Saturday, 17 May 2014

WELCOME to Lean Green and Healthy

So... who can spot the difference??
Welcome to my page about my experience and ongoing progress towards a fitter healthier me. I've been working on my Facebook page for over a year now and, with over 25,000 followers there, I thought it might be time to have a crack as a blogger. So, who am I and what's it all about? 

I'm a family physician (GP) in Australia and a combination of busy life, poor choices and health problems meant that, like over 60% of the adult population, I was overweight. In fact, at my heaviest I was morbidly obese. I knew medically it was a problem and I knew I had to do something about it... but there was always higher priorities- family, life, work... it was something I would tackle later. Well, later caught up with me (as it does) and in 2012 at the age of 41 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But I bit the bullet, took a stand and changed my life  - and you can too.

So far, since I was diagnosed in July 2012, I have lost 55 kg (121 lbs) with no gimicks, surgery or pills and potions - just healthy eating and a little bit of exercise. I keep getting asked if I'm doing "Atkins" or "paleo" or whatever. I guess it’s a bit more complex than that as none of the "labels' really fit... or perhaps even a bit easier! I am basically keeping my diet simple and focusing on nutritional foods and following the healthy eating guidelines  - cutting back on simple carbohydrates and sugars and processed food and eating more real unprocessed stuff. Some people would call this clean eating. I'm not a fan of strict labels so I  just call it my life now. I do have treats - like good cheese, red wine and coffee (mmmm) but I keep things in moderation.  I counted calories for the first few months which was a good educational experience, but to be honest it was a little overwhelming (and obsession inducing?) so I stopped that - I find it easier to make the healthiest choices I can each day and just let the calories take care of themselves. So, on this page I want to share things I've learned and things I find interesting, and answer questions people might have. Lean Green and Healthy is about healthy eating, exercise, motivation, inspiration, mindful eating, self care and managing chronic disease. Its also about sharing what I know and interesting information from friends and colleagues with nutritional knowledge and expertise.

In 2013 I discovered that I was getting severe gut symptoms and skin rashes from even the small amounts of bread products that I was eating and unfortunately I also have Coeliac disease, which I am at increased risk for as I have lupus (SLE) as well. Again, I am not convinced that gluten is the terrible toxin it is made out by some to be, but for me and others with coeliac, we need to avoid it. Many of you chose to do so also, for all sorts of reasons, so I'm just mentioning this as you may notice it in my posts that I mention GF foods. This is not some fad, sadly I don't have a choice about this, but maybe you do. I can't eat gluten containing grains, but I think wholegrains are good for you and I do try and eat other coeliac safe grains where I can. 

I am far from perfect, but all in all I am a work in progress and will share what I learn along the way.
While I am a health professional, I am not a nutritional expert so if you have any doubts about your own health remember to speak to your own GP and seek dietary advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice, just general concepts which have been useful to me and you m
ay consider applying to your situation. 

I’d encourage you to take the time to read down the page if you can as we will be adding quite a few posts talking about breakfasts, lunches, tips for travelling, recipes, exercise and research articles. Grab a cuppa and start from the beginning if you like. I follow a lot of pages, some of which I agree with immensely and others I pick and choose from their posts- but I will share lots of information for you when I can. Also feel free to check out our Facebook page here -->  Lean Green and Healthy on FB - it has been going for a year now and is full of information! You may wish to join our chat group on Facebook also  --> Lean Green and Healthy CHAT - it's a great group where you can gain support, ask questions, share photos (we love food pics and progress pics!) rant or vent. 
I hope all this information is useful to you and you enjoy it.  Post your ideas, thoughts or questions. Comment as much as you can! Please share with your friends and family. We are here to support you!

Here's some helpful links to get started:
So what to eat for a healthier you
What does a balanced meal look like?
When it comes to diets, one size doesn't fit all 
Stop dieting now PLEASE!!!
The beauty of breakfast
To snack or not to snack, that is the question! 
Weight loss cures and snake oil salesmen
Focus on the journey, not the destination

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy