July 2014 archive

Diet Truths, Part 1

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Fact: I lost 10 kilograms over the past year.
This is the most weight I’ve ever lost, and also the easiest way I’ve ever done it. I haven’t gone about publicizing it or shouting about it, because it came about due to a simple change in my lifestyle. I  will share more about my weight loss journey in future posts, but I thought it’d be good to share with everyone the various diets I’ve tried, and my experience with them.

  To sum it up? 90% of the time these diets don’t work, stop telling people you’re on a diet, and after noting what foods work and don’t work for you, change your lifestyle to fit what you can do. Know what your mind and body can handle (aka if you can’t NOT eat carbs, don’t starve yourself of them until you can’t help but binge on it later on), and lastly don’t overthink food and worry about losing weight. Things will come naturally – it’s all in the mind.

I will try my best to break down the diet, what I did, how long I did it for, and why it did or did not work. Everything below is from personal experience and my 100% honest opinion, and they might work differently for different people. This is a rather extensive post where I’ll be sharing some resources and website with you, and I will continue to update this should I remember some more details.

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Raw Food Diet
WHAT IT IS:
This diet is based on the premise that heat destroys the enzymes and proteins in food, and these enzymes are significantly important to your health and fighting chronic illnesses. There have been articles about going on the raw food diet as a “cure” to cancer. There are also a lot of amazing reported side effects like reduction of headache, a reduced need for sleep, clearing of sinuses, increased immunity etc.

WHAT YOU EAT:
Uncooked, unprocessed and organic. You can dehydrate your food with a dehydrator (nothing above 47 degrees celcius) but that in itself is quite an investment. Raw fruits, raw vegetables, lots of nuts and seeds. This had a ton of sashimi involved. There are also SO MANY RECIPES of raw desserts out there that are very delicious.

MY EXPERIENCE:
This was intensive and needed a lot of effort. It was hard to go out with friends as not everywhere would serve salads or raw food. I started my days with a veggie-fruit blend, and spent my days eating strawberries, grapes, oranges, apples, carrots, pears, and a TON of nuts, including raw cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts etc. I went through a 2-year long phase of eating so much nuts, everyone though I was nuts (lol). The only downside was I started missing chicken and beef after a while, since it was hard to eat them unless you seared beef but that was a major pain to do.

It was, however, quite a miracle, as the pros I had read about started to arise 2-3 weeks into the diet. I only needed to sleep 4-5 hours a night, and yet I found myself completely energetic in the day. I could work for hours, and then head to the gym, and then head out with friends without feeling exhausted. My skin was so clear and smooth, and this also had to do with the copious amounts of water I was drinking. I never craved for desserts since I had such a great time chowing down the yummiest of fruits. For the 3-4 months that I was on this diet, I felt invincible, healthy, and very strong. It was coupled with 2 hour gym and cardio sessions at least three times a week, and I hadn’t recorded my weight loss then but I was probably a couple of kilograms heavier than I was now.

It ended sadly between us, the raw food diet and I. One day, I decided that I had to have some fried chicken, and the rest was history.

MY ADVICE:
I would consider going back on this diet for cleansing purposes, and I would recommend this to anyone who needs to hit the “Refresh” button when it comes to their personal eating habits. This will give you a much needed wakeup call. There are plenty of raw food blogs and websites out there, and you can do this for 3 months without investing in a dehydrator. It is wise to note that fruits and vegetables can cost more than carbohydrates and meats, but a worthy investment if you’re looking to pump up your immunity and health.

MORE INFORMATION:
I follow a couple of “fruitists” on Instagram just because I love how fresh their food look (not all are raw foodies), so if you need inspiration, hit up these lovely ones – @lolacooks@lonijane, @nutsaboutfruit, @healthforhappy, @veggie_moments. A couple of sites and pages that I found helpful are ZenHabits, The Best of Raw Food and Living Foods. The Vegan Stoner has good recipes and funny drawings to go with.

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4 Hour Body Diet
WHAT IT IS:
“Minimalist diet, rapid body transformation” (that’s what the site and reviewers say, and also the best way to sum it up.) Written by Tim Ferriss, the acclaimed author of The 4-Hour Work Week, he basically tried everything there was to try over 10 years and found the best “hack” for the most efficient results. There are other contents in the book including how to add muscle, reversing injuries etc.

WHAT YOU EAT:
This diet is also known as the Slow Carb Diet. Not to take away from the book, but this essentially is a “No Whites” diet – no carbs, no flour, no dairy, no sugar, no fruit. Think lots of protein, legumes, eggs and vegetables. The book suggests keeping meals simple and repeated, as well as intermittent fasting, which I will touch on below. The winning point of this diet (for me) was the once a week cheat day which I loved.

MY EXPERIENCE :
A complete turn around from the raw food diet, I was on this 4 hour body diet for at least 6 months. You lose a lot of weight, and you lose it fast. The best friend Maisha also lost weight as a result of this diet since we do see each other on a daily basis. I lost about 4-5 kilograms while on this.

I got used to iced coffees and Americanos, and since this diet, it is a norm for me to eat meals with no carbs at all. I grew to love legumes, and the easiest way to make it through is to seek out Mexican, Middle Eastern and Indian food during this diet.

Maintaing discipline for 6 days a week felt hard for me at times, but having consistency in meals made eating seem like you were fueling yourself up rather than enjoying your food. On cheat days (once a week), I would binge out on fried chicken, bread, ice cream, cakes – you name it, I ate it. It was a shocking sight but also very magical that this would result in fat loss.

MY ADVICE:
If you’re looking for quick fat loss, this is the diet for you. However, like most diets I’ve tried, if you go back to regular eating habits that include carbs, sugar and dairy, you will most likely put back some if not all of the weight you’ve lost. I also found this diet lacking in variety, and it took away the pleasure of eating. As a coffee addict, I missed the delicious taste of my cappuccinos since I couldn’t have milk with my coffee. However, I would still suggest limiting intake of carbs, dairy and sugar on a daily basis for overall health (says the woman who drinks at least one can of Coke a day).

MORE INFORMATION:
This is the official website for the diet where you can find more information. If you’d like to read the experiences of others, you can find a very honest one here, and read more details about the diet here.

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Atkins Diet
WHAT IT IS:
Researched and developed by Robert Atkins, the idea behind this is by cutting back on carbs, your body burns the fats stored for fuel instead. Possibly one of the most popular diets ever, many people tend to go completely carb-free on this.

WHAT YOU EAT:
Less than 20 grams of carbs daily, mostly from vegetables, with protein and fat from lots of meat (chicken, fish, beef), eggs, butter and vegetable oil. No coffee, no alcohol, no forms of carbs or dairy other than butter, cheese and cream. Lastly, no nuts, beans or legumes.

MY EXPERIENCE:
Probably stuck to this for 4-5 months, but we were just not meant to be – I mean, no coffee?? I just couldn’t stick with it. I did, however, start to apply some lessons learnt from this into my daily life. I stopped eating rice, noodles and bread (right now, I eat them sparingly) and it has helped keep me trim. I also tend to eat more lean meat, and much prefer that and some veggies to carbs.

My advice: If you are a huge carb lover, this diet will ruin you. I know friends who have went on this diet, but gained back all the weight they lost after reverting back to their “regular” diets. Again, no coffee and no nuts were a huge turn-off for me. You should definitely pick your battles, and if you’re a carb lover, work at reducing your carb intake rather than completely starving yourself of them as that will make you want them more in the long run. I did, however, feel more energetic, leaner and lighter during this diet, which are huge plus points!

MORE INFORMATION:
The official website for the diet. This is a pretty popular one, so a quick Google search should get you what you want.

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That’s part one of my diet review, and I’ll be doing a second part within the next couple of weeks! Let me know if you’ve any questions, and I’d be happy to answer them. Have a great weekend ahead loves.

My Weekend Routine

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What are weekends like for you? Mine are divine, and what some might call lazy. It’s Tuesday but I’m already thinking of my weekend. Here’s what I get up to on the weekends, and you’ve been pre-warned, I’m a very boring old person.

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  • Sleep. Stay under the sheets till I get hungry or need to go to the washroom.
  • Catch up with my favorite YouTube videos and watch some anime in bed – complete relaxation.
    If you want to know what animes I’m currently watching, you can follow me on Hummingbird. I just found this platform and it is a great tool to keep up to date if you follow a lot of shows at once, like I do! You can keep track of the episode that you’re on, what you’ve finished or are currently watching, and can also read reviews and rate the anime. Two thumbs up (and the end of a nerd moment for me). A really funny show I’ve found recently is Undateable – it’s about two guys who are roommates (one owns a bar, the other lives off funds from a law suit he won) and their friends and life with the ladies. It’s so hilarious and I end up snorting and laughing my ass off at every episode.
  • Eating lots of yummy stuff, it could range from something really healthy like blueberries or apple slices with almond butter, or it could be pasta, pizza, and burgers. Definitely lots of dessert and ice cream though. Happy lifestyle = healthy lifestyle (i kid).
  • Gaming on the Xbox or the computer – League of Legends & Halo are my favorites at the moment. Completely influenced by the boy but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun! If you’ve games to introduce to me, please comment below.
  • Sometimes I get up to something crazy, which entails a movie, or a cigar, or heading out for a good meal or dessert. Past weekends have included visits to the zoo, the bird park (which I recommend and I had so much fun!), chilling with friends, having some shabu shabu etc. As long as you’re with the right people, days can never be boring.

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I’d like to say that resting after a week of work is extremely important for me, but due to my flexible schedule, I get great rest and leisure time during the weekdays as well, and sometimes I end up getting some work done on a Saturday or Sunday evening. It doesn’t really feel like work to me, but more like educating myself or just doing something that I enjoy. I think it’s really different for everyone, because there are a number of articles telling you to separate your work and personal life, and to draw clear boundaries. However, I’ve got great boundaries between them both, and rather than segregate my time by days, I do it by hours or minutes. Weird, but works for me. Just food for thought – let me know what works for you (:

Enjoy the rest of your week!

The Leather Apron

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HI GUYS. Possibly one of my favorite set of photos that I’ve done with Silver, my amazingly talented friend, and I’m hoping you guys love them as much as I do. If you haven’t realized by now, I’m literally decked in black all the time – so if you’re expecting some colorful outfits from me, I’m sorry!

I got my hands on this Finders Keepers leather overalls from NastyGal a while back, and I’m in love with it – it’s super easy to wear, goes with everything, and is very comfortable. I disliked the fit at first (got it in a M and thought it looked super big on me), but it grew on me after the first couple of times and I now wear them with the bottom cuffed twice. I also snagged these Quay Venna sunnies from NG, which are the bomb! I misplaced my Westward Leaning ones (which are also mirrored), and these were a great replacement. Great investment, good quality, but hurts the top of my ears a bit but I think only because my head is unnaturally large. Poop.

FYI, my bag is a super old one from Zara which I love, but the top of the strap is ripped (suede can be quite easily destroyed when not taken care of), but I’ve had this bag for 5-6 years and it still looks pretty. Is it just me, or do Zara items last pretty long? My closet is 70% Zara, and most of my items last for a long time, both style and quality wise. Best to buy investment pieces from them, and to always pay attention to the fabrication and details. #shoppingtip

I guess that’s it! Yes, we did venture into an old house that looked like it was about to fall apart, but Silver loved it so much and the sunlight coming through the windows were too beautiful to pass on. Not pictured (or not zoomed in enough to picture) is the sweat that is coming down my forehead ;)

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