Posts in 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet

Results: 8 week blood sugar diet

Results: 8 week blood sugar diet

October 18th, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog No Comment yet

Results: 8 week blood sugar diet

The results are in and they are exciting!  It is 8 weeks since I commenced the 8-week Blood Sugar Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and I am thrilled with what I have been able to achieve in such a short period of time.

But first, let’s recap quickly.  Australia’s first SIBO Summit was held last week in Melbourne and Sydney and I was flat out helping to organise it, so I apologise for not posting about Weeks 7 and 8 before now.

As is the case with any program, after the first few weeks, the gloss starts to wear off and it can feel like your normal routine.  I had eaten enough low-calorie meals to know what an 800 calorie day looked like, so I had become relaxed with my calorie counting (probably to my detriment).

Plus, with the work I was doing in the lead up to the SIBO Summit, I wasn’t moving my body enough or sleeping enough; two things that are not conducive to long term weight loss.

Despite all of this, I was still able to lose weight, with the scales dropping 1.6kg/3.5lbs in Week 7 and 0.3kg/0.6lbs in Week 8.

So where does that leave me at the end of the 8-week program?  Let’s check out some key stats.

  1. Fat Loss. I have lost 4.9kgs / 10.8lbs fat from my frame
  2. Waist Measurement. I lost 3cm / 1.1 inches from my waist putting me back into the healthy waist measurement category for females
  3. BMI. I am now just a fraction above my healthy BMI zone, coming down from the top of the overweight category.

All in all, I am extremely happy with this result as I haven’t been able to lose weight for several years.  And to have lost that amount of weight in only 8 weeks seems incredible to me.

Check out my vlog below where I talk about my results and what I have learnt from the challenge.

Now, I know that there are many people who have lost double, triple or quadruple that in the 8 week period, and that is wonderful for them.  But for someone who has been chronically sick and couldn’t shift a single gram only a few short months ago, my weight loss seems enormous to me.

My naturopath Natalie Cruttenden also conducted a body composition test at Week 1, Week 4 and Week 8, so we could measure how my body was responding to this program.  Not only did I lose the weight on the scales, but it was all fat loss.  I now have 9kgs/19lbs of excess fat sitting on my frame, so I am by no means done with my weight loss journey.  But seeing a single digit (as I work in kgs) that I have to lose seems so much more achievable.

7 key lessons

  1. Not afraid of hunger. I have realised that I was terrified of being hungry so I ate too much. These days I am not scared of being hungry. It doesn’t control me like it once did and in fact I don’t mind the sensation of having an empty stomach because I know my system is actually ready for food.
  2. I don’t need to eat as much. My portion sizes have reduced considerably. I no longer eat large meals and feel full after much smaller serves of protein and vegetables. I also stay fuller for longer now that I eat just protein, vegetables, good quality fats, some nuts and small amounts of fruit.
  3. Intermittent fasting feels great. I have incorporated a few fasting days into this challenge, only eating one meal for the day. I have more energy and have greater mental clarity on the days I fast, and also enjoy the break from thinking about what to eat next.
  4. Planning and preparation are the key to success. It’s true, you do need to be organised to make this work for you. But because you’re eating less, you don’t need to spend long planning out your weekly meals. Having a few go-to meals that are easy and quick to make, filling and taste delicious will help you to succeed.
  5. It is easy to do. Admittedly the first 2-3 days were a bit of a challenge but once I’d broken through that psychological barrier of eating less, I found the program surprisingly easy.
  6.  Budget friendly. I have spent considerably less money on food than what I used to spend. I also swapped to eating organic fruit, vegetables and meats. The cost per item went up but because I was eating less, my total spend went down. So this diet is good for the budget.
  7. Get support. My partner was an incredible support throughout this journey. He celebrated the losses, commiserated the gains and totally believed in me which helped me to believe in myself. He cooked low calorie meals (even though he is very lean and doesn’t need to lose weight) and motivated me to get up and move when I was having a busy day and hadn’t hit my 10,000 steps goal. Finding someone who can help support you through this journey will make it so much easier when you have someone to share it with.

So….where to from here?

I still have excess weight sitting on my frame, so my journey isn’t over yet.  I am taking this week off from calorie counting and intermittent fasting.  I have set myself a goal of losing 6.5kg/14lbs by Christmas Day.  I have a wedding in Thailand on 30 December and have set myself a challenge of posting a photo of myself in bathers (or a bikini…eik!) while I’m in Thailand.  That scares the living daylights out of me, so I am using that fear to motivate me to keep going. Do you have something you would like to achieve by Christmas Day? Let me know in the comments below and we can do it together.

I plan on resuming my intermittent fasting two days a week.  I normally fast on a Monday and Wednesday, and given that I enjoy it so much, plan to continue.  I will then keep my calories low on another 2-3 days per week, but will also give myself a little flexibility on 1-2 days a week.  I plan on doing a 4-week 800 calorie a day challenge during November to speed up the weight loss before December.

I hope my experiment has been interesting for you.  If I can lose weight, after suffering from years of chronic illness and disordered digestion, others can too. If you would like to catch up on previous posts, you can read about why I started this journey in the first place here, Week 1 here, Week 2 here, Week 3 here, Week 4 here and Weeks 5 & 6 here.

Rebecca x

I would love to invite Dr. Michael Mosley onto The Healthy Gut Podcast to talk more about this program.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you can hear his interview (fingers crossed he says yes!) along with other gut specialists.

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week 5 & 6 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

October 3rd, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog No Comment yet

I have now completed Weeks 5 and 6 of Dr. Michael Mosley‘s program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program, and my review of Week 4.

I feel like life has been throwing me a heap of lessons recently.  The first is that life gets in the way of your best intentions.  I mean, seriously. It has been hard sticking to 800 calories a day with a death in the family, and all that entails, followed by my first holiday in I don’t know how long.

So, the wheels have fallen off a little.  I’m still determined to keep going, but my weight loss has slowed, and then backtracked, these past two weeks.

week 5

 

Week 5 was awesome because I got to escape the god-awful cold weather of Melbourne, and head north to sunny Queensland.  Except it wasn’t sunny for a lot of the time.  But it was warm, there was a beach right in front of our apartment, and I didn’t work every hour of every day.

We went north for a reunion with several families who we used to holiday with every summer.  My family and I would drive for three days to Hervey Bay, a sleepy beach side town three hours north of Brisbane, where we would spend three glorious weeks.  It was a time my parents could finally relax (they ran their own business so worked 7 days a week the rest of the year. I wonder where I get my work-a-holic nature from), and it was a time my sister and I could hang out with kids our own age and not have our parents watching our every move.

Reuniting with friends from days gone by.

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Us kids are now adults, with many having kids of their own.  It was absolutely wonderful spending time with people who feel like family and who have known me since I was eight years old.  The sign of true friendship is being able to reunite after years apart, and it feel like it was just yesterday that we were together.

Being away from home means you don’t have access to your kitchen or your normal environment. At the start of the holiday I made a consious decision to do the best I could, but not to get angry with myself if I couldn’t stick to the program 100% of the time.

Check out my vlog from Day 1 of my holiday where I talk about setting my intention and goals for the holiday.

There were things I could do:  I could walk on the beach every day. It was so glorious to have sand between my toes again, that I hit the beach every morning and afternoon. I smashed out my 10,000 steps every day.

Enjoying an incredible sunset on an early evening walk one day.

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I also made a conscious decision to have fun.  I spent time with my friends and also my sister, who I don’t get to see all that often.  She would join me on my walks, and it was great having time just to chat and be in each other’s company.

Want to meet my sister? Check out her crazy antics as I try to film a vlog.

I also slept.  A lot.  And it was wonderful.  I realised that getting enough sleep is still a work in progress for me, and that I need to make it a priority every single day.  There were some nights where I slept for 11 hours.  I’d forgotten what that felt like.

I took my scales and weighed myself early on in the holiday, then decided to pack them away and deal with the result when I returned to Melbourne. I put on 1.8kgs/4lbs the week I was away.  It’s not great but I know I can take it off.

 

week 6

I came back to Melbourne and the weather was cold, wet and miserable.  After having warmth and sunshine by the end of the trip, I was not happy about the dreary weather.  In fact, I was in a foul mood for several days about it.  I love my city, but at that moment I wanted to pack my belongings and move north.

I knuckled down and got back on track with the program.  Initially my body responded well, losing 2.1kgs/2.1lbs but then slowly putting it back on.  I don’t know if I’ve lost some enthusiasm for the program or have just got out of the routine of it and am possibly not being as strict with my calorie intake.  I have also noticed that I’ve been slack with tracking my food intake and hitting my 10,000 steps each day.  It’s easy to feel like I’ve got this under control, but the scales are clearly saying I don’t.

I also wonder about the psychological aspect of this journey.  I have been hovering close to moving down into the next weight zone.  I haven’t been in the 60s for years, so I do wonder if part of my behaviour is some self-sabbotage kicking in and preventing me from dipping down to that lower weight.

I have a wedding to attend in Thailand at the end of December and I would love to feel confident enough to wear a bikini on the beach.  I gave up bikinis a few years ago when my weight crept into the high 70s.  It is a realistic goal if I put my mind to it.

Another realisation has hit me.  Losing the amount of weight that I want to lose is going to take more than 8 weeks.  When I started, 8 weeks felt totally manageable, but I am only two weeks away from finishing this program and I haven’t lost what I had hoped to.

This week is the SIBO Summit, Australia’s first SIBO conference.  I am a co-organiser and The Healthy Gut is a platinum sponsor.  I know my week is going to be hectic, so my ability to hit 10,000 steps each day will be challenging because I will be working so much.  I can control my food so I will ensure I am eating the best possible food every day to sustain me through this very busy period.  And once I get through this week, I will keep going with the challenge beyond the 8 week mark.  With a goal to feel confident in a bikini in December, I now have a date to work towards.

I have a few mentors who tell me to reach for goals that scare the pants off me.  So here goes… I will post a photo of me on the beach in Thailand in December  (Arrrrrggggghhhhhh!). If that’s not motivation to reach my goal, I don’t know what is.

What goals would you like to reach by the end of this year?  Let me know in the comments below.

week 6 results

After the holiday gain, it was good to see some weight come off, albeit only a small amount of 0.5kgs/1lbs for the week.

Rebecca x

Weight loss to date: 3kgs / 6.6lbs
Ease of program: Challenging due to holidays
Mindset: Positive
Movement: 3934 steps per day on average
Sleep: 6.5 hours per night on average
Yoga: 1 / 7 days

Nanna's Memorial Service

week 4 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

September 19th, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog 1 comment

I have now completed the fourth week of Dr. Michael Mosley‘s program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program, and my review of Week 3.

This week was another emotional roller coaster as we said goodbye to my grandmother at a memorial service for her.   In the previous three weeks, I have written about every day, but with the upheaval death brings, my days blurred into one long week and I realised that I hadn’t kept track of every meal.

So I feel like I need to apologise, as today’s blog will be relatively short in comparison.  Life came and threw me a great curve ball, and I had to roll with it.

My immediate family came together for an afternoon at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins in a private space.  They served us delicious canapés and sparkling wine.  My grandmother would have been in her element!  I don’t see my family often, so it was testament to how lovely the afternoon was that we were still there four hours later, with the staff politely asking how much longer we’d be there.

My immediate family. Saying goodbye to your grandmother is hard. I shed many tears that day.

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I made a conscious decision that I would eat without restriction at my grandmother’s memorial, and that if I felt like it, I would also allow myself to drink alcohol.  I was giving myself a one-day blow out leave pass.  And boy, did it blow out!  I ate gluten, dairy, sugar and drank alcohol.  And after the initial excitement of eating these forbidden foods wore off, I just felt sick.

I was conscious that my mother had just lost her last remaining parent, so my partner and I took my parents out for a light supper at Movida Next Door after the memorial, not wanting my mum to be alone on such an emotional night.  By this point, I was feeling overfull so I only nibbled on a few tapas.  I literally felt like my digestive system was screaming up at me, saying ‘No more! We can’t fit another wafer thin mint in.’  That night I didn’t feel good.  I had cramps, felt crap and could feel my system struggling with all the excess calories and foods I normally avoid.  The next day I still felt terrible.  My blood sugar was all over the place, I was starving and felt cranky, lethargic and flat.

I have realised just how much better I feel when I have very limited carbohydrates and sugars in my diet.  My blood sugar remains stable, my mood is stable and my digestive system works well. Plus, my weight doesn’t sky rocket.  These past two weeks have been a brilliant experiment.  Prior to commencing this diet, I would eat some form of carbohydrates every week.  I have gained weight every time I have eaten carbs these past two weeks.  No wonder I couldn’t lose weight – my system was just going from carb meal to carb meal, never losing the immediate weight increase between meals.

I didn’t stand on the scales the day after the memorial, but I did stand on them the next day and was 1.2kgs/2.6lbs up from where I was on Monday.  Wow. That’s a huge increase from one day of eating, and shows me just how overly sensitive my system is to those foods.

I spent the rest of the week slowly chipping away at the weight, ending the week on exactly the same weight as I had started it on.  So I hadn’t lost, but I hadn’t gained in the end.

On Friday I went to see my Naturopath for my mid-way check-in.  She ran her body composition test on me and told me that the majority of the weight loss I have seen has been excess fat. That was wonderful news, especially after the gain during the week.  Instead of having 15kgs/33lbs of excess fat sitting on my body, I only have 10kgs/22lbs. It’s still too much, but psychologically it feels so much better.  I hope to be sitting at no more than 7kgs/15lbs by the end of the 8 weeks, with the view to have the rest gone by Christmas.

On Saturday my family and I went off on our first family holiday in many years.  We have ventured to Queensland for a reunion with several families who we used to holiday with in the 1980s and 1990s.  All of us ‘kids’ are now adults, and many of them are parents of kids the same age we were when we first met.

Eating a restricted calorie diet while away from home is going to be challenging, so I will do my best by choosing lean meat, fish and seafood, eating lots of salads and fresh fruit and keeping alcohol to a minimum.  Wish me luck!

 

week 4 results

After the week’s gain, it was a relief to end the week on the same weight as I had started it.  So whilst there wasn’t a loss, there wasn’t a lasting gain, which was good.

Rebecca x

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Weight loss to date: 4.4kgs / 9.7lbs
Ease of program: More challenging this week due to my family issues
Mindset: Mixed: positive, sad and reflective
Movement: 6898 steps per day on average
Sleep: 8 hours per night on average
Yoga: 0 / 7 days

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Nanna, Poppie, Bec & Belinda

week 3 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

September 12th, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog No Comment yet

I have now completed the third week of Dr. Michael Mosley‘s program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program, and my review of Week 2.  This week was an even bigger emotional roller coaster with the passing of my grandmother.  I have dedicated this blog to her, Enid van der Veer.

day 15 – monday

Starting the week off with a gain of 0.2kgs/0.4lbs didn’t feel great, so I decided to help kick start my system by going back to a fasting day.  Before commencing the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, I would always fast on a Monday, so this didn’t feel out of place.  In fact, I enjoyed not having to think about food until dinner time.  I had a delicious free-range pork chop, which I pan-fried and served with a small baked apple, roasted carrots and steamed broccoli.  It was delicious!

Dinner: Pan fried pork cutlet with roasted apple, carrot and steamed broccoli. Calories: 399

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My grandmother took a further turn for the worst today, so we are sadly on alert for the sad news of her passing.  It is such a horrible waiting game, with an outcome none of us want.

day 16 – tuesday

Success! After a day of fasting I lost 0.5kg/1.1lbs. However, it does feel like it came at a sacrifice and I was completely constipated all day.  I don’t know how I lived for so long like this, as it feels horrible now.  I interviewed Dr. Mona Morstein for The Healthy Gut Podcast, and was looking forward to talking at length to her about Type 2 Diabetes, insulin resistance, weight gain and gut health.  During the interview, she told me that our fat cells store a lot of toxins, and that as we release them, our liver has to process the toxins.  She advised that it’s important to support the detoxification process, so I will be speaking to my Naturopath Natalie Cruttenden about this when I see her for my 4 week check up.

Because I had a really busy day, I ended up inadvertently fasting again today.  I have read about 4-day fasts and have often thought I would like to try it.  Whereas a one day fast seems quite easy for me, backing it up with a second fast day was more challenging.  I definitely thought about food more and my energy was waning by the evening.

day 17 – wednesday

Despite a second consecutive day of fasting, I only lost 0.1kg/0.2lbs. I set off for a brisk walk around The Tan early in the morning, leaving my phone in the boot of my car.  When I returned, there were several missed calls from my mum.  I instantly knew that Nanna had passed away.  I met my mother, Aunt and cousin at the nursing home and went to say our farewells.  I have had the fortune of being with two of my grandparents as they passed away, and have been able to see the other two once they have passed.  I know that for some people, seeing a dead body is terrifying, but for me it’s an important part of my mourning process.  I like to say farewell in person.  We stood around her bedside for a long time, telling stories of the good times and the high jinx my cousin and I got up to as her grandchildren.

I cancelled all of my plans that day as I wanted to be there for my mother.  She wanted to go to her favourite club, sit in the sun, sip champagne and pay tribute to her mother.  Drinking champagne and eating decadent food is definitely not on the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet program, but I decided that for a short moment in time, I would put the program on hold and be there for mum.

My sister, mother and I spent hours together that day, enjoying the warm weather and French champagne.  We talked of the incredible life my grandmother had lived over her 94 years, and how she had been so fit and healthy for 99% of that time.  It also reminded me that whilst trying to lose weight is important to me now, it’s not the be all and end all of my life.  I must remember to create happy memories with people, rather than get fixated on the number on the scale or the calories in my food.

My sister Belinda and I (I’m on the right) with my grandparents Pierre and Enid in the mid 1980s.

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Nanna taught me so much and was well and truly before her time. She understood the power of the mind, and would always tell us to ‘tell the bugs to go away’ if she ever felt a cold coming on. She was never sick. She exercised daily, cooked incredible food, loved her husband fiercely, and was such a fun and playful grandmother to her six grandkids.  We would play games for hours, leaping and squealing around the house, garden or park with her.

Playing a game with my two older cousins and grandmother in the early 1980s. That’s me in nappies.

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She was strong and determined.  Some might say stubborn (it’s where I get my stubborn streak from).  She worked into her 70s and loved to socialise.  When she received the diagnosis of dementia in her late 80s, it seemed terribly unfair, as she had always been so healthy.  Watching the onset of that terrible disease keeps me driven to continue searching for information and education for myself and others on how we can live a healthy and fulfilling life.

As my family and I watched the sun set on the day that Nanna left us to re-join her husband Pierre, we said toast to an incredible woman.  We love you Enid van der Veer.

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day 18 – thursday

I didn’t know what to expect when I stood on the scales this morning. Yesterday had been a blow out.  I hadn’t bothered to calculate my calories as I knew they were well over 800. Whilst they were probably less than an average person’s blow out intake, it felt enormous for me.  With trepidation I took to the scales and saw I had gained 0.6kg/1.3lbs). I wasn’t surprised.  I didn’t beat myself up over it, as it’s not every day your grandmother passes away.  One positive benefit of eating so much food was my bowels were back in working order again. Woo hoo!

Our family was still reeling from the sadness of yesterday, so we spent much of the day out in cafes and restaurants together.  I knew I was going to go over my calories again, but decided that would be ok.  I’ll get back on track tomorrow.  What’s important now is that we come together as a family, grieve together and celebrate the life of my grandmother.

day 19 – friday

I gained again today, although it was a minimal increase of 0.1kg/0.2lbs. What I have learnt through this process is that my body is highly reactive to carbohydrates and sugar, and the food from the past two days has had an immediate impact on my system.  In the past I would have berated myself for gaining weight, but today I just acknowledged that I had consciously chosen to eat off-plan for two days, and that I would accept the consequences.  It’s also really interesting for me to see just how reactive my body is; I feel like my own walking biology experiment!

day 20 – saturday

When I stood on the scales today I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had lost 1.1kg/2.4lbs!  Getting straight back onto the program yesterday had clearly worked for my body, and it was thanking me for it.  I got out early for a long walk, listening to my favourite podcast of the moment, My Dad Wrote A Porno.  I normally listen to health or business related podcasts, but this was recommended to me by a friend who said it was hysterically funny.  She wasn’t wrong.  A guy and his two friends are reading out a rather terrible self-published adult erotic novel that his father has written.  They read sections out, sitting around his kitchen table, falling over with laughter at the cringeworthiness of the writing.  Now, I can’t say anything bad about self-publishing, because both my cookbooks are self-published, but I suspect this author didn’t even proof read his work before loading it onto Amazon.  In need of a laugh, I spent my hour walk roaring along with them at the ridiculousness of the writing.  If you’re in need of a good belly laugh (and aren’t afraid of three English people hilariously reading out soft porn), then I highly recommend it.

day 21 – sunday

After yesterday’s massive loss, I wasn’t expecting to see a loss today, so I was pleasantly surprised to see another 0.4kg/0.8lbs had disappeared from my frame.  Due to the events of the week, I haven’t got close to hitting my 10,000 steps target, so I made sure I did a lot of walking today, ending the day on 15,905 steps.  I am surprised by just how little I need to eat now. I did read about this happening in The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Book, but didn’t think it would apply to me.  I generally only eat two meals a day now, and because my meals are of protein and vegetables, I am full for hours.  I haven’t had hunger pangs, felt hangry, or had any dips in my blood sugar since starting this program.  It even feels easy now, and I never thought I would say that.  I still have 11kg/24lbs that I would like to lose, but I feel confident now that it is totally achievable.  I’m even excited to see where I will be at the end of Week 8.

week 3 results

On Monday morning it was weigh-in for the Week 3.  Weigh-in day is always filled with a mixture of dread and anticipation. I had lost 0.1kg/0.2lbs, which means for the week I lost 1.4kgs/3lbs, and have lost 4.4kg/9.7lbs in three weeks.  This week was a reminder that the best laid plans can often be interrupted by significant events, and that sometimes all we can do is pick ourselves up when the dust has settled.  On Tuesday we will be holding a memorial service for my grandmother, so I have planned for that to be a day off the program, but I will recommence the following day.  Fat loss is a long term game, and I am in it for the long haul.  I didn’t get to this weight over night, so I don’t expect to get to my goal weight overnight either, but I am happy to have shed 4.4kg/9.7lbs in three weeks.

Rebecca x

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Weight loss to date: 4.4kgs / 9.7lbs
Ease of program: Very easy at the start of the week but went off the rails mid-way through
Mindset: Mixed: positive, sad and reflective
Movement: 7536 steps per day on average
Sleep: 7.5 hours per night on average
Yoga: 1 / 7 days

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Grilled chicken, eggplant & capsicum salad

week 2 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

September 9th, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog No Comment yet

I have now completed the second week of Dr. Michael Mosley‘s program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program, and my review of Week 1.  This week was a rollercoaster for me and definitely wasn’t smooth sailing as I had hoped for.

day 8 – monday

Starting the week off with a loss of 0.3kgs/0.6lbs set my spirits high.  I felt motivated, healthy, and was happy to see the scales shifting and felt ready to achieve great things this week.  We are coming into Spring here in Melbourne, so the sun was shining and it was a perfect day to get outside and eat my lunch.  The problem was that the two dogs and four chickens thought my lunch was for them.  As I was trying to take a photo of the chickens milling around my feet, one decided she’d had enough of waiting, leapt up and grabbed a mouthful of my salad.  And I just happened to take a photo as she did it!

Lunch: Tuna and green olive salad. Calories: 283

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Sadly, my day wasn’t all sunshine and naughty chickens. We received a call from the nursing home where my grandma has been living for four years. She recently contracted pneumonia and they called to say we should prepare for the worst. My sister, mum and I raced down to see her that night.  My grandma had always been a vibrant, strong, energetic and healthy woman.  Before us lay a tiny old lady who didn’t know who we were.  I’m not even sure she knew we were people.  I suspect we were just shapes making noise to her.  Emotional situations have previously been a trigger for me to overeat.  It was with interest that I felt those familiar feelings return, but I didn’t cave in to them.

day 9 – tuesday

Success! The scales told me I had lost 0.6kg/1.3lbs. There is so much elation when the scales drop, but it does leave me feeling a little concerned at what will happen when they don’t.  I had a super busy day today – so busy that I didn’t take a single photo of my food.  I had an all day coaching session in the city to attend.  When we broke for lunch, we went to a nearby cafe.  Their display cabinet was full of breaded items – rolls, wraps, cakes and sandwiches.  I asked them if they could make me a salad using the sandwich ingredients, and to my delight, they were happy to do so.  Sometimes it pays to ask the question, rather than to assume they can’t/won’t help you.

day 10 – wednesday

Wow! Another day, another loss of 0.4kg/0.8lbs. I had a busy day planned, but it then got a lot busier when the family I was house sitting for decided to come home early.  That saw me cleaning, packing, walking dogs, feeding chickens and trying to get some work done, all before they returned in the late afternoon.  Because of that, I had a second day in a row of not taking many photos of my food.  However, I did manage a quick (and let’s be honest, uninspiring) photo of my dinner which was grilled chicken on a bed of organic pumpkin mash, with steamed organic broccoli and carrots from my friends at Organic Angels.

Dinner: Grilled chicken on a bed of pumpkin mash with steamed vegetables. Calories: 495

[images style=”3″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fthehealthygut.com.au%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F09%2FChicken-pumpkin-stack.jpg” width=”300″ align=”center” top_margin=”20″ bottom_margin=”20″ full_width=”Y”]

 day 11 – thursday

Day 11 saw another loss, albeit slightly smaller (0.3kg/0.6lbs). I had a business meeting to attend which ran over the lunchtime period.  I had forgotten that they were organising lunch for us.  To my dismay, they had ordered sushi.  Now, normally I would have no problem eating sushi. In fact, I love sushi!  But on this program, carbs are to be avoided.  I was torn.  Did I say no completely, or should I eat a few pieces to be polite?  I went for the latter option, picking at a few small pieces.  I immediately felt the spike in my blood sugar and wondered what impact that would have on the scales tomorrow.  It was my father’s birthday, so our family was gathering for dinner at my parents’ house.  Mum had made a delicious roast lamb, but after calculating how many calories I had consumed with that sushi, I was only able to eat the smallest piece.  I filled my plate with vegetables instead, and drank plenty of water. I just hoped that by sticking to my 800 calorie limit for the day, that I wouldn’t have undone any of the good work of late.

day 12 – friday

Disaster!  This is where the wheels started to fall off my week and I experienced my first gain since starting.  I put on 0.3kg/0.6lbs.  That damned sushi!  Even though I ate such a small amount of it, my system clearly didn’t cope with the carbohydrates it received yesterday.  I decided to tell myself that it was a very interesting experiment and that I now knew for certain that carbs have a significant impact on me.

Lunch was a very healthy warm grilled chicken salad with eggplant and green capsicum.  I order a box of organic vegetables from Organic Angels every week, and I love coming up with new recipes with the vegetables they send me.  I let them choose my vegetables, so it’s a surprise every week what I will receive.

Lunch: Warm grilled chicken salad with eggplant and capsicum. Calories: 218.

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day 13 – saturday

I had hoped that after a strict day yesterday that I would lose the weight I gained from the sushi.  Frustratingly I only lost 0.1kg/0.2lbs.  Small losses after hard work feel very unrewarding! I stuck to the program rigidly again today, having lean protein and vegetables for my meals.  Organic Angels had delivered me some lovely looking kale, so I made a batch of my Warming Winter Kale Salad from my SIBO Family Favourites Cookbook, and paired it with a 120g piece of trout. It was a delicious meal.

Lunch: Crispy skinned trout with warm winter kale salad. Calories: 315.

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day 14 – sunday

I was certain that I would drop weight today, but I stayed the same. ARGH!  I was starting to feel really quite frustrated with this whole process.  I also noticed that my bowel movements were becoming irregular.  Could that really be because I ate a few mouthfuls of rice?  The one thing I never want to return to is chronic constipation.  After years of only going to the toilet once or twice a week, I enjoy going daily now.  I will definitely be keeping a close eye on this, and have increased my intake of MotilPro, a prokinetic I use to support my Migrating Motor Complex.

I like to plan my week ahead on a Saturday or Sunday, so I sat down today and plotted out most of my meals for next week.  I placed another order with Organic Angels so I knew I would have delicious organic vegetables to eat.

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I was conscious that I hadn’t eaten any seafood yet, which Dr. Michael Mosley recommends you do on this program.  I went to the local markets and bought some lovely Australian scallops and prawns, and turned them into a seafood pasta, using zucchini noodles instead of wheat-based noodles.  It was absolutely delicious, and very filling.

Dinner: Prawn and Scallop Pasta. Calories: 385.

[images style=”3″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fthehealthygut.com.au%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F09%2FPrawn-and-scallop-zoodles.jpg” width=”300″ align=”center” top_margin=”20″ bottom_margin=”20″ full_width=”Y”]

week 2 results

On Monday morning it was weigh-in for the Week 2.  I stood on the scales nervously, and to my frustration had gained again, putting on 0.2kg/0.4lbs. However, for the week I had lost a total of 0.7kgs/1.5lbs, and have lost 3kg/6.6lbs in two weeks.   That is a very respectable weight loss for two weeks, and my clothes are starting to feel more comfortable.

Rebecca x

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Weight loss to date: 3kgs / 6.6lbs
Ease of program: Pretty easy at the start of the week but increasingly frustrating towards the end
Mindset: Positive and motivated overall with a few speed humps
Movement: 12,741 steps per day on average
Sleep: 7.5 hours per night on average
Yoga: 0 / 7 days

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week 1 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

August 29th, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog 7 comments

It’s the first week of Dr. Michael Mosley‘s program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program.  I have decided to use MyFitnessPal to track my calories.  I will list some meals and the calories calculated by MyFitnessPal as I continue this journey.  I am also using this program and extremely clean eating to support a round of herbal antimicrobials for SIBO. I don’t believe I have SIBO again, however as part of my maintenance regime I like to do a round of herbs every few months.  I am at risk of redeveloping SIBO because I have endometriosis and possible lesions from three abdominal surgeries.  Because of this, I keep on top of the condition by being proactive rather than waiting for major symptoms to return before doing anything about it.

day 1 – monday

I woke up feeling excited and motivated to start this program. Mondays are normally a fasting day so I found the limited calories easy to follow, and didn’t eat my first meal until 3.30pm.  This actually felt like a treat because I normally don’t eat until dinner time on Mondays. I didn’t feel overly hungry during the day which was good, but I was conscious that I was on a restricted diet.  To combat hunger, I did find myself drinking lots of water, which meant lots of toilet breaks.

Lunch: Tuna and green olive salad. Calories: 299

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I had my first lesson in time management today. I had planned to make a big batch of Ratatouille and serve it with a free-range organic chicken breast for dinner. However, I ran out of time and had a dinner meeting to attend. Instead, I quickly chopped up some vegetables, cut the chicken into strips and stir fried it.  It was still delicious, but it put added pressure on me, which I could have avoided by being better prepared.

Eating dinner with my friends. They ordered Thai takeaway, and I ate my own food. Stir fry chicken and vegetables. Calories: 496

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day 2 – tuesday

Success! The scales told me I had lost 0.4kg/0.88lbs but despite my loss, I felt grumpy. I was in and out of the shops today, and realised just how much junk food there is, staring us in the face. It’s so rare for me to eat this type of food, but because I knew I couldn’t have it, there was a part of me that was feeling really angry that it was off-limits. I also felt angry that food manufacturers have placed this food in such accessible places.  No wonder we are seeing ever soaring rates of obesity. We literally can’t turn a corner without being confronted by food.  I knew I was eating out tonight, which left me feeling a little nervous. I didn’t like having a will-power test so early on in this journey. However, I remained strong, despite watching everyone else drink alcohol and indulge in delicious food, and instead sipped on sparkling water and ordered a baby snapper with steamed green beans for dinner.

Lunch: Warm chicken and capsicum salad. Calories: 551

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day 3 – wednesday

Wow! Today the scales were my friends because they told me I lost 1.2kg/2.6lbs (total loss to date: 1.6kg/3.5lbs). I can put on that much weight overnight, but losing it has always been another story. I do acknowledge that most of that will be fluid, but it’s still nice to see the scales going down.  I had only been eating two meals a day so far, but decided to experiment with eating three smaller meals today. I was interested to see if I was more hungry when eating more regularly, or if I felt less hungry.  The verdict: I felt hungrier when I had a smoothie for breakfast in comparison to only eating lunch and dinner.

Breakfast: Strawberry and coconut milk smoothie. Calories: 124

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 day 4 – thursday

After yesterday’s massive loss, it wasn’t surprising to see a much smaller loss today of 0.2kg/0.4lbs. What was even more surprising was that my period started, so to see a loss was actually incredible.  Because of my endometriosis, in the past I have put on as much as 2kg/4.4lbs on the first day of my period, so I will take that weight loss and run with it.

I have a regular personal training session on Thursday mornings.  I don’t eat before I train, and this morning felt like I could feel my body searching for energy. We did a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session, so my heart rate was quite high at times.  I had one 30 second moment where I felt weak and shaky, but then my body must have tapped into some fat stores (I hope!) and found the energy it needed to keep me going.

I went to the markets after my training session, and picked up some delicious protein: fish, chicken and lean beef.  When I got home, I weighed and packed everything. I wanted to be as organised as I could for the rest of the week. Most of it was going straight into the freezer, with a few things staying in the fridge to be eaten within the next two days. All of the packaging was bothersome for me, as I’m environmentally conscious, but for one week I decided that I needed to do it to stick to the program.

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day 5 – friday

I didn’t know what was wrong with me today, but I wasn’t my normal happy self. I felt cross. I think the gloss had started to wear off and it felt like more of a challenge today.  I didn’t lose any weight which was disappointing but not totally unexpected due to my period.  I was also moving into a new house sit, so was packing, cleaning and moving for the first half of the day. I felt hungry and wanted to eat a big, satisfying meal but couldn’t, which made me even more cross.  I also drank a banana smoothie for breakfast, which made me ravenous. I didn’t sit down to eat lunch until mid-afternoon, and I felt sick with hunger by the time I ate a fillet of trout with a serve of ratatouille.  Because I didn’t eat lunch until late, I wasn’t hungry for dinner until late, eating at 9pm.  I was tired, grumpy and questioning why I started this stupid diet in the first place. It was only because I knew I was blogging about my experience that I kept going.

Dinner: Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables with Kampot Pepper. Calories: 234

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day 6 – saturday

Today was the hardest day yet.  Whilst I didn’t feel physically hungry, I felt mentally hungry.  The scales stayed the same again, and it turned into a major psychological battle with myself to keep going.  After hitting my 10,000 steps target these past few days and sticking to my 800 calories, it felt unfair that the weight had plateaued especially this early into the challenge.  Obviously the sensible side of my brain should have kicked in here and reminded myself that I have my period and that to stay the same weight is actually a huge success.  But that side stayed dormant, and the frustrated teenager side was stamping her feet saying ‘it’s so unfair’.

At the new house sit, I have 2 dogs and 4 chickens to look after for one week.  I have gone from looking after a small older jack russell to a young energetic giant dog and an older dog. Our walks are so brisk I’m almost running, which has to be good for my metabolism.  I made a shaved carrot, olive and tuna salad for lunch which was not only delicious, but very filling.

Lunch: Shaved carrot, olive and tuna salad. Calories: 207

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I had dinner out with friends that night and my girlfriend had cooked up the most incredible four course feast, which I could only admire from afar. I took a small chicken breast and some ratatouille for my dinner, which I cooked and ate when they delved into each taste sensation.  She had made a large jug of sparkling water with slices of orange and mint leaves, so I drank that instead of alcohol.  Every cell in my body was screaming at me to eat her food, but I somehow remained strong and kept thinking of why I am doing this challenge.  If I break now, then I will never know if it’s possible for my body to actually lose some of this excess fat I am carrying.

day 7 – sunday

I woke up really tired after a late night. I stood on the scales feeling heavier than other days, so I totally expected to see a gain, but with great surprise saw a loss of 0.2kg/0.4lbs.  If I lost 0.2kg/0.4lbs every day, that would equate to a loss of 11.2kg/24.7lbs over the course of the 8 weeks.  So whilst it might seem like a small amount now, it will add up.  I have averaged a daily loss of 0.28kg/0.6lbs this week so I must remember to keep sight of the bigger picture and that those small amounts will lead to a large amount in the end.

The energetic dog was desperate to go for a walk, so we went down to a local park where I walked laps of an oval, and she bounded around like a mad thing, tongue hanging out of her mouth, having the time of her life.  It was a reminder to me that we need to enjoy the small things in life.  I am grateful that I have a body that allows me to walk briskly in the fresh air with a gorgeous dog who is having a brilliant time.  Because she is so energetic, we ended up out walking for hours, and I hit 18,000 steps.  I made a delicious tuna salad for lunch, followed by a pan-fried fillet of sword fish, paired with some delicious vegetables, care of the veggie garden in this house.  I had dreamt up the flavour combinations, so I was happy when they turned out exactly as I had imagined them.

Dinner: Pan-fried sword fish in a lemon sauce with a trio of vegetables. Calories: 473

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week 1 results

On Monday morning it was weigh-in for the week 1.  I stood on the scales nervously, and to my delight had lost 0.3kg/0.6lbs. That takes it to a total of 2.3kgs/5lbs lost in one week.   I filmed a vlog talking about how I felt the first week had gone. Watch it below.

Rebecca x

Weight loss: 2.3kgs / 5lbs
Ease of program: Quite easy initially, but challenging towards the end of the week
Mindset: Positive and motivated overall with a few speed humps
Movement: 11,355 steps per day on average
Sleep: 7 hours per night on average
Yoga: 0 / 7 days

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The 8 week blood sugar diet

road testing the blood sugar diet by dr michael mosley

August 22nd, 2016 Posted by 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Blog No Comment yet

Before I was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) I would put on weight at an alarming rate.  Some weeks the scales would creep up by 1kg/2.2lbs every week.  It was disheartening and depressing, especially because I ate a healthy paleo-style diet (limited carbs and grains, minimal dairy, limited alcohol, lots of fresh vegetables, fruit and good quality protein).  When I received my SIBO diagnosis in early 2015, I felt certain that I would lose significant amounts of weight once I followed Dr. Nirala Jacobi’s SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet.  I certainly felt significantly better because I was treating my SIBO, but despite losing centimetres around my waist, I did not see much of a change on the scales after 6 months on the diet.

Since successfully treating SIBO I have not gained weight like I used to, but I haven’t been able to lose it either.  This has prompted many discussions with my Naturopath, Natalie Cruttenden and I, as we try to get to the bottom of what is preventing my body from releasing the fat it has in storage.

The Fast Diet

I became interested in the concept of intermittent fasting after watching a documentary on this subject by Dr. Michael Mosley.  In it, he explored the health benefits of reducing your calorific intake to 500 calories two days a week.  I have been following this way of eating for several months, and have found it surprisingly easy. The first day was the hardest, as I broke away from my routine of eating three meals a day.  However, since then, I have actually looked forward to my fasting days, because I feel so good on them.  I have more energy, have greater mental clarity and enjoy not spending time thinking or making food.  I only eat one meal on those days, a light dinner.  However, I still have not seen much of a shift in my weight.

Dr. Mosley has since released a subsequent book called The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, in which he talks about the effect of elevated blood sugar on our bodies which can lead to insulin resistance and ultimately Type 2 diabetes.  I have known for some time that food which converts easily into glucose once it hits my bloodstream, such as grains, sugars and carbohydrates, have a strong impact on me.  I can feel them raise my blood sugar.  There have been times when a serve of carbohydrates such as rice, will have the same impact on me as if I had eaten a chocolate bar.

The 8 week blood sugar diet

Given my inability to lose weight and my susceptibility to blood sugar spikes, I suspect my body is somewhat insulin resistant. The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet book resonated with me, so I have decided to try it out.  Over the next eight weeks, I will eat 800 calories per day, selecting foods from a Mediterranean style diet, which is not too dissimilar to a SIBO diet.

I haven’t counted calories in years, so it is going to take some getting used to as I measure and weigh all of my food.  For years, I went backwards and forward to Weight Watchers, so it feel like I am returning to a stricter version of that.  The theory is that quickly reducing the excess fat you are carrying will not only motivate you to keep going, but will also have a positive impact on your blood glucose levels and help prevent Type 2 diabetes from occurring.  Whilst I am not immediately at risk of developing diabetes, I am eager to improve my health by reducing the excess body fat I am carrying.

Over these next eight weeks, I will blog and vlog my way through the journey, sharing my highs and lows with you.  Whilst I am not advocating for anyone else to do this type of diet, I am interested to see if it can have a positive impact on my health like it seems to have done for others.

I am also using this time to focus on some other areas of my life which need addressing.  I am a notorious night owl, and often stay up late working into the night.  I have set myself a target of achieving 7.5 hours’ sleep each night and to get into bed before midnight.  I know I feel better after a good night’s sleep, so I am keen to use this time to refocus my attention on this.

I have also let my movement slip slightly.  I don’t always hit 10,000 steps per day so I am keen to move more.  I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, so it is important that I get up and move.  And finally, I haven’t been practicing yoga nearly as much as I would like to.  I adore yoga, yet my busy lifestyle has got in the way of going to classes.  I was recently listening to the Slow Home Podcast by Brooke and Ben McAlary where they talked about undertaking a 30-day yoga challenge, and were following YouTube videos by Yoga with Adriene.  I’ve decided to incorporate short yoga sessions into my daily routine to rebuild my practice, strength and flexibility.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you over the next eight weeks. If you have any questions, please pop them in the comments below.

Rebecca x