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A Bootea (Pootea) Review

Despite my slightly ‘anti-detox’ blog last week, I’ve always been intrigued by popular ‘teatoxes’ and their promise that drinking a herbal tea will help you lose weight and feel great. Bootea is probably one of the leading detox teas around and so I gave in to my curiosity and embarked on Bootea’s 14 day teatox – here’s how I got on.

What’s involved?
For 14 days you drink a cup of Bootea every morning (or when you remember). Within those 14 days you also drink a second Bootea every other night before bed. Doing so is meant to help you feel energised and lose weight.

Initial thoughts of Bootea
“What a pretty box!” was my first thought! My second observation – there’s not a lot of information given on how the tea actually helps you achieve those goals, so I assumed that the all natural ingredients would maybe suppress your appetite, or contain properties that would encourage fat burning. I was wrong. This tea will make you poop, and I guess we’ve all had big dumps where we felt energised and lighter afterwards!

What does Bootea taste like?
The tea is fairly enjoyable to drink. The morning tea is quite refreshing and it has a strong taste of dandelion and fennel. The bedtime tea is a little earthier in its flavour, but has a pleasant peppermint aftertaste. Both teas took a tiny while to get used to, but they are by no means unlikeable to drink.

What happened after I drank Bootea
I wonder if it’s an inside joke to call this tea ‘Boo’ as it rhymes with poo, and that really is what you’ll end up doing – or I did anyway. I would describe this tea as a colon cleanse. For me, the need to go was surprisingly quick after drinking the morning tea. The bedtime tea worked through the night so that you may feel the need to go first thing in the morning. The urge to poo in the first few days was er, very regular. After the first week, this settled and I didn’t particularly notice the need to go as being an inconvenient (aka, I didn’t sh#t the bed).

How did I feel after my Bootea teatox?
I’m prone to constipation, wow bet you’re glad you read this blog, and the tea definitely helped to solve that issue! It has also made me feel less bloated and having to drink the herbal concoction everyday I think helped me cut down on my coffee intake – which always has a habit of creeping up. I can’t honestly say that I have felt more energised from the tea, but perhaps I would be able to tell better once more time as passed since finishing my Bootea pack – and if next time I tried the 28 day teatox.

Bootea and weight loss
I follow Weight Watchers, so I am purposefully trying to lose weight at the moment, but I don’t feel as though the tea has helped me lose anymore than I would usually. In fact, in my first week (and this is all me, not the tea) I actually put on 1lb and in the week that followed I lost 2lb. Losing 2lb a week with Weight Watchers is a healthy average, so I don’t think I can say that Bootea helped me to lose any more than I would of normally. Although, up until drinking the tea I was averaging a weight loss of 0.5lb a week – so perhaps the tea helped a smidgen more.

Would I recommend Bootea?
If you’re intrigued and prone to constipation than I would recommend it – just be warned that you’re going to poop! I would do this myself again, so perhaps that’s testament to the benefits you can experience following a teatox. Bootea also offer other natural products, designed to help aid weight loss and promote good health; because it’s so pretty and I can’t help but look into anything that suggests i’d lose weight, i’m sure I will try other Bootea products in the future and share a review!

P.S If anyone from Bootea read this, please know that I’d happily accept free Bootea products and share an honest review on them… worth asking eh! 🙂

www.bootea.com

Is a detox diet dangerous?

With December being such an indulgent time of year, it’s no surprise that January is a prime time for detoxing; but can a detox diet be dangerous?

Why I went on a detox
Last year I fell into the detox diet camp. I had overdosed on chocolate, carbs and alcohol. I had heard lots about ‘clean’ eating and the benefits of munching green leafy vegetables high in chlorophyll*, so I decided to cut out Dairy Milk, booze and carbs for a little bit. I embraced kale like you would never believe! I was either very unlucky, stupid (probably), or an example of how a detox diet can cause more harm than good.

*I didn’t actually know what chlorophyll was at the time but it seemed to be attached to lots of health benefits and weight loss. Here’s an article I found on why it’s meant to be so good for you! 10 amazing benefit of chlorophyll

My detox experience
I was half way through the first week of my detox diet when I became painfully sick. I had severe stomach cramps, which no joke reminded me of early labour, and spent 24 hours throwing up green gunge – nice. I had managed to drop my daughter off at nursery just before the spewing really kicked in and although she was just around the corner, I couldn’t get out of bed to pick her up; and so my husband had to leave work early to collect her (oops). I couldn’t believe how sick I was and I could only put it down to my ‘detox’. I longed for carbs to have lined my stomach and had horrible flashbacks of my superfood, leafy green kale stir-fry for dinner – with no noodles or rice!

Too much kale perhaps?
In hindsight it’s VERY possible I overdid the portion of kale in my meals and if paired with items from other food groups, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so sick; but I doubt I’m the only one who approaches detoxing in an all or nothing kind of way. Am I? With that experience behind me, I decided to never cut out a food group again. When I recovered from my detox attack I looked into what I had been eating a little more and the possible side effects. I came across loads of articles and accounts* from people who had experienced something similar and had seen the less glamorous side to kale eating.

Why kale made me sick
These articles detailed how Kale is high in fibre and contains a particular type of sugar which can make Kale really hard to break down and digest. Some articles also suggested how Kale could have a negative effect on those with an under-active thyroid, and/or could have a negative effect on the functioning of your thyroid. This struck a chord with me because my thyroid (since having a baby strangely), seems to be on the under-active side and at the time I was having several blood tests to find out what was going on with it. However, after reading more on this I realised you would have to eat A LOT of kale for your thyroid to be affected by the green stuff. Still, it didn’t sit well with me (literally).

Detoxing from booze and chocolate
I feel a detox from alcohol and chocolate can’t be grouped thought of as a ‘dangerous detox’. Studies show that reducing your alcohol intake can reduce the risk of developing cancer, liver or heart disease; lower your blood pressure; improve your sleep; lift your mood; improve your concentration; and help you lose weight.

Then there’s my old friend chocolate and it’s sugar content. Yes, certain sugars are good for you, but the type I’m talking about is high in ‘refined sugar’ with little nutritional value, and at the time of this detox I felt I had a little too much of this type of sugar through my intake of milky, delicious chocolate – and we all know that too much of this doesn’t help our waistlines or cholesterol.

What I learnt from my detox diet
Limiting foods that are high in refined sugars is beneficial for good health but cutting out foods groups or having too much of one thing is not so good – I know what you’re thinking, “wow this girl is a freaking genius!”

My new approach to healthy eating is to enjoy treats from time to time, include a wide of fruit and veg in my diet and work on portion control rather than banning myself from eating certain foods. I was so affected by this experience, that I actually made it my New Year’s resolution to not deprive myself of anything – including booze and chocolate (what a hypocrite), but I would cut down and have everything in moderation. I used to think that was such a boring saying but now I really want to embrace it as I never want to be that sick again!

Also an apology…
Sorry Kale for bad-mouthing you, in moderation I’m sure you’re ok and with some forward planning i’m sure lots of people have had successful detoxes! If you are one of those people, love kale, or if you have had a similar experience to me, I’d love to hear from you. Use the comment box below!

Footnotes
If you’re interested in the Kale articles I mentioned, here are a few links to what I read. 

www.high50.com/health/three-reasons-not-to-eat-kale
www.huffingtonpost.com/karin-kasdin/kale-haters_b_4171383.html
health.heraldtribune.com/2012/09/25/kale-good-nutrition-for-you-just-dont-overdo
www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/could-kale-cause-hypothyroidism
www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/is_kale_bad_for_my_thyroid_health

Hello 2017!

Wow, what a Christmas and New Year! I drank far too much, ate far too much and had a brilliant time doing so! For the first time ever, I actually exercised over the festive period and really enjoyed it.

Today it’s back to normality which includes a return to my Weight Watchers meeting and time to face the scales. Although I felt like I made some healthy choices over Christmas, I also made a lot of unhealthy ones and have genuinely been scared of the first weigh-in. To my surprise and delight, I managed to maintain! Woohoo! I’m so pleased and now feel motivated to get to goal.

I’m not far away from my pre-baby weight and I must drop a dress size to fit into a bridesmaid dress already purchased. So, let’s do this!

I’ve just planned my meals and activity for the week ahead and I hope to focus on being healthy and enjoy a few new gym classes and recipes this week. As always, throw your weight loss tips and plans my way and whether it was a loss, maintain or gain – did you enjoy your Christmas and have you stepped on the scales?!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017 xx

Great weightspectations

With the big day just around the corner I’ve been having a rethink about my weight loss goals. All year I’ve wanted to be at my ‘goal weight’ for Christmas, but I forgot what December can be like when it comes to festive occasions dominated by copious amounts of food and drink. So should I keep aiming to reach my target by Christmas or cut myself some slack and postpone my ‘goal weight’ dreams until the New Year?

Option 1 – Lose weight and get to goal by Christmas

The positive side of me says forget about all the hoo-ha of Christmas piss ups and foodie feasts – enjoy the lot but keep aiming to lose what I can by Christmas – especially as I’m so close to my goal. However, I’m nervous that putting pressure on myself to reach my goal over such a busy foodie time of year will only leave me feeling disappointed if I don’t achieve it. Plus, when I set this goal originally it was on the basis of losing 1-2lbs a week. With a few unplanned blips, I would actually need to lose over 2lbs a week to reach my goal in time for Christmas. So, as much as I would love to reach my goal by December 25th, I feel as though I’m setting myself up to fail. Or am I being pessimistic?

Option 2 – Maintain my current weight until the New Year

I feel like maintaining my current weight is more of a realistic goal for this time of year. I would still aim to lose a few pounds, but having a ‘maintenance’ goal as my aim feels a lot more achievable and something that I would feel happy about once Christmas has passed. I could enjoy all the events I’ve got coming up but I’d try to not go overboard with food and drink like I have done in previous years.

Option 3 – Gain weight

I definitely don’t want to do this. I’ve been known to put on 7lbs+ just over Christmas week! So, I will continue to exercise, plan what I eat, fill up on healthy stuff and attempt to have treats in moderation… until Christmas Day itself that is!

P.S
The mince pies in the photo have been in my house for 3 days now, and I’ve not eaten them – winning!

31 Christmas weight loss tips

Losing weight over Christmas can be really tricky, and while Christmas shouldn’t be just about food and drink – it does seem to dominate December. With that in mind, here’s a little round up of healthy Christmas weight loss tips I’ve picked up, read or heard over the years and I hope these can help you (and me) stay on track over the festive season.

  1. Christmas is just one day, don’t eat mince pies for the whole of December!
  2. If you’re hosting Christmas parties, stock up as near to your event as possible, rather than bulk ordering weeks in advance. This will hopefully prevent pre-event eating and having to re-stock. Unless you have a second freezer that you can stay well away from!
  3. Plan your meals and activity in advance – there are a lot of days over the festive period you can still be healthy on.
  4. Practice safe/non-binge drinking. Alternative between alcoholic and soft drinks if you can on a night out and batch cook some healthy meals for the days/hungover that follow.
  5. Often find yourself right next to the buffet? Move away after you’ve enjoyed your food and get involved with some festive games or dancing!
  6. Keep your weight loss goals close to mind – write them down and carry them around as a little reminder when you feel like you may be over indulging. 
  7. Eat your greens and lean meat – roast dinner can be pretty healthy if you allow it to be.
  8. Experiment with new Christmassy recipes to impress friends and family. 
  9. Plan a few active days over the holidays instead of planting yourself in a pub for hours on end – visit Christmas markets and enjoy some Winter walks.
  10. Feel Christmassy with some lighter treats – mini mini pies, low calorie hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts… 
  11. Sign up to a charity run or event to keep yourself motivated during winter.
  12. And with that in mind, why not embrace some Winter sports – try indoor skiing, head to a dry slope or go sledging!
  13. Find yourself constantly grazing? Chew gum! 
  14. Are you a prosecco fiend? Stock up on low calorie options. Or perhaps a skinny lager is more your thing?
  15. Bake your own, healthy mince pies! Here’s a healthy mince pie recipe to whet your appetite!
  16. Love a Baileys? Buy the super tiny, bottles so you can enjoy the taste without the abundance of calories (or SmartPoints).
  17. Replace festive snacking to an indulgence of another kind – enjoy Christmas themed scented candles, bubble bath and take a good soak!
  18. Fancy a Christmas movie? Thankfully popcorn is quite fashionable these days and there are loads of options on the market to choose from – buy multi-packs of the skinny variety to stay in control of how much you munch during your favourite Santa flick.
  19. Out and about and fancy a hot chocolate? Why not! Ask for a skinny hot chocolate or feel just as Christmassy with a Chai tea instead.
  20. Paint your nails… that may keep you off the mince pies for a little bit! (Can you tell I’m craving a mince pie?)
  21. Make more time for your spuds over Christmas, and put them in the oven for longer to roast, rather than depending on lots of cooking oil or goose fat to crisp them up.
  22. Transform you everyday porridge, deserts or hot drinks into something festive with a sprinkle of cinnamon – plus, this little spice is really good for you.
  23. Read my blog for inspiration or to at least feel you are not alone if you’re plans, don’t go to plan!
  24. To help balance out any extra food or drink you might have, squeeze in a little more activity before or after any festive occasions you have booked.
  25. Create your own healthy hamper to have around the house for when you fancy a snack. I’m a big fan of Bounce Balls, Naked bars, and protein shakes.
  26. Buy yourself an early Christmas present – some new workout clothes, walking gear, or a pedometer so that you feel more motivated to keep moving while its cold outside.
  27. Download a food diary app and track what you eat before munching, you can then make an informed decision as to whether its worth the calories or SmartPoints (if you follow Weight Watchers like I do).
  28. Serve up some warming one pot meals. They can be super healthy and packed with loads of veggies.
  29. Decide if you’re happy to lose weight, maintain weight or gain a little weight over Christmas – this may help you navigate certain situations with more control.
  30. If you have a foodie event coming up it can sometimes be tempting to skip meals beforehand – unfortunately that can lead binge eating and reaching for high sugary and fat options. Eat as you would usually and enjoy a little indulgence if that happens. It’s Christmas after all!
  31. Most importantly, relax! Whatever happens, enjoy your Christmas and if you’re weight goes in a direction you’re not too happy with, then there’s always January to get back on track!

I hope you found some of these tips useful and please share any advice you may have in the comments box below.

Happy holidays! xx

Photo: This is a pic from an Ocado magazine I received – it contains mouth-watering pages.

Self-gifting: A new way to lose weight!

I’m starting to appreciate the positive effect being kind to yourself can have on weight loss. This does sound very cheesy but being able to say I’m not perfect but I’ll keep on going has (I think) enabled me to stick with Weight Watchers (and try to improve my eating habits) for longer than I have ever have done on any other weight loss plan. It’s about progress and not perfection – stolen from a meme I saw this morning!

Being positive and kind to yourself can help you recover quicker from a minor blip too. In the past if I felt as though I went off track, I’d write-off the whole week. Now, I might have a little pep talk with myself and start afresh there and then; or the next day at the very latest.

Being kind to yourself may also mean putting yourself first and being a little ‘selfish’ – be it making the time to cook healthy foods, going to a gym class you like or simply giving yourself a pat on the back once in a while.

I’ve had to remind myself of this lately, as I’ve had some set minor set backs in the last few weeks. You can probably guess what one of those is if you’ve read my last post and another was my local Weight Watchers meeting closing.

Finding another to go along to as proved way more difficult than I thought it would; and until it closed I hadn’t appreciated just how important it was to me and my weight loss success. It’s been a good month of trying to find times and venues that work and up until last week, my weight loss had pretty much stayed the same. This week however I was gutted to have put on 2lbs. On the flip side, I think I’ve found a new meeting to go to weekly, as it really helps me to stay focus, and the members were (as always) so lovely. In this meeting we talk about kindness how we’re often kinder to others than ourselves – which led on to jokes about buying ourselves gifts but I thought, why not! I definitely need to start doing that more, especially if it could help my weight loss! (And yes I’m aware that Christmas is just 6 weekends away and it’s probably not the most suitable time to be all for buying myself stuff.)

That said, here’s to self-gifting and kindness; because we should be our own biggest fans and not our biggest critics.

My battle with binge eating

I often joke about my obsession food and my ability to eat a ridiculous amount in one sitting. However, from time to time it really isn’t a laughing matter. I’d like to share my experience and for anyone who may be able to relate to this, I’d like to offer a few tips that can help break the binge eating cycle – although I don’t have all the answers and I’m still learning to adopt these new habits myself.

Warning: This post isn’t the most uplifting but I’ll try to end of a high and write something a little more fun next time! No offence taken if you skip this one. In fact, I kind of want you to! There’s no filter here, this is a full on confession…

I’d like to cover this topic as a way for me to try and understand why I binge eat and I’m curious if anyone else has experienced this; and when I talk about binge eating, I mean to the point of feeling sick and in tears. (Wow that was really hard to admit and to see written).

My experience
Various circumstances can kick start a binge eating episode. Boredom sometimes, but I think the biggest catalyst for me is feeling upset, anxious or annoyed with myself. I like a plan too, and if a plan doesn’t go the way I hoped I tend to hit the kitchen and eat for hours (literally).

Over the years I’ve learnt to not have anything too unhealthy in the house in case I do eat to excess, but I can generally find some kind of sweet food to over indulged on. If that isn’t enough, I can make random meals out of anything I can find and I’ll usually have multiples of any item or dish. I’ve disgusted myself when I’ve noticed the time and realised I’ve not stopped eating for over 2-3 hours, probably longer on a few occasions. Once I stop eating I never feel better for it, so I’m not sure why I do it. I’ll often cry or get angry afterwards, and I’ll always feel sick. When I was younger my overeating would lead to being sick on a few occasions but thankfully that is in the very distant past.

Reading this makes me feel terribly guilty for people around the world who struggle to even get enough food to eat, and here I am woofing it down because I feel down. Plus, I’m a mum now and I would hate for my daughter to think of me in this way or to ever have this kind of relationship with food. (This is all so horrible to admit. Should I really post this?)

4 tips to break the binge eat cycle
There are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years to break that cycle of overeating and to try and combat why I’m eating in this way. Some of these tips can help during the moment and others need to be looked at once you’re out of that binge eating spell – I think that will make sense to anyone who has experienced something similar.

1. Stock your kitchen with healthy food
This is a practical one but it can help. If you surround yourself with healthy food, you’d hopefully feel full quicker than you would overeating on junk food (and therefore stop quicker); and you’ll be limiting the amount of weight you could put on from overeating. Even if you have some small treats lying around, hopefully what you may consume won’t be too bad in the grand scheme of things.

2. Ask yourself why you’re binge eating
Eating to the point of feeling sick isn’t going to make you feel happy. Instead, challenge yourself to confront whatever it is you’re really feeling. Write it down, confide in a friend – whatever your method try and ask yourself this in the moment. Move to a different room (away from the kitchen!) and work on what would change how you feel or how you could solve a problem in front of you. Talking to someone is great; going for a walk can clear your head; pamper yourself in some way to cheer yourself up can be fun; arrange something to do if you’re bored; or find a show you like on TV… just give yourself a few minutes to really think everything through.

3. Don’t restrict your diet – eat if you’re actually hungry and focus on being healthy
If you’re trying to lose weight, this one can be a bit tricky to master. My advice here is to not restrict your diet – even treats. Enjoy everything in moderation, focus on eating healthy foods and eat your favourite foods. The times I’ve said I’m only eating X amount of calories, or I’m going to skip a meal to try and lose weight, are the times that have often led to eating far too much because I’ve basically gorged on foods I told myself I can’t have. This leads to my next tip…

4. No one is perfect, don’t try to be
In the past when I’ve followed a diet, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to be absolutely perfect at it. I’ll usually succeed for a good few days and then I break; I break bad – very bad! Recently I’ve realised that if I’m ‘good’ 80% of the time (eating healthily and exercising) and a little off track the other 20% of the time is not a big deal; and chances are when I look at the complete picture, I’ve still made a lot of healthy choices.

There you have it, the hardest post I’ve written to date. If you did make it to the end, thank you for reading. If you can identify with anything I mentioned I would love to hear from you. Plus, any tips or insight on the matter are very welcome.

 

15% Off Slumbersac!

A few weeks ago I posted a review of a Slumbersac sleeping bag. I shared it with the company and the lovely folks in head office have given me a unique discount code to share with my readers! I’m so chuffed! It gives you 15% off and is valid until December 24th 2016.

If you use the unique code below, I hope you’re as pleased with your sleeping bag as I was with mine. Simply enter the code below at the checkout for 15% off; and if you missed my review on the Slumbersac sleeping bag, click here to read it.

Diet Mum Feed Slubersac discount code: SBL07

Please note, the code is valid until December 24th 2016 and can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer. Enjoy!

Chocolate velvet post-workout protein shake recipe

This delicious smoothie recipe is inspired by The Body Coach; Weight Watchers; close friends of mine at www.echosupplements.com; a nutritionist at my local gym; and what I had in my kitchen. It tastes great and you’re sure to love it if you’re a chocolate fiend like me! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a whirl… or should I say blitz (poor attempt at getting in a blender reference).

The following recipe includes some of the ingredients The Body Coach uses in his post-workout recipes, but has been tailored to what I usually ‘spend’ SmartPoints* wise on breakfast. It also includes some sneaky fruit and vegetables (tip given to me by a nutritionist at my local gym) and a scoop of PHD diet whey protein powder. Lovely friends of mine who run www.echosupplements.com inadvertently introduced me to PHD diet whey protein bars and powders – during a catch up they shared one of the bars they had on them and it was so good. It completely sorted out my chocolate craving, actually filled me up and as a pleasant surprised had a low SmartPoints value too!

A Weight Watchers friendly Chocolate Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipe
Requires a blender
For Weight Watchers it works out at 5 SmartPoints

Ingredients
20g rolled oats
200ml of Oat milk (could used almond milk)
1 scoop of PHD chocolate diet whey powder
1 banana
Handful of spinach (frozen or fresh)
Handful of blueberries (frozen or fresh)diet-mum-feed-chocolate-protein-shake

Method
Chuck in a blender and whizz!

Do check out www.echosupplements.com or give them a call if you’re interested in trying PHD for yourself or want to know more about protein powders. They’re so knowledgeable and super friendly.

Enjoy the smoothie!

P.S I also noticed that the smoothie matched the colour of my nails, and so I thought I’d share that pic in this recipe too! haha.

 

* When you follow Weight Watchers – the counting method, as there is a no count method – every food and drink as a SmartPoints values

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