Category Archives: Diet

Gluten Free Diet

Although I have never had anything to do with a gluten free diet, like most people I am familiar with the basic concept. However last week we actually went shopping for some gluten free products for guests we were entertaining.

A couple of weeks ago when we were in the old marina we made friends with a couple who came in to the pen next to us. They had come in to the marina to do repairs and had only expected to be in a week.  As is usual with repair work they had to wait for parts and ended up staying three weeks.

We invited them over for drinks one evening and laid out the usual array of snacks. When they came aboard they informed us that they were on a gluten free diet. Fortunately we had provided some cut vegetables and fruit; they also brought their own supplies so it wasn’t a total disaster. Vegetables make good snacks if you are on a gluten free diet

Last week we moved over to the new marina where most of the long term boats will be for the cyclone season and since it is a good walk between the two we didn’t expect to see our friends again. On the weekend they sent a text to say they were still here but hoping to leave on the Tuesday so we invited them over for farewell drinks.

When deciding on what to put out for snacks we thought it would be nice to have some gluten free savoury biscuits. Being our first foray into gluten free we weren’t really sure what we were looking for but assumed we would find something.

It was a bit of and eye opener, we thought there would be a reasonable selection to choose from but it was extremely limited. In fact we didn’t get anything at all which was a bit disappointing. We weren’t prepared to get anything that didn’t have gluten free on the label even though some products may have been ok.

To be fair we are in a remote area so the variety of foodstuff is much less than if we lived further south. Since it was all a bit too hard we just put out a bigger selection of natural food such as fruit and nuts which went down well. When we said we had had a problem buying gluten free our friends weren’t surprised since the range of products isn’t all that big.

Some people opt for a gluten free diet because of discomfort caused by wheat and related grains, however for anyone suffering from Coeliac disease a gluten free diet is the only medically accepted diet that eases the pain. Although the diet can reduce the symptoms it can lack vitamins, minerals and fibre that are contained in whole grains.

When we were in Rosslyn Bay last year we had a similar situation with a friend who was diabetic. In recent years food choices for diabetics has improved greatly but it is still crucial to read labels. In fact it was partly due to that which made Chris and I more aware of our sugar consumption and we have made a big effort to cut down.

the apple is the only choice for a gluten free dietWhilst we were in the supermarket shopping for gluten free biscuits a girl came round with a tray of freshly baked cookies from the bakery section. We both opted to have one but were shocked when we discovered how sweet they were. It was scary to think about the level of sugar you would be consuming if you ate them on a regular basis.

With more and more people finding the need to change to a gluten free diet there is no doubt the range of gluten free products will increase over time. I shall certainly take more notice in the future so that next time I shall be more prepared.


Cutting Back On Sugar.

Like many people I struggle with cutting back on sugar. The problem is even if you have a good diet it is amazing how much sugar is able to sneak in under the radar.

A little while ago I got serious about cutting back on sugar and managed to reduce my intake quite dramatically. My problem is I just can’t enjoy tea or coffee without a sweetener so I decided to compromise by using honey instead. Honey helps in cutting back on sugar

After reading about the dangers of artificial sweeteners I try to avoid products that contain substances such as “Aspartame”. Going cold turkey and cutting out sugar altogether wasn’t an option, tea and coffee tasted Yuk!

The honey works well in tea and I now enjoy tea as much as I ever did. Coffee however is entirely different, I can only enjoy it if it contains sugar, and honey doesn’t cut it. My strategy now is to use less sugar and limit myself to one coffee a day.

According to my research although honey contains fructose it also has a mixture of other compounds and minerals and tests show that honey has minimal effect on blood glucose levels.

When you eat sugar the body either burns it as energy or stores it as fat. Lifestyle obviously has a bearing on how much sugar you can safely consume. Active people will burn more sugar as energy than someone who leads a sedentary life. Also not everyone has the same type of metabolism so sugar affects people differently.

The body naturally produces insulin to deal with sugar in the blood, getting the balance right is critical for good health. Apart from making us fat, sugar has also been blamed for a range of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and kidney disease.

This scary scenario is enough to make anyone think about cutting back on sugar. Even Chris, who has always loved sugar in tea and desserts, has managed to reduce consumption. He still uses it but not half as much as he used to.

Fructose occurs naturally in fruit and there is some debate as how much fruit we should eat. We eat a lot of fruit and I find it invaluable as a source of roughage. I would rather cut back in other areas so that I can continue eating fruit. Sometimes you have to do what works best for you.

Manufacturers are a bit sneaky when it comes to labelling produce. To disguise the fact about how much sugar is present they use different forms of sweeteners. Some types may sound more benign than sugar but often pack as much punch.

Some types of sweetener to be aware of are.

  • Agave Nectar
  • Cane Crystals
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Crystalline Fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose

Read labels to help in cutting back on sugarIt is pretty difficult to buy products that don’t contain sugar. I went grocery shopping with a friend whose husband is a diabetic, what an eye opener that was. I started reading labels and realized how hard it is to avoid sugar.

One of the best ways of cutting back on sugar is to avoid buying manufactured or pre-packaged food. Don’t imagine that savoury foods are free from sugar either, read labels and prepare for a few shocks.

Sugar in coffee notwithstanding I have managed to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. However cutting back on sugar is an ongoing battle and it pays to be vigilant.


The Danger of Soft Drinks

I never drink fizzy or aerated beverages and this is something I chose to do long before I, or anyone else was even aware of the danger of soft drinks.

A glass of water is the best thirst quencher, better than the dangers of soft drinksWhen I was young I was given a glass of lemonade, a real treat in those days, however after drinking only half the glass I didn’t like the gassy feeling left in my tummy. After that I avoided all fizzy drinks, including champagne!

I was reminded of the whole fizzy drink issue last week when I volunteered to do a stint on the finish boat for race week. It has been a very busy time in Airlie Beach since yacht racing week is a big event on the annual calendar.  Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been very good, very strong winds and rain.

When we were preparing to go out on the boat the organizer was packing a cool box with drinks for lunch. He stood in front of an opened fridge and asked me what I wanted. When I replied that I didn’t drink soft drink he surprised me by saying that he didn’t either. I remarked that it was unusual to meet someone who avoided soft drink he said “That’s because most people aren’t aware of the danger of soft drink.

Part of the problem with soft drinks and sweet juices is the substance, a product called aspartame, with which that they use to sweeten them.  When I did some research on aspartame a while ago I was amazed that manufacturers of soft drink are even allowed to use it.  Supposedly the jury is still out on whether aspartame really is as dangerous as some people claim, but it scared me.

Read the labels to check for sweetenersWe even threw out a full bottle of vitamin C tablets because they contained aspartame.  Since then I have been very careful about reading labels, you would be surprised how many products contain this type of sweetener.

Heavy consumption of soft drinks and sweet juices can contribute to obesity and diabetes.  One of the problems with these types of drinks is that people can become addicted to the sweetness and the high a sugar hit induces. Instead of quenching thirst and hydrating the body they have the opposite effect which leads to other health problems.

Just recently I watched a programme on television about bacteria in the human body, specifically bacteria in the gut and why it is crucial for good health.  New research shows that what we eat and drink is critical to how the bacteria behave. The bottom line is that we need bacteria to stay healthy, but the bacteria can only do its job if we eat food that contains the right nutrients.

Apparently junk food and overly sweet drinks can send these organisms into a tailspin and prevents them from working efficiently. The good news is that we are very adaptable and eating the right foods can get us back on track again.

As a rule most people in the western world don’t have sufficient fibre in their diet and plenty of fibre is the key to a healthy gut and bowel. Cutting down on processed food and sweet drinks and eating more fruit and vegetables ensures that the good bacteria will keep you healthy.Fibre in vegetables better than dangers of soft drinks

By being aware of health issues associated with these types of drinks means you can make informed decisions about what you consume. Nobody wants to subsist on water, we all enjoy a nice beverage now and then but the dangers of soft drinks remain hidden from view, it is a multi-million dollar business after all.


Losing Weight Slowly

Losing weight slowly is the only safe way and the sure way to make it stay off.

The other day whilst out shopping I was saddened to see so many people with weight problems. Even more distressing is the fact that many of them are quite young. People in their twenties who should have an abundance

of energy were struggling along using a shopping trolley for support.

Chris and I have recently lost a bit of weight which wasn’t actually about losing weight but the result of making changes to our lifestyle a few months ago. We have become accustomed to this new regime, and were surprised to find that over the months since we changed, we have both lost weight.

Losing weight slowlyChris has always suffered from mouth ulcers, but about 3 months before Christmas he had thrush in his mouth. We put most of it down to stress as Chris was worried about the next part of our trip north. Having done some research though we thought it might also be aggravated by the yeast in the bread Chris always eat for lunch, so sandwiches were dropped in favour of an apple and cheese.

Around the same time we decided that drinking a glass of wine every evening was as much about the habit as the enjoyment, so we limited our intake to a couple of glasses a week. The upside of this decision was that the nibbles that we enjoy with a drink went out as well.

The wine rule is very flexible because living on aboard a yacht as we do, we often entertain or have sundowners with friends. If we have drinks a few nights in a row we just abstain for next two or three, it has been working very well. Over the Christmas period we stayed with our son and his partner and as we hadn’t seen them for a year or so the eating and drinking plan went out of the window!!

On board for the New Year it was back to our new regime but I have to say in all honesty we were both relieved, after over indulging during the break it was good to get back to a simple diet.

The result of all this is that last week when the colder weather kicked in, Chris decided to unearth a pair of shorts that haven’t seen the light of day since last winter. We actually wear shorts all year round but have very lightweight ones for summer and heavier ones for winter. Lo and behold when he put them on they nearly fell off! Up until then he hadn’t believed me when I said he was losing weight.

you don't have to jump on the scales daily if losing weight slowly We don’t have a set of scales or a full length mirror on board, which at our age is no bad thing, but it does mean that you don’t get a visual idea of what is happening. I had noticed that my pants and shorts aren’t as tight as they used to be and now feel more comfortable around the middle.

The marvellous thing is we haven’t struggled with diets or gone out of our way to do anything difficult. Over a six month period the simple measures we put in place have paid off. The general consensus is that weight that comes of slowly is more likely to stay off so it should be easy to maintain if we stick to our eating plan.

Friends came over a couple nights ago and it was great, wine, lovely food and good conversation, the next night our sundowner was a cup of tea and we enjoyed it just as much.

Losing weight is a major hurdle for many people and there is often a desire to get the weight off quickly. I would say don’t worry too much about diets; tailor an eating plan that suits your needs. Don’t get hung up on weighing yourself all the time and stressing about what you have lost. Modify your diet a little at a time and stick with strategies you think you can maintain, you will be surprised at the results.

Celebrity Diets

Celebrity Diets.

Celebrity Diets is a good way to find out about diet trends since celebrities always like to keep up with what’s new. Most celebrity diets are all about losing weight but sometimes they have wider implications such the vegetarian diet.

Celebrity Diets.

A vegetarian diet doesn’t need much explaining since it is a diet which doesn’t include meat. This can be a little complex since many processed foods or products quite often contain animal trace. Gelatin for instance is made up of animal skin and bones. Desserts often contain gelatin so real vegetarians are careful what they eat. Some vegetarians eat dairy food but just avoid meat.

Stella Mc Cartney is a well known vegetarian due to her stance against cruelty to animals, this is often a primary reason many people choose this diet.
Other celebrities reputed to eat a vegetarian diet include:

celebrity diets Claudia Schiffer

Alyssa Milano.
Alannis Morrisette.
Dustin Hoffman.
Claudia Schiffer.


Celebrity Diets.

A strict vegan avoids any product involving animals including honey. Great care is needed if you follow this diet to make sure you get all the nutrients which are crucial for good health.
Alicia Silverstone follows a vegan diet and swears by it for losing weight.celebrity diets Alicia-Silverstone




Celebrity Diets.
The Gist.

This diet was devised by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and is a little complex. Bear in mind that many celebrities have personal chefs unlike us mere mortals who have to source it, buy it and cook it ourselves.
The Gist involves eating five meals a day using five ingredients for each meal.
Each meal contains protein, good fats, fibre and healthy carbohydrates plus a sugar free beverage.
Dieters are encouraged to complete a 25 minute workout five times a week but one cheat day a week is allowed
Devotees are reputed to be.

Jessica Simpsoncelebrity diets Alicia-Keyes
Alicia Keyes
Eva Mendez


Celebrity Diets.
The Cookie Diet.

This diet sounds a bit bizarre but it is quite popular among some celebrities.
The cookies are made with high protein content and the idea is that you eat a cookie and skip a meal. The general plan seems to be that you skip breakfast and lunch and eat a healthy dinner containing about 600 to 900 calories. Cookies are widely available in different flavours. Some who are reputed to have tried it are.

Kim Kardashiancelebrity diets Jennifer-Hudson
Kelly Clarkson
Jennifer Hudson



Celebrity Diets.


is a simple diet based on percentages. Each meal contains about 60% whole grains. 30% vegetables, a 1/3 of which can be raw. 10% beans or bean products such as tofu and tempeh. Handy to have a personal chef for this one. You can eat small amounts of fish or seafood but avoid meat poultry and eggs. Famous devotees are.

Madonna.celebrity diets Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow.
Celebrity Diets.
The Zone.

Created by Dr Barry Sears the zone advocates several light meals a day instead of thee large ones. It dictates that 40% should come from complex carbohydrates. 30% from protein. 30% from fat. This diet is reportedly followed by.

Sandra Bullockcelebrity diets Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston
Cindy Crawford



Finally a diet tip from Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton who say don’t drink diet drinks if you want to lose weight. I would go further and say avoid soft drinks as well since they have high sugar content.
celebrity diets Paris Hilton
Getting weight off slowly with a healthy diet is the best way to lose weight. However everyone loses weight differently and there are several products on the market that may be helpful.