Tuesday, 4 December 2012

5-a-day challenge (Or: Getting back on track)

If anybody is keeping up with my little blog, you will know that I have been away for a glorious two weeks in the Mother City, Cape Town. It was marvellous and I shall post some photos just to make you all jealous. 

This even makes me a little jealous. Of myself.

Wine farms in Stellenbosch
Simon's Town. I have also just noticed that I only seem to have one pose in my arsenal.

A new pose in Camps Bay.
But for now, let's talk a little bit about health. What's that you say? Health? You see, I have spent my holiday rolling around in a delightful bed of cocktails (Amarula martini? 7 of those, thanks) and all flavours of takeaway. It was delightful, exactly what my mind needed, perfectly healthy for my psyche.

What is this health you speak of? Also, why am I in a fish tank?
Now that I am back in the real world, however, it is time to face up to a little bit of physical health. A clogged complexion, a pressing need to lie down (all the time) and the particularly affectionate squeeze that my jeans give my bum every morning have all converged to remind me that its time to pack away the wine bottles.

Time to cut down on this.

And this.

And (sigh) this.

It's quite a transition, let me tell you, to progress from "what deep fried food shall we eat tonight?" to "Celery! Yay!". My body is now stuck in a greasy routine. It is literally craving oily foods. Amanda The Dietitian tries to talk to Amanda The Body. “This meal is low GI! It’s full of lean protein! It’s fibre-rich! It’s all you need!” To which The Body replies “Go to hell. Where’s my choc chip cookie wrapped in bacon?”

Fruit just wants to be your friend
[Image source: 

As someone trying very hard to listen to her body (even when it acts like a stubborn, hormonal teenager, which is, oh, always) I've decided to let my body recover in its own time. In the meantime, to keep me busy and prevent myself from eating a bucket of lemon cheesecake every day (no, I’m serious); I have decided instead to add food to my diet.
Adding food to my diet? I can roll with that.
[Image source: deliciousmagazine.co.uk]

Enter: 5-a-day. Eating 5 fruits and vegetables daily gives you a ridiculous number of benefits: reducing the risk of lung disease, cancer and heart disease; improving brain function as you get older; helping with weight loss and promoting healthy skin.

I love this concept. I love the idea of eating more of something, instead of less. And recently, as you can imagine,  I’ve been terribly neglectful of the fruits and veggies, or "freggies", if you don’t mind sounding like a loon.

Don't forget: The more colours the better.
[Image source: hollysholistichealing.co.uk]
Because I am a visual and goal-driven creature, I have made a checklist to stick on my fridge that I have lovingly made available for you to download. You can choose the 1 week challenge, the 2 week challenge, or the 4 week challenge.

And, if glowing skin and reduced risk of colon cancer weren't enough, I'm including mini rewards for each day I accomplish my full 5-a-day and one big reward for when I finish the challenge. Yes, I know I sound like a Labrador.

Labrador puppies like rewards too.
[Image source: freedigitalphotos.net]
My reward for completing each day: twenty minutes on Pinterest. Oooh, am I a sucker for Pinterest! And for my final reward at the end of the month, oh be still my heart, are tangerine jeans.

Country Road, I am yours forever.
[Image source: facebook.com/CountryRoad]
Stick the goal sheet on your fridge, get your friends, family, pet cat and colleagues involved. For starters I'm going to grab some carrots to have with hummus at work. I’ll keep you updated on how I sneak my 5-a-day in, please let me know how it goes for you!

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