Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas- family, eating, etc

Me and my little family travel to see my in-laws for the Christmas holiday. It's only about an hour and a half away, so not a huge journey, but we didn't really know what to expect with a one-month-old!

Things actually went really well, he slept the whole car ride both ways, so that was a blessing! And he didn't really seem to notice the change in scenery (we brought his pack and play that he sleeps in and his white noise machine) and we had some good nights and some bad nights, just like at home. Overall, it was nice to be with family and to have someone there to hold the baby so we could eat sometimes, haha :)

I didn't track my food for three days while there, and I regressed from the progress I had made previously. I ate a lot of sweets and indulged lots of cravings. I feel pretty bloated in overall not great, so I'm not gonna way myself for a while, forgive myself and get back into the swing of things at home.

I'm still healing from the C-section, I've been taking it easy for the past five or so days, because I had started to bleed a little too heavily after I resumed more walking and activity. I'm technically supposed to be on very limited activity till January 14, so I don't want to push it.

Life with a newborn is challenging, we are getting sleep some nights and not others. He cries a lot some days and not others. He's eating pretty constantly, leaving me not for you to do much else with my life! I'm emotionally pretty drained by it, but I do see him growing every day and I know that this is not life forever, so I'm just working on taking it day by day.

I'll leave you with some recent pictures <3

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Small Progress

So, despite some hard times (mainly dealing with sleeplessness and a screaming baby!), There has been a little bit of progress, as well.

Something that have been going well:

Feeding Hunter has been going better! Not so painful anymore.

Chris and I are figuring out a schedule that works for us for now. We are sharing baby duties at night so each of us at least gets a shot at sleeping a few hours straight every day!

I've managed to leave the house most days this week, whether just to run an errand, go on a walk, or even to socialize!

I went out without Chris or Hunter one night to see my friends for 3 hours, I left a pumped bottle for the baby and got to feel like myself for a few hours :-) 

I have lost 2 pounds, down to 146. I've been tracking my calories, and am eating over 2000 cal a day to keep my milk supply up. It will take many months at this pace to get my body back where I want it to be, but it's worth it to get back there and to keep my baby healthy at the same time.

So despite there being times where I wonder, what the hell am I doing, there are also times where I'm relatively pleased with how things are going! Ups and downs, for sure. There are days where I feel pretty crazy and completely incompetent, and days like today, where I feel pretty good about myself. I went on a 2.5 mile walk today, the farthest I've been able to walk since I gave birth. That was a good boost, even just to be outside for an hour!

All I am looking for is progress, not perfection. I want Hunter to grow big and strong, I want to find my way back to healthy eating, and I want our family to be happy! I know that it won't always go smoothly, but I think we can get there :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I started my first week with Hunter alone - it's super hard to do anything, even anything as simple as getting food to eat for myself, when it's just me and the baby. I'm pretty exhausted!

Nothing much is changed, however. Just taking care of Hunter and managing to survive myself, somehow. I'm dirty and tired and eating whatever food people have brought us, whether it's junk or healthy. My weight has held steady, however, which is a miracle considering how much crap I've been eating!

I haven't gone for a walk in a couple days, but I think it's actually been good, as my incision and midsection are feeling a lot less tender recently.

I'm trying my best to enjoy this time with my son. I will admit that it's very hard, though. Breast-feeding is not going as smoothly as I would like, though we are making progress every week, as he gets a little older and stronger and we fall into a pattern together. He doesn't sleep well at night, which is a struggle, of course. We're just surviving right now!

I can't believe that Christmas is next week! I haven't done anything really to prepare for it - no presents for anyone, I have to have Chris get on that for me! Especially since I think my brother is coming up this weekend to do a little mini Christmas because he's going to Florida on the actual holiday.

That's all that's up with me, really! Tired, overwhelmed and not doing too much :) 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My mom body -_-

Things are going well with Hunter - we're learning every day, trying to figure out how best to feed him, how to get in some sleep, etc. It's super hard but I think going pretty well!

On the other hand, I'm having some body image freak outs. I purposely haven't looked at myself naked in the mirror since birth and finally did today. I knew my body shape would be different but I'm pretty dismayed at how it's changed. The mom pouch/hanging belly I've developed depresses me. I know I'll lose weight in the next months to year, especially as I re-adopt my eating and fitness habits. But I'm sad to know I'll probably never look how I used to (with a soft but mostly flat belly!) and I won't be fitting back into my clothes in a cute way (so many of my clothes were very form-fitting and will now highlight a droopy, chubby belly).

So that's the truth, just being honest about it. The sadness about the loss of my old body is there - but it is not detracting from the joy in the rest of my life, don't worry :) I just did not want to pretend that everything is completely hunky-dory over here!

I'm getting back to eating well. I decided to start tracking my food again, because I'm pretty sure I was over eating by thousands of calories a day, because I was so tired and so hungry and so stressed and so emotional. I'm not giving myself a goal or a limit on my calories, but just tracking food so that I am more thoughtful and not going crazy with sweets or junk food.

Fitness will come next year, once I'm cleared for more than just walking!

So that's where I am - facing the reality of my body, definitely bummed about it, but moving on and getting back to a focus on health so that I can feel better about myself :)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

First 2 weeks

Hunter will be two weeks old tomorrow. I am hoping that things start getting a little easier soon! People have told me that the first 2 to 3 weeks are the hardest. I sure hope that is true in this case. He wanted to be fed every hour yesterday, between that and the diaper changes it was nonstop. It is so weird to be so completely exhausted physically and mentally when I barely leave my room all day!

A friend brought us a huge tray of premade enchiladas yesterday. Looks like my lunches are taken care of for a while! One of my good friends is making us a Porkchop, sweet potato, and brussels sprout dinner tomorrow. The help is definitely nice. Otherwise, I'm eating a lot of sweets still. My hunger is absolutely out of control, especially yesterday when he was eating nonstop.

Parents always told me how hard having a newborn was. I thought I understood and sympathized, but I had no idea at all!

I went to Target and my local coffee shop with Hunter today, and that's about all the activity I had in my energy stores, Haha :)

Back in bed for the night, feeding him while watching television and napping when I can.

To weigh or not to weigh?

Are you a “weigher” or not a “weigher”?

I weigh myself daily. It's a habit now and I am comfortable with it as part of my morning routine. I was obese for years and hid from the scales. Denial was definitely not a successful strategy for me. Now I actually find the relative stability of the numbers reassuring. Yes, there is fluctuation from day to day and week to week, but knowing I am in the general ballpark is useful for my maintenance.

I am three years into a major weight loss and I need to be aware to avoid regaining weight as that is the general pattern for many people. For me, knowing is always much better than wondering or denial.

But for others, jumping on the scales can be anxiety inducing. They can fill people with fear and cause a good day to turn into a bad day filled with self-loathing and guilt. And they can de-rail any wonderful progress that’s being made as far as healthy eating or exercise.

Think carefully about your relationship with the scales. Is it an interesting exercise in self-monitoring, or is it an emotional one about self-esteem? Are you better off weighing yourself regularly or better off chucking the scales in the drawer and getting on with your life?

There's no right answer and one size doesn't fit all.

Christmas gifts from LGH

It's three weeks to Christmas! Don't forget the Lean Green and Healthy book if you wish to get a special present for someone (or yourself!!)
To order an electronic ebook to read on your iPad or computer (or print yourself) order here or to order your quality professionally published paperback copy of the LGH book delivered to your door order here
Both ebook and printed copies available worldwide heart emoticon
Lyndal from LGH

Friday, December 4, 2015

Post-birth healing

I went to my doctor's appointment and I'm healing really well - my incision looks really good. I'm obviously not cleared for much activity for the next 6 weeks (at almost 2 weeks) aside from the basics of having to lift the baby, etc. They said I could do light walking, even push a stroller, but nothing too hard like pushing that weight up a hill or anything.

So we took Hunter and Koda out for an easy stroll around the neighborhood:

It was nice to get out of the house and feel the fresh air. I'm glad it's been such a mild fall - it was almost 50 degrees yesterday.

I did weigh in, just to see where I'm at and with the understanding that I'm still healing and my body is going to continue to change over the next few weeks. I'm 149- so 17 pounds less than pre-birth. About what I expected!

Things have been up and down - adjusting to the new life is difficult. When he cries, it breaks my heart, especially if I can't seem to soothe him. Some nights we get decent sleep, some nights we don't. He's amazingly adorable but I won't lie and say it's all easy street!

So back to feeding him, eating, and laying in bed, haha :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

First few days at home..

I went home with Hunter on Friday. It was a tough weekend realizing the reality of life with a newborn! I was also still in a significant amount of pain from the C-section. We were kind of just holding on, and I cried a lot, too. 

I had been struggling with feeding him, which led to a lot of tears and frustration, because I just wanted to feed my crying baby! I went to a lactation consultant and she helped me quite a bit. So now he is finally getting fully fed and having a full belly! I am actually getting a decent amount of sleep, which is helping with my mental state :-) I was scared I was starting to get depressed because everything just seemed so hard and so overwhelming. Sleep makes a world of difference!

People brought us so much food, even full Thanksgiving dinner, so we haven't had to go grocery shopping at all since we've been home. However, not all of the food has been terribly healthy. I'll be a lot of pie and pizza in the past few days, haha. Not exactly how I wanted to start off my post-parting eating but I've just been looking for easy, truthfully. 

As the pain decreases and we get used to this new phase of life, I plan to get more involved with food shopping and prepping. Right now, I am just pleased to let people bring me food and not worry about it.

Also, I can see the beginnings of my body coming back. Not like it was, obviously, but I don't feel so humongous anymore. I am definitely having some body image issues as I look at some very specific trouble areas that have occurred because of this pregnancy though!!

I haven't weighed myself, but I'm going to my doctor tomorrow for a check up and they will weigh me then. So I'll see where I stand. My highest pregnancy weight was 166 pounds, I started my pregnancy and 126 pounds. A 40 pound gain - not the best, not the worst. 

I'll check in again soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What a week -- birth!

I have NOT had the energy to update my blog about finally giving birth because it was an unexpected situation that landed me in the hospital all week.

First: the awesome stuff - I gave birth to a son, Hunter, on Monday night :)

And we are both very happy and healthy! So, really, nothing else matters!

But things didn't even remotely go as planned. I woke up at midnight/early Sunday morning with labor pains. They were far apart and irregular so I tried to get some sleep (though didn't get much). Later that morning, we grocery shopped, ate a nice breakfast, I showered, etc. I had planned to ride out most of my labor at home.

But then my water broke at noon and my doctor told me to go to the hospital. Do off we went and I spent the rest of Sunday working through contractions that were growing ever stronger and closer together.

I was still in labor on Monday morning, not too strange. Eventually my doctor checked my progress (they don't do that much when your water breaks to reduce infection) and I was 8 cm dilated! I was happy to hear that and soldiered on without an epidural, feeling like I was close so shouldn't bother. 

However, several hours later my contractions stayed about 2-3 minutes apart and at the same intensity and I hadn't dilated further. They eventually gave me pitocin to try and progress the labor (again worried because I had broken my water over 24 hours ago and that risks infection).

Around 6 PM on Monday I got an epidural because I was in so much pain for so long, I was exhausted. They hoped me relaxing would help get the baby further down. I was 9 cm at this point but couldn't seem to fully dilate.

Eventually a new midwife started her shift at 7 PM and checked me out - she felt the baby was in a bad position. She had an ultrasound done and saw the baby was face up and definitely not moving down the birth canal. After an hour of monitoring me with an internal contraction monitor- they saw that finally the pitocin was starting to distress the baby and my contractions were not getting anything done.

After consulting with my OB, and with me, no one felt like I was going to be able to give birth naturally.

So after over 40 hours of a pretty intense labor, I was getting prepped for a c-section.

The procedure went quickly and well (though I was beyond freaked out and couldn't stop my non paralyzed parts from trembling) and it was clear to them the baby WAS stuck in my pelvis in a bad position (they even had trouble getting him out through the surgery!). He was also 9 lb 14 oz and really crammed in there haha :)

I heard him cry, and I cried and my husband cried ... But they took my son to get cleaned up and alarms kept going off. Scary. They couldn't get his oxygen levels up because he had too much mucous in his lungs. They took him to the NICU before I even got to see him :(

I was given anti-anxiety meds in recovery because I was a mess. My adrenaline had been pumping for almost 2 days, I had had no sleep and I did NOT have my child with me!!

After a few hours, they took me up to the NICU on my stretcher to see him - he was gorgeous!! And doing a lot better but they were still keeping him till they were certain he was ok. It was a long night without him and I barely slept. My head was racing from the past 2 days, my body was destroyed from exhausting labor and surgery. I was sad to not have held my son on his birthday.

Then, at 8 AM on Tuesday morning, they brought him down to my room to stay! I got to hold him and oh... I was so in love.

The next few days were a blur of learning to take care of Hunter and trying to sleep :)

I stayed in the hospital till Friday morning, I was experiencing a lot of pain and having a hard time managing it. I was also struggling to breastfeed and none of us were sleeping well.

It felt like a lifetime in the hospital but also such a blur!!

I've absolutely fallen in love with Hunter, however, and it has made all the pain and distress and everything else just not really matter :)

We're figuring stuff out at home now. It feels surreal! I'm happy :) But also a little freaked out by everything that happened, I won't lie. It's hard to be recovering physically from the week - to not be able to do much for myself or Hunter. Chris has been truly amazing with taking care of us, I'd be lost without him!

So that's why you get the late update - I'm an exhausted mess of a human! But also a very happy, lucky new mom with a beautiful new baby :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Almost a week overdue

And no posts because pretty much my every thought revolves around the thought of "When will this baby be here?!" And that's pretty boring! So I haven't subjected you guys to several posts surrounding that theme:)

I'm pretty eager to meet this kid! 

If I don't go into labor this weekend, they're going to induce me early next week. I really hope to avoid needing pitocin but what needs to happen will.

I'm getting acupuncture today to try and get my body primed for labor and I hope it helps urge things along. Walked 10,000 steps yesterday, started this morning off with a 2 1/2 mile walk and ate a nice spicy Thai dinner last night!

But the baby is only going to come when it's ready, and I can't force it to happen this weekend, I just don't like the thought of forcing my body into labor with drugs. But I know at some point, the baby has to come out because it is just getting bigger every day and less likely that I'll be able to do this naturally. I'm just hoping for the best, doing what I can to get my body ready for labor, and will listen to my doctors and do what is best for both of us.

I'm also pretty tired of being pregnant. My belly is humongous, I can't move around so well, I tire so easily, and I want to get on the path to getting my normal body back (i'm not naïve enough to think I'm going to look like I did before I got pregnant, but I just want my strength and flexibility back most of all! I'm tired of not being able to bend down and clean or get up off the floor easily, things like that!)

So send me good vibes - I want to have this baby!!! :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

10 months pregnant photo

Haha :)

I'm still going to work, even though my due date was yesterday. As I mentioned before, I want to save my leave for when the baby is here. But, wow, holy uncomfortable! I'm still doing my walks through my breaks and my lunch, but sometimes cut them a little short. My strange new waddling stride sometimes hurts my knees and hips, or I have to get back to use the restroom :)

Otherwise feeling good, strong, all that :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Due Date

It's the morning of my due date ... I was sure hoping to be meeting my baby today, but based on how I feel, I think that's probably not going to happen!

It's such a strange feeling to be completely not in control of this situation! I love being in control :) But this has been a good life lesson... For the most part, I've just been accepting of all the changes in my body and my life, trying to go with the flow instead of fight it.

But! Oh, I am getting so eager to have this baby.

Also - I'm going to work till I do have this baby, because I technically can physically and everything, but, wow, I really don't want to. Financially, it's the best choice. Comfort-wise, not so much! But I'll keep plugging along. I don't want to use any of my leave time till the baby arrives, because that would mean less time off when baby does come.

So - send good labor type vibes that I do have this little one soon!! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Last minute things...

No baby yet! :)

I am so grateful that I do not have this dissertation to work on right now, this last week or so of being pregnant. I have incredible amounts of free time, especially because I'm not doing too much else due to how hugely pregnant I am, haha! I am resting a lot, enjoying my time alone with Chris, getting things ready for the baby, and just relaxing.

Chris and I are indulging our whims - going out for breakfast and dinner over the weekend, enjoying it just being easy right now. I'm also so, so, so hungry lately... I'll eat a full meal and feel quite hungry an hour later! I am making the effort to eat nutritious things, though, and not give in to the sugar addiction so that baby and I are as strong as possible for the upcoming birth!

Due date in 5 days - I wonder when this will all happen! Starting tomorrow I'm going to start amping up my walks (I've been doing more like 7000 steps a day lately) and eating spicy food, all those "this might not actually work to start labor, but it isn't going to hurt you" old wives' tales! Definitely no herbs or castor oil or anything (which I think just makes your bowels go crazy rather than starts labor- yuck).

I want to meet my little one :) 

In the mean time, I am really enjoying this quiet time. I'm feeling really rejuvenated (though still pretty tired - sleep has been hard).

I'll keep you updated!

Typical me this past weekend - pillows and kitty cuddles :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Do you like to colour in?

Colouring in for mindfulness and meditation is all the rage at the moment. I like to colour, but more than that I like to draw. So here's my colouring picture for today for you - I drew it while I was enjoying a relaxing cup of tea this afternoon. You can download and print the image to colour it in, or if you want the PDF come and join the Lean Green and Healthy chat group here on Facebook and you can download it from the files section.

Lyndal at LGH

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One goal hit ...

So, big goal hit. I submitted my dissertation draft to my advisor yesterday. Now, that doesn't really mean much except that I completed a full draft. I have a committee that is going to read it and send it back eventually with things to fix (and I am just praying it is nothing crazy - like more research or a complete re-haul of the whole paper!). But still. I did it!

When I found out I was pregnant, I made a promise to myself to finish up this part of my life and finish this paper (and hopefully graduate because of it!). I didn't know if it was possible... I had been exhausted my first trimester and third trimester. My second trimester saw a burst of energy where I did the majority of the hard work.

I've been dedicating all of my energy to this - all my thought and time. When I really get motivated, I really get motivated! In all aspects of life whether it is school or health and fitness or anything else! Gives me hope that I will be able to lose this baby weight when the time comes :)

You might be hearing from me more - I hope to document a little bit of how this pregnancy has gone, the HUGE changes my eating has gone through (not so great), and what I hope to change in the coming weeks.

I am 10 days out from my due date and getting very excited :)  I am also very, very pleased I get to enjoy the last few days of this pregnancy without rushing home after work to work on my dissertation! I am going to relax and enjoy fully <3

Monday, October 26, 2015

Getting close!

I'm 2 1/2 weeks from my due date! Wow. I'm slowing down a lot - averaging 7000 steps a day. My belly is just so heavy, I'm
uncomfortable walking for long. And need frequent bathroom stops!

I'm formatting and putting final touches on the first draft of my dissertation - standing at 386 pages as of tonight! Going to put in a lot of hours this week/weekend and hope baby stays in till then :) Baby hasn't dropped yet, so I hope I have time!

Had my brother's wedding this weekend. Was so glad I was able to make it! Months ago, I was unsure how it would all play out.

Making life progress and looking forward to a new phase to start! 


Saturday, October 24, 2015


There has been a lot of breathless excitement in the tabloid media this morning comparing bacon to tobacco or asbestos as far as cancer risk. (which is actually no surprise) I thought Id go straight to the World Health Organisation and read their report on cancer risk. Here's some excerpts from the section on colorectal cancer (the whole thing is LONG so I have pulled out relevant bits - the whole report I linked at the end):

"Colorectal cancer incidence rates are approximately ten-fold higher in developed than in developing countries, and it has been suggested that diet-related factors may account for up to 80% of the differences in rates between countries.The best established diet-related risk factor is overweight/obesity, and physical activity has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. These factors together, however, do not explain the large variation between populations in colorectal cancer rates.....

Studies have shown a strong association between per capita consumption of meat and colorectal cancer mortality but not with poultry or fish.... Overall, the evidence suggests that high consumption of preserved and red meat probably increases the risk for colorectal cancer.As with meat, international correlation studies show a strong association between per capita consumption of fat and colorectal cancer mortality ....

Many case--control studies have observed association between
the risk of colorectal cancer and high consumption of fruits and
vegetables and/or dietary fibre. On balance, the evidence that is currently available suggests that intake of fruits and vegetables probably reduces the risk for colorectal cancer....
Some prospective studies have suggested that a highintake of folate is associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer . Another promising hypothesis is that relatively high intakes of calcium may reduce the risk for colorectal cancer....

There is almost universal agreement that some aspects of the ‘‘westernized’ diet are a major determinant of risk; for instance, there is some evidence that risk is increased by high intakes of meat and fat, and that risk is decreased by high intakes of fruits and vegetables, dietary fibre, folate and calcium."

So based on this report we should eat more fruit and vegetables, more fibre, less fat, less meat and processed meat and if you do eat meat then focus on poultry and fish.  Treat your bacon as a treat food. Make sure we get enough folate (from green leafy vegetables) and calcium (from vegetables, fish, dairy or calcium fortified alternatives) and avoid heavily processed foods.
Now, there's a surprise!! ;)

Oh and one more recommendation: don't get your health advice from the tabloid media!

Lyndal at Lean Green and Healthy HQ
Full WHO report is here

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendations on meat are here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Finally- bridesmaid pic!

Took a while but some wedding photos from August have finally started coming in- here's my favorite so far:

Things are going well - working like a fiend! Ready to drop. Sure want to see the end of this dissertation someday!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

35 weeks!

Got heartburn for the first time in my life this week, yikes! Managing by eating smaller meals, sipping my water more slowly, staying propped up and TUMS! It's been manageable but ever-present for three days, ah well.

Doing well otherwise! Sorry for being so quiet but I'm getting closer to finishing my dissertation and that's where my writing energy is going.

Here's me at 35 weeks, feeling pretty darn good:

Hoping baby stays put for at least 3 more weeks, hopefully for the full 5!! But who knows :) Going to keep plugging away at my schoolwork regardless. Everything is ready for baby, though - room is finished, supplies stocked, car seat secured, etc.

Eating a lot lately - I'm ravenous!! But gaining pretty much as expected, around a pound a week :)

Back to work <3

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Zucchini and vegetable slice

I've seen lots of zucchini slice recipes, usually involving up to 10 eggs, heavy cream, lots of hard cheese and rashers of bacon making them tasty but only suitable as "sometimes" food. I have given these recipes the LGH magic wand to make a more nutritious option that you can eat more regularly if you wish. It's tasty and also versatile and can be eaten hot or cold. Add whatever you have in the fridge for a delicious summer meal.
My version had zucchini, carrot, onion, fresh parsley, dill, peas, spinach and red salmon - but this recipe has flexibility to use whatever is in your fridge!

 2 large zucchinis
2 large carrots
1 onion
a cup of whatever other vegetables you have handy (fresh frozen or canned) such as spinach, corn, peas, shallots, capsicum
fresh or dried herbs
1 cup of leftover rice or canned cannelini beans or chick peas for low GI energy
200g can red salmon (optional - consider adding diced tofu for protein if you are not a fish eater)
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
5 eggs (whisked)
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup grated low fat cheese

Preheat oven to 200 C
Grate your zucchini and carrots into a large bowl
Finely dice onion, herbs and any other veggies and add all into the bowl.
Add rice or drained beans and can of salmon, season with salt pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice
Mix everything well then add flour, whisked eggs and mix through
Sprinkle cheese on top
Spoon into a well greased cake tin /baking dish and bake for 30-40 mins or so until golden on top and springy. Slice into squares. Serve hot with a salad or vegetables, or cold .

Serves 8-10
Keep for 3 days in the fridge or 4 weeks in the freezer.

Bon appetit!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Having fun getting ready!!

I'm loving nothing better than nesting right now!! Lots of prepping for practical baby needs and also lots of indulging my need for cuteness!!

Most of my spare time is being spent on schoolwork though - forgive my absence! <3

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Deliciously decadent chia pudding

Chia seeds seem to be one of the newest "superfoods" on the block and get mentioned everywhere. These little black (or white) seeds are probably closest in taste and texture to poppy seeds, but with a whole lot more exciting properties. 
Chia seeds are derived from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. They can be eaten raw or added to foods and have some pretty impressive nutritional properties:
  • Omega 3 fatty acids– These essential fats that are important for heart health and brain function. Chia seeds are unusually high in omega 3s, and one of the best plant sources. Of the 30% total fat found in chia seeds, more than half is alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which is the plant form of omega-3. 
  • Fibre - Chia's 34% fibre is higher than that of flaxseeds (linseed) or sesame seeds, and works out to be about 10g in two tablespoons (which would make a significant contribution to the 25–30g it's recommended we consume daily). Chia seeds are so high in fibre you need to be careful not to go overboard when you first start eating them- or your belly will notice!
  • Protein and calcium - They are also an excellent source of protein and extremely high in calcium – at 631mg per 100g, this is five times the level in milk (although it may not be so readily absorbed).
  • Chia is also a source of other important minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. Oh – and it's gluten free, too.
Not surprisingly, many foodies claim chia is a "super" food and list all sorts of health benefits, many of which are over-rated. But while it is a food with some nutritional advantages, it is not magical. What we do know from limited evidence is that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors, such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. And although claims of weight loss may be far-fetched, the claim that chia helps you feel fuller for longer is likely more valid, due to its high fibre and protein content.
So what can you do with chia seeds?
Add them wherever you like.I have long been using them sprinkled on breakfast cereal or added to porridge and bakers put them in pancakes, bread, muffins and cakes. But the neat thing about chia seeds are their ability to retain water- in fact they will soak up ten times their weight in liquid - making them ideal for setting and "gelling" puddings and sauces. Apparently they can be used as an alternative to eggs? (Can't say I've tried that one).
I was a little skeptical in making chia puddings as I have bought commercial ones from the supermarket before and to be honest found them gag-worthy - the one I bought in a little tub was cloyingly sweet, watery and a little slimy and went straight in the garbage. So with some hesitation I tried them at home without a completely different outcome - I think using Greek yoghurt changed the texture to a rich creaminess which was divine!
Here's the recipe:
1 cup milk (cows milk, almond, soy, whatever)
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP honey or maple syrup (or stevia or whatever sweetener you prefer)
a sprinkle of cinnamon
Fresh fruit
Mix milk, yoghurt, vanilla, cinnamon and honey in a jug and whisk until smooth.
Add chia seeds and stir well. Let sit on the bench for 20 mins or so until it starts to set then stir again to ensure the seeds haven't all sunk to the bottom.
Pour mixture into four containers and cover in the fridge overnight to set fully. You can eat them in 2 hours but they taste best after 8 or so.
I layered them with strwberries, blueberries, passionfruit pulp and coconut. I sprinkled almonds on the top of mine and ate it out of the jar, my husband spooned his into a bowl and topped it with muesli. Delicious!

Once you have the liquid : seed ratio right, then go wild. Blend fresh or frozen berries with your yoghurt, add nutmeg and star anise for a chai flavour, use coconut milk (watch the saturated fat) and sliced mango for a tropical summer feel, or add oats or quinoa to make a bircher pudding.  They also work for dessert options as below:
Want the amazing texture of chocolate mousse with extra health benefits? Chia puddings can go there too! 
1 cup milk (cows milk, almond, soy, whatever)
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract or coffee extract for a mocha flavour
2 TBSP honey or maple syrup (or stevia or whatever sweetener you prefer)
berries and choc chips for topping (or nuts, honeycomb, crushed cookies, whatever!)
Mix milk, yoghurt, vanilla/coffee, cocoa and honey in a jug and whisk until smooth and the cocoa is well mixed through.
Add chia seeds and stir well. Let sit on the bench for 20 mins or so until it starts to set then stir again to ensure the seeds haven't all sunk to the bottom.
Pour mixture into four containers and cover in the fridge overnight to set fully. I poured ours into fancy dessert glasses and topped with fresh raspberries and dark choc chips. You can eat them in 2 hours but they taste best after 8 or so.
Bon appetit!
For more recipes like this one, follow the Lean Green and Healthy page on Facebook, join our friendly chat group or to have all the tips together at your fingertips, order our LGH ebook online - buy now

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Potato salad recipe (and the wonders of resistant starch!)

Like many other diabetics, I have to tread carefully with white potatoes. The high carbohydrates and high GI nature of potatoes means that they push my blood sugar up - even though they are nutritious and delicious! That is, unless I eat them in potato salad.  So why are cold potatoes different to warm potatoes? Its all because of a wonderful component called resistant starch.
So what is resistant starch? 
Resistant starch is a type of dietary fibre that is fermented in the large bowel and feeds the gut microbiome - the bacteria in your bowel that do so much good. Despite the messages to eat more fibre, and people are doing that, most people are increasing their fibre with processed foods like cereals, which don't necessarily contain resistant starch. More fibre yes, but all the great health benefits, no.  There is evidence that a healthy gut microbiome plays a role in preventing diabetes, obesity and some cancers, and may even have a role in mental health, so it’s worth taking a moment to understand how to keep it healthy. So rather than just eating any kind of fibre, we particularly need to be eating more resistant starch for a healthy gut and a healthy body.
So where do you find resistant starch? 
It can be found in some starchy fruits and vegetables (eg bananas and sweet potatoes), in legumes (have I told you how awesome beans, chick peas and lentils are lately?) and interestingly,  in some cooked and cooled starchy foods. Cooking and cooling starchy foods like rice, pasta and potatoes, and eating them cold, lowers the GI and increases the amount of resistant starch. Add some healthy fats and lemon juice and you lower the GI further – so when it is too warm to eat beautiful lentil soups and chick pea curries, change to summer starch foods like potato salad, rice salad and pasta salad!

Add lentils to your meals, cook and cool some rice to add to salads, diced and roast some sweet potatoes to throw in everything – there are loads of easy ways to get slow burning energey and make your bowel bugs happy at the same time.
For resistant starch goodness, add
lentils and beans to everything!
For more interesting information on resistant starch check out this post from Precision Nutrition here:
All about resistant starch

Most potato salads have heavy creamy dressings which are often also quite sweet and can stack on the calories with unnecessary fats. Not mine! So I guess I should share my magical potato salad recipe too!

white potatoes (you can add sweet potatoes as well for added colour and flavour)
2 hard boiled eggs
Greek yoghurt
red onion
fresh parsley
dijon mustard
whoelgrain mustard

I haven't listed amounts here as you can really fiddle with this until it tastes right for you.

Roughly chop your potatoes ad steam them with skins on until tender. You can get lower GI potatoes called Carisma from Coles) but any potatoes will work for this. Adding orange sweet potato (kumara) will make it extra interesting! 

Hard boil two eggs, chop them up and pop them in the fridge to cool, along with your potatoes. About an hour in the fridge or half an hour in the freezer should do the trick.

Finely dice a red onion, a bunch of fresh parsley. If you want extra bursts of flavour you could also add chopped gherkins, capers, capsicum, a tin of corn or even a little bacon. 

For the dressing mix a cup of plain Greek yoghurt with a tablespoon of dijon mustard, a tablespoon of grain mustard and a drizzle of honey.  Mix well then fold the dressing through the potatoes, eggs, onions and herbs.

Serve with a quarter of lemon to squeeze on the side. Left overs will keep in the fridge for 2 days or so (if you don't eat it all first!)

Bon appetit!

Potato salad makes a delicious and nutritious side dish

Monday, September 28, 2015

The LGH e-book is LIVE

So after three years of a Facebook page with 25,000 followers, two years of a blog with over 45,000 views and now dozens of people saying "I wish you would put all these tips together and write a book" - I did it!  The Lean Green and Healthy eBook has been launched and is so far proving to be very popular. 

This is a fad-free lifestyle manual for not just losing weight, but also gaining health.
Chapters include: 
Why are we all getting fatter? 
What diet should I be following? 
What does a balanced meal look like? 
What about sueprfoods? 
What about exercise? 
Motivation tips and a selection of my favourite recipes. 

To keep prices down I have published it as an eBook. You can get it on Amazon as a text only, or direct from me for a colour PDF - which you can read on iPad, iPhone, android (using PDF reader, ibooks or the kindle app) or on your computer. 

Hey, you can even print it yourself if you want to!

So if you want to join the happy LGH club and get all the tips at your fingertips, go to and order using credit  card, debit card or your PayPal account. Once payment is received you will be emailed the download link within 24 hours. 

The book is priced at $AUD 9.99 (which is around $7 USD) so I think it's a pretty good deal!

Have you already bought the book? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I'm excited!

Thanks for your support
Lyndal@ LGH

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Baby Shower!

I had a super lovely shower on a perfect autumn day - my family threw it, the decorations and food were awesome! Lots of friends came, too, and I had fun (friends - with the guys! - came over later that night to have some drinks and finish off the leftover cookies and cake pops from the shower, it was a nice way to finish the day :D ).

Some pics:

My sister-in-law and I wore the same dress!!

Successful shower! Lots of adorable forest themed items for the baby, too, so the nursery is coming along great. I'm going to take an inventory of what I need to get now for the baby, so more basic clothes and first aid/bathing type supplies.

My doctor appointments last week all turned out well. My platelets are still low, but the hematologist thanks they aren't low enough right now to warrant any concern, and thinks that it is just gestational. They are going to continue to draw my blood at my appointments, keep an eye on it, and have me back after I give birth to make sure everything returned to normal.

Also - the baby is growing right on schedule! Even a little bit ahead of the curve. I'm so glad all is well and healthy :)

I'm exhausted and not sleeping well at all anymore - I'm taking today (Sunday) easy, writing thank you notes, doing a little baby stuff organizing, and enjoying another incredibly beautiful fall day at home. I went to the barn and took a short walk with my horse in the morning, the place is gorgeous this time of year.

That's all for now!! I'm hanging in there, making the best of this time, and trying to rest a little bit too, haha.

Namaste friends <3

Sunday, September 20, 2015

More Photos - 32 weeks pregnant

The wedding was fun - it was on beautiful Lake Champlain! I'm tired today but still ran errands and visited the neighborhood street fair, which was also great!

Some pics:

At the wedding-

At the fair and surprised by my stranger shadow! -

32 weeks today. Time is moving so slowly AND so fast, it's strange. Doing a little work on the nursery today :)

Namaste <3

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Trying to fit it all in!

Obviously blogging had to fall by the wayside - but rest assured, not much has changed for me!

I lost a lot of my 2nd trimester energy and have been feeling very lightheaded/dizzy. Turns out my platelet levels have dropped below the normal range again - my OBGYN is having me go see a hematologist for testing, monitoring and potentially a transfusion before I'm due. I can't get an epidural if my levels are this low (I haven't decided I definitely want an epidural - but I want the option!!).

Also - the baby has been measuring small so I'm getting an ultrasound next week to check on it's development. The doctor assured me it's probably nothing - human error in measuring my belly or the baby was turned sideways, etc. I'm looking forward to making sure everything is okay, though!

So- my life is work, schoolwork, house chores and getting the nursery ready. I'm working hard to make sure life is as ready as it can be when the baby comes!!

I've been decently sedentary aside from my walking (9-10k steps) because of all the lightheadedness. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe! So no additional working out for now - it's hard enough just to vacuum!!

I have a wedding to attend today - and then MY baby shower next week (excited!). Will try to post more in the interim!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Some Pregnant Pics

Today is my two year anniversary - Little more low-key than last year, because I'm pretty tired. I'm definitely entering another phase of pregnancy, and I'm struggling with my blood pressure and dizziness a lot more again. So taking it easy!

We went and visited Edith Wharton's home in Lenox, Massachusetts, to stroll the gardens and the historic house. We ate sandwiches and drank lemonade on the terrace overlooking the gorgeous gardens. It was a really nice afternoon, but I had to come home and lay down for a while to recoup. Going out for dinner at our favorite local spot tonight :)

Some pics of me pregnant (30 weeks now!):

Feeling pretty good about my pictures lately, even if it is weird to see this big belly preceding me everywhere!! Just enjoying this baby feeling more substantial now :)

Back to resting before dinner!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Never Comfy and Frozen Dinners

Not posting a ton because, truly, my brain just does not work anymore. I am never comfortable which means I'm really not sleeping. And sleep deprivation is not good for my creativity. I'm pouring all of my available energies and efforts into my dissertation, so this blog, which has so helped me in the past, isn't getting much attention. And I could really use a good outlet!

I am still not used to sleeping on my side, even though I've been doing it for about six months now. I have a body pillow that I use, but it doesn't change the fact that my shoulders just do not like being slept on. I've been waking up 5 to 7 times a night (usually to use the restroom, but also because of being in physical discomfort). If one shoulder hurts too much, I'll sleep on the other side to get back to sleep. But lately, my hips have been killing me, and I can find no relief.

The other night I woke at 2 AM with hip pain, and try to get back to sleep for almost an hour, before I decided to just get up, recognize that I was not falling asleep with that kind of pain, and started to do some stretches and exercises to find some relief for my poor muscles! Not fun.

But at least I won't be too shocked when the baby comes and I'm sleep deprived! I've been living that way for a few months already, haha :)

I am just very tired - and home alone this week. Food prep for this week means that I am eating chicken burgers and butternut squash for lunch every day, grapes, carrots, and yogurt for snacks. I switch back-and-forth between cereal with flax milk and banana for breakfast and my usual cottage cheese with sunflower seed butter and blueberries. 

For dinner, I totally went to super easy route, and got some frozen dinners (from Amy's- Mexican and Indian). I just simply do not have the energy to make dinner when I come home, deal with the dog and get the house cleaned up, before writing my dissertation. I hope not to rely on frozen dinners in the future, but this week, I simply didn't have it in me. I had to admit that... I'm starting to get overwhelmed and weepy! Adding dinner prep, cooking and dish washing was the sacrifice this week.

In bed by 8 pretty much every night (and I get home around 5:20 from work, so you can see that I really don't have a lot of time to spare in the evening) and up around 6 to walk the dog.

Making what fits, fit. Doing what I can, and try not to get too down on myself that I'm not the picture of health and fitness and clean living right now!

Friday, August 28, 2015

7 Month Check Up

I'm doing my glucose test this morning, so a lot of waiting around! I also had my 7 month check up - everything is good, the heartbeat is strong (it should be, this kid is raging around in there like a champ). 

I only gained 1 pound this month, officially, though probably a couple more since the last time I was weighed it was 4 PM and I got weighed at 8 AM this time. I'm pleased with that - trying to gain only baby weight from here on out, not Jeanette weight!

It's still a little struggle to accept my body - it's strange to not fit into my normal sports bras and for nothing with a waistband to fit and shirts not cover my belly! I did a little shopping to fill in some gaps, but I hate spending money on temporary clothes.

Going to a rehearsal dinner tonight at a super awesome restaurant! I'm excited to hang out with lots of friends tonight and to eat some great food. Big treat for me! I got a pretty maternity dress at Target for $15 for the event- I love deals :)

I'll leave you with a picture Chris snapped of me and Koda that I love: