Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Body image starts in your head (Or: Getting over a fat day)

I'm off to Cape Town tomorrow.

Poor, poor me.
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This has made my life quite hectic recently: finalising work in the hospital, choosing wine farms to tour in Stellenbosch, planning beach outfits - I know, hellish days in Africa. And all this hustle and bustle has been interspersed with brief periods of absolute panic. Panic, dear reader, brought about by the sight of my thighs when exposed to raw sunlight. Over the last few weeks I have been feeling like a puffer fish under permanent attack, and its not going to do my mood, or my vacation, any favours.

A little puffer fish that won't deflate.
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Let's be honest. Fat days happen. I don't like the word "fat", but to be frank, some days you wake up and there, in the mirror, is Meat Loaf. With your eyes. It's alarming to say the least.

The facial expression is just about right too.
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Now, of course it's in your head. You know this already, I don't need to tell you that it is physically impossible to go up a dress size overnight. So you throw on your breeziest kaftan, tell yourself firmly that you're imagining things, and roll waft out the door to start your day.

The problem with it being "in your head" is that... it's in your head. And sugar, there ain't no escaping that head of yours. The way I see it, at this stage, you have three options: (1). Gently remove your head and leave it on your nightstand at home, (2). Drag yourself around like Eeyore, trying to avoid reflective surfaces,or (3). Sort your head out.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weight loss diets: How to separate the fad from the facts

There comes a time in every dietitian’s career (or, more accurately, several times) when he/ she feels ready to give someone a good old-fashioned strangle. This murderous urge is set off by the birth of Yet Another Fad Diet. I have just battled through such a time.

Sometimes being a dietitian can get to your head.
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It all started when I had the bad luck of stumbling upon the Wheat Belly Diet, started and promoted vigorously by a certain cardiologist.

I don’t mean to be nasty, but I’m afraid I have to call quackery with this man. He misquotes journal articles to support his cause, makes things up, and ends it off with an enthusiastic recommendation that you buy his book (no ulterior motives there at all). If I have some time off over the next few days, I can address that diet specifically.

For now I want to talk about fad diets in general, and how we can figure out if it’s a load of rubbish, or if it is really a safe, healthy, effective way of losing weight – in the long term. Because if we cannot sift the bad from the good, we’re setting ourselves up for years of losing/gaining/losing/gaining weight, messing with our metabolism, and possibly even putting our health at risk.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Oat flapjacks with peanut butter cinnamon sauce and banana

Oatmeal flapjacks with peanut butter cinnamon sauce and sliced banana
I love flapjacks. American pancakes. Crumpets. Whatever you want to call them, they bring me back to the days when my mom would make mountains and mountains of different flavoured Brumpets on a Saturday morning and us three kids would just stuff ourselves silly.