Giving Up Dairy | Why My Body is Over The Mooooooon

Over the mooooon.

Get it? Get it?! Man, my puns know no bounds. My clients are lucky people.

This post is about my break up with dairy. I once read a book as a lovestruck teen, called ‘It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken’. And broken it was. My relationship with dairy, I mean.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about my love of coffee. I believe the exact words I used were ‘my morning skinny flat white is like a giant hug’. Interpreting a milky bev as an emotional gesture. Hashtag barrier issues.

But it was. And like any addict, each day I vowed that that one flat white would be my first of the day, and my last. But it wasn’t. That morning flat white soon became the first of two or even three a day on some days, and the purchase of my beloved Nespresso machine didn’t help matters. Shout out to the Aeroccino for making ma milk so effin’ foamy, you total babe.

There’s about 225ml of milk in my morning coffee. If I got to 3 a day, I’d find myself staring straight down the barrel of nearly a litre of the white stuff, 360 calories, 9g of fat and 37.5g of sugar. WHAT. I almost loosened the grip on my Keep Cup and fell unconscious when I discovered the amount of sugar in skinny milk. Like, if I’m consuming that much in milk, HOW will I find the room to justify the odd doughnut?

It wasn’t just the coffees. I don’t eat a lot of cheese since going healthy, but that’s not to say this girl ain’t partial to a humble triangle of brie every so often.

Let’s take a moment’s silence for brie, shall we?

…………………

Okay.

So cheese wasn’t a huge issue, but I soon had to face up to the fact that my love affair with Chobani Coconut yoghurts could be the problem. Don’t be fooled, by coconut yoghurt I don’t mean it’s made with coconut milk. I mean it’s a regular dairy laden yoghurt with oh-so-sweet-and-seductive coconut gooey bits on the bottom. Dreamy.

But not for my bloat, nausea and fatigue. One of those little huns every other day quickly pushed my dairy sugar consumption off the charts. I won’t lie, sometimes I had one daily, especially when Coles put on that babein 5 for $5 offer. Never forget.

So, I went cold turkey. DUM DUM DUM.

After a weekend of bloating and concluding I obviously had ovarian cancer (let’s all bow down in my calm and realistic approach to ailments, shall we?), I decided to cut out all dairy for a week. I didn’t just cut out dairy. I went back to basics. Breakfast was oats (made with water), lunch was salmon or chicken and greens, and dinner was salmon or chicken with greens and a complex carb (brown rice or sweet potato). And all coffee, was BLACK coffee (with a dash of soy milk on occasion). I KNOW RIGHT. If only I could eat like that all the time. Victoria might even tell me her Secret.

Aside from feeling a bit gassy from all the greens – hey there, broccoli – I felt SO much better. I wasn’t fatigued, I didn’t have tummy pain, hey, I didn’t even get that afternoon slump where you just sit at your desk and rest your chin on your hand and daydream about laying on an island eating brownies from the tray. None of that.

So come the end of the elimination week, I made the decision to make our breakup more permanent.

I started using coconut milk instead of regular milk, but I kept the black coffee rule. Over the week I’d actually started to get used to it, so now, I drink black with just a splash of coconut milk. So we’re talking between 12 and 40 grams of sugar from my old milk habits that are gone from my diet. MORE ROOM FOR DOUGHNUTS.

I haven’t tasted that silky smooth feeling of a whole milk flat white for over a month now, but I don’t miss it. I’ve created a new habit and I’m pretty darn pleased with it.

Yoghurt wise, I’ve actually switched to goat’s yoghurt, and I’ll eat goat’s cheese and feta cheese, too. There’s arguments as to whether these are considered ‘dairy’ or not. Obviously, in a vegan diet, yes, they’re banned. But I find they sit much better with me than cow’s dairy, so whether they are or not, I don’t really mind. I’m gonna back this up with a bit of science. Ready?

Goat’s products are much easier on the human digestion system because the fat molecules are far smaller than in cow’s products. Goat’s milk, cheese and yoghurts contain far less dairy sugar than cow’s (that’s the lactose that irritates a lot of people’s gut), and it’s naturally homogenised – so it doesn’t go through our processing to make it drinkable and uniform.

That said, I still don’t eat a whole heap of the stuff. A blob on some blueberries every so often, sure, but even though I’ve switched out the cow’s dairy, I’ve cut the consumption of the type of products in general. *Self five*.

Now, while this all sounds too good to be true, I’m going to be frank. Yes, I’ve made all these changes, and I can honestly say I have cut dairy lattes/flat whites out completely, in do believe in the 80/20 rule. Or even 90/10. At this point I’d say I’m 90/10 cow’s dairy free.

I don’t want to be that person that’s awkward when someone’s cooking for you. I don’t want Jess’ poor mum to have to accommodate non-dairy, and most of all I don’t want to cut anything out completely. Because if I do, if I’m not sensitive to it now, I will be eventually. Complete lack of exposure to something is bad for us, so yeah, once a week or so, I’ll have a slice of cheddar cheese on something, or some mayo, or a scoop of dairy ice cream. And that’s all cool. It can be done.

This lifestyle change comes in part of my pursuit of balance – something I struggle with. I’m an all or nothing kinda girl. People tell me my obsessions with healthy diet and exercise are dangerous, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have got to where I am without that little bit of addiction and obsession. I half-arsed health my whole life. Sure, now I’m tasked with finding a balance, but I’m not overweight anymore. I’ll find that balance one day, one chia seed at a time.

Ciao,

Coco xxx

 

 

Digital Detoxing | Wellness Loading by Andi Lew | How to Do a Digital Detox

Ah, detoxing. Juices, teas, cleanses… everywhere we look there’s an opportunity to reverse all the bad, undo your mistakes and ‘detox’ the crap out of your body. Problem is, all we seem to do right after a detox, is retox. No, you can’t undo years of bad eating with a 3 day juice cleanse. Shock. The key is repetition, and learning from your mistakes, and making new, better habits each time.

Last week I attended Andi Lew‘s Wellness Loading book launch with the lovely Zee from Insincerely Her.

Let’s take a quick moment to appreciate those times when you meet someone for the first time and you just click instantly. You might be completely different people, with different types of jobs and at different stages in your life, but somehow, something clicks. The conversation doesn’t feel totally forced, and you’re actually interested in what the other person has to say. Despite us being at a PR launch for a book advocating a digital detox, I’m grateful for the internet for bringing me together with people like Zee. 

Anyway, we slurped some vegan, sugar free ice cream (which was surprisingly good), mingled and heard a motivating and refreshing chat from Andi, about how stepping outside of our comfort zone, cutting off from the digital world and appreciating the world around us can be a total mind cleanse.

I’ve often wondered about giving up Facebook or my smartphone, for a period of time or even forever, but the nature of my work does command me to keep up with digital. I can’t manage brand’s social channels without an account myself, nor would I want to profess to be a social media guru if I was shunning it behind closed doors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from a digital detox.

Wellness Loading takes you through the benefits of a digital detox, and how to do one. Even if it’s no phones on date nights, or at the table, or after 8pm, or even turning off your 4G so your iPhone is just a normal telephone for a few hours. Cut yourself off. You’ll soon realise how accidentally addicted we’ve become. *sings accidentally in love from Shrek*.

I’m now trying to put my phone in another room overnight. That way, if I can’t sleep I won’t be tempted to check out snapchat, and I won’t waste hours before falling asleep on Instagram and Pinterest. Anything that needs to be done can be done by 10pm. I’ve recently got a sleep spray for my pillow with lavender in. I think it’s helping me sleep deeper and wake less during the night, and I notice an even better change when I cut off from my iPhone earlier the evening.

Sure, I’d love to say phones away as soon as I get in from work, particularly in my field, but without wanting to sound like I’m making excuse after excuse, my friends and family in the UK are all waking up around 6 or 7pm Australian time, so I do like to be on hand then to keep in contact. But, once that’s done, it’s night night phone. I’m finding it really refreshing, and hey, if nothing else, it makes Instagram a hell of a lot more exciting when you’ve not been refreshing it every few hours!

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Image via APL Photography.

Have you tried a digital detox?

Coco xx

 

Here’s why you actually CAN get good at running.

Think you can’t run? I feel ya, believe me. For years I chunked about thinking my size 14 curves were just part of who I was, and that my thunder thighs were incapable of transporting my body at a fast enough pace to call it a run.

I was the slowest runner known to man (and my PE teachers enjoyed pointing it out to me), and I seemed to get left behind even doing simple things like trotting across the road (true story).

I’d see people out running on Saturday mornings and literally feel the jealousy penetrating my bones. I’d always wanted to be a runner, but for some reason my wobbly legs said it wasn’t too be. I truly believe some people just have the ability to run and some don’t. For all my trying, I’d never been able to break the barrier, yet there I’d be, cowering in the corner of the gym sulking on the cross trainer when some newbie would hop onto a treadmill on her induction and casually jog for 15 minutes straight declaring she hadn’t run since before her kids were born. Like seriously wtf.

I’d been flumping around the school track for years and nada. I remember one year, year six to be exact, I thought I’d made a sublime escape when somehow my teacher managed to assign a sports day event to everyone but me. There I was fist pumping to myself in the assembly hall thinking HELL YEAH I can just sit on the sidelines like an untameable badass scoffing mini rolls and dairylee dunkers and nobody gon’ tel me no.

Nah.

Somehow she realised and plonked me on the 400m sprint. SPRINT. Ummmmm what? My poor Mum. The poor little lamb had to leave work early to come and endure sports day with all the other Mums cheering on their little Olympians while I was incessantly lapped by my fellow competitors. When I finally flopped across the finish line the entire event had practically been packed up and everyone sent home. No sticker for Emma. No trophy for Emma. No participation award for Emma. No, niente, nish.

I actually have a vague memory of being told I ‘just had to try a little harder’. TRY A LITTLE HARDER? Are you kidding? I can assure you I was trying so flippin’ hard I honestly felt like my thighs were going to pop out of my pelvis and continue running off on their own. Try a little harder. PLEASE.

(Personally I think this is bullshit because if I’d gone into the dumbo class and told the kids they weren’t trying hard enough at maths I’d probably have become very acquainted with a scraper and the underside of a gum-ridden table. But yeah sure I’m just not TRYING hard enough in PE. Okay.)

So yeah. That pretty much scarred me for life and I had a fear of running ever since. I sort of accepted that it wasn’t for me, and that my poor body just couldn’t haul weight around for longer than a few minutes.

Turns out, people like me actually CAN run. And so can YOU. I actually regularly get told ‘I wish I could go running too’. BABES YOU TOTALLY CAN. If anyone knows the feeling of not being able to run it is me. Need I tell you another of the school stories? I’ll save you the pity. But let’s just say when we went to high school and met the infamous 3500m part of the athletics term, well, I pretty much had to be called in from the depths of the track as I’d ‘miss my next class if I didn’t keep up with everyone else’. PE teachers, hey. WANKERS.

I’d actually love to rock up to my old school head to toe in Nike waving a giant flag (perhaps with a marching band behind me for emphasis) and say through a giant megaphone “To all my PE teachers that taught me here between 2002 and 2009, FUCK YOU. I just ran 10k.”

Yep, it’s true. I can run now. Some days it’s 3k, some days it’s 10k. But I can run. Like the effin’ wind (ish).

The key, I think, is to let go of all the reasons you think you can’t run. Whether you’re like me and you’ve been scarred by a lifetime of jibes about your sporting abilities, or perhaps an injury or weight loss/gain, let it all go. Forget the bad memories. It’s just you and the track now.

Start small. You can only run within your means. If you can run 1k, run 1k. If it’s 500m, run 500m. When you feel like you need to walk, walk. But always keep going back to running. Some of my favourite ways to get started are these intervals:

  • 30 seconds run, 1 minute walk
  • 30 seconds run, 30 seconds walk
  • 1 song of running, 1 song of walking (if listening to music)
  • run until lungs feel ready to burst, walk for 1 minute
  • 30 seconds comfortable jog, 20 seconds harder, 10 seconds RUN LIKE MO FARRAH (repeat 10 times)
  • 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard

It sounds lame but these little intervals actually build you up really really quickly. Run at least 2-3 times a week and you’ll see a difference so fast I promise. Oh, and get decent running shoes. I’ve learned the hard way that Nike Roshe’s (while totally babetown with a pair of ripped jeans and a striped tee) ain’t a runner’s friend. I’m now rocking the ugliest, chunkiest New Balance kicks (New Balance 1260 V5 Stability to be exact), but they give me the support and shock absorbance I need to not, well, shatter my knee caps.

The Nike + Running app is also my best pal. It shouts out when you reach a certain distance and tells you your pace at the same time, so you can monitor whether to kick it up a gear or slow it down to preserve energy while you’re training your endurance. Oh, and when you’re passing a group of onlookers scoffing a Nandos in the park and it shouts out that you’ve just nailed your 4th kilometre, it sorta feels like you’ve just won gold at Rio16. Just sayin’.

If you like to run to music, go for it, but I’ve actually learned I prefer silence. I can nosey into other people’s conversations in the park, let the wind catch my hair and sort of pretend I’m Delta Goodrem in a music video, or day dream about a load of fantastical shit that’ll never happen like winning American Idol or bumping into Richie off The Bachelor and having an impromptu coffee while gabbing about life. It’s a great mind cleanser, especially for the uptight like me for whom meditation and other relaxation techniques are pretty much useless. Haven’t heard about my meditation experience? Have a read here.

Trust me, you CAN do it. And it feels really awesome when you do. Let go of everything that’d ever stopped you, lace up your hawttt running shoes and stick your middle finger up to everyone that ever told you to TRY harder, BE faster or that you’re anything less than totally rad. RUN THE WORLD, GIRLS.

Peace,

Coco xoxo

 

Abs-olutely Fabulous! 30 Day Abs Challenge!

Happy Wednesday, blogosphere. Its an overcast day in London and I’m having a mini panic attack that the British Summer has actually been and gone already. But, with the weather, I am ever the optimist. It will be back!

Anyway, on Monday I stumbled across a little event page on Facebook called 30 Day Abs Challenge. Some of you may remember the 30 Day Squat Challenge that went viral a couple of years ago, but I’m not too ashamed to admit that after day 4, I struggled to sit down on my desk chair without wincing in pain, so, I gave up, and concluded I would continue exercising my leg muscles by running down the four flights of stairs in my building to greet the pizza guy. Or China man….or any other food bearing guest, for that matter. To anyone who succeeded, I salute you. The Abs Challenge works in a similar way, by starting very very small, to the point that even I can just about muster the energy to get through the first few days, but gradually builds up, so that by the end you are in triple figures of each of the exercises.

The Facebook event is set to start on June 1st, so we can all do it together, and be bikini ready by July, but I have started a tiny bit early, as the bf gets back in to London on July 1st, so I hardly want to be bed-ridden with muscle aches, being put to shame by a 90 year old’s fitness level as I crawl around my flat. Starting now will give me a few days to recover! That is, if I actually make it to the end, and without being negative, if the Squat Challenge is anything to go by, I’ll be sprawled out on the sofa eating a cheeseburger before week 1 is out. But, its worth a shot. And I want you all to do it with me!

Here’s how it works:

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I’ll be posting regular updates on how I’m coping! Day 1 was yesterday, and it was fine, but I am not being naiive. I’m anticipating suicidal thoughts will commence around day 7, when the plank reaches 30 seconds. It will be interesting to see how gradually increasing the targets helps you improve though. My plank currently resembles an elephant trying to sit down. You know, that bit before they collapse in a heap, when they’re sort of teetering on the edge of sitting/standing… that part, thats me!

I’m commencing day 2’s exercises shortly…wish me luck!

Coco xx