Need a new low FODMAP snack? These sweet low FODMAP pecans could be just the thing!Read More
Ok, I don't mean literally naked. What I mean to say is: do I need to take photos of myself wearing minimal clothing to prove that I'm "fit?" It's totally unavoidable these days; you log onto Instagram and BAM there's a girl with a six pack, wearing nothing but a bra top, tiny gym shorts, who's perfectly tanned, and you guessed it: she's into fitness. She blogs about it, she writes about it, maybe she even makes a living out of it.
I'm not trying to say that doing that is wrong: you've got a great body, of course you want to show it off! But where does that leave the rest of us, who might be really fit, eat super healthy, train hard, but don't quite want to take such revealing photos of themselves all the time? I don't know about you, but the huge pressure I feel to "prove" to the online world that I'm fit is immense. I love to workout, I love to eat clean, I love to feel good about myself, and I love knowing that my boyfriend thinks I'm attractive. What I don't love is how often I find myself feeling self conscious about the fact that I don't often post photos of my six pack (disclaimer: there isn't one.) Am I only, truly, healthy and fit when I can confidently post a photo of an incredible six pack? I've posted photos on my Instagram account before of my progress, but did that make me feel good about myself? Honestly... most of the time I was ended up spending more time worrying that people would look at them and judge my new found confidence. You can't win!
Now, I'm not suggesting that all these amazingly fit, really attractive girls should stop posting photos of their incredible bodies (oh my goodness, please don't, I have so much admiration!) but what I'm trying to say it, can't there be some balance? One person who I've seen take this on really well is one of my favourite fitness bloggers: Zanna Van Dijk. She's young, super tall, and really, really fit. She shows off her great bod, but she writes very truthfully about the fact that she isn't perfect; and that reassures me. It shows that you can be fit, feel good about yourself, whilst not being 100% perfect.
[video width="568" height="320" mp4="http://www.oliviablogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/boxing.mp4"][/video]
The good news is that I feel fit and strong. I've never actually felt so good about what my body can do! The video above shows that (thanks to my PT Steve for filming!) I've got a few things I still want to sort out (like actually be able to lift that 60KG deadlift properly without passing out because I'm not breathing), and I definitely have body conformation goals... and that's ok! I'm just not sure I'll be posting on Instagram about my six pack all the time.
Anyway, I'm definitely rambling, but this has been on my mind. What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel pressure to prove to the world that you're fit? I'd love to know!
Muffins have become a bit of a "thing" for me recently. They're easy to make, easy to carry, and easy to eat! What's not to love? I've been making my egg muffins a lot, but last weekend I fancied something a bit different so I made an attempt at something new: Banana muffins. They were instantly a massive hit not only with me, but also with Tom. They're sweet, but not too sweet. They're Low FODMAP, so a winner in my eyes, and they don't contain any added sugar at all. Just the lovely natural sugars contained in a banana. Yay! What's not to love?
Can we also take a moment to appreciate my new muffin tray? I had to go to Truro a week ago to return some jeans I accidentally bought in the wrong style (curse you Topshop for hanging black ripped jeans and non ripped jeans on the same rail!) and I ended up wondering into TK MAX.. Oops. The kitchen and stationary sections in there are my favourite, and I can't help but come home with something every time I wonder in. I saw this muffin tray and a little ceramic frying pan, and they both came to only £15! How's a girl to resist? Ok back to the serious stuff...muffins!
To make these Low FODMAP Banana and Strawberry Muffins you'll need: 4 eggs, whisked 4 mashed bananas 4 tbsp Coconut oil, melted 2 Cups Peanut Butter 1 tsp Vanilla extract 1 cup Coconut Flour 1 tsp Baking Powder 1 tsp Baking Soda 1 cup of Strawberries, chopped into small pieces
To make them: Heat the oven to 180°C Mix the bananas, eggs, coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Mix them together well until totally incorporated. Next, slowly add in the coconut flour, mixing well. Add the baking soda and powder. Mix well. Gently fold in the strawberries. Using coconut oil, grease the muffin tins well. Add mixture to each tin until they're mostly full, but not totally... (does that make sense?!) Place them in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes until a fork comes out clean! This recipe should make about 12 muffins :)
The Low FODMAP diet requires you to go wheat free. Not gluten free, wheat free. Now, I'd done this before a few years ago when we weren't quite sure what was wrong with me. I did a whole year gluten/wheat free, and I definitely think it helped a little bit, but when I was tested for a gluten intolerance, I was coming out fine (I was eating wheat when I was tested to make the test accurate, don't worry!). So when I went back on the Low FODMAP diet, it was a bit upsetting to have to give up wheat again. Lets not kid ourselves, it's difficult. We live in SUCH a wheat dependent society. Now I was no longer the "dairy free girl" but now the "gluten/wheat/dairy/onion/garlic/honey/omgeverything free girl." That's pretty daunting and upsetting, especially when all your friends want to go out for dinner or lunch. It can make things really quite hard!
But when you've got no choice, you do what you gotta do. I'm not going to lie, I found giving up wheat quite easy. The truth is that I didn't eat a huge amount of wheat anyway. Tom does, but I don't. And when I cook dinner at night, I've always done lots of quinoa and rice. The only thing that's been tricky is when I wake up, haven't made overnight oats, and need to eat something quick! Usually the go to is toast, right? Well, gluten free toast isn't great (and it's pretty bad for you - we'll get to that later), so I try to avoid it as much as I can.
I've gotten pretty used to it now. I read a fascinating book a few weeks ago called Wheat Belly which really opened my eyes to the problems that wheat can cause our bodies. I won't go into too much detail, because you might as well just read the book, but to summarise, William Davis, the author of the book, is a cardiologist and noticed a correlation between people who cut down on wheat, and heart problems. That was the initial realisation and once he began to study it all further, he began to realise that the more people cut down on wheat, the more other health problems vanished as well. It's all to do with spikes in blood sugar, and studies show that wheat causes our blood sugars to soar through the roof. The worst part? Flours used to substitute for gluten containing flours (like Rice flour, tapioca flour) cause our blood sugar levels to go even higher than standard wheat does! It blew my mind.
I'm now on the reintroduction phase of the Low FODMAP diet, and it's been a very slow process so far. Suffice to say that when I tested myself against wheat as a reintroduction of high FODMAP foods, I wasn't too upset to know that I have a bad reaction to wheat. I got really ill! It was scary how quickly, and how badly I reacted.
So what am I doing to replace wheat in my life? Buckwheat pasta is my saviour! It's the nicest form of pasta I've found. I recommend it really highly. I've also had a go at making my own bread, which is photographed here. This bread is from Madeleine Shaw's "Get The Glow" book, which I rave about all the time. Not only is it really yummy, but her recipe is already low FODMAP! I can't take any claim over the recipe though, so I'm afraid I won't be sharing it here. You can buy the book here. I've also embraced quinoa even more, and had a go at cooking with coconut flour as well as buckwheat flour. It's a learning process, for sure! It takes getting used to, and it takes a lot of planning ahead. I can't go out to work in the morning without a lunch to eat, because if I do, the likelihood is I won't find much to eat in the local supermarket!
One things for sure though; I feel better without it.
Have you given up wheat? How do you cope with it? I'd love to hear from you!