Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, your family and work you do?
I am 29, I am a mother to 3 beautiful littles – Aleksandr who is 5 and starting Prep this year, Aria who is 4 and is starting Kindy this year, and Nikolai who is almost 7 months old. I live in Dalby QLD with my husband Alex, my in-laws, my kiddies, and a bunch of animals.
I have always worked in Admininstration, and used to work as an Admin Clerk in the Army, which is how I met my husband. I am now studying Nursing with the intention of completing a Masters of Midwifery as my dream job is to be a Midwife.
How did you find out about Thermo Foodie & The Chef?
After having Nikolai in July 2018, I was looking for ways to get my diet under control and out of the ‘I’m eating for two’ mindset. My sister had recommended looking into Keto, and when trawling the facebook groups, Thermo Foodie & The Chef was recommended and mentioned time and time again. I checked out the TF&TC website, and just loved the variety and how easy all the recipes looked, plus the addition of an easy getting started guide was just invaluable for me.
What inspired you and made you start on your healthy, low carb journey?
After the birth of my 3rd baby, I was at my heaviest weigh ever at 91.1kg. The way I looked did not match the image of myself I still carried around in my head, so every time I glanced in a mirror or caught my reflection in a window, I was just horrified and embarrassed. I could no longer use the pregnancy excuse, and needed to do something to re-boot my body.
How did you start? (If you started with our free 7 day meal plan, how did that help you?)
If it wasn’t for the 7 day meal plan, I would probably still be sitting here overwhelmed at the information overload that comes with a new way of eating. What I loved about the 7 day meal plan was that it was Thermomix friendly! I have had my thermie for almost 4 years, and the last thing I wanted to do was to stop using it (I hate converting recipes). I also loved the green, orange and red lists (which I printed off and stuck to my pantry door) and all the meal prep! Having quick snacks on hand was a lifesaver in that first week.
What types of struggles have you dealt with while trying to lose weight? What have been your greatest obstacles or struggles? And how did you overcome them to keep working towards your goals?
I have a HUGE sugar and carb addiction, which I never really realized was such a big problem until I had to stop eating it. And my Mother-in-law (who lives with us) also has a huge sweet tooth, so there is always stuff in the house. I loved the sweet LCHF treats available for me though, which really helped to get that sweet treat that I was craving, while still sticking to the LCHF way of eating. Having things like the bliss balls from the 7 day meal plan, the Choc Fudge Cupcakes from Getting Started, and the Choc Cheesecake Butter Bombs from Getting Started on hand in the fridge or freezer gave me a healthier option to turn to when the MIL was munching on some chocolate or cookies. I also love our family tradition of pancakes on Sunday morning, so having an alternative we could all enjoy was more than I could have hoped for. My other issue was finding time to exercise with 3 small kids. I still have trouble finding time to exercise, and really don’t prioritize it at this stage. My plan is to start getting back into CrossFit (which is was I was doing before my 3rd pregnancy) when the kids start back at school/kindy next week. Fingers crossed!
What specific changes have you made that are working for you?
Being strict in the first couple weeks and not touching any red list foods was essential for me. I had options I could turn to if I needed, and with the recipes I had on had from TF&TC, I was finding it easy to stick with this for main meals, but snacks were tricky. I made sure I was gentle with myself and my body. I was exclusively breastfeeding my son when I first started in August, so I was careful to include more orange list items into my diet to ensure I was not affecting my milk production. If I had a slip and ate something I was not supposed to (like chocolate) I would take a moment, and re-set. I would just jump right back on the wagon. I didn’t write of the day or the week. I had a stumble, and then I got back on the horse. (sorry for all the corny metaphors!). Honestly though, it’s like my tastes changed. I stopped wanting all the things I used to love, and when I did have a piece of chocolate, I found it tasted so overly sugary that I didn’t want to go back for a second piece. I used to be able to polish off a whole block by myself!
How did you manage to alter your eating patterns and accommodate the rest of your family?
My husband was my biggest supporter, and started on the 7 day eating plan with me. That was the greatest help I could have asked for. We held each other accountable, and commiserated together as we broke through the cravings in that first week. I am the main cook in our house, and cook for 4 adults and 3 kids every day. The in-laws fend for themselves for breakfast and lunch, but I cook dinner for us all every night. I just sat everyone down to talk about what changes I wanted to make, and said basically if you don’t like it, you are welcome to make something for yourself, but I will only be making one meal. Turns out everyone loved the meals I was making, and the kids will even try most things too. I will still cook rice or pasta for the kids and in-laws as options for some meals, but it has actually been very easy to implement. On the odd occasion that my MIL cooks dinner, she now knows what we can and cannot eat, or she consults the green, orange and red lists on the pantry door and does her best to ensure they are LCHF compliant.
What motivates you to continue with this lifestyle?
I am finding it actually quite easy to continue because the food is delicious! It doesn’t feel like I am missing out on anything. I do love feeling more like my pre-baby self though. I am fitting into clothes that haven’t fit me since before my first child was born over 5 years ago. I am feeling sexy and more confident in my skin, which is helping my marriage (not that we were having problems, but it is much easier to accept compliments and love when you feel like you deserve it).
What are some of the best tips you’ve learnt from the Thermo Foodies Facebook Community that you would pass onto someone just starting out?
I love the support on the Facebook community. It goes a step above just having some recipe books sitting in the kitchen. You have a whole group of people who understand what you are going through, and who can help with troubleshooting. Not to mention Michelle & Daniela being around to personally answer questions about the recipes and the LCHF way of life. I feel like I am talking to celebrities! I love especially when the last book came out (Making it Simple) that every concern, or any uncertainty was addressed and answered by the community. Small things like where can I find Almond Meal, to how long do I mill my Chia Seeds for.
Is there anything you would do differently or words of advice?
I wish my MIL was more on board, because seeing her weight continue to rise has been so disheartening. It would also mean no more junk food in the house. I wouldn’t change anything I did personally, but my advice would be that meal prep and having those snack ready to go when you first start on the 7 day meal plan is ESSENTIAL. And, if you can, clean out any non-compliant food and get it out of the house. It will make it so much easier if the temptation is removed. Also, tell people what you are doing and why. That way you have people holding you accountable, and hopefully supporting you on your journey.
Anything else you would like to add?
It is definitely tough to start with, especially if you are a sugar and carb fiend like I was. But when you start seeing the difference in yourself, how clear your mind is, how your skin glows, how your moods improve, how your sleep improves, how your clothes fit, it is just all worth it.
This photo is a couple days after Nikolai was born
Nikolai is 3 weeks old. Being airlifted to Gold Coast University hospital. Look how round my face is!
This photo was taken in October 2018 – getting there!
Don’t mind my baggy eyes, sleep deprivation is just a part of who I am now haha! November 2018
Both these photos below are from December 2018 – Christmas. Weight is down from 91.1kg in August to 79.9kg. My weight hasn’t been below 80kg in 6 years!