Rika’s Ration Rule of Thumb
I just had a telephone call with a friend in Australia. We don’t talk that often – not often enough – so if it happens twice it year we are lucky. And it turns out that we did the same changes to our lives so simultaneously that it is almost scary.
Twins in Spirit
I'm flabbergasted how at the same time, half a world apart, two people are taking their lives into their own hands and starting to change the same things - Sport and Nutrition. They are using the same principles: take your time - keep it simple - be determined. They turn out to have different preferences: more veg diet/more protein rich diet - aerobic sport/weight sport, but they are achieving the same goals.
Only yesterday I was a bit worried that I might not have made myself clear enough in my previous articles. Another friend sent me her comments and I felt that she took my lists of stuff that I eat or not eat rather literally for her to take on. I actually re-wrote bits of Nutrition – Let’s get started after that, but I still wasn’t sure if I got it right.
Now that I found my 'twin in spirit' doing the same thing for her life, but applying her own preferences while achieving the same as me, I'm hoping that this is a good example what this is all about.
Inspirations, Guidelines, Rules of Thumb
My lists only can be guidelines, give you ideas where to start. My example only can show you that it is not one big scary heap of tasks to be achieved within a month. You have all the time you need. You choose the pace. We both took several years and we both didn’t plan for the journey. We started for completely different reasons. I was just fed up with myself, she got breast cancer and knew that something had to change to help her survive. Actually, she should be the one keeping this site, her story is so much more impressive than my ‘lacking confidence a bit’ thingy.
But again – I said it before: it is not important how big the problem is because of which somebody is unhappy. It is important to REALISE that one is unhappy – and then DO something about it. We both did changes in regard to food and sport, somebody else might have completely different issues like money or creative activities. Nevertheless, the same principles apply: You have to START, and then you take it from there. Without starting you are not getting anywhere. One of the best magazines I ever read was 'Oprah'. I read the article half and then I thought: 'What am I doing? Why am I still reading? She tells me to get up, so I should!' And I did! And it felt great. I finished the article some other time. So if you would want to get up now, to get the program of you college to find a course or pack your stuff to go to the gym, or weed out your food cabinets,... I don't mind, and bless you!
Read this and then 'Stop Counting!'
So well, than let me try to get you off the counting of calories. I know, weirdly enough I'm talking a lot about calories to get rid of them, and all the people who never fell into the trap of counting calories shouldn’t actually read this. This approach of calorie units was my way to forget to count calories altogether. After some time had passed the unit thing faded into the back of my mind, and I did'nt go on the scale every day either. It just wasn't important anymore, I knew myself without all the measuring. Now I probably go on a scale every half year only to find that what has changed I know about anyway.
I used these calorie units to develop a gut feeling for how much food I need. Whenever I find some new food I roughly put it into one of the 4 groups and go on with my life. I don’t write anything down. I even had to re-calculate everything to write it down for you because I didn’t have the exact numbers anymore. Those are only to show you how rough the categorization is. Everything from 80 – 120 goes into the 100 group, and so on.
I try to keep a certain level of food intake throughout the week – not per day. I don’t specify units more than 300 calories. Much too tricky! I just count it as ‘big meal’. That’s my dinners with hubby. I want to enjoy them and as I know that they are healthy and cooked with good ingredients I just don’t bother. This only happens about twice a week anyway, and however much they are it levels out within the week.
So ladies, have a very brief look below on how my food fits into those categories, and I hope you will get inspired to review you storage cabinets, probably throw the one or the other thing out after reading the labels, or keeping them in nevertheless because you just like it too much. Conscious decision is the key word here: As long as you are aware of what you are eating – everything is allowed.
My 100 Calories Grazing-Units
Ever done some exercise which involves a lot of bending, putting pressure on the tummy while having heart burn from that stupid Muffin you had 3 hours earlier?
My 150 Calories Grazing-Units
But as I said that might be only me. My mum can’t live without bananas and they are her lifesavers between her sport sessions.
My 200 Calories Grazing-Units
At the beginning I felt a bit odd walking through London chomping on my big and lumpy sandwiches, now I don’t care. I used to take half of my time in London for chasing some food, and once I had it I was knackered and plump and not really able to enjoy the trip anymore. Now I’m grazing along from my backpack (which hubby is carrying – of course) enjoying the trip to the full.
My 300-plus Units = Main meals
The muesli is the one to keep an eye on. I love mueslis, but trouble is that I can’t have raw nuts due to allergies. So I’m mixing my own and I wanted to be able to compare it to the ones in the supermarket. Once I had the numbers I realised that they are worth a real meal what is OK, one only needs to know.
All the rest of the list are lovely recipes, which I will give you as soon as I have measured the ingredients. Now I know how good writers of cooking books have to be.
A Lot of Numbers
Below you find the tables where I calculated the calories for the recipes I created myself. I didn’t want to loose the calculations so I’ve included them. It might give you an idea on how to judge the stuff that you are cooking from scratch.
Nutrition and Recipes