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Ditching the diets – Going against the grain….

Ditching the diets – Going against the grain…..


Ditching the diets – Going against the grain….

This post was inspired by a question that Jill Gardners Hate it Change it asked about people’s reactions to your ‘healthy lifestyle’, and it got me thinking….

I want to make a statement…..

I have not eaten wheat or gluten for nearly 6 weeks, I have not had a carbonated drink, and I have had not had any crisps…………

Peoples reactions to this are utterly fascinating to me. Those who I am close to think that this is great, they know I am happier and healthier and are pleased that I have made positive changes to my life. Other people are inspired by what they think is my ‘will power’. Some people say that it is no way to live and that you have to be able to go out and enjoy yourself, and others think it is wrong of me to eat healthy food because ‘I don’t need to lose weight’ Others don’t know how I can turn down a plate full of sandwiches and cakes when they have been under my nose for a couple of hours (I’ll come back to this in a bit)

These are just some of the reactions/opinions that I have been presented with.

I used to think these people’s opinions mattered, but since I am doing this for me, it is about me and MY body and MY health then surely MY opinion is the only one that matters. I told myself this when I knew I was going to be presented with a plate full of sandwiches and cakes today. I told a white lie – that I can’t eat wheat/gluten and that I would take my own lunch….that took courage.

Tuna salad

Tuna salad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Now ‘ll admit that getting a tuna salad out of a bag that contains another bag of frozen peas to keep it cool (no ice packs in the house) was a tad embarrassing, but, it did break the ice (pardon the pun) It also felt somewhat rude to turn down this food that had been laid on for us as if there was something wrong with it. I even apologised for bringing my own lunch! What I want to know is why do we feel bad for making choices that will benefit us? Yeah, sure I could have eaten the sandwiches to ‘fit in’ but I would have felt horrendous afterwards, I thought a bit of embarrassment was worth it.

Anyway, I sat in a room full of people I’d not met before, and I ate my salad, and do you know what? It wasnt the big deal I thought it would be, no one was bothered, in fact I think they admired my so-called ‘will power’

I have not spent 28 days learning how to make myself and my choices ‘matter’ it has been a lifelong battle and it continues to go on, but if you don’t take responsibility for your emotional needs, physical needs and your health, no one else will. So, to make better lifestyle choices, and to take responsibility for your well – being,  isn’t that worth rocking the ‘socially acceptable boat for’?


Ditching the diets, Day 3, failing to prepare….

….is preparing to fail according to Ben Franklin.

Well to a certain extent I guess that’s true, but some people are brilliantly skilled at ‘cobbling’ something together last-minute, be that a speech, a party, a birthday present etc. I like to think I am one of those people…

…The truth is that I have spent a lot of time planning and a lot of time ‘winging it’ as I like to call it, it seems I work best at whatever ‘it’ is under pressure, I get my best results when I am forced to think on my feet. Whilst this method has worked for me in a lot of areas of my life, there is one where it isn’t working too well and that’s with food prep.

English: Container of Kitchen Utensils

English: Container of Kitchen Utensils (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cooking for me is a chore, a bore and quite often a ‘tour’ of my own kitchen. You would think I would know where to find the salt by now! Being a mere 5″1 Paul often forgets – although I’m not sure how? that I can’t reach the top shelf of our kitchen cupboard where most ‘useful’ things are kept. Hmm, wonder what else he keeps up there?! I digress… anyway what I’m trying to say is that watching me in the kitchen would be like watching the angry Tasmanian devil (does anyone remember the cartoon? whizz around the kitchen covered in whatever it is I’m attempting to cook, f’ing and blinding at cooking instruments, and spending half a century fishing egg shell out of a bowl!

It’s not pretty, Paul says that he enjoys cooking but I think it’s just to keep the peace, he knows it’s not worth witnessing the woman he loves turn into a raging, egg hating, foot stomping psychopath in 0 – 2 seconds!

So when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, where food prep and planning is key, it’s not been an easy ride. If you want to eat well you really need to make your food from scratch even if it is pizza or a cake, at least you’ll know where it all came from. A cousin of mine was once asked in school where coffee came from – his answer ….’Kwik Save’ says it all really!

Closed branch of Kwik Save in Warrington, 13 J...

Where am I now with making my own food? Well I am still ‘cobbling’ my lunches and dinners together, but I do cook up snacks – it’s more like baking which I enjoy (shove it all in a bowl and it’s good to go) I do my own cooking when Paul is not around (less pressure) and I’ve been surprised by my results – it tastes pretty good!

We are complex creatures and it can take a long time to break bad habits and form new ones, so I’ll keep upping my game until one day I will enjoy cooking and then the real fun of ‘cobbling’ something together can begin.

I have just made some crustless quiches and I have some sweet smelling oaty muffins in the oven, but just for you, here’ some bits I made last month on the programme – Enjoy!…..

Ditching the diets – review of Day 1

Day 1 went a bit Pete Tong (do people still say that?!) but I promised to share my ups and downs with you all. I don’t think there is any point in me writing this if I’m not going to be honest…..

On the Ignite programme all your meals are based on protein and veggies with a small amount of starch. Unfortunately over the past week I’ve had tummy troubles – don’t worry I’m not going to share the details with you! One reason for this could be that my stomach is finding it hard to digest the protein, you see it’s easier for your tummy to digest starch, but once you cut down on this your stomach has to produce more enzymes to digest the protein. BUT, cooked protein contains no enzymes unlike raw foods making it harder for your stomach to digest, ( I don’t claim to be an expert on this – this is what I have gathered from research) and therein lies the problem.

So, after having an extremely lazy breakfast (protein bar) I began to feel ill again. Me and long-suffering boyfriend Paul were going to the Seaside and so I decided that I would take my rice cakes with me as my tummy seemed to be ok on them. We ended up stopping at a supermarket and I bought some gluten-free ginger biscuits. I don’t travel too well in the car and the windy roads were taking their toll so I thought these would help. Oh they helped alright – 4 biscuits later!…..oops!

English: Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, United Kingdom ...

English: Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, United Kingdom Polski: Molo, Clacton-on-Sea, Wielka Brytania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We ended up going to Clacton – On -Sea, I’ve never been there before and I don’t think I’ll bother going back! We had a short stroll around the arcades and a walk on the pier – well I say a walk, I was more like a tightrope walker in a circus.

The feet of a tightrope walker.

The feet of a tightrope walker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has anyone walked on Clacton Pier before? It’s made of wooden planks,(obviously) and I literally felt like I was walking the plank to my death in the sea! The wood was rotting and crumbling away, the few screws that were holding it together were rusty and it felt as though they would give way at any second. I am not a strong swimmer so I was scared out of my wits! Paul found this highly amusing of course and decided to jump up and down on the planks next to me. Now as if this wasn’t enough to raise my anxiety levels – he’s a heavy guy, I mean I love him and all, but that’s not what you want on a crumbling pier! – I told him to walk as far away from me as possible! Luckily he found this amusing too and continued to wind me up! Needless to say I got off that pier as fast as my little legs could carry me! Anyway I digress….

After I’d recovered from the turmoil of the pier we decided to head to a little cafe on the high street. I chose a ham salad and Paul an onion omelette. Whilst we waited for our food, we had to endure the ear-piercing screams of a little brat at one of the other tables. We were starting to wonder if it was socially acceptable to tell this brat to ‘shut the front door’ when thankfully our food arrived! I managed my salad ok and found it enjoyable to be eating some tasty colourful food again – beige food is bad!

After all this trauma we decided to go home – we had been there all of 2 hrs lol. By the time we had got home it was getting late and to cut another long-winded story short we had 97% pork sausages for dinner with sweet potato mash and roast mediterranean veg. You see the beauty about this programme is – as Jill puts it so very well, you are only ever 1 meal or work out away from getting back on track. You see I could have blown the whole day after eating those biscuits, but I knew I could easily get back on track with my subsequent meals.

Today’s challenge will be cooking up some snacks for next week and getting back on the exercise programme.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Parlour pictures

Parlour pictures.

Love love love this!!!!!

28 days to….ditch the diets once and for all!

Ok, so to generalise, if you are female and you love your food but hate diets then this one is for you….

In fact this one is for anyone who is sick of counting calories, feeling guilty about the food they eat and fed up of feeling bloated and unwell.

About 6 weeks ago, this was me, fed up of being pinched  and squeezed by my favourite jeans and having a tummy quite literally full of rubbish, a friend of mine suggested I do the Ignite programme.

The Ignite programme is a 28 day online programme created by the inspirational Jill Gardner and is one of the successful programmes she offers on her website Hate it change it!

The principal behind the programme is to ditch the dieting mindset and instead make a conscious choice to change your lifestyle for the better.


Bold statement? Yes, but I can say this with conviction because I’ve done it . No more cravings, no more bloating, no more guilt and no more comfort eating.

Would I go back to my old lifestyle? No way! In fact I’ve signed up for another 28 days!

It was this programme that has inspired my blog. I made a difference to my life and helped others along the way in just 28 days, so it only seems right that my first 28 days to is about the programme.

I am on Day 3 now of month 2 so this is not strictly going to be 28 days, it will be 24 but hey it’s my blog and I make the rules 😉

To openly share my successes of the previous 28 days, I will happily admit that I lost around 5 inches in total and 2-4 lbs (allowing for time of day and hormonal fluctuations) I will be sharing with you my ups and downs of the programme over the next 24 days eek!

If you want to learn more, you can find out about Jill and her programmes online @

Bye for now!


’28 days to’ what’s it all about?

Let me start by introducing myself and why I’ve started this blog….

Hi, I’m Claire, I’m  28 years old and I live in the UK.

I’m a northern lass living in a foreign land with my other half.  I believe it’s called ‘Down South’  – a land where they don’t shorten words and one where they put ‘R’s in the middle of words where they don’t exist! – anyway that’s by the by!

So what is the purpose of my blog you ask?… Good question!…….

I have many interests, most are of the creative type, but I don’t tend to make hobbies of them,  I try something new then move on to the next thing that excites me. This is kind of the principle of this blog…

So, I’m going to use this blog as a tool for me to try something new every 28 days. I have lots and lots of ideas! They may not be hobby related, they could be experience related or something completely bizarre. I may try and do whatever it is, every day for 28 days, or periodically throughout the 28 days. Who knows?!

So why am I doing this? I’m an ideas person, I dont tend to finish things that I start, I lose focus easily. I am hoping that by focusing my efforts into something for 28 days I’ll be able to gain a better sense of what I enjoy doing. This blog will be a true test of whether I can stick to something or not!

Right, that’s enough of that self obsessed drivel!  I am also hoping that I might be able to help others along the way with the things I’ve learned, and I hope to entertain you along the way  :)


P.S If anyone has any ideas for things for me to do/try for 28 days, please let me know – I will consider them but not neccessarily do them ;)