Okay, so tonight’s blog will be fairly short and sweet…as I’ve not long got home after a mammoth babysitting session and I’m shattered! I have been inspired to write a couple of lines following yet another article about food and how certain things are great for your health. This week, it’s the Mediterranean diet!
The article discussed the benefits of following this diet and said that “during the studies, the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet was given extra-virgin olive oil each week and was instructed to use at least 4 four tablespoons a day. The other group got a combination of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts and was instructed to eat about an ounce of the mix each day. An ounce of walnuts, for example, is about a quarter cup — a generous handful. The mainstays of the diet consisted of at least three servings a day of fruits and at least two servings of vegetables. Participants were to eat fish at least three times a week and legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, at least three times a week. They were to eat white meat instead of red, and, for those accustomed to drinking, to have at least seven glasses of wine a week with meals. They were encouraged to avoid commercially made cookies, cakes and pastries and to limit their consumption of dairy products and processed meats.” Apparently the participants stuck with the Mediterranean diet long after the study had finished.
The big result was that the evidence showed that this type of diet reduces the risk of heart disease, although participants did not lose weight – and many of them didn’t need to lose weight in the first place.
Now, I have no issues with this type of diet – it sounds very healthy…if you aren’t overweight! Four tablespoons of olive oil a day contains 24 syns, or 480 calories. And the walnuts would be 9 syns, or 180 calories. Not to mention the wine, with 250ml of red coming in at 8.5 syns, or 170 calories. The rest of the diet sounds very familiar to the one that I have following Slimming World, and I feel great doing it…so perhaps it’s a winner!
My big issue is the stuff that gets spouted by people – such as “oh, dark chocolate is great for your heart!”, or “a glass of red wine a day is really good – loads of antioxidants!”. Now it’s going to be “that Mediterranean diet sound great!”.
Dark chocolate is more beneficial for you, for the same reasons as red wine…the antioxidants. But these are no good for you if you are a big fat fattie – something I mentioned in group last week to looks of shock and some laughter. If you are overweight, then having dark chocolate to help improve your level of antioxidants is about as much use as trying to make a cup of tea using a chocolate teapot…useless! Getting on a healthy diet which restricts the amount of stuff like that is far better for you. And those antioxidants in wine come from the grapes…so just eat red grapes!!
Another food gem was, “celery is a negative calories food, and takes more calories to digest than it has in it”…despite there being no scientific evidence to support this! I also loved the rush of people drinking and eating anything containing acai berries…despite them tasting like you were eating a bonfire…and you get the same benefits from good old blueberries apparently. “Raw food is better for you, as the enzymes are still intact”…sorry, but those enzymes are for the benefit of the plant, and our stomach acid breaks them down long before they could possibly be absorbed…so you can cook your broccoli! “It’s better to eat your calories earlier in the day, and not late at night”…a calorie is a calorie…the only problem with eating late at night is trying to find a comfy position for your bloated stomach. And my favourite “carbs make you fat”…bullshit – all of the cakes, biscuits, crisps and burgers you eat make you fat! Your body needs carbs, just like it needs protein, just like it needs fat…just not an overload of it all!
So whilst I like to occasionally use my syns for a bit of Green & Blacks, I don’t do it under the illusion that I am improving my antioxidant levels…I do it because I want good quality chocolate.
There is no quick fix, or miracle food! There are better choices, but ultimately you need to be following a healthy and controlled eating plan…not dousing your food in olive oil – a la Jamie Oliver, or scoffing down handfuls of nuts and seeds as per Gillian McKeiths diet of abundance…yes, I’ve tried them all! 😉
And so this is where I get my PomPoms out for Slimming World again. Not everyone likes it – but I love it, and it’s changing my life!
So folks – short and sweet…
Today was an early one as it was jam packed with babysitting and a mammoth housework session before our visitor arrived for the weekend. Exercise took priority as soon as I got out of bed, shortly followed by lots of sweating and a good deal of water being drunk, then breakfast, horses, Asda, home, shower, lunch, babysitting – my other half did the housework (love him!) and then it was back home later than planned as my sister was home late! One of my mums ex-foster placements was arriving for the weekend, so we wanted to get the house ready…and we are looking forward to a nice relaxing evening!
Breakfast: Banana and two Benefit bars.
Lunch: Chicken, sweetcorn and mushroom soup.
Dinner: Mince and gravy – packed with veggies and served with mini roast potatoes.
Snacks: Two scan bran with garlic and herb Phili, two packets of Snack a Jacks.
Lunch was delicious and I will definitely be making it again…and can’t wait for my ‘Tastes of Asia’ book to arrive to try more recipes. Dinner was made in honour of our house guest as it’s her favourite meal, so I made it Slimming World style and served it with little roast new potatoes…lovely! I am also developing a fondness for scan bran with my cheese on top – I do wonder if it’s because I have fooled myself into thinking they are good for me…maybe I am as bad as all of those who believe the food myths! 😉
Exercise: Treadmill, BodyPump, Boxercise, Sit-ups, Dancercise – fifty five minutes.
The treadmill was hard work today…I did it first thing and earlier than usual as I had a busy day planned, and I really felt the difference. I monitor my heart rate whilst using it, and this morning it was pushing 170 at times. I prefer to do it after the horses and will try and do this from now on. I also have a house guest this weekend so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to do…don’t want to scare her with my sweaty heaving breathlessness!!
Thanks for reading – and have a wonderful weekend!
All my love,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
Follow me on Twitter @weightlossbitch and on Facebook – www.facebook.com/weightlossb1tch – and you can even sign up to have my blog emailed to you daily by clicking the link underneath!