Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Whole 30 Experience Plus More

Before I get to my whole 30 experience, I thought maybe I'd let you know how I'm going with losing weight/fat, exercising etc. The numbers always seem to be what everyone wants to know, and I guess it does kinda put things into perspective...but...I'm not too concerned about how much I weigh. My goal that I'm working towards has nothing to do with numbers. Just thought I'd share that. :-)

You might remember last year that I juice fasted for 30 days and lost 12 kilos/26 pounds? (no exercise)
You can read all about that here and here.

I lost another two kilos in the few months after the juicing finished by eating mostly clean...but then old habits started to creep back in. I didn't quite have my head wrapped around it all yet, so gained 4 kilos back.
I was all about the numbers then ;-)
Then I decided enough was enough. Time to get serious about my health. You can re-cap that bit here.

And now I've been eating clean pretty much 99% of the time since mid-June, so about 4 months, (plus the whole 30 in there) as well as running and yoga for that length of time as well.

In these last four months I've lost 11 kilos/24 pounds...but the scales only tell a small part of the story! The first thing you may notice is that I've lost pretty much the same amount of weight over four months as I did juice fasting over one month.
However, there are huge differences - even when you take into consideration that my start weight before juicing was higher than my start weight this time - Namely, I feel fitter, stronger, am not hungry all the time (I really missed chewing food for those 30 days!) and my shape has changed more as well as feeling firmer, thanks to the yoga and the not-so-rapid weight loss!

So how did I find the whole 30? (Don't know what whole 30 is? Check it right here.)

Basically, I loved it!!
The first two weeks were definitely an adjustment - mostly by only eating three meals a day, when I'm used to snacking. Also I had to get used to adding healthy fats to every meal and not ever getting to satisfy my craving for sweets. This was my main reason for doing whole 30...I wanted to rid myself of sugar addiction. Even though I'd made the switch to natural sugar (honey, bananas, maple syrup etc) in baked goods, I still had to have something everyday. It had an emotional hold on me and I wanted to break that habit.
It is definitely better now than it was, but I think it's going to take this sweet tooth a little longer than 30 days to break that habit.;-)

In the last two weeks, it was all so much easier. I just shop for meat and veggies and can make up plenty of different menus out of whatever I'd bought.
I learned how to deglaze a pan to make a sauce to go on meat or stir through mince. I've eaten a lot of coconut milk and avocado's in the last four weeks and I can make a mean (mild) curry!

I don't know how much weight I lost as I hadn't weighed myself for a fair while before I started whole 30, but I did take some pics of myself and I can definitely see a difference and feel a difference in my clothes.
I've just had to donate a whole heap of clothes (some of them favourites!) because they just didn't fit anymore. And whadayaknow...I just may have had to go shopping and re-stock my wardrobe a little! I now have some size 10's and small's in there which I have to say, is extremely exciting!! I'm pretty sure I haven't EVER had anything in a small/10 before! I think that's the part I was looking forward to the most when I started this whole thing - buying new/smaller clothes! And it's even more exciting knowing that this journey is still going!

I'm now tentatively introducing other things back into my diet. I mixed some tomato paste into mince last night and almost immediately felt ill and bloated. It was the second one of a twin pack and the ingredient list must have been on the other one. I'll steer clear of that from now on!

I've also made some of this today...

so I can once again have a milky coffee. I had been using bought almond milk, but found out via It starts with food (the book you must read before embarking on a whole 30), that it has carrageenan in it which is inflammatory and is actually used to create inflammation in lab animals. It can cross even a healthy gut barrier - which I like to think I have. Basically, its bad stuff.

Almond milk is so, so easy to make! Plus you then have almond meal to bake with = win/win ;-)
It obviously doesn't taste anything like cow's milk, but I like it and only have it in coffee. Other than ghee, I am dairy free nowadays.

I'm now sticking to a paleo-ish diet and will definitely do whole 30 again down the track.
I'm also sticking with my exercise routine - I have consistent energy throughout the whole day now and have even recently done some after 9.00pm runs (circumstances ruled that!) which was ok because I was still energised to do it. I also fall asleep quickly and sleep really well all night now which is another bonus!

The above was taken from my running app, and if you follow me on instagram you might have seen this already, along with me being astounded that I could actually ever run this far over four months! Or this many times even!!

I've seen the quote 'food is our medicine' around the interweb a bit and you know what?
I totally agree! I've never felt as good as an adult as I do now, and I know its because of what I put in my mouth.

Thanks for reading this, even though there's not even a hint of furniture in it ;-)

Courts xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

Before And After: MCM Teak Dining Chair


You know how you have those moments in life where a grandiose idea forms in your mind or you have a 'right brain' thought (the creative side) about a project and your heart beats a little faster with excitement at seeing the finished product?

Well I had one of those moments a while back about this MCM chair. (Mid-Century Modern for those of you wondering what the MCM stood for ;-)

Except the initial excitement only lasted about 10 minutes into making the upholstery for this chair...that was when I realized how long it was going to take me to actually finish one! 
I have four. Sigh.

But, then I look at the finished product and I think to myself, 'Maybe it was all worth it, Courts?'

What do you guys think?

Pretty awesome, right?!

And the credit for this upholstery  idea does not belong to me, I saw this on design sponge ages ago and filed it away for future reference. A very creative and talented girl named Jody came up with this after being inspired by an Anthropology chair she'd seen. 
You can visit her tutorial here. and check out her awesome chair.

Along with the denim I added some of my tan vintage leather that I'd been saving for something special.

Not only did the upholstery take an age, refinishing those teak frames added to the large time frame too.
They have seen a fair bit of heat in their day and were covered in blisters/bubbles. 

I initially thought they must've been saved from a house fire, but have since learnt that even the sun can do this to chairs over time. I've never come across it before and to solve the blister problem involved good old sanding...lots of sanding :-)

This front one above hasn't been sanded yet and the back one has. I then gave them two coats of matt polyurethane, followed by two of danish oil.

Much better now!

Tomorrow is my last day of whole 30, so I'll be back after that to let you know how I've gone with it.
Have an awesome week!

Courts xx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Before And After: Kitchen Dresser

So much going on, so little time! 
So sorry (again!) for not being here much lately, I do have heaps to share...I'm just a little dis-organized. I tend to only be able to focus on one thing at a time, and for me lately it seems to be cooking!
I'm in my last week of whole 30 and it takes a lot more kitchen time to make myself three whole 30 approved meals a day. But so worth it!!
I'll share how I went (and what it is) when I'm finished, or click on the link two lines up to read a little of what it's all about :-)

On to some furniture!

This beautiful kitchen dresser belongs to a client of mine and came from a farm house - where lots of these types of dressers could be found in the 50's, or possibly earlier? I always think of this style of dresser as very Australian - simple lines, practical (a lot of them had square metal lined bread cupboards which would have kept the mice out!) and made stylish by the textured or stained glass cupboards at the top.

I imagine this one would have housed the crockery and cutlery though, rather than food.

I apologize for the bad day I might feel the need to buy a proper camera, but for now its iphone all the way ;-)

And the before...

My clients chose to keep the original hardware, which I was stoked about! I think new hardware just would not have suited it, plus I got to try out a 'removing paint from hardware' tutorial I'd stumbled across a while ago online that involves gently simmering the hardware in an old lidded pot on the stove for hours before rubbing and scrubbing the old paint off.
Does anyone else get excited about heating metal objects on the stove?! No?!
Then it's just me...I am a little wierd I know. And having had to do it twice to get all the paint off, it's safe to say the novelty has worn off.

This is the tutorial I used if you ever need to do this yourself.

Here's the before and after of the hardware -

 Much better!

One last pic in case you haven't seen enough...

This was primed first, then painted in a low sheen dulux white, then sealed with some Annie Sloan clear wax  - my go-to wax these days! 
I still love beeswax however Annie's is softer and therefore easier to use.

For those of you wondering how I'm going eating clean and exercising and well...really everyone just wants to know how much weight I've lost - which I can now answer because I 'fixed' my scales. Turns out they weren't broken...just needed new batteries. Hello to another blonde moment ;-)
I'll cover all that in my post (which is coming!!) about my whole 30 experience.
Sunday is my last day of that so that post will be up next week.:-)

Take care of you!

Courts xx
Furniture Feature Fridays
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