MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG
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Whipping my body back into shape

I've always been someone that looks after myself. I generally watch what I eat and go to gym a few times a week, but over time the food rules relax and before I know it I have an extra 5cm around the waist. It's so easy to say "yes" to the fries when you order out. About once a year I get a bee in my bonnet and get really strict with eating and lose those darn unwanted centimetres.

I am not some amazing fitness guru or health expert, but simply an average guy doing the basics. If you feel like losing a few kgs this is what I do:

Equipment

Opti Grill
You have to have the correct tools in your box. First up, I always use my Optigrill to cook meat. It's like a George Foreman griller on steroids. It has intelligent settings so you don't have to keep opening the grill to see if your meat is done the way you like it. It measures the thickness of the cuts and knows how long the timing should be according to whether you want your meat rare, medium or well done.

It's great for steaks, chops and chicken. My tip though, if you're cooking chicken breasts (which are renowned for being dry), take them off the grill when it says they are cooked "rare". They are not under cooked, but you are able to catch them before they turn into the bottom of your shoe.

Cleaning it is easy as the grill plates just pop off and you can put them in the dishwasher.

Nutri bullet
My next little bit of magic is the NutriBullet. I use this if I feel like a mid-morning shake. The advantage of the NutriBullet over a traditional blender is that it doesn't remove any of the fibre, so you retain a lot more of the goodness. You can blend almost anything in this thing (I usually have a smoothie at about 9am, made up of a banana, carrot and almonds). It takes a few seconds to make and without too many loose bits, you can pop the container in the dishwasher afterwards. I normally make the smoothie in the morning and keep it in a flask until I feel like having it.

The trick to any healthy eating is to be prepared. If you're hungry and have nothing but junk food around you, you're gonna eat it. I am a tupperware king. If I know I'm out for most the day I'll make sure I have my smoothie and packed lunch with me.


Food rules


So what is lunch? In fact, what is breakfast and dinner? Let me say right off the bat, that I am not banting. Why, you may ask? Because I don't want to. It's as simple as that. I find that a lot of banting people try and indoctrinate you as if on some evangelical mission where they have to convert 5 people a day.

So I have no prescriptive eating plan, I just use some simple guidelines.

1) Gone is nibbing the girls' food (they often eat healthy, but also love things like chicken nuggets and mac & cheese).

2) Gone is the wine. Shit, how I miss that. They say a glass of red wine a night is fine, but my problem is, one glass is just enough for me to be happy enough to relax the rules and have a second glass, and a third. And then, after 3 glasses of wine, I want chocolate. So, no wine. Instead I drink about 3 cups of decaf green tea each night. It might not be wine in my hand, but at least I'm still sipping something in the evening.

3) Chocolate and all other forms of candy gone too

4) No sauces. If I want to juice up my meal I use olive oil or some apple cider vinegar

5) I'll sometimes have avo on cracker bread, but won't tuck into normal bread

By sticking to these rules I find that I can see a difference after 2 days. I wouldn't have dropped body fat that quickly, but that bloatedness disappears around my gut.

Some meals


Some people want examples of meals I eat so here are one or two things. It's by no means prescriptive and I'm not saying this is all you must eat. Just be sensible.

Woolies egg whitesBreakfast is always a double plated affair:
1) Small bowl of instant jungle oats (mixed with water and tiny splodge of milk). I sometimes add a squirt of honey

2) Egg whites mixed together and scrambled in a frying pan (use spray and cook, not oil). There's a lot of debate around eating the yolk, with latest research saying all is good as it contains a lot of the good fats and vitamins. I just prefer not to eat it when being strict, simply because that's what I've always done and I'm a creature of habit.  A good buy is the Woolies egg whites, which works out cheaper than buying the full eggs and tossing the yolk.

Mid morning I tend to have my nutri-bullet shake. I also carry 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs with me for those moments I want to pop something in my mouth (I squeeze the yolk out like a ripe pimple, but once again not saying YOU mustn't eat it).

Lunch/dinner is often the same thing:
1) Grilled chicken (cooked on the Optigrill)
2) Mashed sweet potato (it tastes just like normal mash. Simply buy the sweet potato in the packet from woolies, cook it in the microwave and then mash it will a little milk, salt and pepper)
3) Broccoli (once again, just steam a whole packet from Woolies and keep it in tupper ware)

Be creative, change the broccoli for cauliflower. If you're craving something like french fries, buy whole sweet potato, cut it into slices and grill it on the Optigrill. Have some avo on cracker bread. It's not about eating so clean that you might as well prepare for a bodybuilding competition. It's just about being sensible with your choices.

I still have a cheat meal and a glass (or 3) of wine once a week, and I'll lose a few kg over the next 2 to 3 weeks.

I'll post a before and after pic!







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GADGET REVIEW: The NutriBullet

If you've followed my blogs over the years, you'll know that I love writing reviews on gadgets, so I thought I would share my views on a new generation of blender. A few days ago I was given the NutriBullet to try out with no obligation to say anything good (or bad) about it.

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I've been put off blenders in recent months, because more and more information shows that to use a simple juice extractor (thereby drinking the juice, but leaving all the pulp behind) is not good for you as it spikes your sugar levels. The fibre and pulp of fruit not only slows your sugar absorption, but also fills you up more so you don't land up "drinking" too much fruit/sugar in a single sitting.

That's where the NutriBullet is different. It doesn't extract the juice, it simply blends everything into a drinkable pulp. The level of consistency simply depends on how much water you add to the mixture. Here's a pic of my concoction: apple, strawberry, carrot, banana, orange (with the skin) and nuts:

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The deliciousness is limited only by your imagination of what you can put inside the blender. What I have learnt though is that there are certain pips you should NEVER blend, as they contain natural cyanide which is released when crushed up. This includes Apple and peach pips.

The NutriBullet is really easy to use and doesn't have a million different pieces that need cleaning and putting back together like the world's toughest jigsaw puzzle. In fact, to balance the review with something that is not great about it, I really had to think about it for a while and the only thing I could come up with is that the blade mechanism cannot be placed in the dishwasher (the mixing container can though).

Designed by a South African, The NutriBullet is flying off the shelves in the U.S and is now available in South Africa at most leading retailers such as @Home, Dion Wired and Hirsch's and retails for about R1999. For more info, check out their website on www.nutribullet.co.za.

This blog was not sponsored or paid for by NutriBullet or its stockists.  
Mark is simply a lover of gadgets and was offered a unit to try out. This blog was written of his own volition. 






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My book is out soon. Here is the trailer...

I literally mean a "trailer"!  When I was growing up in England, I lived in a trailer park...

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My autobiography is almost finished! The manuscript has been written and edited. The cover has been designed and the blurb at the back has been put together. Yesterday I was selecting photographs to go in the middle. "Beyond the Baldness" on shelves in time for Christmas. 

Speaking of Christmas, it's hard to believe that it's just 2 months away. My girls are already asking about when they are getting a new video from Father Christmas. Each year "he sends them one". Actually, it's from a great website called www.portablenorthpole.com. The site goes ready to produce videos sometime in November and they do a fantastic job of it. Here is Alyssa's from last year:


It's well worth leaving your email address on their website and they'll let you know when their 2015 Christmas portal is up and running! 

When it comes to Christmas gifts, this may be one worth considering... a NutriBullet. I received one yesterday and am giving it a test for a few days to evaluate it's practicality and usefulness. What I do like about it already, compared to normal juicers, this one retains all the pulp and fibre that is needed. I'll write a blog about it in a few days. 

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Thanks for popping onto my blog! Chat soon! 






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