Men Having Babies?

Before I begin, I must say that I have absolute respect for mums that go through the birth of one child and are still willing to have another, and another, and then perhaps another. After seeing this Dutch television show where two men put on electro stimulation devices that simulate childbirth contractions and film the results, I must admit I’m not exactly embracing the idea with excitement.  I know it’s a beautiful thing to have children but to be able to face the pain and accept that the only way to feel better again is to go through an excruciating amount of pain has got me really nervous.

As much as I laughed (more out of discomfort than entertainment) when I saw this, I commend these two young men for going through with the simulation.  I’m sure it’s not nearly as bad as an actual birth (there are no fluids gushing out of their bodies and no flesh is being torn open) but it all does look quite painful. Perhaps all hubbies should be required to experience this before their wives give birth to fully appreciate what a woman must endure to bring a child into the world.  The video below is in Dutch with English subtitles.

Why You Should Try A Juice Cleanse

Life is about enjoying, experiencing and best of all, eating.  But once in a while, I think it’s important to recharge and reboot and give our tummies a little rest, while allowing our minds to refocus. And so came my desire to do a juice cleanse. I brought the idea up with my trainer, who was very excited that I was keen on trying it.  But whoever suggested I do this for 10 days must’ve been insane! Oh wait, that was me…

Reality hit around lunchtime. And I kept thinking, I could murder a curry right now. Instead, this is what I got for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The good thing is I could drink as much of it (along with water, and any other fresh veggie juice) as I wanted.

Cucumber, spinach, celery, green apple, lemon and ginger juice–shot in toy camera mode to get this lovely bright green colour.

Everyone around me kept commenting on how awful my green juice looked (it’s not that green in real life) and how they couldn’t believe I was ‘starving’ myself. They came up with all these reasons for how bad it was for my body. Fresh vegetable juice bad for me? You’ve got to be joking! I started to fade a little during my normal meal times but overall, I stayed focused and energised throughout the day and am keen to try it again, perhaps make it a weekly thing.

I assure you, it’s really not as bad as it seems and the juice was actually quite lovely. Tasty, really.  Next time I will add kale.  And this is all coming from someone whose mantra is “I don’t eat to live, I live to eat”.  Not to mention, I feel great! I woke up this morning feeling refreshed instead of groggy. Just to be clear, I ate a normal dinner the previous night and my cleanse officially began when I woke up the next morning and ran through this morning (essentially 36 hours without solid food).

If you decide to give this a shot, here are a few first-timer tips:

  1. Make all of your fresh green juice and veggie juice blends the night before.
  2. Use vegetables that contain a lot of water, like cucumber and celery (but don’t overdo the celery as it contains a fair amount of sodium). Don’t worry too about not getting enough ‘nutrition’ for a one day cleanse.  It is, after all, just one day.
  3. Choose a day that you have a lot to do. Work days are ideal, as you will be busy and less tempted by weekend activities that usually involve a lot of dining out.
  4. Drink lots of water in addition to the juice. A good measurement would be half your body weight (pounds) in ounces. Often times when we think we’re hungry it’s our bodies telling us that we’re dehydrated.
  5. If you do feel faint, you can ‘cheat’ with a handful of unsalted nuts.

If I managed to get through an entire day of rest from eating, so can you! Do let me know how you get on!

Gluten Free Cookie #Fail

I would give anything to eat a hot pasty right now. VAT or no VAT, so long as it’s fresh from the oven I could not care less. I’d quite like some fresh baked bread as well. Again, piping hot out of the oven with a nice slab of butter smothered all over it. It’s all heaven to me so long as it’s not gluten free!

After reading Wheat Belly, we’ve been trying to stick to a ‘gluten free’ diet to see if we can eliminate some of our chronic health issues. It’s done wonders for hubby, so I plan to stick with him on it, but it’s utter torture for me as I love my cakes and crumpets. Not to mention, our lovely red Dualit toaster (which I can’t thank Ginger enough for) has been sitting on our kitchen counter completely unused.

In an attempt to satisfy my cravings for a baked treat, we decided to try and make some gluten free chocolate chip cookies out of a packet. One that claimed we wouldn’t believe it wasn’t a ‘real’ cookie.  I tried to keep an open mind but in the end I could not have been more disappointed.  It wasn’t so much the mealy texture but the strange aftertaste that put me off.

Perhaps we need to try a different packet or recipe but this one certainly did nothing to satiate me. If you’ve got any suggestions for a good gluten free recipe or packet, please let us know! Sadly, even my cute Moomin tray couldn’t help soften the blow.

Woe, is eye!

I cycle to work every day and quite enjoy my morning rides.  I’ve got a cute little red foldy-bike (though I’d quite like a Brompton one day). As I was pedaling along this morning something hit me right in the eye.  It kind of just went *splat* and then I realised it was a bug!

I thought I’d got rid of it, but my eye was bugging me all day.  And yet I somehow managed to convince myself it was something else. I was still rubbing and blinking away when the hubs got home, so he flushed my eye out with eye drops for good measure. And to my utter shock and horror, the little bugger came oozing out of the corner of my eye, wings still in tact!

Gobsmacked and bemused, my poor hubby just stood there looking at me.  I wonder what he was thinking.  Perhaps, ‘you imbecile’!  I must admit it was a good thing this happened today and not earlier in the week when he was away on business, or else it might still have been stuck in my eye! Oh, what would I do without my dear hubby?

Moral of the story: flush your eye out immediately when it’s been attacked by a bug!

Slow Masticating Juicers vs. Centrifugal Juicers

We’ve been dreaming of getting a masticating juicer ever since we realised how much was going to waste with our Breville JE4 Juicer.  As much as we appreciated having the Breville for the past 8 months, we finally caved and replaced it with the Hurom Slow Juicer.

The Hurom utilises a low-speed mechanism to process fresh fruit and vegetables into juice, yielding a slightly more pulpier juice than the Breville, but richer in colour and flavour. The preparation time goes up with this juicer, but you retain so much more of the nutrients that are lost with the Breville or any other high speed dual-disc juicer.

We used our old green juice recipe to compare the results of the Hurom with the Breville and were surprised by how much less produce we used to produce the same amount of juice.  So if you’re looking to buy a juicer and would like to get the maximum benefits from your juicing, I would highly recommend getting a slow masticating juicer over a centrifugal one.

The Attack of the Latest Health Food Trends

As a reaction piece to her post, I’m dedicating this to one of my favourite bloggers, the lovely F.Scribbles.   As sorry as I was to read of her allergic reactions, I couldn’t help but laugh because her story hit so close to home and I just loved her humour!  Luckily for me, I’m not allergic to either goji or açaí berries.  But F.Scribbles’ story reminded me of the constant bombardment that we, as consumers, undergo from the health food marketing industry and how challenging it can be to stay on top of the latest health food trends.

Growing up, I had goji berries as an occasional snack (my mum swears by them).  That was long before any of us knew about antioxidants–in my family, we simply took my mum’s word for its health benefits (if I’m not mistaken, goji berries are also good for your eyes) as it had always been a part of her culture’s diet.  These days I have goji berries in the stylish form of a raw bar, which is basically a raw granola bar with goji berries.

It’s funny how goji berries have only recently become the new health food trend, as açaí once was, and before that pomegranate juice.  Oh, and let’s not forget coconut water, which supposedly contains “the highest sources of electrolytes known to man”.   I suppose the health food industry has to give each food a chance to make a profit, but Chinese and Tibetans have been consuming goji berries for centuries! And it’s not until under the careful scrutiny of a Western scientist, who ‘discovers’ (and can prove) the health benefits of such super foods, that the food can officially be deemed beneficial to one’s health.  Until then, it’s simply ‘voodoo’ food, as my hubby would say.

Now I’ll admit that I’m naturally inclined to want to try ‘new’ health foods, but just because someone attacks me with a new advert about the healthful benefits of any food doesn’t mean I’ll immediately go out and try it.  Take for example, coconut water, which I knew would taste like a combination of sweat and a hint of piss.   Although I was completely opposed to trying it, even in the form of flavoured water, I eventually gave in because I wanted to feel those electrolytes pumping through my veins.  Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, right? Well it was bloody awful, just as I thought it’d be.

I like pomegranate juice, but pomegranate flavoured coconut water? You’ve got to be joking! I mean, why do we have to flavour everything? Why can’t we have food in its pure, unadulterated form, which is usually the tastiest (with the exception of coconut water–it’s minging either way)?

So…what’s a girl to do if she’s allergic to or can’t stand the taste of the latest health food trend? I say, try everything once and if it doesn’t work for you, don’t sweat it.  There’s plenty of other ways to consume antioxidants and electrolytes!

G is for…

G is for ‘green’ juice.  There seems to be a juice craze spreading from Australia to the UK and US.  It’s nothing new, but juicing seems to have finally caught on.  And just in time, as the average person in the UK eats less than 3 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, instead of the recommended 5!  In Australia, the recommendation is to go for 2 fruit and 5 vegetables per day.

If you love fruit and vegetables but don’t always have time to eat them, here is an easy way to get your full daily fruit and veggie count.  And if you aren’t so keen on all the green stuff, I assure you this is a lot tastier than it might seem.  The green apples and lemon add a lot of fruity flavour!

We’ve played around with various recipes and I think we’ve got it down.  Simply stick all the ingredients into a juicer and voila! We like to blend our spinach in a mixer with the existing juice of all the other ingredients to get more fiber.  And remember, you can pretty much throw anything you have into the juicer (Swiss chard, cabbage, courgette, etc.).  Happy juicing!

Green Juice Recipe

8-10 leaves of kale
4 green apples
1 cucumber
2 stalks of celery
1 stub of ginger, peeled
1 lemon, peeled
4 cups of baby spinach