CHIP – Day 14 My ‘Bad’ Cooking

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Day 14

Lunch fail. I spent several hours cooking and cleaning up the mess before and after.

 CHIP Program (Complete Health Improvement Program): My Disclaimer: This is merely for entertainment purposes only. I am not associated with CHIP program or the Sanitarium company – I am only a participant. This is not advice, it is merely my personal experience for entertainment purposes only. You should always consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes. I know from experience when I have gone to the extreme and injured myself or made myself sick. P.S. Please don’t sue me, I am a poor amateur writer.

What is CHIP? In short, CHIP is about healthy, active lifestyle. Nutrition is from whole, plant-based sources (vegan). There are more details at the end of this post.

 Today was my first attempt at making a ‘CHIP style’ lunch that my whole family would like. The first try was a bit of a fail. I made rice, with a salad and potato bowl, with home-made peanut sauce, and fresh rice-paper rolls.

My family hardly touched the salad and veg, and hubby cooked extra eggs to go with the rice Lol!

Plus, I am such a messy chef.  I cover the bench, sink, stove and everything else with bowls and splashes of food!  Then I have to clean up the results of my creativity.

Still, I am so grateful for the CHIP program because at least I am learning what I should have learnt a long time ago – how to cook appealing, healthy food.

I’m doing so many things that I would not have done without the CHIP program. I’m changing priorities – exercise goes before cleaning. This morning I left the dishes and took the kids walking straight after breakfast, before the sun got too hot. I wouldn’t have done that before.

It was so fun, that we discussed getting up earlier tomorrow so we can do more playground exploration!

More information: CHIP stands for ‘Complete Health Improvement Program.’ It is a Lifestyle/Preventative Medicine program originally designed by Dr. Hans Diehl, aimed at improving overall health through whole-foods, plant-based eating (un-processed, vegan food), regular, natural exercise, and other healthy habits. It has proven results with helping participants who had high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

The link below has a cute time-line:

CHIP runs programs in groups, corporately and online, including online meet-ups.

Participants receive access to informative online videos, a text-book, work-book, cook-book, pedometer, and more!


Testosterone-enhancing Diet

The most shocking ways of lowering testosterone that are not well-advertised include:

  • Alchohol
  • Grain-fed beef and milk (including all milk products made from grain-fed milk)
  • Wheat
  • Fish contaminated by estrogen run-off from farms

There’s so much more to the story though.  Basically, the typical Western diet plus plastics and other synthetic stuff is not conducive to healthy testosterone levels.

This information is pretty raw, but I have condensed about 20 articles (or so) from a variety of sources and viewpoints, at the request of an important person in my life, so I thought after all that work I may as well share it in case someone else can benefit too.

Testosterone-boosting foods:


In one study, researchers found that low testosterone was tied to vitamin D deficiency in European men.



Vit D


Egg Yolks

Black Kidney and White beans



Protein foods

“Lack of protein boosts testosterone-de-activating hormones.” On the other hand, a University of Utah study found a diet overly rich in the saturated fats in beef and lamb can also make testosterone dip. The middle ground is venison


For virility: pomegranate juice and grapes

Raw garlic to help testosterone get into muscles instead of cortisone

Cabbage rids your blood of ‘girly hormones’ Healthy men took 500mg daily for a week at Rockefeller University; their oestrogen levels halved


Vit D

Pumpkin Seeds – very high in zinc

Magnesium: A study conducted by scientists in Turkey found that subjects with higher intakes of magnesium had increased testosterone swirling around.5 Of note, the study found that magnesium was more effective at bolstering testosterone if paired with high-intensity exercise.

Vitamin C and Whey Protein – lower stress after work-outs so less cortisol


Grains (esp. the gluten in grains) mess up t-production, so eat potatoes as carbs – all different kinds of potatoes including sweet potatoes

Macadamia Nuts are the best kind – some other nuts actually inhibit t-production

Grass-fed bison bars

Beef gelatin

Brazil Nuts – selenium is very important – directly linked to t-production

Extra-virgin olive oil as main source of fat: Since there’s literally a study where young Moroccan men changed to extra virgin olive oil as their main source of fat, and in 2 weeks their testosterone levels increased by 17%.

Raisins: Secondly, 100 grams of raisins contain ~3 mg’s of boron, which is a not too popular mineral that has increased testosterone levels quite significantly in few scientific studies (studystudy).


The researcher at Texas tech found out that apigening increases the amount StAR (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein) inside the testicular leydig cells.

Why is this great you might ask? Well, StaR is the binding protein that transports cholesterol into the mitochondria inside your ballsack, essentially converting it to free testosterone.

Ginger: Not only that, but several animal studies have identified ginger as an androgenic compound (studystudy), while one Iraqian human study noted a 17% increase in testosterone levels after ginger supplementation.

Raw cacao


Real Salt


White Button Mushrooms exert anti-estrogenic effects, since they seem to naturally block the aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone to estrogen (studystudystudy).

Minced Meat


Blue Cheese

Dark Berries





Honey – contains boron










Porridge Oats

Citrus Fruits



Wild Salmon




Meat ( meat-free diet is said to lower T due to less protein)


Dr Mercola says, zinc and Vitamin D are essential. Stress lowers T.


Olive Oil


Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli and cauliflower may help a man’s body excrete excess estrogen and increase the amount of testosterone available to cells. Indole-3-carbinol, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, may increase the excretion of estradiol (one estrogen hormone) in some men by up to 50 percent, thus increasing the amount of testosterone available.11,12

Whey Protein


5 more ways to optimise T:

Weight Loss


Vit D and Zinc

Reduce Stress

Reduce Carbs


Egg yolks

Cruciferous vegetables



Spinach – packed with magnesium

White-button mushrooms


Pumpkin Seeds



Matcha Green Tea

Gluten-free grains





Black Beans


Goat Weed

Acerola Berries

Vit D

Olive Oil

Good Carbs




Celery Stalks

Red Grapes

Olive Oil

White button mushrooms

Zinc (oysters)

Cruciferous Vegetables



Cruciferous vegetables

Healthy fats

Alium Family:  The aliums include garlic, onions, scallions, chives and leeks.

The most powerful flavones include chrysin which is found in passionflower and apignine which is found in chamomile.

Flavonones:  These are found in citrus fruits and in particular lemons and limes.

Anti-Oxidant rich herbs:  Herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and turmeric are loaded with volatile oils that promote liver detoxification.   Turmeric has a potent ability to destroy estrogen receptor positive cancer cells which are the most commonly found cells in breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancer.

Clorophyll and fermented foods


(NOTE: the above article has HEAPS of references)


Diet: Avoid sugar or highly refined carbohydrates, and also the free fats—that is, margarine, most cooking oils, fried foods, mayonnaise, butter, including peanut butter, etc.

We advise a total vegetarian diet, free of all animal products. Make certain you get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Exercise: Should be done daily, out-of-doors; walking is fine, or any other good kind of exercise. It should not be violent, just a brisk walk once, or preferably twice, a day, or the equivalent in gardening, indoor gymnasium workouts, stretching, etc.

Food Supplements: Try the herbal product ginkgo (made from the leaves of the ginkgo tree). It is one of the best products known for circulation, and has been known to help even when there seemed to be no known circulatory problem.

Magnesium should be tried. It can be easily taken in the form of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), which is an excellent vasodilator. Start with one-half teaspoon in a glass of water twice a day. You can go up to one teaspoon twice a day if necessary. Back off if it causes diarrhea (it very seldom does in these low doses). Other forms are available in capsules.

Ginseng has been highly rated by the Orientals, and is at least an excellent tonic-type herb. The American, the Korean, or the Chinese/Japanese ginsengs are all about the same. Drink a cup of the tea three times a day. You can mix a teaspoonful of the American sarsaparilla with the ginseng, if you can find it. These products certainly won’t hurt, even if they don’t solve the problem; and they can be useful in just about any of the causes of impotence.

Plant sterols from certain herbs and foods may be of great value.

Herbs High in Plant Sterols:

  • Alfalfa leaf tea
  • Licorice root tea
  • Red raspberry leaf tea

Other herbs that have estrogen and progesterone precursors are hops and ginseng. All ginsengs have a lot of saponins in them.

Foods High in Plant Sterols

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Garlic
  • Nightshade Family (bell pepper, paprika, pimentos, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes)
  • Olives
  • Peanuts
  • P1ums
  • Soybeans
  • Whole grains (barley, corn, oats, rice, wheat)
  • Yams
  • Anise seed
  • Food yeast
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Wheat germ




Free fats



Soy Products



(NOTE: this article has LOTS of references)


Estrogen is contaminating farmed animals, milk and eggs, and also is leaching into water and contaminating fish.


Discusses how all animal products contain animal sex hormones – too much estrogen. Especially chicken estrogen, which is basically identical to human estrogen.




Certain beans inc chickpeas – esp., sunflower oil (since sunflower seeds have natural estrogen)

Animal Products


Wheat Germ & Estrogen | LIVESTRONG.COM


Wheat is packed with phytoestrogens


Bread makes belly fat

Carbs produce cravings

Wheat messes with estrogen

Your brain becomes addicted

Eating wheat zaps your energy

Gluten-free processed high-starch foods are not the answer



Phytoestrogens: Legumes:  Foods like soy flour, soybeans, soy protein powder, tofu; black-eyed peas, chick peas (garbanzo beans), red beans, split peas.  Seeds: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, anise seeds.  Fruits:  Apples, plums, dates, tomatoes, cherries.  Vegetables:  Beets, peppers, carrots, eggplant, sweet potatoes (yams), celery.  Grains:  Wheat, barley, rice. Beer.  I recommend only herbicide-free organic produce as synthetic estrogens – atrazine and dieldrin – may also be present in commercially grown produce.



Synthetic estrogens:   Dairy, beef.  These food sources contain man-made estrogens that have been mixed into the feed that cows eat. It stores in their fat and muscle fibers and is passed into the milk. The FDA claims it does not permit the use of added hormones in pork or poultry (chicken, eggs, turkey), so these foods should be estrogen-free.  However, I recommend eating only grass-fed beef and organic free-range poultry, and organically fed pork.  Read labels. You may also get synthetic estrogens in the form of xenoestrogens – environmental sources of estrogen. Mostly these are Bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen that can get into your food from heated plastics.  BPA is released into your food when you microwave frozen foods, or if your plastic water bottles become heated and you then drink the water.  Be sure to empty frozen foods into a glass or ceramic bowl before heating also removing the plastic wrap.  Don’t use plastic food wraps over hot foods – use wax paper or place in a glass container.  Keep water bottles in a cool, dry, dark place, or filter your own with reverse osmosis filters. Atrazine and dieldrin are estrogen-like herbicides that can be present in non-organic produce.  Triclosan, another synthetic estrogen, is present in antibacterial soaps.  Triclosan disrupts hormones in bullfrogs.

FoodTrient recipes for estrogen blocking foods to help remove excess estrogen from your body. 

They include: Cruciferous vegetables:   Broccoli,cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts all contain a chemical called DIM, short for diindolymethane, a compound that naturally binds to estrogen and removes it from the body.

Citrus fruits: Contain flavonoids that help regulate hormones.  Tea and coffee also contain an offshoot of flavonoids – flavones – that do the same.

Herbs: Many of these are found in estrogen-blocking supplements.Turmeric, passionflower (contains Chrysin), resveratrol, fenugreek, epimedium, tribulis terrestris, help reduce excess estrogens by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen in men.





‘No-Dinner Energy Experiment’

sunset blog

I have been experimenting with the ‘No-Dinner Energy Plan’, or two meals a day, or ‘cyclical fasting’, (having a regular evening fast time to rest my stomach), since January 14 2017.  I have not done it perfectly, but I am already seeing benefits and have increased energy.  The thing that interested me a lot about cyclical fasting, is the effect it has on increasing the release of human growth hormone in the evening.  I started on this experiment, also because I was tired of all the little health problems I was having and feeling constantly drained of energy.  I have shared some of my ‘journal’ so far, here.  I haven’t put all of it, because it is already 14 pages long!  My cut-off time is 5 pm, although I normally have lunch the very latest at 3 pm, so I am completely finished eating by 3 or 4 pm.  I go to bed at about 10 – 11 pm.

14/01/2017 Post 1: Maximum Energy Plan Week 1:

Focus this week: Replace evening meals with hydration and cleansing.

Why do I want to have more energy? I need it! What health challenges do I have? (this is on a mostly sedentary, not really careful vegetarian eating plan with sporadic hours for meals and eating snacks whenever I want):

*Sluggish circulation and digestion – perhaps thyroid is underactive

*hormones seem a bit wacky – [update – I had hormones and thyroid tested, they were both normal]

*my skin has changed from oily to dry with fine wrinkles and I realised that I need to do something so I don’t age really fast!

*My abdomen feels constantly puffy and like I’m putting on weight there. It is starting to restrict my breathing and squash together uncomfortably when I sit down.

*Even when I have eight hours sleep I wake up feeling sleepy and demotivated to get out of bed.

*Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep.

*I feel constantly dehydrated and dry even with eight glasses of water per day. My eyes and nose always feel dry too, which just annoys me.

*My voice is dry and gets tired easily. I can’t read too many stories to the kids or I get tired.

*I don’t feel hungry at breakfast time.

Main benefits I need:

*More energy

*Being able to rise earlier in the morning without feeling very tired and grumpy later.

*Fix constant feeling of dehydration.

Benefits I would like and think might realistically happen:

*Feel hungrier for breakfast and enjoy eating more

*Digestive processes becoming more regular – fixing occasional constipation issues.

*Boosted immune system.

*Better sleep with less sleep disturbances.

*Easier time falling asleep.

*Kids would have regular meal-times too, and feel more hungry for meals (I hope)

*Food would taste better after resting my taste-buds more

Fantasy Benefits that I Dream of but Might Not Happen:

*Better, clearer looking skin

*My hair would grow faster

*My tummy will stop looking like a puffy marshmallow

*I will not get as wrinkly as I should for my age – LOL!

*My lips would look soft and puffy, as if I’d had plastic surgery

*My eyes would change to an exotic new colour

*I can spend less time cooking and cleaning dishes if I don’t cook a huge dinner

19/01/2017 – after 5 days of ‘no dinner’:

I still haven’t been waking early but it seems my bowels are working better and my stomach doesn’t look as swollen. Even when I try to push it out as far as it will go it still doesn’t look as big as before. Last night again I was craving to eat chicken (I cooked it for my husband who isn’t vegetarian). I still sometimes feel like eating it even though I’m vegetarian. However, this morning when I got up for breakfast the desire to eat it was totally gone. This happens over and over again. At night time I crave rich foods, but then by morning the feeling that I want to eat them is gone. I made a rule that if I really want to eat a rich food it has to be at breakfast or lunch, not at dinner or it will sit in my stomach all night.

I also noticed last night that my eyes were watering normally for the first time in a very long time. It is a great feeling after having dry eyes for so long!

My voice is well-hydrated. I can sing and talk more easily without it getting dull and dry-sounding.

So it seems a lot of benefits I’m getting so far are based on not being chronically dehydrated. The thing is, though, that I was drinking a lot of water before, but I couldn’t absorb it properly with my stomach working on digesting food with no proper rest.

The other thing is that I doubt my stomach was swollen just from fat. I think it was my digestive system jammed up.


I got over-excited about singing . My daughter and I started doing warm-up scales, with our voices getting higher and higher (we only sing in the car so no-one hears us). We sang so high that my 2-yr-old son started giggling non-stop, then we all burst into laughter. It was fun, but I think I strained my poor vocal cords. I haven’t been able to sing that high for a long time. I went and got some really comfy shoes since I have a muscle problem with my foot (the doctor said most likely plantar fasciitis). I ate ice-cream and fruit in the afternoon. I was just getting used to the new schedule and I wasn’t feeling hungry in the afternoon, but it seems like habits die hard, even when I’m not feeling like eating. I just eat because that’s what I’ve always done! We also had friends over that we haven’t seen for ages, and I ate a bit of dinner with them too. I could tell the food I ate was in my stomach the whole night.


I was tired and spent quite a bit of time just lying around soaking up some of the mild afternoon sunshine while visiting relatives for lunch. I was determined not to eat dinner again even though I felt hungry again as my stomach quickly goes back to the old routine.


Last night it was so hard to sleep. I don’t know why, perhaps I was expecting the old routine of me snacking before bed to ‘sedate’ myself. I was so wide awake until midnight, then woke up at 3 am (expecting one of the kids to wake up). Anyway, I didn’t get a heap of sleep and though I felt really hungry before bed, I just drank heaps of water, and when I woke up I felt hungry, but not starving. I went for a jog with the kids as they were totally hyper when they woke up. It was really refreshing to exercise and get a bit of morning sunshine before breakfast!

I ate a big breakfast to make sure I get enough nutrients, even though the kids were trying to hurry me up. One advantage of the ‘two meals a day’ thing, is I have become really conscientious about getting good quality, nutritious food with enough calories and protein into my breakfast and lunch. In the past I have been known to forget all about breakfast for myself and just get distracted with something else, or eat something too high in sugar. Both options mean I crash later in the day and feel really tired and grumpy.

I have noticed that my energy levels seem a bit more stable, and I’m not feeling desperately tired and lethargic in the afternoon as I was recently.

I also feel that I am calmer emotionally, with God’s help.

In fact, when my energy has crashed in the past I have at times felt dreadfully despondent. I think there must be a close connection between physical and mental energy.

My old way of doing things is so deeply ingrained since I have done it for 34 years that I certainly need God’s help to change. Please help me, dear God, not to give up, since I have already seen so many cool benefits.

I hope to see more benefits and to be more of a blessing to my family, fellow humans and God with the increased energy that I believe I will get from improving my health and energy efficiency.

It would be a great start for me to get up earlier so I can have some quiet devotional time before the kids get up, prepare simple and nutritious food, and have breakfast on time! And maybe even get the house in order a bit – LOL!

That is what I would like to do, but before I do lots of extra things I need the basics – health and energy . Without them I won’t accomplish nearly as much as I could.

I know because I tried the opposite approach – getting up early to accomplish tasks I wanted to get done without having enough energy. Bad plan! After a few days I would get so tired and grumpy, and often end up getting sick. Often the tasks are not essential anyway. When I’m tired, I end up doing things that are not really the priority, then by evening I run out of energy.


Last night I wanted to eat anything and everything that was being cooked and/or in the fridge. But, yet again, when I woke up for breakfast all the cravings for the foods I wanted to eat last night were gone!

Fasting at dinner time gave me the opportunity to run around at sunset time, after we fed the ducks. I love jogging in the evening, but if I run after eating I feel seasick and give myself a really ‘heavy stomach’.

The other great benefit for me is the immune system boost! I went to bed before 10 but didn’t get to sleep till 11.15 pm because one of my children woke up crying in their sleep. I settled them, then finally went to bed. My husband awoke me at 5.30 am in his process of getting ready for work, and the afore-mentioned child woke at 6.15 am! If I had eaten late at night I would have been totally exhausted, and would be feeling like I was about to catch a sore throat. The ‘cyclic fasting’, is a great immune and energy boost!

History of Fasting in the Evening:

According to ‘The Watchman on the Wall’, there are different cultures and religious traditions that traditionally did not eat at night, or at least had the main meal at morning or lunch, then ate only very lightly at night – such as only having soup (which is where the word ‘supper’ comes from.. ‘souper’).


My taste-buds are changing! Day 8 I just noticed when I was eating breakfast, that the food tasted intensely salty – just really really strong, compared to how it had tasted before. I had eaten the same food just 2 days before and didn’t notice. I never knew I was eating such salty food! I also noticed that I didn’t really enjoy the dark chocolate I had after lunch. I realised I don’t really like the taste, it’s just another ‘food habit.’ I even thought about adding Milo to my small drink of soy milk, but realised that I don’t feel like eating it. It is the first time I have ever not felt like eating Milo. I’m starting to find that sweet sugary cane sugar tastes are not really enjoyable to me. I only like the sweet taste that comes from fresh fruit Other than that, I enjoy the more savoury flavours, but now with less salt! I’m starting to crave fresh food more.


I can breathe! I have more room in my lungs. When I started this ‘two meal’ experiment only a little while ago I noticed that I couldn’t fill my lungs to full capacity. I would breathe in as deeply as I could and I felt something stopping me. I couldn’t quite fill them. Anyway, I just realised yesterday that I am taking full, deep breaths into my lungs and they feel just as they should. I have room to breathe!

Even more amazing, (which I will have to try again because I can’t believe it would happen), is that I sprinted around the playground yesterday, and for the first time in two years my pelvic floor held out and I didn’t have any ‘leaks’. I will have to test out my sprinting again because it could just be a coincidence. Anyway, I’m really excited and hoping it is true – that I can run full speed again.

Maybe the muscle-building benefits and human growth hormone release of evening fasting and really working!

Last night I was a bit hungry, but not as much. It takes about three or four days for the feeling of hunger to subside in the evening, and I started the feeling of hunger again by eating ice-cream in the evening for 3 days in a row and having dinner Friday night with our visitors we hadn’t seen a long time.

Anyway, last night, my stomach was calm and even though all the food smelt so good, when I woke up in the morning food wasn’t the first thought on my mind. All of the cravings from the night before were gone, and I felt like eating berries, weetbix, nuts, etc., I didn’t feel like eating really salty food. The food that used to taste OK to me now tastes much more salty than before. I also don’t find very sugary foods appealing (at breakfast time). Night-time is always when I crave the fatty, sugary, fried, heavy types of food, but after sleeping all those cravings disappear.

Difference between cyclical fasting and spasmodic fasting: I think the main difference is that because cyclical fasting is a consistent routine, the body adjusts, and knows not to expect food at that time.  Therefore, it is able to regulate blood sugar levels, etc.,  Spasmodic, unexpected fasting (especially the most extreme types that only allow water or even no food and drink) are a different kettle of fish.  I can eat fresh fruit in the evening and I still count it as fasting, because it is so easy for my stomach to digest.


Yesterday I didn’t eat a proper lunch as we had visitors coming. Anyway, I was really really hungry by 4 so I ate heaps of food. I still felt OK by bed time, just a little more tired than normal, and I felt a little more sleepy this morning. I also felt my immune system dip a bit yesterday as it was a really busy first few days of the week, having one of the kids’ cousins visiting. The good thing is we went to lots of playgrounds and did lots of exercise!

I need to remember that resting and putting up my feet is really important for keeping myself in good health. Just 15 or 20 min in the afternoon makes a big difference rather than being on my feet all day!

This morning I ate a really big breakfast, though I felt like the processed food (vegetarian sausage) just tasted like processed rubbish, not like real food. I am feeling a lot more like eating real food in its natural state.

I felt grumpy after breakfast, until I went for a jog in the mild sunshine. The deep breathing and sunshine gave me such a lift. I realised that I really hate spending lots of time indoors when it is so beautiful outside. I need to organise my time so I get needed indoor tasks done early, so I’m not stuck inside for long periods of time.


Yesterday I felt warmer! I am usually a cold fish but for the first time I went through the shopping mall with hot weather outside, and I wasn’t wearing a jacket. Normally I would get chilled and feel my immune system getting low if I went from being sweaty, to being in a cool shopping centre. I was there for several hours and I felt my body was maintaining a healthy temperature more easily.

I had a really big breakfast, but only had a huge boost juice, a fruit bar and brown rice crackers while shopping, because I dislike just about all take-away food and find it over-priced.

My idea of a big breakfast:

2 pieces of toast with 4 tsps oil (instead of butter) and marmite

1 large bowl cornflakes with full fat soy milk


1 large smoothie – strawberry, banana, soy chocolate ice-cream, Milo

1 fried vegetarian sausage

3 ounces fried tofu

This is a big breakfast for me as I’m an average – small size with very small bone structure.

My husband is tall, big-boned and muscular, most likely his nutritional needs for maintenance would be 2 or 3 times as much as me – no wonder he thinks I should eat more!

When we got home from shopping my husband was concerned I hadn’t eaten enough in the day and that I would fade away. I added up all the calories and compared it to the requirement for moderately active (I wasn’t active while shopping – it was like being sedentary for almost the whole day – blech). Anyway, my calories were about 150 short of that for a moderately active woman of my size, so I drank a glass of milk with heaps of Milo in it to add an extra 200 – 250 calories.

I’m better at noticing what foods affect my immune system and I’ve worked out that chocolate, sugar, dairy and stimulants such as tea and coffee lower my immune system. So Milo wasn’t the best choice . I felt a little bit of a dip after having it, so I had more water and took some Chilean ‘throat’ medicine. (It has goldenseal in it, and other things that I don’t understand because I’m not very good at reading Spanish).

Chocolate doesn’t act straight away, because at first it feels like it gives me a lift, but after a while I can feel my sinuses going dry and having a slight burning feeling, or a cooling feeling in my throat. I get a bit hyper and have extra energy for a while, then I feel a little bit run down. The darker the chocolate, the stronger the effect. I have still eaten chocolate several times over the course of my 2 meals a day experiment, as each time I try to convince myself that I must be craving it because it has iron or other nutrients. However, the effects on my sinuses are too uncomfortable, and if I take it to the extreme, combined with dairy and sugar, I will have a guaranteed sinus infection. I had several months of ongoing sinus infections that just wouldn’t go away. They would just be on and off, on and off the whole time. I finally figured out how to get rid of them and I haven’t had it come back. I will write about what I did soon. I will have to find other, similarly rich food that has lots of nutrients and/or antioxidants, like grape juice, dark grapes and berries, marmite, spinach, etc.,

Also, I’m taking multi-vitamins.

How I got rid of my chronic sinusitis and it hasn’t come back. (It’s not easy if you like sweets and milk!)

I cut out:


Cane Sugar and other refined sugar


This includes everything made with dairy and/or sugar, like yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, cakes, cookies, donuts, sweet bread, sugary drinks, etc.,

I cut out eating very cold foods, such as chilled water, cold smoothies and juices, and especially ice-cream. Sadly, ice-cream is one of the biggest culprits for me.

I cut out drinking with meals. This was hard as I felt dry after eating, but fruit can be eaten with meals to ease the dryness. As soon as I cut out drinking with meals I had a noticeable reduction in the flow of mucous from sinuses (gross).

I did more cardio exercise. Outdoors. It was embarrassing at first because I had a constantly stuffy, blocked nose and had to keep blowing my nose when exercising with other people, but yet again it was a big step in clearing up the infection.

The above changes took at least three weeks to take effect and then my sinuses just started clearing up and the infection going away.

I also got a herbal throat spray based on olive leaf extract and sprayed it in the back of my throat if it felt funny.


I can’t believe I have gone so many days without eating dinner at night (other than the ocassional watermelon, lettuce salad or ice-cream). I am at a bit of a bored point, where I am still getting benefits (such as no dry eyes) but no exciting new developments to really make me enthusiastic about it. Still, I want to stick with this as it is definitely helping me be healthier. Also, I definitely don’t have ANY constipation or the opposite.

I have noticed I haven’t been baking unhealthy food lately, and also night time is about the only time when I really crave high fat, fried, high sugar, and just about everything else. In the morning, the cravings are gone!

My taste buds are tasting things a lot better and I’m not getting a lot of pleasure from overly sweet foods with cane sugar.

I’m still eating as many calories as I can fit in at breakfast time, but I still think I am just meeting my maintenance calories goal for the day, because night-time used to be the time when I would take in the most calories. I seriously used to snack for hours in the evening.


on 20/01/2017 I ate ice-cream and fruit in the afternoon. The ice-cream was full on and as soon as my body gets food in the afternoon it goes immediately back to the old pattern and I have to go through about three or four days of feeling really hungry in the evening again. The old habits are still there if I go back to them – most likely due to the strong neural connection between brain and stomach. So, I sort of re-started from the 20th, and I have had 18 days in a row since then without eating dinner.

I will just give thanks to God for that, because I have never done it for that long before.

It is hard – especially when we go out to a take-away restaurant, say ‘La Porchetta’, and I can smell the food so intensely. In the evening I always crave the really high-fat, fast-food kind of stuff.

I don’t want to let go of the health benefits I am experiencing though. They are too good!

To get me through that high-craving time, I just pray, think of other things I can do, keep my mouth busy drinking water or herbal tea (sometimes I have high-quality juice or fresh fruit that is very easy to digest and hydrating – such as watermelon).

I realised after a while that most likely I am just dehydrated and need a lot of hydration. My stomach loves having a rest from digesting food, and I have more energy already.

Benefits so far after 24 days of this experiment:

My favourite benefits:

My eyes are not dry anymore, and seem more sparkly to me – hee hee.

  • My lips are not chronically dry anymore and only have a tiny bit of dry skin every now and then – they also have more natural colour. Before, they looked pale and shrivelled, and had dry skin hanging off them all the time – a small but irritating problem.
  • I can run and exercise in the evening without upsetting my stomach.
  • I can run fast without leakage – for some reason my pelvic floor seems stronger – this is crazy!  I have to test this more because I can’t believe it.
  • My voice is starting to come back. For a few months before I started this experiment, my voice was so tired, that I had to stop singing altogether. I also had to limit reading to my children to only about one chapter or one/two childrens’ books a day. I even had to stop talking sometimes just so my voice wouldn’t get worn out. It was getting to the point that I would even get a sore throat from over-using my voice – so it was making me sick. I felt quite sad about it. Now, my voice is returning, and I can sing high notes again as I used to when I was in my teens and 20’s. My voice doesn’t sound dry and raspy anymore, too, so I can talk in a more pleasant tone.
  • My stomach is much less swollen, even after eating. I used to stick out my stomach and it looked like 4 months pregnant. Now, even when I try to stick out my stomach, after eating a big meal, it is at least 2 inches less than before.  In the morning, my stomach looks much flatter than before, and I can almost see my ‘abs’. This is not from fat loss. The swollen look of my stomach was to do with my digestive system. I don’t know exactly how, but I’m glad to have a much less swollen-looking stomach.
  • My taste-buds are alive! I have suddenly realised how salty food tastes! I’m finding the salty flavours that I liked before are almost over-powering. I am preferring food that is less salty, and less artificially sweet. I’m finding the sweet sucrose-ey tasting foods too sweet as well. I’m loving the sweetness of fruit though.

Other benefits:

I am sleeping better with less interruptions

  • I can go out in cold weather and cold shopping malls and I don’t get chilled and lower my immune system, as used to happen before
  • I can go to sleep later (by about 1 ½ hrs) and wake up earlier (by about ½ hr so far) and I still feel energetic
  • My afternoon ‘slump’ times are less intense – I’m not feeling the tiredness as much
  • I feel less ‘brain fog’, and my word recall is getting better
  • I have more free time since I’m not wasting time baking unhealthy cookies and cakes, etc.,
  • I have more free time in the evening too, since I’m not eating all evening.
  • I haven’t had a hint of sinusitis or mucous in my throat. It used to be a chronic problem for me. I have to add regarding this problem, that I have completely cut out dairy, which is the biggest culprit in sinusitis and mucous problems for me
  • The intensity of my irritability and grumpy feelings has diminished a lot. I still get annoyed sometimes but I feel that I have more power to be patient. I have been praying about this too
  • I’m eating breakfast much more consistently and getting more quality nutrients since I have no choice. I can’t just have a meagre breakfast or skip it

There are even more benefits but I have to stop typing now as the kids are waking up and it’s time for breakfast!

Whittlesea Monday Market ‘Haul’


With the rate that we eat through fruit and fresh produce (and use it for juicing), I have been searching North Melbourne far and wide for options that are local and cheap.  I can’t guarantee that everything at Whittlesea Monday market is local, but a lot of it is, and it is definitely the best cheap, quality fresh fruit and vegetables that I could find.  Most of the produce was fresher and sweeter than the supermarket and local fruit and vege store near me.  Many fruit and vege stores have great, quality produce, but the one near me is over-priced (I believe), leading to slower turn-over and less fresh-ness.

With the Monday market it is all about being there at the right time (not too long before closing time on a Monday – say about lunch-time), having cash ready, and being able to drive in and pick up the boxes of produce.

I love bargains, and I was totally disappointed I couldn’t buy everything that was for sale at the end – mmm, that tray of pears for a really low price!  But I did end up with a lot of stuff, with the price being really great.  The cost of all the oranges, apples, carrots, golden kiwi fruit and eggs that I bought, was less than any other store that I have found so far.  It is less than all of the local fruit and vege stores as well.

Which is why I wanted to share this, because in order for us to continue to get great bargain prices on fresh produce, we need to support local markets.  Thankfully, Whittlesea Monday market is quite popular, but it can always do with more customers.  Rage against the supermarkets!

List of what I got:

Oranges: 13 – 15 kg box

Apples: 13 kg box

Golden Kiwifruit: 5 kg (these were incredibly cheap, and delicious!)

Carrots: 15 kg bag

Eggs: Tray of 30 that sells for about $10 (average price – sometimes it is less) grain and grass fed hens

Pears: I was given some as a free sample so I could try and buy next time – they were sweet and juicy!

So, this is how I afford to get enough fresh fruit and carrots for juicing, for my family.  If it wasn’t for the market we would not be able to buy as much fresh produce as what we would like to consume, or we would be going broke keeping up with the demand.  Please support local markets!











(This morning’s 15 min walk/jog) 🙂 yay!

After moving house and not really exercising or blogging for ages I am unofficially joining myself to a NEWSTART program, which involves:

N – Nutrition

E – Exercise

W – Water

S – Sunshine

T – Temperance (avoiding bad things such as drugs, going easy on junk food)

A – Air

R – Rest

T – Trust in God

I’m calling the one I’m doing ‘T – NEWSTAR’ instead of NEWSTART, because I really need God’s help, so ‘Trust in God’ will have to come first.

I’m not the ideal candidate for a ‘health-freak’, with my weak lungs (from pneumonia as a baby), to my fractured tailbone and very low muscle tone, with skinny ‘chicken legs’ (lol!), and my foot injury, which means I have a sore heel every morning.

I was feeling so ‘blech’ this morning when I got up.  I had cold legs, a ‘funny’ tickle in my throat like I was catching something, and I felt tired.  I decided I’m going to start by doing devotional time first and asking God for strength because nothing else is working.

I’ve tried sleeping more in the morning to stop myself from getting sick, but it’s not working.  I just don’t have enough energy to exercise, cook healthy food, avoid junk, etc., on my own.  So, here goes!

After my devotional this morning though, I thought my circulation felt really bad with my cold feet, so I decided even if I feel totally rubbish I need to go for exercise in the fresh (cold) morning air (which usually I try to avoid).

I dug out my exercise gear and took a brief interlude outside, swinging my arms and legs to try and stretch them as much as possible.  I remembered my ‘deep-breathing’ technique of inhaling deeply through my nose, then out my mouth two puffs (to try and fully empty my lungs).

Funnily enough I didn’t freeze, and when I came inside the house felt really warm!  I didn’t jog much, just a brisk 15 minute walk (keeping in mind the T for Temperance!)  I am the kind of person who takes things to the extreme naturally.  I might have in the past jogged for 1 hour, then injured myself or been tired and grumpy for the rest of the day, but I can’t afford to do that when I have 2 little ones to look after.

Now, I wonder what I can make for brekky that is low fat, low sugar and yummy, before the kids wake up?






Favourite Bits of NZed by an Aussie Who Lived There Six Years


I’m an Aussie but a self-confessed NZ-lover, having lived there for six years of my adolescent/teenage life.

In my mind it is one of the most Edenic countries on earth to live (minus the fact it is freezing, and sadly, well-paying jobs are hard to find).

It is an amazing place to go as a tourist, with everything so close together; so many beautiful natural wonders; and most NZers are super-helpful and friendly. Just walking down the street will elicit a few ‘hellos’.

I’ve toured all over the South Island so it will be my focus in this blog.

Favourite places/things to do in the South Island:

Christchurch, The Avon River and Botanic Gardens: It is beautiful, and you can swim in the river if you want to freeze your socks off, or go for boat ride, either by hiring a boat or a gondolier. The botanic gardens are great for roller-blading.

Christchurch, The Ice Skating Rink: Big, affordable, and fun!

The Port Hills: Just outside Christchurch. In winter they are graced with snow.

Enough about Christchurch. The best bits are outside the city. In no particular order:

Hanmer Springs: Love, love, love them! They are relatively cheap, compared to the Aussie ones. There are so many pools to bathe in, with all different temperatures. There are pools that flow into each other. There’s a cold pool to dip in to ‘increase your circulation’. In winter it is stunning to bathe surrounded by snow.

Maruia Hot Springs Motel: with hot spring bathing and bath house: You think you’ve seen a nice motel? This one is almost too stunning to believe! Imagine bathing in a Japanese-style bath house next to a huge window that overlooks the mountains! The pools for the natural hot springs have a natural look, with (smooth) rocks set in them. It is about an hour from Hanmer Springs and from memory allows you to pay for entry to the bathing, without staying overnight. (I would call ahead to check, just in case though – please don’t take my word for it).

The Cookie Time Factory: If you’ve got a sweet tooth you can’t miss this! I’ve never understood why no-one in Australia has figured out how to sell cookies that taste this good. It’s probably a good thing, or I’d have big dental bills.

Te Waikoropupu Springs: If you fancy drinking water straight from the ground, plus seeing beautiful clear rivers running over pretty stones, this is worth a taste.

Arrowtown: The cutest little town on the way to Queenstown. It is surrounded by hills. Autumn is the most stunning time to visit as the hills are totally blanketed in red, orange, yellow – every bright, Autumn colour imaginable. Still, it is cute at any time of the year, and if you have a sweet tooth, they have one of the best ice-cream shops in NZed.

Fun Things to Do in Queenstown (I’ve tested them out – except I was too young for the bungy jumping):

The Luge – it’s like go-karting down-hill

The Shotover jet-boat. It’s like almost crashing into the sides of the river.

The Queenstown Gondola – a steep and stunning view.

Bungy Jumping: Nevis Bungy – Nzed’s highest bungy, above a river. You have the option of dipping in the water when you go down (make sure your t-shirt is secured or you may be revealing more than just your sense of adventure). Need I say more?

Mt Somers: lovely place to tramp (NZed for ‘hike’): The huts provided for trampers are warm. The walk is challenging but not harrowing, though we almost got lost in the snow here, when it was knee-high and we couldn’t see the markers.

Mount Hutt for Skiing: “Voted NZed’s best ski resort in 2015” (quoting an internet site I just googled). I can understand why. It is affordable (especially if you would buy a season pass), and has great skiing for every level. I went here from beginner (when I skied straight down the mountain instead of going from side to side), to intermediate. I love the intermediate slopes. They are so fun, without being too steep. The snow is usually soft and powdery. I mostly avoided the advanced slopes. I left them to the expert two-year-olds, who zip along with skis bigger than themselves. Tip: When exiting the ski lift, don’t get your ski caught in it, or you will do the splits. Also, if you exit very fast, you could zoom over other peoples’ skis, and knock them flat on their back. Perhaps the reason why people opt for snow-boarding?

Milford Sound: All of NZed is photogenic, but this takes the cake! When we travelled through, we saw dolphins leaping behind the boat.

Fruit-Picking: Some of the best berry and cherry picking (when in season).

Sandy black beaches: Yes, the sand may seem coarse and the water freezing, but it is worth it, just to spot one paua shell! Anyway, a true NZer still swims at the beach in freezing weather (most likely in a bikini) and then goes for ice-cream.

I could go on and on about fun things to do and places to see in NZed. There are plenty of things I haven’t mentioned or tried myself. If anyone reads this blog, please share your favourite places or things to do! 🙂

Depression: The Way Out

Vicki Griffin started running away from home as a little five-year-old girl. Imagine never having a happy memory from your childhood; never waking up even one morning feeling excited about the new day.  When she talks about depression it is really genuine.  Her talk and some of her childhood experience are shared below, or through the link.








(My favourite song for de-cluttering)

I accepted a dare of ‘no clothes shopping for a year’ a couple of years back, and strived for a simpler year. I also tried to give up watching T.V. at the same time. It helped me so much, with the biggest benefit being the time saved since it cured my shopping addiction.

I also realised a lot of fashion and models look really silly – not something I want to copy.

People with less stuff (so long as they have their basic needs) are happier! Having too many possessions is not a blessing – it is a burden.

My home still gets messy, but I don’t waste as much time dealing with things rather than spending time with loved ones.

There is no such thing as giving too much!  The more I have given, the more I have gotten back.  It is really hard to keep stuff out of the house, as just when I have donated lots of stuff, I have been given bags and bags of stuff just, seemingly out of nowhere!

My favourite online professional organiser, Alejandra – she is the real deal:

De-cluttering is not a static goal – it is a way of living. Output has to exceed input. For example, if I buy a new toy, I need to give some away.

I had to change my perspective to let go of stuff.  For example, I had to stop thinking that objects = memories. I can still treasure a memory but let go of the object.  I can take photographs, for example, and discard the original item.  I did this with a huge box of drawings my parents had collected from when I was four years old.  I had never used it, for my entire life.  I kept a few of my favourites, took photos, and then threw out the whole box.  Have I ever needed or missed them since that time?  Never!

Feeling overwhelmed is quite common for me.  Starting with the most obvious, messy areas is most effective.  For example, I could de-clutter a closet, or the lounge-room.  De-cluttering the lounge-room is going to improve my everyday experience a lot faster, because I use it all the time.  I can just shut the closet and no-one will see the mess.  I can leave the closet and other small, detailed jobs until I have done the ‘big picture’ stuff.

Starting with the root of clutter is very effective too.  The root of clutter in our house is the garage.  It is where all the un-used stuff ends up, and when it gets over-crowded there’s not enough storage space.  Fix that, and then I can move all the stuff in there that I’m not using.

I have literally prayed for help, and I believe God has helped me to see more things I don’t need, or am not using so I can pass them on.

Redeeming time that could have been wasted is priceless.  I had a huge suitcase full of old diaries and journals, that I was planning to type up and publish.  When I calculated the time it would take it could have been years of my spare time!! My sister was helping me de-clutter and she suggested something I never would have considered – get rid of the diaries.  I kept the ones from the most interesting and special times of my life, and threw out a huge box full. Whew!  What a relief.. Now I can use my time for something more important.

As a big picture person I love the box technique.  Pack what I’m not using in a box. Label it with what’s inside and date it. Leave it for 6 months – 1 year.  If I haven’t required it within that time (unless it is an heirloom or irreplaceable keepsake), pass it on. I have found it better for me to pass things on without handling them again because touching objects revives a connection and sense of ownership, and decreases the likelihood of giving them away.

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!


sunset blog

I like to experiment on myself to see what works.  Things that have helped me to sleep include some unusual things, like avoiding MSG before bed, not over-using my brain before bed, and certain foods that help make serotonin … mmm.. tofu!

I made the mistake last night of overdosing on excitotoxins. They sound really exciting but they are not really that great.  They are found in MSG and artificial sweeteners.  They cause the brain cells to get so excited that they jump up and down until they die. Not quite, but I’m not a scientist, hence my basic explanation.

My breathing was already affected when I went to sleep. I noticed I would just stop breathing every few breaths. When I woke up too early in the morning my brain was over-active, my stomach in a knot, and I could see small spots in front of my eyes periodically. It was a really awful feeling. I also felt anxious for no reason, which I found really interesting.  I wonder if MSG could be a factor in anxiety?  It is hidden in so many processed and fast foods.

I ate some vegetarian ‘duck’ from the Asian grocery store, loaded with MSG, plus soup with lots of stock cubes (marked ‘no added MSG’ – yeah right, they are liars with their pants on fire), plus fizzy drink with artificial sweeteners.

I found a couple of helpful links this morning, and there is a wealth of information online about MSG and other things that prevent good sleep.

A few foods that help sleep:

Magnesium rich foods such as pumpkin seeds


Foods that contain tryptophan (because tryptophan helps us make our favourite happy drug – serotonin):


Tofu – the highest in available tryptophan! Hooray, I love tofu!


Gluten (note: lots of processed gluten products contain MSG)


Sesame seeds




Oats and brown rice


Almond milk


B vitamins (Note: a lot of B vitamin fizzy tablets contain aspartame)


Foods and substances that have kept me awake and or disturbed my sleep or given me nightmares:


One night I ate a big, spicy curry, followed by a huge Cookie Time cookie (go NZ!) full of chocolate chips just before bed.  That was one of the best cookies ever, and one of the worst sleeps (or lack of sleep plus nightmares).


Chocolate (Nooooooooooo! Actually not only does chocolate have tonnes of sugar, and contain caffeine, it contains another stimulant, theobromine, which is also a stimulant and causes mental unrest)


Sugar (not including fruit – this is aimed at processed sugar)






High protein foods just before bed


High fat foods just before bed


Spicy foods – especially just before bed.


I would also like to add that the brain needs a break sometimes. From my own personal experience too much mental stimulation has affected my sleep, including:


Movies – especially just before bed


Studying and googling stuff just before bed


Doing any kind of work requiring a lot of mental concentration – such as calculations, paperwork, paying bills just before bed


The mind needs a rest too!! How do you think your legs would function if you spent the entire day running with no rest?


Many people are too addicted to constant mental stimulation. We have to be texting, calling, googling, gaming, watching movies, watching TV, listening to music, looking at photos, reading, checking facebook, etc.,


Taxing the brain constantly without giving it a chance to wind down caused me a lot of sleep problems.


Here is what I do if I want my mind to have wind-down time before bed:


Go for a walk in the evening with the kids and watch the sunset


Do some light cardio exercise to reduce stress


Do some simple weight-bearing exercises – i.e. push-ups


Ask my husband for a shoulder or foot-rub


Take a relaxing shower or bath


Pray and read the Bible (for some reason reading the Bible does not stress or tax my mind, but calms it. I believe there is a difference in mental activity between entertainment reading and reading that uplifts spiritually, but I won’t go into depth here or I could write a novel)


Do a foot soak


Have a good, positive conversation with someone


When I see the evening as a connecting and relaxing time – with God, other people, and with the outdoors, I feel refreshed, I sleep better, and I awake with mental clarity and power to think and accomplish things.


I haven’t suffered any loss by avoiding the completion of work and projects at night. I leave it, rest my brain, and then do the hard mental work in the morning.


This (as well as prayer from members of my prayer group) has greatly reduced my anxious thoughts at night, has helped me fall asleep, and has helped me think clearly.

Sunrise Weekly Inspiration

I got to walk at sunrise today – yay! It is a beautiful, sacred time of the day for me. When I get the opportunity to go, I grab it. I have to wait until my husband is here to watch the kids, so I value it even more these days.

Here is a song by one of my favourite artists, Neville Peter:

Here is a quote on the way the mind affects the health of the body:

“The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death.

Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. Many are lifelong invalids who might be well if they only thought so. Many imagine that every slight exposure will cause illness, and the evil effect is produced because it is expected. Many die from disease the cause of which is wholly imaginary.

Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul. “A merry [rejoicing] heart doeth good like a medicine.” Proverbs 17:22.”

(From ‘Ministry of Healing’ Chapter 18