you who think you are safe drinking Coke Zero, you gotta rethink!

For those of you who consider Equal as acceptable since it’s diabetic safe, you gotta reconsider!

And for those of you who can’t survive on foods that aren’t sweetened for your misguided taste buds, you gotta start learning how to survive without those sweeteners!

And here’s an easy follow-through chart that explains how to do it!

We really do need to start learning to be food smart!

Strength Training is the Key to Burning More Fat!

I get really upset whenever I hit the gym for a workout. It’s true!

I get upset when I see overweight people (especially women) of all ages – from teenagers to motivated Grans, working on the treadmill with towels hung over their necks and trying their best to stay as long as possible on the treadmill. And I can’t help thinking that they are wasting their time working towards an objective, that I assume is weight/ fat loss, that will never be reached at this rate of working out. Imagine they go to the gym religiously 3 times a week and hit the treadmill for half an hour each session, how much precious time are they wasting?!

Although it’s not directly my problem, I get equally upset thinking that nobody is giving them the sound advice to do what is necessary for fat loss. That they are ignorantly wasting those hours pounding away on the treadmill.

Right, maybe they were not looking to lose weight/ fat.                                                   But that’s highly unlikely when you see overweight folks who are motivated enough to appear in the gym. Losing weight/ fat and staying in shape must be part of the plan!

Well, maybe they have some health issue that prevents them from doing strength training. But with proper guidance and a sound workout plan, anyone can do strength training! Folks recovering from injuries do strength trainings to recover and get their body parts functioning properly again. So really, strength training is for everyone!

Sometimes, I have a good mind to walk up to them and tell them “hey I have a better suggestion for you to lose weight!” But I’ve not mustered the courage to do that yet, to random strangers. And I have not also thought about what I could get myself into doing poking my nose into other people’s business at the gym, so I shall stay out of way for the moment.

For those of you who are keen on understanding the benefits of strength training and why some of us keep going on and on about telling you not to waste time on traditional cardio if you want to burn fats, check out this link. Coach Calorie has done an easy summary on what you need to know.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/16KuUl/www.coachcalorie.com/strength-training-for-weight-loss/

Just to remind you, that exercise is is just one part of the equation. Don’t forget about the nutrition part! Both are equally essential to your fat loss plan!