healthy eating

Make sure YOU'RE in your dreams

I realised I do this.  Or rather, didn't do it.

Didn't add to my goals, dreams, 'perfect day' journaling ... well, I didn't add ME.

I was missing from it!

Me, physically (and ok emotionally too actually) ME.

I was missing.

How can I create my dreams, achieve my goals, dream into creation that perfect day ... if I'm not in them?

If I'm not also at one with me, with myself, happy in my own skin?

If I don't know how that feels, or how I want it to feel?

How can you live a dream life in a body you don't feel is your home?

And actually, domino effect, small actions, small things creating big ones?

Dream big ... and start with finding peace with your body.

It's easy, and it's necessary.

You cannot live a 'perfect' life without being at one with yourself - and that includes feeling good in your skin - WHATEVER that feels like for you.

I believe it's a powerful and easy way to start - you decide, you choose, you see results, you're inspired and you start to BELIEVE.


I was talking with a friend the other night and realised something so important.

We often FORGET to think about our physical selves - or ourselves at all for that matter - when we're thinking about our lives and goals and ambitions and dreams.

We think about the jobs we want, the relationships we're calling in, the creativity we'll share, the places we'll live ...

All those artists, all those beach houses, all those fulfilled lives and all those dreams written down, made goals, made real.

But you know what's missing?

YOU.

The real, actual, physical YOU.

We so easily disconnect with our bodies ... and almost forget about them.

As IF you can create your dreams without also being totally at ONE in your dream body too.

THAT you, me, us .. in the dream life ....

Don't forget to put YOURSELF into the dream.

Not just into it. Into the HEART of it.

You're happy just as you are? That's brilliant. SAY SO.

Don't let your body, health, wellbeing, how you FEEL in YOU not be a part of the big, big dreams.

It's pivotal.

It's important.

When dreaming, setting goals, writing out those perfect day journaling exercises ... do NOT forget to put yourself in them.

Your perfect day begins with feeling comfortable in your own skin, surely, luxuriating in just being YOU, at one with yourself (WHATEVER that looks like for you).

I think it's too easy to forget this - and I believe that firstly it's powerful to consciously add YOURSELF into your dreams.

I also believe in the domino effect, small changes creating big shifts.

And - no matter what you might be telling yourself - feeling at one again in your skin, losing weight if that's what's going to feel good and right to you, is KEY to then also creating all of the rest of the things.

Yep, and actually easier.

It's a perfect starting point. Start consciously choosing, creating, feeling happy in your skin.

Results happen fast .. both physically and mentally.

Don't dream big ... without YOU being in the dream.



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I see you. I am you. I believe in you.

I see you.

I see you, feeling like maybe it's too late, you're too old ... mourning the body you didn't appreciate when you were younger.

Wondering if actually, maybe you'll never in your life be happy and comfortable in your skin.

As we were as children when we and our bodies were one - when our life was a physical one and we climbed trees and played and ate and ran and slept and did it all so easily.

Wondering if it's now inevitable.

Is it too late? Is this just how it is? 

We've been having good lives, eating good food and yes, over the years, putting on the weight.

And now ... it feels like maybe it's too late. That this will keep happening, and maybe that's just how it is.

It's inevitable ... 

I'm here to say I see you.

I was exactly the same. I was scared, actually, really scared that it was too late and that not only would I not be able to lose the weight and feel happy again in my body, but in fact the weight would now just keep creeping on.

And I'm here to say NO, that's not true.

Not only that, but that when I made the decision to face the facts, get on the scales - and then the decision that I WAS going to lose the weight?

Well, you might not believe me when I said after that it was easy.

But it was. 

The hard bit, the really scary bit, was that decision ... the decision not to keep letting it creep on, not to keep hiding from it but to come out and SAY IT.

I'm unhappy at this size.

I'm uncomfortable.

I don't feel at one in my skin.

I'm scared.

After that ... it was easy.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 22.19.20.png

I felt back in control - and that's a huge thing.

And I saw results fast - tiny results, sure, but results - and that's so motivating.

I didn't want to go on a diet, not me who loves cooking and food.

I realised I could create my own - that all these years of cooking and of reading and studying cooking and nutrition ... I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

And that's how the Tiniest Thai diet (named after my supperclub, The Tiniest Thai in London) - based on easy principles of a Thai-inspired way of eating came about.

It's for us. 

Women probably in their forties or fifties, who love cooking and eating ... who would never want to go on a restrictive, bland, temporary 'diet' (again).

This time, something changed in me - and in those who've joined the Thai Diet Revolution - and I've lost the weight for ever - and somehow, slowly, at last changed my relationship with food and eating forever.

In a way that means I still love both food and eating.

So, I see you.  

And I believe in you and know you can do this too.

If you choose.


PS. We are LIVE again!

Come and join the Thai Diet Revolution - we start another live 8-week program on Monday 11 September!



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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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The photo of me that made me FINALLY decide to lose weight

I think this photo is actually harder to share than my 'before' bikini pics were.

Probably because I'm not normally in a bikini, but I am normally in a tee and jeans, and often cooking.

So I must have looked like this.

I'd been hiding away - I honestly now don't know why - from thinking about, confronting my weight gain for so long.

I'd known for a while, for months (ok, years), that it was only a matter of time until I 'did' something about it. But it was as if I were waiting for something really bad to happen before I did it.

I suppose luckily, it wasn't a health scare that was that bad thing. It was an image scare. 

I'd thought I'd kind of looked ok. I only looked in the mirror at certain angles and I took carefully-angled selfies (face only) - time to be really honest now. You never really see unexpected sides or angles, or what you actually look like unless you try.

And then one day - doing what I love, cooking, at a friend's - she took this photo of me.

April 2016

April 2016

October 2016

October 2016

And that was the really bad thing that had to happen.

This was the moment, this was the picture that finally made me take action.

And you know the weirdest thing? Like any fear, it's always worse thinking about it. When you DO IT and take action, the fear's kind of gone.

This photo made me cry. A couple of days later when I stood on the scales and confronted the reality that made me cry too. 

Enough was enough - time to take action.

But that was in April, and I haven't felt that awful out-of-control feeling about my body, my eating or my weight since.

We all have a trigger, or a moment that's the one that makes us act.

This was mine.

What I know is - get brave, make a decision, take responsibility and also ENJOY getting results and being happy with your body again.

27 weeks later and 38 pounds lighter, I am.


There's another round starting MONDAY 9 JANUARY of my 8-week Tiniest Thai eating programme - where I'm sharing what I've changed about my diet and way of eating that's seen my lose the pounds, get happy again in my skin, feeling great - all while eating delicious, healthy Thai-inspired food. 

Want to join us? Find out more here.


Don't save clothes for 'best' - wear them for everyday + love them!

Years ago I bought a skirt.

About 7 or 8 (or 9) years ago.

It wasn't a specially special kind of skirt to anyone but me - but to me, this was (and probably still is) my perfect skirt.

I saw it (randomly; clearly we weren't out clothes shopping) in a supermarket in Truro, when down in Cornwall, visiting one of my sisters).

It's a sort of flannel-y grey.

It's just above knee length.

It has good fastenings.

And it has a lovely drapey ruche-y front.

I totally adored it on sight. This is my love-at-first-sight sort of a skirt - I love grey, I love draping,

I just loved it.

I'd also just about started to put on some weight round about then.

I bought it in a size 16 without trying it on, convinced it would be perfect. (It wasn't expensive - but I WAS excited about finding my perfect skirt there).

Disappointingly, back at my sister's house when I tried it on, it was the teensiest bit tight ... just an inch or so that made me not comfortable in it. But of course I kept it. It was just an inch.

And in my wardrobe it stayed.

Over the last ten years I put on three stone (that's 3 x 14 pounds maths people - I can't do it in my head).

And the skirt stayed. Every time I tried it it was tighter.

But I still loved it.

Finally, this year, in April, I decided to start losing the weight - and now I've lost all but 7 pounds of it ...

What I didn't do earlier was check in with my favourite ever - yet unworn - skirt.

When I put it on today, thinking, 'oh well, if it's a little loose I'll still wear it' ... well ... it comes on and off without need of the fastenings.

Rachel Redlaw skirt weight loss

So, goodbye perfect, favourite, unworn skirt - and I hope you fare better in your next home. (And I'll be continuing the search for one just like you - only a little smaller).

AND ... MORAL OF THE STORY!

Do not SAVE your favourite / perfect / ideal clothes for 'one day'.

WEAR THEM.

Love them.

Enjoy them.

I do kinda wish I'd tried this on earlier and worn it a few times.

(BUT .. I'd still rather have lost the weight! )

 

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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17 reasons to eat a Thai-style diet

1. A Thai diet is rice-based rather than wheat-based, so is naturally good for gluten-free diets (you'll need to use gluten-free soy sauce and stock cubes though) and those looking to cut down on eating wheat. 

2. Chillies make you happy ... your body reacts to the spiciness by releasing natural endorphins that just feel good. 

3. You can eat what you want for breakfast! No more having to stick to so-called 'breakfast foods'. Have rice, have soup, have stir-fry, have fruit - whatever you like.

4. It's super-quick to cook - most dishes just minutes to make.  Yes, you need to prepare the ingredients, but it's still pretty fast.

5. It cures hangovers! Try a super spicy pad krapow stir fry the morning after. Honestly, trust me, try it. Put a fried egg on top for extra protein if it's really bad.

6. It's a way of eating that ensures you get most nutritional value from your food - stir frying at a high temperature keeps the goodness in.

7. A Thai-style way of eating means delicious snacking too: a hard boiled egg dipped in soy sauce: some slices of pineapple with a salt, sugar and dried chilli-flake mix; sour green mango (or green apple) with chillies and fish sauce; chicken stir fried with garlic on little gem lettuce leaves.

8. These are salads you'll really want to eat :) No to limp lettuce and soggy tomato and yes to hot, sour, spicy salads with a kick - these meals in themselves are super tasty AND very rarely use oil or fats, just lime, fish sauce, sugar and chillies.

9. No specialist ingredients needed - if you can get hold of chillies, limes, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and rice you'll be able to cook a huge variety of dishes.

* You can download my 9 Tiniest Thai storecupboard essentials here (if you don't have it already!).  It's a helpful little free ebook :) 

10. It boosts your metabolism - yup, those spicy, salty flavours - your body loves them and it moves a bit quicker for them.  (Yeah, ok, I'm no twig, but then think of ALL THE RECIPE TESTING I have to do heehee).

11. So many ingredients in Thai cooking have amazing health properties - get them without even thinking when you're regularly eating chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and more.

12. It's incredibly tasty! Thai cooking is all about balancing the four key flavours of salty (fish sauce), sour (limes), sweet (sugar) and spicy (chillies). It has BIG flavours.

13. It's easy to eat your five a day (or more) when you're eating predominantly fresh foods.

14. Chillies kill off colds. They kill off pathogens (ie viruses) - just eat a little more Thai-style and you'll be getting a dose. Try this stir-fried pork with chilli and garlic.

15.  There are a couple of Thai dishes that I think are the ultimate comfort foods ... the softness of the rice, the sunshine of the flavours, the warm hug of it.  Need comfort food? Try pad Thai or a fried rice (kao pad). 

16. Under the weather with a cold or tummy pain or just feeling down? A kao tom - rice soup -will sort you out.

17. Thai food is happy and healthy food.  It's fresh, fast, full of flavour and makes you happy.

 

Try moving to a Thai-style way of eating for health and happiness.


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