Saturday, 25 April 2015

Healthy Starts / / My Favourite Smoothie

I'm heavily interested in health and fitness, I enjoy eating healthily, cooking nutritious meals and exercising. However I never used to be so health conscious, I was a massive fan of takeaways and anything that meant high fat, high processed carbohydrates and sugar. That all changed nearly 2 years ago now, the summer of 2013 I had a near death experience and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. There's a lot of speculation and lack of knowledge surrounding the illness of diabetes but I think I'll leave that to another blog post. Being diagnosed with this long term illness (There's no cure, YET!) I had to adapt to changing my diet, counting all my carbohydrates because carbohydrates break down into sugar when processing through your body and unfortunately, injecting myself 4 times a day.

I never thought myself overweight, technically speaking according to my previous BMI (Body Mass Index) I was a healthy weight, just below the overweight mark. The symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include extreme weight loss due to your body glucose levels either being continuously too high or too low. Having too high amounts of glucose in your blood stream causes you to urinate A LOT (When I say a lot, I mean I was waking up at least 8 times a night and urinating) and eventually leads to a case of diabetic ketoacidosis which is ultimately life threatening (As I found out the hard way, 5 days in intensive care was NOT a highlight). High levels of glucose in your body means the sugar you consume has no where to go, in normal situations a human being's body would break down the sugar and filter it through the kidneys giving he energy needed daily to survive, however someone who is developing symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis cannot filter the sugar through their kidneys resulting in a deficit of energy, furthermore causing the breakdown of the fat and muscle in your body for energy sources and resulting in terrifying weight loss.

So, I lost a large amount of weight and although I did gain some of it back, I have maintained a relatively healthy weight. I became conscious of my weight and the foods I consumed because I was told that if I were to gain large amounts of weight then my sensitivity to insulin would be lower and most likely, my sugars would be out of control. I changed my diet, quite forcefully and drastically. I'll admit that I never ate fruit and vegetables and I pretty much lived on processed chicken nuggets and carbohydrate clad french fries. Now, I eat more than the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, some days I can even eat 10 different portions. Looking back, I am disgusted at my eating habits - sitting eating an entire packet of bourbon creams and downing a bottle of full sugar coke. Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. No more. My diet consists of excessive amounts of fruit and vegetables, healthy grains such as couscous, quinoa and bulgar wheat, slow releasing carbohydrates such as porridge and sweet potato and I cut out meat and fish (Vegetarian, this isn't a diabetes thing, this is just a "I WANT TO BE HEALTHY" pledge and now cutting out dairy products, although that's proving harder than I thought because I love cheese) and no more sugary fizzy drinks and I rarely drink alcohol.

I seem to have left on a tangent there, back to my original post. I believe that you should always eat breakfast and no, I'm sorry that doesn't include leftover takeaway pizza from last night heated up in the microwave, I'm talking a proper healthy breakfast that will keep your body full until lunchtime and provide you with a substantial amount of energy to get through your morning.

My favourite breakfasts include toasted rye bread with mashed avocado, scrambled egg mixed with spinach and mushrooms, porridge oats with dark chocolate for flavouring and green smoothies.




This morning's breakfast (I should say first breakfast, I had two...)  was a green smoothie. Half a ripe avocado, a small apple, a handful of washed raw spinach and 200ml of unsweetened almond milk. Normally I would also add a spoonful of peanut butter to thicken it up a little but I worked with what was in my cupboards. All blended together, it tastes incredible. I find that people sometimes turn their noses up at a green smoothie "ugh it's green" but in my opinion, green is best and most importantly detoxes your body of any toxins. 


Pre-blending.



Post-blending.

This smoothie or rather juice because it's watery due to the thinness of the almond milk is fulfilling and perks you right up. After letting my stomach settle, I set out for a run. Today was the first day I have ever ran in the morning, I never have the motivation, I found it somewhere today though. (YAY!) Prior to this morning, I haven't ran in a good few weeks due to stress and illness so my run was short (2km in 12 minutes) but worthwhile. 


On my return and several glasses of water later, my second breakfast came about. 50g of Scottish oats (I always buy the Scottish oats because they are 100% oats with no added sugar or processed ingredients) with 175ml of almond milk and I often add around 10g of dark chocolate. I try to avoid milk or white chocolate due to the carbohydrate content, whereas dark chocolate, I normally aim for bars with the cocoa percentage above 80%. For Easter, I received a Green & Black's 70% dark egg and I still have some left so it comes to perfect use in my porridge in the mornings. Yummy post-run fuel. 

That concludes this blog post and I'm beginning to think I should do more of these healthy food posts because it's one of the things I enjoy most. (If anyone still reads this, I haven't updated in nearly 3 months) 

Would you be interested?