Sugar Free Toddler: Saving teeth

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In New Zealand we have a ‘celebrity’ psychologist called Nigel Latta.  He’s predominately worked with troubled children and their families, and is pretty much my parenting guru.  I love his laidback approach to parenting, as he reckons parents today are so bombarded with parenting information that we tend to overthink things.  I’m in Camp Nigel.  I think the parenting industry is big business and mostly only serves to make us anxious that we are screwing up the lives of our dear little ones. 

teethimage credit

Anyhow, Nigel has fronted a range of tv shows on differing subjects (not all parenting related) and his latest one is brilliant.  Not so imaginatively called ‘Nigel Latta’, the show is a six part documentary on what he sees as the major issues facing New Zealand at the moment.  It’s been a confronting and depressingly grim show and yet contains enough hope that successful ways to tackle these issues are possible.  He looked at inequality in New Zealand, domestic violence, alcohol, our education system, our prison system, and SUGAR.

The episode was called ‘Is Sugar the New Fat?’  I’ve been on this sugar free journey for a couple of years now and am well aware of the evils of the white stuff, but let me tell you, this show terrified me.  D and I were very disturbed by it and it has certainly strengthened our resolve to be a sugar-free family.  Now for us sugar-freers, there wasn’t a great deal of new information in the show, but the guy knows how to put a show together.  Nigel talked to sugar slaying Dr Robert Lustig who talked about the addictive nature of sugar, and its insidious addition to processed food.  Nigel looked at how much sugar is in staple NZ foods, and talked to the people who put it in there.  He also featured blogger nz sugar free  who went sugar free when his wife was diagnosed as being pre diabetic.  Both husband and wife lost loads of weight and the wife is no longer in any danger of becoming diabetic.  

Nigel even went sugar free himself for the show.  He thought he had a healthy diet (low fat milk, muesli and fruit for breakfast) and exercises regularly, but his bloodwork told a very different story.  After two months of being sugar free (and removing other refined carbohydrates) his bloodwork was well within the normal range and he’d lost some weight.

One of the most disturbing parts of the programme was Nigel talking with dental surgeons who regularly perform teeth extractions on toddlers whose teeth have rotted due to excess sugar consumption.  They even showed some extractions.  It was horrendous.  Two and three year olds needing multiple teeth extracted because their parents thought it was ‘okay to put coke in their bottle’.  The dentists said these surgeries (which cost megabucks) are on the increase.

Toddlers needing teeth extractions is not okay.

Having spoken with friends, I know that most people who watched the show were horrified at how much sugar was contained in their food (Marmite and some canned tuna, for instance).  I hope this dialogue gets some traction as I believe we need to angry at the food industry for what it’s doing to us.  At what it’s doing to our kids.  As Nigel points out in the show, the World Health Organisation recommends that children consume no more than 4 teaspoons of sugar a day.  Most NZ children would probably surpass that by breakfast time, given the sugar-laden cereals that are peddled at children.

The show has prompted me to get tough with my toddler to protect her pearly whites (we’ve been a bit complacent in the wake of Cyclone Baby).  In my next post I’ll tell you what that looks like in practice and pass on my tips for sugar-free toddlerness.

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He’s here!

Our wee man

Our wee man

 

After a loooong labour (seriously, he must not have got the memo about subsequent labours being much shorter than first births…) he arrived just in time for dinner on Monday night.  Daniel is perfectly healthy and feeding like a pro.  After the troubles and stress we had with his sister in her early weeks, it feels surprisingly healing to experience a ‘textbook’ newborn (at least he is for now!).

So far we are coping well and are getting enough sleep to be somewhat coherent.  Eloise is curious about her little brother, but as he’s not doing much other than eat, cry, sleep and look around a bit, she hasn’t been put out by his arrival on the scene.

Foodwise, normal eating is out the window as our church has kindly provided us with meals for a week.  It’s been great not having to wrangle a toddler and a feeding newborn while trying to make a meal, so we are eating whatever is put in front of us with gratitude.  My back was also rather battered during labour – hopefully nothing too long-lasting – so not having to stand to cook has been a real blessing.

Despite the sleep deprivation and a very sore back, I feel better than I have in months!  It’s looking likely that I have kissed that stupid pregnancy-related fatigue goodbye.  Phew!  I’m looking forward to getting on with life and picking up this blog again.

Still in one piece

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Today I am four days overdue with our second child. As our daughter was over two weeks late and needed to be induced, I am not holding my breath that our boy will come soon.

I know due dates should be held lightly but I’m finding as I wake each morning to the thought of ‘Darn! No labour pains woke me up in the night’, my frustration is mounting. A small part of me is quite happy for him to remain where he is so that the weeks of sleep deprivation are put off a teensy bit further, but most of me is going ‘FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE COME OUT!’

Of course, I’m sooooo excited to see our boy (going by the last ultrasound he’s going to be D’s Mini-Me) – but I simply cannot wait to get my ‘life’ back. I’ve had a rough pregnancy which has seen me battling fatigue for months on end, having to quit my job, and putting my eldest child into daycare.

tired woman

 

I apologise for the lack of sugar-free posts, but I just haven’t had any oomph to spare.

We’re hoping to have this baby at home (I have nothing against hospital births, I just can’t get any sleep in hospitals) but if I need another induction, I’ve made my peace with that.  After I’ve had the baby it might be a while before I am coherent enough to blog again, but I promise to return 🙂

Coming out of the dark

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I am a whopping 34 weeks pregnant and am delighted to report that I am doing soooo much better than I was.

light end tunnel

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The last 2 or 3 weeks have seen my energy levels return to a semblance of normality, so much so that we are considering stopping Eloise’s afternoon care sessions.  I reckon I’m up to having her in the afternoons now that I don’t need to sleep for all of it.  We’re going to trial having her home all day next week so fingers crossed that I continue to feel fine.

I was quite surprised to find my energy levels improving so late in my pregnancy – generally in the third trimester women tend to get whacked out from carrying around a whole bunch o’ baby.  I can’t say it has been due to Trim Healthy Mama either.  I’ve found it very hard to stick to as the last few weeks have been filled with family celebrations, trips away and unexpected house guests so we weren’t eating as we normally would.  Plus D and I decided to have a ‘frugal week’.  Every now and then we shop our pantry, clear out the leftovers and make lots of vegetarian dishes.  What we don’t spend out of our usual grocery budget gets given away, usually to a charity (our last donation went to help the relief effort in the Solomon Islands).  This time we wanted to donate money to the political party that we support as New Zealand has an election coming up soon.  In recent years I’ve felt convicted to support the party that I think has the best policies and representatives with actual cold, hard cash, and making sure that I am a card-carrying party member.  We support the Green Party who are one of the minor parties here, but they have gone from strength to strength in the past few years, and I predict they will perform well this year at the election.  Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is – it’s hard to afford the protein required for THM when you are being super-frugal for a week 🙂

THM is sugar-free.  They advocate using Stevia, Erythritol or Xylitol and there are an incredible amount of THMers out there getting pretty creative in the kitchen.  The next few weeks should pretty quiet so I will blog more about it then.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to have energy again.  I’m enjoying being able to play with my daughter more and being able to make activities for her to try.

It’s good to be back.  Even if it is just for a few weeks until the newborn sleep deprivation kicks in! 🙂

Sugar Free Toddler: Banana Pikelets

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As Eloise is sort of walking (she still demands you hold her hand a lot) I reckon she may now be officially classed as a toddler.  Since turning 1, the past few months have seen an explosion of development, particularly with her language skills.  She’s a very early talker (so was her Dad) to the point where I can have conversations with her, where she will give me a one or two word reply, or nodding/shaking of her head.  Her comprehension scares me, even when I think she’s not listening – trust me, those little ears are listening and they definitely get the gist of whatever is being talked about.

Since hitting 15 months the dreaded food pickiness has started to appear.  Up until now Eloise was a good eater.  She didn’t eat much, but like most babies she would take pretty much whatever was on offer.  But now she has matured, thank you very much Mummy, she definitely lets us know what she wants to eat.  It’s often not what is in front of her.  In fact, I suspect if she could prepare her own meals, she would live on peas and yoghurt.  Possibly even mixed up together.

I try not to make a big deal about her refusal of food, nor do I run about making something else she prefers instead.  That way lies madness.  Eloise still eats a reasonable variety of foods – particularly fruit and vegetables.  She’s also in the 91st percentile for weight (also for height, we hope we are raising a future basketballer) so she’s definitely not starving herself!  With sugary foods D and I have adopted an ‘okay in moderation approach’.  I simply just don’t fancy being one of those Mums who comes along to every party with a baggie of food for her kids, as they aren’t allowed to eat the party food.  Eloise doesn’t get sweet stuff very often, but she isn’t on the party circuit…yet.  That bridge will be crossed soon enough I suspect.

Like all kids, Eloise prefers sweet things.  Fortunately most of her playgroups are pretty good about encouraging healthy snacking, so her morning teas tend to involve crackers and fruit, and maybe a wafer biscuit (cookie for my American readers) on the old occasion.  Water is given instead of juice.  It’s really great to not have to worry about this as we go to playgroups 3 or 4 times a week.  The PARENTS on the hand are always offered chocolate biscuits.  I can only recall once being offered anything savoury for morning tea at a playgroup, so I dodge chocolate biscuits, muffins and cake on an almost daily basis.  I get weird looks if I nick a piece of fruit that has been left untouched by the kids.

Eloise is all kinds of crazy about banana (‘Na-Na!’) and these pikelets go down a treat with her.  (Pikelets are also known as drop scones, by the way.)  This is not an earth shattering recipe, but these pikelets are easy and quick to make, and most kids gobble them up pretty quick – especially if smeared with butter.

I’ve adapted a traditional pikelet recipe and subbed out 1/4 C Sugar for mashed banana.  Simple.

Sugar Free Banana Pikelets

Sugar Free Banana Pikelets

Sugar Free Banana Pikelets (makes 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 1 C plain flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C mashed banana
  • 3/4 C milk

Method:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  In another bowl beat egg and banana until well mixed.  Add this, along with the milk to the sifted ingredients.  Mix until just combined (they can go rubbery if you overmix).  Drop a tablespoon full of mixture onto a hot, non-stick pan.  Turn pikelet over when bubbles start to burst on the top surface. Cook the second side until golden.

Eloise enjoying her pikelet

Eloise enjoying her pikelet

This post also appears on my new blog ‘Tots in Tawhero’ at http://totsintawhero.wordpress.com

Ray of Light

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Yesterday I had a great day.  I felt…normal.

feeling good

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Eloise had a Plunket appointment in the afternoon, so there wasn’t much point in her going to her carer for the afternoon.  It was the first afternoon I’ve had in ages where looking after her didn’t feel like a massive struggle.  Often my pregnancy fatigue has me clock-watching when I have Eloise to myself of an afternoon; I’m usually willing time to go faster so that D can help me once he’s finished work.  Not that Eloise is a tough kid – in fact she’s a generally a very placid and happy little girl.  But the fatigue often means I am too tired to go for walks, go to the playground or to go visiting, so those afternoons when she’s not in care can draaaaaag.  And it can make for one bored toddler (although I am fortunate that she is obsessed with books and is happy to be read to for quite a while)!

It felt wonderful to care for my child all day by myself without wilting like a lettuce leaf.  I’d almost forgotten what it felt like.

I am now officially into the third trimester, so it does feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Despite resembling a beached narwhal (minus the adorable pointy tusk), when I am not fatigued I have generally fared much better this pregnancy than my last one.  Hardly any nausea, heartburn, *ahem* constipation etc.

I’m also at a point where I feel ready to give Trim Healthy Mama eating a go.  THM is an insanely popular book in Christian circles and seems to be a successful way of eating for many, many people.  In a nutshell, THM is a carb-controlled eating plan that emphasises ditching sugar and most carbs, and embracing healthy fats and whole foods (as such, it is not a huge change to how we eat anyway).  If you want to make the most of the recipes in the tome-like book, it does require some expensive and hard-to-find-in-New-Zealand ingredients – but the ‘plan’ can be followed without it.

I don’t want to go into the THM way of eating as the authors do such a great job of explaining how tweaking what you eat in combination can make a difference to whether you burn fat or store it.  And it would make this post extremely long!  Let me just say that THM makes good sense to me and does not involve complicated food restrictions or calorie-counting.  THM not a ‘diet’ – because it would be all kinds of crazy to go on a diet while pregnant(!).  Again, there is no calorie counting in THM.  I can eat as much as I like, and there is lots of great advice in the book and on Facebook for those of us who are pregnant or nursing as our nutritional requirements are different.

I’ve made several aborted attempts to start THM over the past few months, but have been thwarted by pregnancy food aversions (I couldn’t face eating eggs, for example) which seem to have finally gone away.  I’ve been a Facebook THM member for several months now, and hardly a day goes by without someone posting their weight loss or improved health success story.  Many members have posted about how GOOD and how ENERGETIC they feel on the THM way of eating, and that’s why I have been desperate to give it a go.

I’ll keep you posted.

Hunker down (v): to take shelter, literally or figuratively

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I’d love to be able to report that I am much better; brimming with health and vitality.

 

Alas, no.  Life is still the same as it was in my last post.  I’m still battling with fatigue, and even though I am now 25 weeks pregnant, the light at the end of the tunnel feels very far, far away.

hunker down

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My doctor has run a barrage of tests to make sure I don’t have anything seriously wrong with me, but he just thinks Baby no 2 is simply putting more stress on my thyroid (I have hypothyroidism) than Eloise did.  Basically there’s nothing I can do but rest and pray things come right with my thyroid once the baby is here.  It’s a boy by the way!

D and I have been having a very tough time and are just feeling like we have absolutely nothing left in our tanks.  A couple of weeks ago Eloise and I got some gastro-bug (again!) and were both out of action for a week, and as soon as Eloise had recovered she promptly had a teething episode which saw her sleeping worse than a newborn.

Poor D is working hard to provide for us and has to pick up my slack (some days I can barely look after Eloise) so he is on Eloise duty a lot.  As far as my fatigue goes I have good days and bad days.  The annoying thing is that I absolutely cannot suck-it-up-and-push-through-it.  If I try, I pay for it for the next couple of days.  For example, last week I had a church event in the evening that I desperately wanted to attend.  I was exhausted, but I dragged my carcass there and had a great time.  The next day I got up, but after half an hour I felt like I might collapse if I didn’t go and lie down.  I ended up sleeping for several hours that morning and was very grateful that my mother-in-law was free to watch Eloise.

It turns out it’s quite hard to be kind, and light-hearted and to keep my sense of humour when I feel like a slug for weeks on end.  I’ve been squabbling with D, and am generally leaving grouchiness in my wake.

So after a council of war, D and I have decided to hunker down until the baby arrives.  I for one, am scared about going into life with a newborn and 18 month old when we are exhausted right now.  We’ve decided to say ‘no’ to any extraneous demands on our time.  Apart from a few church things, and D going to Toastmasters, we’re going to be homebodies, thank you very much.  For me it means saying ‘no’ to things like going to lots of Easter church services, or getting up for the ANZAC dawn parade.  Saying ‘no’ to requests for me to help out with playgroups or ukulele lessons.  Basically this will be me:

grumpy no

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Roll on due date!

Where I’m at

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Hi friends,

Humble apologies for my lack of posts on here of late.  I simply haven’t had the energy to devote to this blog because…

I am pregnant again.

Surprise!

Surprise Mum! It’s me!

We found out just before we caught rotavirus/moved house and town/had a gazillion house guests over December and January.  We were um, quite surprised but delighted, to discover our baby no. 2 is on its way.

A few days after we moved – I was 6 weeks pregnant –  D, Eloise and I were out furniture shopping when I suddenly began feeling really tired.  And I mean SUDDENLY.  One second I was okay, the next I felt like if I didn’t have a nap that very second there was a good chance I would collapse at the store.  The shop sold beds, so it may not have been a total disaster… I thought I’d experienced fatigue before, but this was something much, much worse than I’ve ever had.

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

I’ve had these bouts of fatigue ever since.  Over December I pretty much had them every day.  I’d get to about 1 or 2pm and need to nap.  Sometimes all afternoon.   Normally I never take naps as they affect my ability to get to sleep later at night.  Even a 20 minute nap can mean I’m counting sheep for an hour or two.  But with this fatigue – a 4 hour afternoon nap?  No problem.  I’ll still sleep like a log later on at night.   Fortunately I now get these bouts of fatigue maybe a few times a week so at least there has been some improvement.

Fatigue in early pregnancy is very common, and usually goes away by the second trimester (returning in triumphant glory near the end of the third). Unfortunately mine doesn’t want to go away, despite the fact I am 18 weeks pregnant.  Some lucky women have it for the entire pregnancy.  I never got fatigue with Eloise, but you know what folks?  It’s true what they say: every pregnancy is different.  Damn.

The most annoying thing is there’s nothing you can do about it.  My GP and midwife (they are both awesome, I’m very blessed) shake their heads and say ‘all you can do is listen to your body and rest’.  Yeah.  That’s sooooo easy when you have a one year old to look after!

Sorry to sound like such a whinge.  In many ways this pregnancy is waaaay easier than my first.  I’ve had very little nausea and my going-off-any-food-that-isn’t-processed-or-totally-bland phase didn’t last too long, much to D’s relief.  When I’m not feeling like I’ve been hit by the big mack truck o’ fatigue, I feel great.  I almost forget I’m pregnant.

But…

…the fatigue has been really debilitating.  I had to give up my sweet, sweet part-time job.  I normally worked while Eloise napped, but I had to take naps myself.  The job was also quite a cerebral one, requiring a lot of attention to detail, checking facts and legislation, that sort of thing.  I just didn’t have the mental capacity to do the work while I was so tired.  My employers were fabulous and were happy for me to not work for a few weeks to see if the fatigue went away.  However, when I got to 13, 14, 15 weeks and there was no sign of it easing up I felt the fairest thing to do was resign.  Given that I’m still needing these naps, it was the right decision.

The cr@ppiest bit is I’ve had to put Eloise into care during the afternoons.  When I’m tired I simply cannot give her the attention she deserves.  It sucks so much.  Because the fatigue is so erratic D and I made the decision to put her in afternoon care every day.  My mum and D’s mum would happily take her, but because I can’t say “I’m going to need long naps on Wednesday and Thursday this week at precisely 2:13pm”, I didn’t want them to feel like they had to be on standby every day ‘just in case’.  They have their own lives to live after all.

Eloise has a great carer who was prepared to take her on for a couple of months  as I am still hoping the fatigue will go away,  and who is also prepared to keep looking after her for the entire pregnancy if it doesn’t.

When my fatigue was at its worst I really craved sugar and I’m sorry to say, I gave in to those cravings.  I wanted things like Moro bars – which I never liked very much, even in my sugary past.  I guess it was just my body’s way of crying out for some energy.  Fortunately I am at a point in my pregnancy where the thought of food doesn’t repulse me, so I have placed myself firmly back on the sugar-free wagon.

Baby no. 2 will thank me for it.  Maybe.  Like when they hit their health-conscious thirties.

How have you been doing?  I’d love to hear from my fellow sugar-free folks.

Oh, and here’s a gratuitous Eloise shot.  Just because.

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One year old already

Need to lose weight fast? Here’s how…

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…get Rotavirus.

Last week was very ‘ugh’ at our house.  Eloise got sick first (and recovered quickly, thank goodness), then D and then me.  D and I were so sick we weren’t able to care for Eloise, so she was cared for by a friend from Church until my mother-in-law was able to get her.  We are incredibly blessed to have people we can call on at times like these!

Needless to say the 12WBT went out of the window for most of the week, and I’m only at the point now of having enough energy to exercise.  I did however lose 3 kilos over 24 hours, but I’d rather not have had the rotavirus to do it 🙂

Today I will start with some gentle exercise and then get back into the programme tomorrow.  I can’t wait for this week to be over and done with.  Eloise and I are moving to our new town on Wednesday as the movers turn up to pack our stuff, D follows on Friday, and our stuff gets delivered on Saturday.  I just want to be unpacked and so we can get on with life!

Now gentle reader, I must confess to eating some sugar yesterday…okay, lots of sugar.

D and I put on morning tea for our church yesterday and I easily resisted the sugary treats on offer there.  My sugar resistance mojo was strong, as usual.  But last night D and I were sitting watching a movie (totally recommend Now You See Me – best movie I’ve seen in ages) when we suddenly heard the jingle of a Mr Whippy ice cream van.  I haven’t had a Mr Whippy ice cream in years.  I can only describe that music as being akin to the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  It was like D and I were transported back to being six years old.  We looked at each other.  There was no need for words.   I swear D literally flew out the door and came back bearing two ice creams.  With ‘Flakes’.  Dipped in chocolate.  I grabbed mine with the same sort of childish glee I’d reserved for my collection of My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls.

I seriously cannot believe we did that!  I don’t even like ice cream that much!  That was a trigger I never anticipated.

Neither of us were able to eat our entire cones as they were sickly, and I KNOW we will pay for it today with tiredness and generally feeling rubbish!  Anyway, I’m quite confident that there will be no more Mr Whippy cones in my future, no matter how much that tinny version of ‘Greensleeves’ tugs at my childhood heartstrings.

Self firmly placed back on the wagon.

12WBT: Day Three

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It’s been a good three days and I am already down 600g.  But then, that’s probably because I’ve been really hungry!

Aside from Monday’s icky bruschetta, the food on the 12WBT has been nice and of course, sugar-free.  Monday night’s dinner was really lovely – a lamb salad with mint/yoghurt dressing.  It’s definitely a recipe I’d use again.

Yummo!

Yummo!

On the programme you have to weigh all your food which is a total pain, but it’s helped me to realise that my portion sizes have been too big.  I simply eat too much.  I expect that this is a legacy of years of overeating, even though I am now sugar-free (although I certainly eat less than I did in my sugary days thanks to being sugar-free).  I’m going to have to train my body to get used to a bit less food.  I’m even on the look out for vintage dinner plates!  Did you know the average dinner plate has grown 25% larger since the 1990’s?  Here’s a link to an article about how even the colour of your plates and tablecloth can cause you to overeat.

I’ve really missed my protein and needed to eat snacks as a result, so I swapped out the carby/fructosey breakfasts for my usual bacon & egg this morning (yes, that’s allowed on the food plan) and voila!  No morning tea required.

My one criticism of the food is that many of the lunches are time-consuming, but I guess as least they can be swapped out for quick sandwiches like this one…

Roast capsicum and olive tapenade sarnie

Roast capsicum and olive tapenade sarnie

I have absolutely no complaints about my fitness programme however.  Last week I did a baseline fitness test which includes the distance you can run in 12 minutes.  I did the 12 minute test again today (every Wednesday is a ‘check-in’ day) and I’ve already increased my distance.  The programme has 3 days of running – which includes sprints, and 3 days of core strengthening and toning.  I’m doing the intermediate programme and I’ve been delighted to find it challenging but not daunting so far.

I’ve started to run around the Basin Reserve (our local cricket ground) which has turned out to be the perfect place for me to run, after struggling to find somewhere  nearby that doesn’t have ginormous hills.  It also means I get to end my workouts by going up these steps:

There are 108 steps.  Yep, I counted.

There are 108 steps. Yep, I counted.

You can’t really tell how steep they are in the photo, but nothing gets my heart rate up faster than these babies!

I must admit that I’m not actually a fan of ‘quick’ transformation diets and programmes.  Most of them are completely unsustainable, so please don’t think I have any illusions about this one.  I’ve never even seen Michelle Bridges in action.  You can read about my reasons for signing up to it here.  But I must say…I like 12WBT.

I was impressed with the ‘pre-season’ tasks you had to do before the round kicked off this Monday.  The goal-setting task made me dig quite deep, and those goals will be revisited every four weeks on the programme.  There are a series of mini-milestones you can set yourself too (one of mine is to buy a new dress…sorry D).

One of the tasks was to tell people you are doing the programme, to put it out there, to make yourself accountable.  Of all the tasks, this one was the hardest for me – even more so than taking a ‘before’ picture of myself.  I felt embarrassed.  But I did it, and was immediately inundated with likes and lovely messages of support.

I also like that every few days there is something 12WBT-related going on to keep you in the game.  On Sunday night there’s a video message to get your head set for the week, weekly challenges on Mondays, a stats day on Wednesdays, meal and fitness plans for the following week on Thursdays, plus a few other things as well.   If you choose to engage with it, there’s probably enough in the programme to keep you on track.  I feel it’s doable, but then it’s not a huge lifestyle change for me, given that D and I try to eat healthily and I was exercising regularly anyway.  But I reckon even die-hard couch potatoes could do the programme and see results.  Whether you can keep it up in ‘real life’ is another story.

I reckon if I can take a good exercise programme and the portion control message out of it, that’s good enough for me.