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Updates: Week 1

Sugar: the sweetest poison of all.

Sugar: the sweetest poison of all.

This week has been so busy that I’ve hardly given my eating plan any thought. I’ve stayed far away from sugar (until today), and avoided all carbs. I’ve dropped another half kilogram, and have much less bloating. I also have more energy and clearer skin, despite averaging less than five hours’ sleep a night since Monday. So far, so good.

My dear husband has been sort-of joining me on this journey, and has dropped a significant amount of weight already. His waist circumference has dropped and he has been more focused on his work, which is good. He’s also been under a lot of pressure this week, and that hasn’t helped his health much. Overall, though, I think this healthy eating programme is good for him, and will bear fruit in the long term.

Yesterday I read a really fascinating, horrifying article about the dangers of sugar. Some of the possible effects include:

  • Diabetes (of course);
  • Obesity (duh);
  • Tooth decay;
  • Certain types of cancer; and even
  • Mental problems:
    • Depression;
    • Anxiety;
    • Schizophrenia;
    • Addiction.

Read the full article here, and let me know your thoughts.

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Getting enough sleep – part 2

It’s a funny thing, how information seems to filter into the conscious world in themes. Completely without intent or effort, not long after writing the post about getting enough sleep, I discovered this article. Essentially, the author refers to anecdotal and historical evidence, as well as the results of scientific studies, to suggest that perhaps sleep is less important than previously supposed. Specifically: do we really need eight solid hours of sleep every single night? The article points out that many cultures had a sleep pattern of four hours of sleep, two hours of restful wakefulness, and another four hours of sleep.

The fact that we believe we need eight hours of solid sleep actually leads to anxiety when people wake up in the middle of the night and battle to fall asleep again. Believing that this wakefulness is harmful to their health makes them panic, making sleep and relaxation far more elusive.

My own experience has shown me that I can cope fairly well on fewer hours of sleep. Both my husband and I do fairly well with a significant nap (two hours or more), followed by a good block of focused work, and then another good block of sleep (four hours or more).

I must admit that for me, the jury is out. I know I don’t really get enough sleep, but perhaps I’m doing better than people think, and that’ll have to do for now. We shall see. As long as I have Tre En En, I’m okay!

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Raspberry cheesecake filled chocolate cookies - could there be anything more evil?

Raspberry cheesecake filled chocolate cookies - could there be anything more evil?

Just when I think things are going SO well, I stumble across an evil website like Buns in my Oven, where recipes like this are shared:


For the cookies:
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • extra sugar for rolling
For the filling:
  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam


  1. To make the cookies, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.
  3. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes to make it easier to work with.
  4. For the filling, beat together all ingredients until well combined.
  5. To assemble cookies, take a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc between your hands. Place a teaspoonful of the filling into the center of the chocolate disc. Close the disc around the filing and roll into a ball. Roll the ball of dough in sugar.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies seem set. Chill on the counter for 15 minutes and then chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  7. Your hands will get messy and covered in chocolate while rolling the balls, but the end result is worth it!

I am actually drooling right now.

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Getting enough sleep.

One thing I really battle with is getting enough sleep. Between home school, freelance work, house work and dawdling, I rarely get to bed before midnight. A big part of the problem is that, because I always go to bed so late, I always think I have time to get to urgent stuff “later”. I’ll just stay up until the work is done, or wake up early to meet deadlines.

This sometimes backfires, and I end up falling asleep before the work is done, or I oversleep and don’t get up in time. My clients are accommodating, my creditors less so: if I don’t work, I can’t bill. If I don’t bill, I don’t get paid, and then I can’t pay my bills.

As a result, I tend to be a stress-bound zombie, tired and overwhelmed by what I haven’t achieved yet.

Even so, I like the fact that I meet deadlines and will move heaven and earth to do so. Then my loving sister sent me the link to this site. (I guess she’s worried about my sleeping habits).

Apparently, lack of sleep leads to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, stress, depression, risk of stroke and more. It’s even linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Working on a computer, doing house work or watching TV late at night are all stimulants that keep you up later and later, deplete melatonin levels and make a good night’s sleep harder and harder to achieve.

The solution, according to this article, is to:

  • Keep the bedroom for bedroom stuff, not stress stuff.
  • Have regular sleeping patterns every day of every week, to train your body.
  • Avoid all stimulants after dark. Does this include computers and TV, I wonder? Apparently it does include coffee and house work. How does anyone get a day’s work done?
  • Eat only light meals before  bed, and avoid carbs.
  • Make sure your room is as dark as possible. Even blinking lights on electronic devices pose a problem.

So I guess I’d better figure out a way to get enough sleep, somehow. Any ideas?

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Back on track.

Apparently it takes hitting the bottom to get back up again. My skin is bad, with a couple of unsightly cysts and outbreaks. I’m unreasonably tired, my hair is dry and falling out, and I smell … hmmm … unattractive. I have little motivation to work or do house work, or even home school – all essential aspects of our lives. Seriously vital: without me doing these things our little family ceases to function. It’s better than it was at the beginning of the year, when I couldn’t motivate myself at all. I have started supplementing again, and cut back a little on sugars.

Since the begining of the year, I’ve eaten chocolate (lots!), and had red wine (just a few small glasses). I’ve eaten starches and not exercised since Christmas, when I pretty mush reset all the good work I’d done until then.

Miraculously, I weigh only 59kg, which I attribute entirely to the wonderful GR2 weight management programme.

In fact, despite a lack of motivation, I have been working – very hard. With an average of 5 hours’ sleep each night, I know that without the great supplementation I get from GNLD, I would be very sick indeed. Right now, I’m taking Beta Guard (good for detoxing), Acidophilus, Salmon Oil Plus Omega 3, Tre En En, Carotenoid Complex, Stage 6 (assists with elimination, if you follow my meaning), and Vitamin C. Considering the amount of work, lack of sleep and very hot February weather, I have more energy than one would expect, and I’m very grateful to Tre En En for that.

Peanut Butter. In chocolate. Evil. Delicious.

Peanut Butter. In chocolate. Evil. Delicious.

So today is Day 1. I’ve tried to start again a few times this year, but the headaches have held me back from completing the programme. I started with vitamins, and about an hour later I had a small bowl of sunflower seeds. Two hours after that was a light snack of popped brown rice (sort of like organic Rice Crispies but lower GI).

Lunch was a small portion of ground beef with onions and garlic, two rice cakes and a green salad. More green salad for dinner.

Sadly, I’ve had both a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup AND a cup of (utterly delicious) coffee. So here’s my plan: tonight DH and I can finish the brewed coffee and all the chocolate and halva in the house. Tomorrow we’ll start for real, and this time stick to it.

Thumbs held!

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New year. Ho hum.

Well. Here we are o the 3rd of January. I feel horrible. Needless to say, I caved in and ate some of EVERYTHING this Christmas. That includes the Christmess Pudding (even though it was a small portion, I’m sure I got a few biscuits in my bowl).

I’ve put on 2kg, and the bloating means none of my trousers fit. I’m SO tired, and my joints ache.

Also, my recently clear skin and glossy hair are things of the past.

From what I understand, the only way to get back on track is to start again, from scratch, right at the very beginning. NOT fun. I know I need to get sorted, but it’s so hard to find the motivation.


Christmess Pudding

In a previous post, I extolled the virtues (briefly) of the one tradition our family has established at Christmas time: Christmess Pudding.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Every person coming to your party brings up to three pudding items of their choice.
  • All items are dumped unceremoniously (or ceremoniously, if you like), into a big bowl. (In some cases, chopping may be required. Also, use your discernment. Things like meringues are sometimes best added just before serving – that’s up to you really. It’s a fun dish to experiment with).
  • Stir well.
  • If the dessert contains ice cream, freeze until serving. (In fact, it’s usually nice to freeze it anyway).
Caramel Treat. Essential to Christmess Pudding. And life as we know it.

Caramel Treat. Essential to Christmess Pudding. And life as we know it.

This year (2011), our Christmess Pudding will contain (among others):

  • Oreos
  • Ginger biscuits
  • Rollo ice  cream
  • Meringues
  • Fudge
  • Caramel Treat
  • Peppermint Crisp Chocolate

Hmm …. resistance begins to appear somewhat futile.