No sugar update – day 29

Today is Day 29 of my 30-day reset of not eating sugary snacks and treats. It’s gone surprisingly well.

When I started my mission get back into my no sugar lifestyle, I imagined that I’d slowly cut out one day’s treat over a period of several weeks and that by the end of it I’d be back on track. My first steps were to make sure I had something else to eat in place of my Monday afternoon snack, to remove any cash from my wallet that might make it easy to buy something I didn’t want, should I accidentally wander into a bakery or coffee shop.

After a couple of weeks of this I found that, even on the days I was allowed to have an unhealthy snack, I didn’t want to, so the 30-day reset began. In contrast to previous attempts at this, I’ve found the last 29 days to be quite easy and I haven’t really missed the cakes and chocolate.

I wondered why this was, because in the past it’s been really hard and I’ve struggled.

I think that because I’ve had several long periods where I haven’t eaten sugar, my body knows that this is my “normal”, so once I made the decision to go back to this and started to not eat cakes and chocolate, my body accepted it quite easily. I guess it knows that I am someone who doesn’t eat refined sugar, which is exactly the person I want to be.

I know some people think that cutting out something is a bit extreme and that most things in moderation are okay. The theory goes that if you completely deny yourself something, you’ll feel like you’re missing out and you’ll end up binging on the [forbidden thing], which would be worse for you than allowing yourself to have it occasionally.

Gretchen Rubin discusses this in Better Than Before. She says that some people do better by completely abstaining, because they find this easier than having the [forbidden thing] in moderation – for “abstainers”, having just a bit is almost impossible. Once they have opened the biscuit packet they’ll eat the whole lot. They won’t have one, and put the packet away until tomorrow.

As an abstainer herself, Ms Rubin notes that when abstainers deprive themselves of the [forbidden thing], they “conserve energy and will-power because there are no decisions to make and no self-control to muster”. They don’t have to decide whether to have (or do) the thing, then decide how much of the thing they will have (or do) and finally make themselves stop consuming (or doing) the thing. The decision is already made, and they can go on with their day.

She notes that someone can be an abstainer in relation to some things, but can be a “moderator” – someone for whom “everything in moderation” works well – for others. I might be an abstainer in relation to sugar, but a moderator in relation to alcohol, for example. So I’ll eat the whole block of chocolate, but I can have one glass of wine at lunch time and not spend the rest of the afternoon drinking. Unless I make a conscious choice to.

Ms Rubin notes that successful habit changes involve coordinating multiple strategies, and she gives an example of how she combined abstaining with other strategies to change her eating habits. For me, I can see how I have combined the strategy of abstaining (from sugar) with the strategy of identity (I am a person who doesn’t eat sugar) to change this particular habit. (I mentioned this strategy in this post.)

So this was an easy 30-day challenge for me – but it was only easy because of earlier work I’d done. I imagine that I’ll have more slip-ups in the future, but I hope that this experience of quite easily falling back into a healthy pattern will mean that the slip-ups aren’t frequent and aren’t as long-lived as this one was.

And here’s an unrelated picture of one of my chickens, as I contemplate what my next 30-day challenge will be.

20170701 Chook

12 of 12 June 2015

Friday 12 June started out cold at home, but warmed up very nicely during the day to about 13 degrees.

Yesterday had been intense, and I was feeling all sorts of things all at once. I stayed up way too late last night and looked and felt like it this morning.

1 of 12 – Coffee. I needed many of these. This is my fabulous Kalgoorlie-inspired cup by the wonderful Kim, aka frogpondsrock.  I got this last month at Kim’s Mud & Ink exhibition with the cartoonist Jon Kudelka at the Long Gallery in Salamanca.

20150612-01 Coffee cup2 of 12 – The moon looked very pretty when I went out to let the chooks out. At 6.45 am.

20150612-02A Moon

3 of 12 – The chooks were still in bed at 6.45 am, like I wished I could have been. The two older ones came out at the sound of their food bin opening, but the young ones took a bit longer to get moving. I don’t blame them. In the meantime these two hooked in.

20150612-03B Chooks

4 of 12 – This person needs more coffee right now.

20150612-04B Walk to work selfie

5 of 12 – Nice to see these posters popping up around Hobart. They are part of Peter Drew’s “Real Australians Say Welcome” project.

20150612-05 Welcome6 of 12 – Some sort of restoration work at the GPO. (As you can see, I pay a lot of attention to what’s going on.)

20150612-06 GPO restoration

7 of 12 – It’s always exciting when “other mail” is waiting for me in the PO Box. The excitement is usually followed by disappointment when it’s not for me.

20150612-07 Other mail

8 of 12 – The bus mall coming out of the GPO is a dark and scary place. And look! I managed to get the person in the red top in my photo. Because in every photo you take of a tourist spot, building or landmark, there is always That Person In Red.

20150612-08B Bus mall

9 of 12 – Inbox Zero is one of my goals each week. I’m slowly making progress with my organisational systems. It’s one step forward two steps back some days, but I’m feeling a lot more in control than I had been.

20150612-09 Inbox zero10 of 12 – Well that’s a bit blurry. A planning application notice near Franklin Square. Unsure what it’s for. Not that you could read it anyway.

20150612-11 Planning application notice

11 of 12 – Fountain at Franklin Square on my way to the bus.

20150612-12 Fountain in Franklin Square

12 of 12 – The GPO at night and Dark Mofo’s light tower to show us what a real actual tower would look like. Apparently.  Art ‘n’ stuff.

20150612-10B A light

12 of 12 March 2015

Thursday was a pretty normal work day for me. Farewell morning tea for a colleague, who I’ve worked with on and off for almost 10 years. Lots of coffee. Walk at lunch time. It got to 20 degrees in the city, so it wasn’t too bad at all. I dropped Juniordwarf off at school, and he gave me a huge hug when I was leaving because he was staying with his grandmother (she took him to the theatre) and Slabs and I had a rare night off.

1 of 12 – I love leggings. I’m putting together a collection of different colours and different patterns. These ones are new because Keshet is having a sale and I didn’t have any that went with this skirt.

Leggings!

Leggings!

2 of 12 – They have demolished the Gate 2 ramp on the Salamanca side of the Parliament Square site and are now using the new ramp they’ve built off Murray Street. They get to stop traffic, and there’s a little gate to stop pedestrians walking across the ramp entrance when the trucks are going in and out.

Parliament Square

Parliament Square

3 of 12 – I have this Exertime program on my computer that reminds me to get up and move every hour or so. Very handy for increasing my step count.

Exertime

Exertime

4 of 12 – Juniordwarf really enjoys the movie Coraline, so he borrowed the book (by Neil Gaiman) from the library. We’ve all read it now. The secret door is still on our lounge room wall so he can act it out when he wants to.

Coraline

Coraline

5 of 12 – Slabs picked up this for us to try. It was very gingery. And sweet.

Ginger beer is gingery

Ginger beer is gingery

6 of 12 – No eggs today. WTF chickens? Are you having a day off, or is there another ‘egg butty’ we don’t know about somewhere?

Um, where are the eggs?

Um, where are the eggs?

7 of 12 – Following on from the Coraline theme, we have a well in our back yard, which Juniordwarf found with his dowsing rod (yes really). He’s used the slide from his old plastic playhouse as a cover for the well, and has covered it over with dirt so that no one can find it. The chickens love to scratch in the dirt, so he has to go out every day and pile all the dirt back on top of it again. He gets very annoyed at them. He wasn’t here tonight to do it, so the cover is exposed.

The well

The well

8 of 12 – Did I mention I love leggings and Keshet had a sale? Now I have to find somewhere to put them all because they won’t fit in my drawer.

More leggings!

More leggings!

9 of 12 – Our original dinner plans got cancelled, so we had dinner at the Junction Motel. It has a nice outdoor area overlooking the main road into town, so we sat outside and had a drink before dinner. We stayed here 10 years ago when we first visited the town to buy a house after we’d decided to move back to Tasmania. 10 years!

Pre-dinner drink

Pre-dinner drink

10 of 12 – Yum!

Chicken with leek risotto

Chicken with leek risotto

11 of 12 – The Shoe Mart. A long-standing business on the main street, which is about to close its doors. I like the signs. They’re a defining part of the street.

The Shoe Mart

The Shoe Mart

12 of 12 – It feels so weird not to have Juniordwarf here. Even though he’s in bed and not up with us in the evenings, so there’s no difference in who’s in the lounge room, there’s a different vibe in the house without him here.

Not here

Not here

Tassievore Eat Local Challenge Week 1 – Food Forager

I’ve been busy walking this week, so I haven’t given the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge my full attention.

I wrote a post about getting started last week,  and have been doing what I can for Week 1’s challenge, which has been to “seek out Tasmanian food and drinks . . . whether an old apple tree on the side of the road, a bottle of wine you haven’t tried before, or a recipe that has tweaked your interest”.

Funnily enough, the apple trees on the side of the road that I noticed last Sunday got pruned to within an inch of their lives during the week. Something about power lines, I believe . . .

Foraging at my house is primarily the search for eggs.

The oldest chicken decided long ago that the laying box wasn’t for her and has taken to laying in a spot in some bushes that we’ve nicknamed The Egg Butty. This comes from something Juniordwarf used to do when he was very small, and it kind of stuck. She’s had more than one Egg Butty over the years, but this is the current go-to spot.

Egg Butty

Egg Butty

The new chickens are gradually getting used to laying and are figuring out where to do it. One of them has even found the laying box.

Laying box

Laying box

The other one has decided it’s better to lay in the very back of the chook house, between the two perches, right in the chook shit from the night. She invariably knocks the perches off and we have to perform contortionist acts to get the egg and set the perches back up.

Not the laying box

Not the laying box

Foraging in my own back yard.

One of the new chickens

One of the new chickens

I also got 2 strawberries off my plant this week. I think that’s about 10 now. None of the other plants have fruited, so 6 plants for $10, and 10 strawberries = $1 per strawberry. Bargain! At least they aren’t fumigated with methyl bromide.

Gourmet strawberries

Gourmet strawberries

And by happy accident I discovered a self-seeded oregano plant in amongst my pennyroyal in one of the most shady parts of the yard. How it got there is anyone’s guess, but I’m not complaining.

Feral oregano

Feral oregano

Because I managed to kill my raspberry plants, I didn’t get any raspberries this year. So as a consolation, I’ve been drinking the raspberry cider from Two Metre Tall. It’s very good.

My main source of raspberries this year

My main source of raspberries this year – note deliberately out of focus cider so you can read the sign in the background (ahem)

I had a couple of ideas of new places to go foraging, but other things got in the way and I didn’t make it.

I did pick up some Tasmanian produce from Eumarrah in Hobart, and I really like the new labelling that Hill St Grocer has for its fruit and vegetables.

Apples at Eumarrah

Apples at Eumarrah

Garlic at Eumarrah

Garlic at Eumarrah

Hill St's produce labelling

Hill St’s produce labelling

This morning we went to our local market, the Big River Growers Market, which has some wonderful people with fantastic produce (and also excellent laksa).

Big River Growers Market

Big River Growers Market

20150307 Big River Market 1 20150307 Big River Market 2 20150307 Big River Market 3

Laksa!

Laksa!

And we were walking past a new business that has recently opened, so decided to have a look in there and picked up a few different vegetables as well.

Spud Hut

Spud Hut

So we ended up getting a pretty good haul for the weekend.

Weekend's haul

Weekend’s haul

And dinner tonight was accompanied by one of my favourite wines (which I foraged for in my fridge because I needed wine for the dinner recipe . . .)

Derwent Estate Chardonnay

Derwent Estate Chardonnay

Week 2’s challenge is to “grow your own”.

I used to be a gardening fanatic, but since we’ve been in this house – in fact probably since we had Juniordwarf – my commitment to the garden has declined and I haven’t grown anything (successfully) for several years.

Perhaps this is the time to fix that.

Stay tuned.

Week in review: 9-15 February 2015

This week’s goals:

  1. 16,000 steps per day – 7/7 days
  2. [Private goal] – 0/7 days
  3. Go to bed before 11.30pm – 1/7 days (close on 3 other nights)

Monday was a public holiday, so no work and no school. Hooray! Juniordwarf and I made a start on cleaning up his bedroom. Not hooray!

Under an 8 year old’s bed. A place no one should ever have to go.

At least I finally managed to get him to start thinking about things he didn’t want or need any more, and start getting rid of some things. This is progress.

I’ve not done this ‘bed before 11.30’ thing very well. I did go to bed before, well let’s say midnight on Monday, but my body decided to compensate for that by waking me up at 4 am on Tuesday. How considerate of it.

On Wednesday I got my 5th strawberry off my plants. $10 for 6 plants, 5 strawberries = $2 per strawberry. Gourmet gardening!

I also learned a valuable lesson. Juniordwarf has a cheap writing pad that was sitting on the dining table. I was sitting at the table after dinner and picked up a pen and started doodling on his writing pad. He saw it a bit later and asked why I’d done that.

I said that I’d just wanted to scribble a bit.

He looked very upset with me and said, ‘But that’s my paper and you didn’t ask permission.’

My first instinct was to think that it was only a cheap writing pad, and why would I need his permission, since I probably gave it to him in the first place. But I somehow managed to think before I spoke, and it occurred to me that he was right. It was his writing pad and I hadn’t asked if I could write on it. I knew I’d be really annoyed if it was one of my notebooks and he’d scribbled in it – so why would his notepad mean any less to him than my notebook means to me?

So I apologised and I really meant it. He accepted that and asked that I not to this again. Then he went and got another sheet of paper from somewhere and put it on top of the pad to replace the sheet I’d used. Then we both moved on.

An important lesson

An important lesson

Speaking of stationery, my favourite stationery store Notemaker tweeted this link about ‘Why grown women really fetish stunning stationery’. The author says that the Midori Travelers Notebook ‘ has space for 3 inserts from a range of handy and practical refills and accessories’. I suggested that with only 3 inserts, she hadn’t tried very hard. Mine has 7 inserts, including 4 books. Yes, you really can fit that many in. It looks like this:
Cult of Midori

Cult of Midori

On Wednesday we got 3 eggs – both of the new chickens are now laying. After their initial reluctance to roost at night, they’re now roosting with the other chooks, but haven’t worked out that the nesting box is the place to lay the eggs. They’ve been laying underneath the perches. This requires something of a contortionist effort both to get the eggs and to put the perches, which they invariably knock off, back into place.
Little eggs

Little eggs

Thursday was 12 of 12, so you know about that already.

On Friday I went to the first scrapbooking class for the year. We usually have a break over December and January and go back when school goes back. I finished one page from 2013. In 3 hours. Yeah I’m good at this (ha). I also started to design a layout for a taste test I did in 2013 of 2 different varieties of Two Metre Tall Forester Ale. Because occasionally I do a page that doesn’t feature Juniordwarf.

Scrapbook layout plan

Scrapbook layout plan

Then it was the weekend. We had some friends come to visit, and Juniordwarf had a great time with another kid in the house.

Next week’s goals:
1.  17,000 steps per day
2.  [Private goal]
3.  Go to bed before midnight (baby steps!)

 

Week in Review: 26 January – 1 February 2015

This week started off as part of a five-day weekend. I had a day of leave on Friday, a weekend, a public holiday on Monday and then another day off on Tuesday.

On Monday Juniordwarf and I filled in for a presenter who’s taking some time off, at our community radio station TYGA FM on Monday’s midday show, The Time Tunnel. This is a show that features music from a particular year. We looked at 1981 and played Australian music for Australia Day.

TYGA FM

TYGA FM

Juniordwarf was very excited that we were going to have another day together on Tuesday. I was excited too. We hadn’t had a lot of time together these holidays, so it’s been great to have a few days where it’s just him and me doing pretty much whatever he wants to do.

It was a really relaxing break. We didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything apart from the radio show. It was good just to be at home and potter around and spend some time together. It made me miss the days before school started when I’d have a day (or two days before he started kinder) at home with Juniordwarf and I actually felt like a proper mum, instead of someone racing between home, school, work, school and home every day, with hardly a second to take a breath in between.

Sadly, it had to end, and I went back to work on Wednesday.

I’ve kept up with my walking in the mornings and I’m trying to adjust my wakeup time to be able to do the walk I want to do and still give myself time to be ready at the time we need to leave.

I exceeded my 13,000 daily step goal every day, so I’ve increased my goal to 16,000 steps a day leading up to the CARE Walk In Her Shoes challenge in March.

Getting ready for the CARE WIHS Challenge

Getting ready for the CARE WIHS Challenge

Ducklings I saw on my walk on Saturday morning

Ducklings I saw on my walk on Saturday morning

The most interesting thing that happened was that our new chickens, which we got at New Year, have finally started getting up onto the perches in the chook house by themselves at night.

One of the new chickens

One of the new chickens

Oh, and I got another strawberry from my strawberry plant. Yay!

We saw this bird in the garden on Saturday (dodgy photo because I took it through the kitchen window on maximum zoom).

Bird in our garden

Bird in our garden

This was an interesting ‘uncover’ on the main street I noticed during the week. When we first moved here, this shop was called Cooper’s and it was a hardware store. It was most recently True Blue, which had been a real estate agency as well as a removalist service and a ‘bits & pieces’ store. It closed down at the end of last year and is now a store selling local hand-made crafts – but as they’re doing it up, the old Cooper’s awning was uncovered.

Coopers awning

Coopers awning

12 of 12 february 2014

12 February 2014 was a Wednesday, two days after a Public Holiday. This week is the second week of school and I’m still trying to get myself back into the routines. I’m struggling.

1 of 12 – The sun rose.

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2 of 12 – Juniordwarf’s current obsession is the TV show Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. He rather likes the Nanny Plum character, and he’s designated me as the Queen and himself as the maid, AKA Nanny Juniordwarf. So he’s given me his crown to wear. I have permission to leave it in the car when I go to work, because I’m not a Queen at work.

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3 of 12 – Hobart was hit by a major storm on Sunday and we were driving home right in the middle of it. Some trees in St David’s Park were badly damaged and the park was closed this morning while they assessed the damage and made the area safe.

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4 of 12 – All that can be seen of the old Print Building in Salamanca Place from street level now.

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5 of 12 – The mountain emerging from low-lying cloud. Today was a welcome relief from the heat. (If you’re on the mainland, my definition of ‘heat’ might differ from yours . . . I have a very low tolerance.)

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6 of 12 – Zoe hasn’t been to work with me for a while. There is weird stuff going on in Teddy Land, and Zoe is now a witch who lives in a very messy house separately from the other teddies. (If you watch Ben and Holly you’ll understand, otherwise you may nod and move on.)

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7 of 12 – There was quite a lot of activity going on in the park when I left work and there were a few people standing round watching branches being cut off this tree. There were also a few cruise ship visitors around, and I wondered what they made of walking in between the demolition of the Print Building on one side of the street and the chainsawing of the trees in the park on the other side. (See photo 4.)

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8 of 12 – We got home to a delightful display of birds in our garden. We think we have identified these as Yellow Crescent Honeyeaters.

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9 of 12 – Some days the chickens don’t want to use the laying box. Earlier in the month we thought they’d stopped laying, only to find a stash of about 15 eggs in what has been dubbed “The Egg Butty”. Blame Juniordwarf for that one.

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10 of 12 – Whenever we let the rabbit out, the chooks don’t take long to move in.

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11 of 12 – Juniordwarf has allocated himself some jobs to do in his new role as the maid. One is the washing, but it’s a magic washing machine and he has to say, “Washing machine: wash all the clothes. Abracadabra!” (If you watch Ben and Holly you’ll understand, otherwise you may nod and move on.)

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12 of 12 Coincidentally today’s Ben and Holly story was the one where Nanny Plum and the Wise Old Elf swap jobs for a day, and the Wise Old Elf has to do the washing. “Washing machine: wash all the clothes. Abracadabra!”

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