Category Archives: Food Choices

Six Signs of Sabotage

You’ve decided to do something about your weight. All goes well for a short time and then you may experience a plateau and in some cases a spiraling out of control and before you know it, you are back to where you started from.. perhaps even heavier.

How did that happen?

  1. Whilst a part of you wants to achieve success, there may be another part, an inner saboteur that is lurking within, ready to derail you. Sometimes the saboteur is someone near and dear to you. Family members, whilst often well-meaning, will sabotage your plans because of their own control issues. A partner may feel threatened by your new svelte and healthy appearance, subconsciously thinking that you will leave the relationship and sabotage your efforts by buying you chocolates or cakes.
  2. Are you drinking enough fluid? Water is preferable, but there are other non-calorific drinks such as herbal teas that are suitable. If you are dehydrated, you are sabotaging your weight loss by slowing the fat burning process down.
  3. Are you eating enough? Not eating enough puts the body into survival mode. After spending the night sleeping your blood sugar will have dropped, so skipping breakfast is another way to sabotage your weight loss. Make breakfast a priority and remember the saying “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Having a good breakfast will help with your concentration and give you more energy to get through the day.
  4. Are you eating too much? Sugars and refined carbohydrates can be sneaky little devils. Substituting with Aspartame or other chemical sweeteners is not the answer either. Watch your alcohol intake as it converts to a sugar when being processed by the liver. It is likely you are overestimating how much you are eating.  Even though you are choosing healthy foods on your weight loss journey, the portion size matters.
  5. You have bad habits around food. Sitting in front of the TV to eat is a common one. You will either be eating too quickly, or eating unconsciously. Set the table, eat mindfully, putting down your knife and fork between bites and really savour the food…the flavour and textures of your meal. Make it as much a feast for the eyes as it is about an intake of calories. Grazing on food, having “nibbles” readily available is another bad habit. Clear the pantry of those snacks, biscuits and other easy to eat temptations.
  6. Do you “treat” yourself with food? If that inner voice whispers to you “I lost weight so I deserve to have that chocolate/icecream/biscuit/cake…….” you need to review your mindset around food. That inner voice may also whisper to you “just one …..” which if you take the offer up, helps you to slide down the slippery slope of sabotage. If you are going to treat yourself, choose something that’s not food related, like a movie, a massage or a new item of clothing. Take a long term view of your weight loss journey and check in with your thoughts on a regular basis. Instead of thinking that you are deprived of something, change your mindset by asking “Is this a necessity?” or “Is this an obstacle to me achieving my goal weight?”

Chronic stress can also contribute to weight gain. Cortisol, released as part of the stress response, can cause you to have an increased appetite and to crave carbohydrates. A quick way to reduce stress is with exercise to counter the effects of the stress hormones and meditation to still the mind.

To help you still the mind, I’m sharing my 20 minute Easy Weight Loss video which you can use as a meditation or a screen saver.

Eating Out

vegetarian diet




Many years ago I was a strict vegetarian and still do prefer a vegetable based diet. Camping in remote areas and travelling through fruit fly checks meant that it was difficult to have a good supply of vegetables and fruit. Dehydrated meals, apart from the extra water needed, are for the whole pretty bland and disgusting.

Often I will request a vegetarian meal at a function, not because I’m being contrary, but because I’m just not eating meat at the time. Invariably disappointment follows. Surely most chefs have some imagination and understand the key part of the word “vegetarian”.

Some of the most unimaginative vegetarian meals I have received are as follows:

A square of commercial puff pastry that contained still partially frozen mixed vegetables – peas, corn and carrots at a venue in bayside Melbourne that was noted for fine dining.

hospital food (2)Fish and chips! Yes,  this was served up as a “vegetarian meal” in the cardiac ward of a private hospital.


Of course! Potatoes, peas and carrots are vegetables.

The replacement meal when I asked for vegetables (and I don’t think I was beihospital food (3)ng difficult) was a handful of mixed salad leaves and some grated carrot. The kitchen staff kindly offered to add some chicken for flavour!

Breakfast the next morning was inedible. Fruit that had begun the decaying process long before it was placed on the plate and served up.

But I digress….

Recently I have been to a couple of functions. On booking for both, I specified vegetarian. Lunch was served and the usual alternate plates of red meat/white meat were offered.  The vegetarian option when it eventually arrived was a pumpkin risotto… sigh….. this has happened before…… load the plate up with gluggy rice, mash some pumpkin through and chuck some Parmesan cheese on top.  I do concede that rice is a grain, but not a whole grain.

Next event was an evening meal. Entree was a tomato and basil soup. Not bad! Main course for the rest was a glutinous mound of shiny mashed potato and a beef stew, purporting to be goulash. My vegetarian plate came out and you could smell the garlic at three paces….. oh dear!  A large bowl of penne, with a drizzle of tomato paste and liberally mixed with chopped garlic. There wasn’t anyway to scrape it off… it was if the chef had accidently slipped and tipped about a half a jar of minced garlic into the bowl… it was on the penne, in the penne … everywhere… and seriously inedible. I wish I had taken a photo of it.

The organizer had noticed I wasn’t eating and enquired…. she came over to inspect the plate and agreed that she wouldn’t be able to eat the meal either.  A replacement meal was organized and credit where credit is due… was delicious.  The chef had used some imagination and gone wild with the vegetables!

Tofu, stirfried broccoli, carrots, onions and a spicy sauce over Hokkien noodles and topped with crispy onion bits.  I did have a bit of a chuckle when the wait staff asked as I was leaving, if the dish wasn’t too spicy for me…… they weren’t to know that I eat lots of very hot chilli!!

Vegetarian meals in mainstream restaurants don’t have to be boring or difficult….or even an overload of carbs…… A seasonal warm winter dish of roasted vegetables….. potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot served with a cauliflower “rice.  Stirfries with a mix of seasonal vegetables and a touch of tofu. Salads with a variety of leaves and other vegetables, seasoned with herb dressings.

Randolph Stone in his book Health Building revised some 30 years ago writes, “First things first even in health building: understanding and purpose are the blueprints of our life, the body is our garden and house which we must care for if we want to live in it. So we select the right food (fuel) which we can easily digest and which has all the finer natural elements in its uncooked state for replacing worn out elements and tissues. ….. Good digestion produces good oxydation and elimination. …. ”