The Tiniest Thai diet

When the boots fit ... or don't ...

Yesterday I met a friend for a walk around the lovely market near where I live and stopping for a glass of wine and to chat and plot some very exciting ideas for the new year.

But I digress :)

She's also a member of the Thai Diet Movement and was wearing a beautiful pair of Dubarry boots .... that she had bought THREE years ago but was only wearing for the first time as this is the first time they fitted comfortably around the calves.

It's these seemingly small things that chip away at us, that make us uncomfortable in our own bodies and in our skins, that make us feel ... well, feel horrible ... that we can't even wear a great pair of boots.

I completely get this one too - it reminded me of some years ago when I was bought as a present some pink wellies that I'd really wanted ... and when I put them on I couldn't get them over my calves.

I had to cut down the backs to make more room for my legs. It doesn't feel good at all.

But it feels so good when you start getting happy in your skin, pulling those boots on without even thinking or worrying, or pulling them on only SO far before they're tight and uncomfortable ...

We celebrate ALL these 'small' things for the huge things they are in the Thai Diet Movement.

It's all about simple principles and recipes and ideas that change our relationship with food and with our bodies forever as we consciously choose, create and celebrate each individual happy weight.

The Thai Diet opens again with a whole new fresh look and feel and all sorts of new things in January 2018 ... and I'm excited to be working on it ready to share with you in the new year.

If you want to know more just pop your details in the sign-up form below so I can send you all the info as soon as it's ready to share.

And honestly, these simple steps have had and are having big results for so many of us in the group ... it's like something switches off in your head and also ON ... and it becomes not only easy, but fun too.



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9 reasons NOW is the right time to start the (Tiniest Thai) diet

ONE

Starting a diet, starting anything.  

All it REALLY needs is a conscious choice and a confident DECISION!

I AM GOING TO DO IT.

Why not make that decision now and get started, rather than having it half hanging over you, with that feeling of you KNOW there's something you want to be doing, but you're kind of pretending it's not there because for whatever reason you don't think you can do it, or you don't want to do it, right now.

You CAN do it.

DECIDE.

It feels so much better when the decision is made!


TWO

It's still (just) June and at the end of 8 weeks, if you got similar results to me, you could have lost 20 pounds.

Other Thai Diet Revolutionaries have had similar results - HERE's some of them.

PLUS during that time you'll be feeling more and more comfortable again in your skin (and your bikini - ok, or summer dress).


THREE

Why wait?

I think there's a correlation between 'wait' and 'weight' - when we put our lives on hold waiting for when we're this or that, when we're thinner, in another job, a different person (ha!) THEN we'll do x, y, z. How about just do it NOW?

HERE's the full post if you want to read more.


FOUR

Because we start the live, group round on Monday 10 July and after that we close until the Fall.

So if you do want to lose a few pounds THIS summer, now's the time to do it.


FIVE

Hmmm, I just remembered there's people for whom it's NOT actually currently summer!

Well, then I guess for you, why not now?!

Why wait a couple of months when you could just START.

And I bet the weather's better than it is here right now anyway!


SIX

There's a discount if you sign up before midnight BST on Sunday - we don't start until the following Monday 10 July.

The $97 off the full $297 price is to say thank you for your decisiveness (in joining early) and patience (as you then have to wait a week!).

Both decisiveness and patience are qualities that are great for achieving your goals! 


SEVEN

OK, this isn't actually time sensitive at all but most of the food on the eating plan is so simple to cook from scratch and really fast to make too.

Who doesn't want to get some time back each day to do what they love or spend with those they love, whilst eating delicious food AND losing weight?!

Win, win, win.

EIGHT

Because you want to lose some weight and you're kind of excited about actually doing it and kind of nervous and I want you to know that you can do it, it won't be difficult and you'll have our community of other Thai Diet Revolutionaries on your side and cheering you on?

THAT's a good reason!


NINE

Talking of support from the group, I am also always available ALL the time there, or for a chat on messenger, or a quick call or skype to help with ideas, general support, to talk something through, just to catch up and hear how you're doing. 

I really want you to know that you're supported and welcomed into this way of eating.

This is NOT some PDF course, or self study thing, we're a group of real live people, and I love those conversations and connections.

And I want to start as I do go on and extend that kind of individual personal conversation even BEFORE you join.

If you've any niggling concerns about joining, or questions, or just wondering if this is right for you - let's talk. Let's talk and then you can decide if it's a great big YES or a definite NO for you.

Zero pressure from me to join - I am just as keen as you to make sure this is something that's right for you before you join.

So if you want to book in and discuss ahead of joining, here's the link to find a time in my calendar that's good for you.

And even if it's not right for you and you don't join, there's nothing lost and we're sure to still have a great chinwag about food and eating and life! 


The connection between 'weight' + 'wait'

Wait + weight.  

They've definitely got some connection over and above having the same sound.

You know those times you realise you've kind of put your life on hold, waiting to live it when ... when you've lost weight, when you've done something else, when you feel 'ready' or good enough or whatever it is and certainly for me I put on weight during those times of waiting.  

When I look back those times were when I was 'waiting' in other areas of my live - so in a relationship that wasn't right or good but that I was kind of frozen in, not seemingly able or willing to make a change, or in a job with a bullying culture that I'd sort of started thinking was normal and ok ... and the weight crept on.

It's also been times where the weight WAS the cause of the wait itself ... me avoiding the weight gain, pretending I was happy, ignoring what was happening.


And actually you can change the WHOLE THING, the whole domino effect in your life ... by changing one thing. 

You don't have to really DO anything but DECIDE and then, then it's easy ... but making that decision feels ridiculously hard!

Until you've done it of course and then you look back and think what took me so long, why did I WAIT like that?

I literally had to get to the point where I was SCARED that I wouldn't be able to do anything about my weight and that it was just going to keep going on and on and on, slowly, as it had done for years.


I also hid from it.  I love food and cooking and sort of hid behind that as a reason (excuse) why I couldn't, wouldn't, be able to lose weight.

And I lied too - I was eating much more alone than I did when with others - not what I've always imagined 'binge eating' to be, like bags and bags of crisps or sweets or cakes ...

I just ate probably enough for two or three people and would eat - very good - food but to excess.

I knew I was doing it but it felt as thought I couldn't stop - it's kind of difficult to understand now I look back but in some way I was hiding behind it and I suppose keeping myself stuck but keeping in that mindset and in that body.


Sometimes it can be comfortable in a way just keeping on doing what you're doing - even at the same time as you wish you could jump straight to the outcome and result, without taking action or making it happen yourself.

Honestly though that day I just looked at myself and thought NO MORE, it's starts NOW was the hardest day and then also the easiest.

It was GOOD finally feeling that I'd made the decision, no more hiding, no more pretending - to be happy with my weight, in my body, that I wasn't eating as much as I was - just one foot in front of the other and keep going, make the small changes I KNEW would work if I just did them.


For the first time in years I stood on the scales and confronted the fact that I was the heaviest I'd ever been. The weight itself doesn't matter - it's all about how you feel and if I'd GENUINELY felt good and happy at that weight, well that's great .... but I didn't.

I was unhappy in my skin and when I stood on the scales that day I felt real fear - ridiculous though it sounds - because I hadn't looked at the facts for so long and had hidden from the facts and the scales. I weighed myself, and cried a bit, and then DETERMINED that that day was Day 1 of just starting to take responsibility and make changes.


After that, the wait was over, and the difference in how I felt changed pretty much straight away.

The wait was over and the weight started to come off.



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You CAN lose the weight you want easily; just DECIDE

You know what I really really really want to say?

Well, it's THIS.

You CAN do it. You can do it.

You can lose the weight you want to lose and feel like YOU, the you inside.

I put on weight fairly slowly but for years, and I kept hiding from it because I didn't want to confront it.

I didn't want to go on a 'diet' because I love good food and I love cooking.

And then I became more than a little uncomfortable.

I actually found it difficult to bend down to put my shoes on.

I definitely wasn't happy in my body.

I wore clothes that fitted rather than choosing what I liked - and by fitted I mean they were loose and hid me as much as possible.

I didn't know how to stop putting on weight.

I really, really, really didn't want to go on a 'diet'.

So I created my own and it's the best thing I ever did - and now I just want to share it with those of you who like me, love cooking and food and socialisng .... but HATE the idea of a restrictive diet - plus we're plenty clever enough to know that if you go on a temporary diet, you'll only put the weight on (and likely more) when you go back to your normal way of eating).

And we'd HATE those weeks of being on the 'diet' too!

You know, the one biggest factor wasn't actually my eating programme, or changing how I eat. Any 'diet' could help with that.

THE singular most important thing was that I made a decision.

I stood there, crying, looking in the mirror sideways on ... and then I kind of gave myself a big shake.

STOP CRYING.

And START getting on with it.

So I made the decision. And after that, it was so much easier than I'd been thinking that I don't know now quite what the fear was in admitting I felt uncomfortable, that I wasn't happy and that I wanted to lose weight.

You can make the decision - please DO make the decision, because after that it's so much easier.

And if you want my principles for weight loss, based on a Thai-inspired way of eating, and tons of support and friendship - and a great group to cheer you on and share recipes ...

Then do join the Thai Diet Revolution.

In May there's only FIVE places, so if you want one HERE's the info on how to join.

If you want to hear more what those already in the group have to say, click HERE.

I honestly feel I've changed my life so much, and in such a good way and I know now from what I've learned, that I won't be putting the weight back on again.

I just want to share it with everyone!

So, if you want to join now, then do! (HERE).

We're waiting to welcome you xx

Ps. It's ALL about you making that decision. You CAN lose the weight you want to. Whether you join my group/programme or another or do it alone - please DO!

You CAN more easily than you might think lose the weight, when you just DECIDE.



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Celebrating 1 year on ... it's about choice, not rules or restrictions

Today is one year since I made a decision.

The decision to lose weight.

The most surprising thing to me then was how EASY I found it - the only hard part was being honest with myself, stopping hiding from myself and make that decision.

I didn't expect it to be so easy, or enjoyable or what a wonderful process it is to become happy again in your own body.

Or that it would change my mindset around food and eating forever in the most beautiful and easy way - still eating food I love and with no hard-and-fast rules - it becoming all about CHOICE.

That was a big turnaround in my thinking to move from it being not about restriction but about choice.

So today ... I journal and track and note things down - my weight, good things I've made to eat, how I'm feeling ...

And such a change from my note and what I wrote a year ago.

Hello YEAR 2, WEEK 1 ... 



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There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose weight

It seems to me that the whole self-acceptance thing has gone too far.

It now actually feels that you're WRONG in some way and that you'll be judged for wanting to lose some weight.

You are in charge of you: you don't have to sign up to the 'love yourself at any size' brigade.

You CAN say you'd feel happier in your own skin by losing some weight.

You don't have to dress it up as wanting to be 'healthier', or 'more empowered' - although those are great things to want too.

There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose weight.

To wanting to feel happy again in your own skin.

With wanting to get back to your own personal happy weight.

But some days it feels like all I see are messages that you don't have to change yourself to be happy - you ' just have to learn to love yourself the way you are'.

Well, I disagree.

Totally disagree.

If that's for you, then hey go for it.

I genuinely want each and every one of us to feel happy in our own skin.

But for me, I know ... I was NEVER going to feel happy in my skin, overweight, uncomfortable when I bent over to put my shoes on, out of breath ... feeling NOT LIKE ME.

It's all gone too far I think.

The solution is NOT for everyone to 'learn to love yourself' or 'be happy at any weight, you're still the same person'.

Because ... actually for many of us?

We're NOT.

We're not the person we are when we can move easily, walk and run up the stairs freely. When we're feeling good in our skin. When we start enjoying clothes again.

When we feel more OURSELVES, our real selves again.

Yes, I think it's gone too far.

There is NOTHING wrong in saying, declaring ...

'You know what? I'd feel happier if I lost some weight'.

You don't have to couch it in other language, dress it up as something more spiritual or whatever is is.

You ARE allowed to just want to lose some freaking weight and feel happy in your skin.

We were not born overweight and we weren't designed to be overweight.

Do NOT feel that in this current climate of acceptance - which is great of course, acceptance of everyone as they are and as they are happy to be, YES .. but you?

If you're NOT HAPPY being overweight, there's nothing wrong with saying so, declaring your mission to lose the weight - there's nothing to hide.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT WHEN YOU'RE NOT HAPPY THE WEIGHT YOU ARE.

Oops, lots of shouty caps there!

It actually makes me really angry that people are basically being told to change their mindset - to be happy being unhappy in their own skin!

F-that! You can be, do and have whatever you want!

And if you're unhappy in your skin, at your current weight? You know what?

YOU DECIDE ... YOU get to decide to change that.

Set your goals, and commit.

Then choose to take the actions needed to get the results you want.

And keep going.

I'm with you all the way :) 



On the shopping list / in the cupboard (when eating Thai-style for weight loss)

Come and have a nosy round my cupboards!

I've just done my monthly online grocery and household goods shop but then I shop regularly - daily - for fresh items.

I have a small London apartment and a little under-worktop- fridge with a tiny box freezer (that HAS to have ice cubes and vodka in it) so I don't have a lot of food storage space.

And I prefer it like that - I don't have cupboards full of unopened tins, or a huge freezer stuffed with food. It means I can decide daily what I want to cook and eat and then get anything needed to add to what is in stock. And I hate food waste and just prefer to have in what's needed.

IN THE FREEZER

But I do have some items I like to make sure I have - and that includes having frozen squid and prawns in that little freezer as then there's always something to make for dinner. I also fitted in some sea bass and some minced pork.

And there's currently a packet of dried shrimps and one of lime leaves / both bought from the Thai supermarket and easy to defrost as needed (although lime leaves are much better fresh and now available at lots of supermarkets - in the UK at least).

By the way I've never had or needed a microwave! Defrosting in cold water works for me. 

I buy smoked bacon from the butcher and separate it into single rashers wrapped and kept in the freezer as I'll only use a rasher or two at a time - usually with fish or seafood.

IN THE FRIDGE

I like to shop fresh as much as possible but these I usually have these in the fridge so I can make a stir fry or salad at any time: courgettes; carrots; spring onions; red, green and yellow peppers; fresh coriander, mint and parsley; tomatoes - both normal ones and cherry tomatoes; bird eye chillies and milder red chillies; radishes - a favourite snack; mushrooms.

I've currently also got a couple of rump steaks and piece of salmon. And those mussels in packs are good - sometimes I add garlic and chillies and coriander to the plainest white wine one I can find. 

Oh and almond milk of course for my favourite morning iced coffee blended with almond milk and ice cubes.

IN THE STORE CUPBOARD

Basmati rice (never brown rice for me - too hard to digest - and this is an Asian-inspired way of eating and they all eat white rice!), and both ribbon and vermicelli rice noodles.

Dark soy sauce I use rarely so isn't often on the shopping list (but is in the cupboard) but I always have light soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce on the list. And chicken Knorr stock cubes. Oh, and a 1-2 calorie cooking spray oil.

It's good to have another cooking oil too (rapeseed is my fave cooking oil as cooks at a high temperature and has little taste) and some toasted sesame oil - needed for this pork meatballs dish (often what the pork mince in the freezer is for).

I must have flaked almonds too to toast instead of using peanuts (they're not a nut, they're a legume and are much more calorific) in my salads. Oh and sesame seeds, great toasted and sprinkled on yogurt and fruit, or in this lovely chicken stir-fry.

Tins of tuna are good for when there's no fresh protein and I love to have packets of miso soups.

And I keep both white and Demerara sugars.

AND IN BOWLS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE - 1 EACH FOR FRUIT, VEG + EGGS

Limes - lots of them! And a couple of lemons. Kiwi fruit (so much vitamin C!). No bananas - too high in carbs for this diet.

I tend to buy fruit fresh daily too to eat during the day - an orange or a couple of satsumas, an apple or some berries.

Ginger and garlic and tomatoes.

And in a separate bowl but also at room temperature - EGGS. From happy healthy hens, of course.

That's about it! Everything I need ...



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That conversation in my own head about food ...

Sometimes I just talk and talk and argue with myself.

What to do, what do you want to do - no, what do you really want to do?

Really, you want to do that even though you won't feel great and it won't nourish you?

Yes, I'm going to really love it and enjoy it!

Well, choose it then! Those are excellent reasons.

Ummm, but ...

Oh you want me to convince you?!

I don't have to do that, you KNOW what will feel best - what the results are - feeling really good and knowing you made a choice that did that.

But why's it so hard! I think I DO need rice with the chicken stir fry not just veg....

Ok. If that's what you decide. But decide consciously- then have it and LOVE it. So you're sure?

No!! I KNOW I'll feel better having the chicken and vegetables for lunch.

AND THATS HOW LUNCH CAME ABOUT.

Conscious decisions. Decide. It gets easier once you really know and BELIEVE in how much better you feel.

And my experience is I argue harder with myself when I know I don't really want it.

When I absolutely KNOW I want those chips, or whatever it is, I'm pretty certain straight away ... and I have them and love it!

It's annoying to be always arguing with yourself but it just takes practice ...

Do it; try it. It's interesting to see what comes out with this inner tussle (some of it hilarious).

Let the you you want to be all the time win 💛

Rachel Redlaw


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Portion sizes / Choose consciously / Keep going (Week 4 of 12 on The Tiniest Thai diet)

A third of the way into my 12 weeks - and three main takeouts (not the curry or Chinese kind!) this week:

1. Portion sizes

I'm greedy. Or rather, I was greedy. And I hate waste (especially food waste) so I'll tend to eat pretty much what's there. 

Best example is probably rice.  As it's non-wheat and it's gluten-free, I tend to think of rice as just 'healthy'. Which it is of course, but ... I was eating way too much of it.  For me, it's a little like pasta, where you just don't trust that the measured amount is going to be enough so you throw in more (and it's too much but you just eat it all). 

So I've been measuring what looks like a TINY portion of uncooked rice at around 20g ... but cooked it gives me my own decided portion size of two tablespoons (and a little leftover that I throw away or keep for another time). 

And ... it's ENOUGH. Learning ENOUGH has been brilliant for me.

(This sounds really bad to admit, but I will admit that, since measuring and following my Thai-style diet, I've actually noticed how much I'm saving on shopping and how much longer things are lasting).

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet rice portion sizes
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet rice portion sizes
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet rice portion sizes

2. Choosing consciously.

Oh this is a big one.  I've been working on it and it's finally sort of clicking into gear for me.

Ok, so the other morning, I was off on the train to a client meeting early and wandering around looking for something for breakfast ... I really wanted a bacon sandwich.  But, I spent five minutes thinking it through.  

And my reasoning was, 'yes, of course have one ... IF you're really going to enjoy it'.  

And, honestly, I couldn't say that would be true.  It would be a bit of a rubbish one from a train station outlet and I'd eat it quickly whilst standing and ... I knew that - today at least - I'd regret having it. 

Another day, when I'm going to love and enjoy it, sure! But today, I went and got a black coffee and a 'protein pot' from M&S and some mango too. And felt good.

3. Keep going.

In the past, I know I've done this.  So there's a dinner out with friends, or a family lunch, or a client do ... or something ... and you have incredible, delicious choices in front of you. 

You can do what I used to do - and what I suspect a lot of us do - and just throw total caution to the winds!

'Well, what can I do? I might as well have everything that's here!' And not just that, but afterwards, 'oh well, I've 'ruined' today now - might as well keep eating!'.

But .... it's life.  And it's also good food and a great time having a social happy time.

I'm proud of myself that I'm learning to do two things - firstly, choose kind of wisely. I say kind of because no, I can't resist chips. But I can resist dessert, and I can choose food that's going to nurture me as well as delight my taste buds. 

And secondly, so what? It was good, it was fun, it's life. But get straight back on with choosing consciously what's good for your body and - if you're trying to lose weight - what's going to help achieve that. Straight away, that same day/evening - just make a good choice. 

Enjoy what you've had (mindful conscious choosing - and then get right back on with choosing what's going to get results).

Some favourites from Week 4

Iced coffee made with almond milk

So good.  Make an espresso or small, strong coffee.  Tip into the blender along with a handful of ice cubes, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a mug of almond milk and blend. One of my favourites!

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet iced coffee almond milk
 

On-the-go breakfast / brunch / lunch

These 'protein pots' from M&S are delicious - and surprisingly filling.  My favourite is this salmon one with edamame and a wasabi dressing.

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet M&S protein pot
 

Omelettes

Two eggs, beaten in a bowl for each omelette.  One an Arabic omelette with herbs and one a Thai omelette with a little soy sauce, cooked chicken and served with fish sauce and sliced chillies.

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet omelette
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet omelette

A super-simple-supper of steamed fish

Steamed in a parcel or cooked in a remoska with chillies, garlic, lime juice a little sugar and spring onions.  Delicious.

Here's the recipe.

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet steamed chilli fish
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet steamed chilli fish

Simple squid or chicken stir fry

Again, very simple and utterly delish!

I love to keep a packet of frozen squid (and other seafood actually) in the freezer and it defrosts so fast and you can make all sorts of good things. 

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet squid stir fry
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet squid stir fry

I'll be back to share Week 5 soon!

PS. I lost 1 lb this week. That's fine. I also ate well, and ate out a couple of times. Sometimes it'll be faster and sometimes slower - and I was all about a gentle mindset this week and not pushing myself.



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4 Pounds Lost + Doubt Overcome: The Tiniest Thai Weight-loss Diet Week 3 of 12

Week 3 (of a planned 12) was a harder one than the previous two have been. Harder than I was expecting - at the start anyway.

Doubt crept in.

It tested me a bit but then ... my big takeaway (not a curry one either - ha!) from this week was to ... JUST KEEP GOING 

When you're not seeing results, when you start wondering what the point is, when you feel like 'giving up' (although going back to how you were eating before was clearly not the best for your health). 

I'm learning to focus on the outcome I want, the result I want and - even when it feels like it's not happening - to TRUST and BELIEVE and to KEEP GOING.

So, I started the week having put on a pound.

And I knew that was going to happen at some point, as I'm weighing daily, and I KNOW it's just a number, just a fact and that my tracking that is helping me but still ... I did feel disappointed.

And then ...

BEING GIVEN SANDWICHES FOR LUNCH

It wasn't helped by the fact I had a lunch meeting the next day with sandwiches provided - and I'm not eating sandwiches on my Thai-style diet. 

But what can you do?

LIFE is still going to be there and throwing things at you - so what I've decided to do is NOT do what I've done previously, and just think 'oh well, if I can't do it then! I might as well have ALL the sandwiches, AND the cakes while I'm at it!'.

I'm just trying to do what I can, the best I can, and not give myself a hard time about it.

So I had three little quarter sandwiches and chose chicken and salad (the mayo was out of my control) rather than cheese or ham. And I said no to the pastries and the sausage rolls. I did have a handful of crisps (because crisps are my total downfall and because I love them) but I said no to the cake and ate grapes instead. I did ok.

I can't beat myself up about this - this is a huge one for me to learn a middle ground rather than being so all or nothing.

And then - on Thursday, I weighed myself first thing and ... I was 2 pounds lighter! 

YES!

 So, so happy. Feel vindicated that what's important is to keep going, just keep going and make conscious choices whenever you can.

DINNER PARTY FOOD

And on Friday I had friends for dinner, to my monthly Tiniest Thai Salon where we talked about creativity and poetry and all sorts of good things. I was worrying about what to cook (well, what I would eat really) but then made a menu that no-one would even know was 'diet' food.

We had a tom yum goong hot sour soup with prawns to start. Tom yum probably USES more calories to eat it than it contains!

Just don't even worry about this one - it's a goodie.

Then a Thai-style roast chicken served with rice (I had only a spoon or two of this) and a Thai-inspired salad (which doesn't have any oil at all in the dressing - and I skimped on the sugar that my own recipe includes).

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet roast chicken and som tam

I also put out a home-made sweet chilli sauce (which looks impressive but is super-easy) as it goes perfectly with the chicken - but I was careful to only have a teaspoon myself.

But you know what? That teaspoon was actually the perfect amount now I'm being mindful and not sloshing it in without thinking.

For dessert I made a fruit salad with mango, melon, kiwi and apple - served with a sugar/salt/chilli dip

MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO EAT THIS WEEK

Breakfasts ...

Usually fruit and/or eggs. 

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet eggs
 

Papaya with squeezed fresh lime is so delicious - and two hard boiled eggs with some salt and pepper or a drop of soy sauce are packed with protein and keep me full until lunch.

Lunchtime ...

I made a really easy salad at lunch at work by taking in some chicken I'd cooked at home on the griddle the night before - with salt and pepper and ground cumin plus just ONE teaspoon of oil.

I mixed the diced cooked chicken with cucumber and spring onions and a little sliced red chilli and lots of lime juice - then spooned this mixture into little gem lettuce leaves.

It makes such a difference to me spending a little time making my food look really appetising!

 Sunshine coloured fruit for pud - mango and melon.

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet

Dinnertime ...

This was a good dinner. And the preparation time is really quick - I soaked a few dried porcini mushrooms in water whilst pottering around getting the other ingredients together - they probably soaked for 10-15 minutes. 

Then I just put fillets of sea bass in the remoska (I absolutely LOVE my little remoska oven - it does the best roast chicken - but you could make foil parcels and put them in a conventional oven to steam and bake inside the foil) and added:

- the porcini mushrooms, taken from the water (keep the water!) and sliced (removing any tough stalks)

- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce mixed with the mushroom water and 1 teaspoon sugar

- 1 rasher of bacon, diced

- 2 spring onions, sliced

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai steamed seabass
 

Cook for about 20 minutes or until done.  I served it with a little rice (2 tablespoons of cooked rice is my own diet portion) and some stir fried green vegetables with chilli, garlic and a little soy sauce.

And this was a good dinner too. 

I had sausages in the freezer and I hate waste so diet or no diet I was going to use them!

So I made a little cut in the sausage and squeezed the meat out of the casing. Two per person.

I mixed the meat with a splash of soy sauce, a little garam masala and some flour and rolled them into little meatball shapes.

I browned them in the pan (using the spray oil) then added diced celery and garlic and stock.  When cooked I added a splash of red wine vinegar and a good pinch of dried chilli flakes and we had them with rice noodles (and a veg stir fry as I had some vegetables that needed using!).

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet sausage meatballs
 

Yes, it was a harder week at the start but I kept going - and started seeing results!



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2 lbs lost / 4 things learnt: Tiniest Thai weight-loss diet wk 2 of 12

Wow, what a difference a week makes!

This Monday morning was almost tears of happiness - and feeling just pretty euphoric actually.

Not just that the number on the scales is going down, but that I'm feeling in control and that feeling of having taken action on something. 

This week I lost 2 lbs.

And I learnt 4 main things:

 1. Accountability is HUGE!

I mentioned this last week, but it's so true.  Because I've announced and told everyone I want to lose weight AND because I'm blogging my results, it's definitely given me a bit more resolve than I might have otherwise had.  

2. The small things matter.

I've made a few small changes that are making a big difference.  

* No milk in my coffee or tea - I'm having a couple of black coffees a day (with a teaspoon of sugar in each) and maybe one green tea with mint. But no milk.

* No peanuts!

Peanuts are delish of course, and very very more-ish and I can't stop picking at them if there's a packet in the cupboard. But they're incredibly full of fat and not good, nut-fat, healthy-heart-fat either, being a vegetable not a nut.

So for that crunch in my salads and stir fries, I'm toasting a few flaked almonds instead.

* I'm also using an oil spray for cooking rather than sloshing the oil in without thinking. I have to turn the garlic and chillies quickly and often before even 30 seconds is up I have to add a little slosh of water, but this seemingly tiny change is having a big impact.

3. I feel a little lighter and that makes exercise seem easier.  

I'm feeling really motivated about measuring my steps daily and aiming for 12k.  

To be honest I often struggle to reach 10k, which I know is what we're all supposed to achieve daily for just good health rather than weight loss, but it's the difference in my mindset I'm proud of - and I'm really interested in and looking for ways to naturally increase my steps.

4. Decluttering.

Woo-hoo! Didn't expect this! I love a bit of decluttering and the drive kicked in this week - firstly, to declutter my food cupboards and get those out of date herbs out of there and the ancient baking bits and pieces I've never ever used.  Time to clear that stale energy from the kitchen!

And having done that ... well, I moved on to my bathroom cupboard and wardrobe ... I can't WAIT 'til I can declutter all my 'fat' clothes and be building up a gorgeous capsule wardrobe of happy weight clothes.

This week's favourite recipes:

Lunches ...

* 2 poppadums cooked in the microwave at work (literally seconds) or brought in ready cooked.  

Topped with a little cottage cheese, a little mango chutney, chopped cucumber, spring onion, red chilli and coriander leaves.

* a great green salad with mixed salad leaves and avocado + a dressing of lime juice.

Spending a little time making my food look pretty also makes me appreciate and savour it more.

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet lunch
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai avocado salad

Dinners ...  

I'm more likely to add a little carbohydrate to dinner - some rice noodles or a couple of tablespoons of plain boiled basmati rice.

I've made a version of a seafood pad krapow stir fry (using spray oil) and had some really good salads using the salad base of this steak salad but topped with griddled chicken or seafood.

Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet squid krapow
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai dinners

I have to confess there were some treats around this week at work too - but one of the BIG things for me is just learning not to be 'all or nothing'. 

So - yes, I did have a very small slice to taste the delicious cake that my colleague and friend (and baker extraordinaire) Jackie brought in for someone's birthday (deconstructed Snickers cake - you think I could refuse, even with my zero-sweet-tooth?!).

But I didn't have a huge slice, and that's one of the things I'm learning - I'm not trying to deprive myself here, but I am wanting to lose weight - so i'm always looking to the result, to the outcome, but in a way that's going to work for me.



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The Tiniest Thai diet for weight loss: week 1 of 12

This is quite a scary one for me.  

I've known for ages that I've been putting on weight (of course) - and ... I've been putting my head in the sand about it.  Thinking that somehow it'll just stop and somehow I'll 'lose weight' and somehow just drop those pounds and be back to my happy weight.

Well, guess what? Sticking your head in the sand doesn't work ... and last weekend, after a weekend of eating huge bowls of pasta in some sort of pasta trance, I woke up on the Monday morning incredibly bloated and uncomfortable and downright unhappy.

But it seems, that was the point that enough was enough.

I did it. I got the scales out and stood on them and found I was back to the heaviest weight I have ever been.

It was soul-destroying. Crushing. I was tearful and scared that it was out of my control and full of self-loathing. 

And I also decided to do something about it. 

It's ridiculous! I KNOW about food! And about nutrition.  I talk about it and help people with it.  I KNOW what to do, which makes it even harder to understand why I'm sabotaging myself like this. 

So, I weighed myself and I decided to there and then start using my knowledge of food and nutrition and especially Thai food to develop my own weight loss diet.  

I mean, when you think of Thai people you don't exactly think of overweight people.  You think of beautiful, healthy people with clear skin and shiny hair - of sunshine, beaches, fruit and smiles.

I cook Thai food to share recipes here and for my supperclub - it's just that I haven't worked on a healthy, happy way of eating for weight loss.  But it lends itself so naturally towards that too as I've written previously.

Week 1 then.  I made it up as I went along. 

I lost 4 lbs (mainly because I started from a starting point of totally bloated from the Weekend of Pasta). 

Here's 5 key things I learnt from Week 1

1. It's all about your mindset. 

When I woke up to what was happening to my body and was upset about it, I finally admitted to myself how it was making me feel.  It was making me scared and upset. The first point is to take action. Be honest with yourself and vow to take action. 

When you're ready to do this, you're ready. No point forcing yourself if the mindset isn't there - you'll only be fighting with - and lying to - yourself.

2. Action, any action.

Yep, any action, no matter how small.  I started noting down (just on Google Keep on my phone) every single thing I ate and drank. 

And I noticed where I was guessing or cheating - for instance on top of his biscuits I always give my dog a very little roast chicken (from a pack I buy for him from the supermarket) and I realised that every single day I was eating a slice of roast chicken too.  

I was having a sugar in my morning tea, when I'm very happy to have tea without sugar. 

I was choosing a banana a day from the fruit at work rather than having an apple. 

Make every single tiny change - yes, they do matter, yes they do add up (even when you think they wont').

3. Pay attention.

I was upset with myself for having put the weight on and letting it get to this point without catching it before and earlier.  Well, this is a mindset one for me for sure - I'm great in a crisis, in fact I LOVE a crisis, but just sort of normal life discipline, less good.  It's going to be one for me to work on when I'm back to my happy weight to make sure it doesn't go on again. 

I know all the general diet advice is not to weigh yourself every day but to do it once a week but hey, this is MY diet plan and having seen what happens when I DON'T pay frequent attention, then right now for a few weeks I am going to micro-manage the hell out of this. 

I am weighing myself every single morning and making a note of it. And yes I know that some days I might go up a pound and I KNOW that I'm really only measuring once a week BUT the discipline of every day is working for me.

I'm also keeping a note of everything I eat and drink.  You know, it's just a fact, you're recording facts, this stuff doesn't come with any intrinsic WORTH attached to it. 

What's the phrase?  'Where attention goes, energy flows'.

And I WANT that attention and energy on my weight and my food and my diet right now.

4. Don't hide from the emotions.

I admit it, I felt horrible that first day. Honestly, sick of myself, full of self-loathing and disbelief that I could be so stupid. Why I seemingly had no will power.  Why I was doing this to myself.

Ok, don't hide from the emotions - and of course the emotions around our self-image and weight can be intense.  Feel them, yes, but then we have to find a way to release them.

It's not good, it's not kind to talk to yourself like that - I know I wouldn't speak to a friend feeling the same like this.

So let it go however that works for you.  You could journal about it. Meditate on it.

I also use EFT - emotional freedom technique - 'tapping'.  I tapped a lot that first day and I've been tapping on these feelings ever since.  It's another odd one, because I tap frequently, but I've never done it on my feelings about my weight before.

(At the end of the 12 weeks developing this eating plan, I'll be adding more information and videos to tap to, but in the meantime, just look on YouTube as there are lots of fab EFT people with videos there).

5. Measure it out

I don't mean weigh everything, I just mean be mindful.  

I used to slosh oil in the pan to stir fry in a very cavalier way - somehow thinking it wouldn't make a difference.  In fact it made about 200 calories every meal a difference.  I'd eat a huge portion of rice without thinking, but cutting it down to a smaller one - well, I am more than as satisfied, in fact more so as I'm comfortably fed rather than uncomfortably full.

Try having a little less. 

I've been having half a chicken breast for instance rather than a whole one, and again, like the rice portion, it's fine.  More than fine. It's enough.  

And 'enough' is that elusive amount that when shovelling quantities of food in mindlessly, you don't hear the whisper of 'enough'. 

Here's some of my favourite things I made this week

Well, I made a really good kao tom (rice soup) for brunch - it will also make an excellent lunch or dinner.  I made sure I used just a tablespoon of cooked rice and a very small piece of chicken (perhaps 1/3 of a breast).  And I measured out 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes at the end for the flavour.

Sticking with eggs, I've also been boiling eggs in the evening to take two hard boiled eggs with me in the morning for breakfast when I get to work.  They're really good with some salt and pepper or a little soy sauce (or a teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce) and really keep you filled up until lunch.

And my favourite steak salad.  I've had it with griddled chicken too which was very good.

The Tiniest Thai diet Rachel Redlaw rice soup
The Tiniest Thai diet Rachel Redlaw eggs
The Tiniest Thai diet Rachel Redlaw steak salad

Oh and snacks-wise? 

I've been making an effort to have interesting fruit in the house! And I take the time to peel the kiwi fruit, slice the fresh pineapple, core and chop the apple ... and have them with a very little of a delicious sugar/salt/chilli dip.

 
Rachel Redlaw The Tiniest Thai diet fruit and dip
 

There's something about taking the time to prepare the food and enjoy it that's just luxurious, and it sends a great big message to your subconscious that you are WORTH this gorgeous fruit and to have it beautifully prepared for you to enjoy.

I know there'll be ups and downs along the way over the next 12 weeks, but I'm feeling really happy to have started - and actually enjoying it too!

When I've finished the 12 weeks, I'll be creating The Tiniest Thai diet as a 12-week programme to share.

UPDATE: 1 JAN 2017. I'm now on Week 37!! I've lost 40 pounds and am feeling like ME again - and happy in my skin.

And The Tiniest Thai diet IS now an 8-week programme - here's all the info if you'd like to join the Thai Diet Revolution!


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