Saturday, 13 December 2014

Superfood Pumpkins and My Diet

Isn't this cool?  I arrived home with all the materials which were soon snapped up by Tom.  On Friday evening, he built me a pumpkin trellis which looks exactly as i imagined it would.  There is almost 60m of clothes line that has been threaded through the holes in the star pickets.  Each corner of the metal grid above rests neatly in the little cutouts in the top of the pickets, almost as if that's what they were designed for.  My raised beds don't allow for wandering vines and so like most things in my veggie garden IT WILL BE CONTAINED and trained to go vertical. Obviously I'm not growing Queensland Blues in this bed and so i have chosen a variety of pumpkin more in keeping with the trellis and space available.

Talk about marketing - pumpkin is apparently now a superfood.  Listen to the spiel on the back of the label.


The are certain foods that are especially beneficial to your health.
They may be high in protein or mineral content, concentrated with antioxidants or be a great source of cholesterol-lowering fibre.  
A healthy diet should incorporate an array of these superfoods in order to maintain weight, combat disease and prevent premature ageing.  

Pumpkin Microwave  Cucurbita maxima

Low in calories, containing no saturated fats or cholesterol.  Rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and dietary fibre. The seeds themselves are a good source of mineral zinc and can be dried for a sweet, nutty treat.  

A 'bush' pumpkin variety with a compact vine and small fruit.  Plant in full sun in well-prepared, fertile soil.  
Once flowering commences, fertilise around the base of the plant, repeating every 4-5 weeks.  Ready to harvest when stalk becomes crisp and the vine has died off.   Can be stored in a cool, ventilated position indoors for many months.  

Wow, a superfood.  I thought it was just pumpkin.  What i did note was that it was a 'bush' variety and that perhaps i wont need much trellis.  I'll have to companion plant it with something that can go all the way up. Maybe some cucumbers.  Do you know that in my circle of friends many of them don't eat pumpkin.  Its considered pig food!  I've even offered them my amazing pumpkin soup and they wont touch it.

My truss cherry tomatoes are growing well. So, well that i have been out there several times in the last few weeks to cut back the leaves to allow the light and air in.

In my quest for low carb foods i made some soup this afternoon from the tops and thick bottoms of celery. I made a box of celery sticks for snack during the week.

I chopped up a couple of onions and went outside and Ta Da! picked my very first head of garlic.  Its small, but it looks like garlic to me.

I tossed the whole head in some butter (the real stuff) with the onions, added some chicken stock, pepper, a few carrots and boiled it until it was soft enough to puree.   Once pureed i folded in some full fat sour cream.

Gosh was this nice and a perfect snack to fill me up in the afternoon.

I know what you are thinking.  She's on a diet and eating butter and full fat sour cream?  My diet or "change of lifestyle" excludes grains (especially wheat) and carbohydrates, especially sugars including fructose (i cheat a little here as i put a few berries in my shakes).  Its basically a palleo diet that includes dairy.  Rob and I are excluding all processed foods and artificial sweeteners and trying to work with proteins and fresh vegetables (and a little fruit).  I am trying to get my body into "ketosis" whereby my energy will come from the stored fat and not anything i put in my mouth.   So far, its working and Ive dropped about 7kgs in a few weeks with no exercise.  Best of all i feel great!  I'm not as tired as i was before.

How to Lose Weight

LCHF for Beginners    check out the section on theory

Excerpt from The Big Fat Surprise

If you can be bothered to look at the links, id be interested in your opinion.   I found the link between Vitamin D deficiency (common in middle aged women) and weight loss interesting and have started taking my supplements again.  

What i can tell you is that a miss bread and crackers.  I need to go recipe hunting for replacements to satisfy that crunch.  You are all posting fabulous pictures of Christmas goodies and it is driving me mad, so just stop it!

Exercise will be introduced this week and i have a piece of equipment sitting out on the deck to help.  I can honestly say that i have never touched this gym.  Its was bought by Rob about a year ago on an interest free plan.  Strength training eats up stored fat and so I'll be out there from this week.

There are diagrams for all the exercises you can do on this gym on the vertical pole.  The stereo is in place so i just need to pop in my IPod. 
I think i might have to do some research as i have a tendency to bulk up and get over sized biceps and thighs when i use weights.  I'd like long lean muscles but I'm not sure that's possible with my short limbs.  I know about using small weights with greater reps but i still get bulky.  With my wobbly feet, swimming is the best exercise for me but our pool has been closed for a $45.4 million refurb and will be open mid 2015.  I miss the hydro pool.

So i started off talking about a pumpkin trellis and ended up talking about my weight loss. Fingers crossed that they both work.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. yes i think a lot of the fad diets are total flams; i've never eaten low fat, low sugar or anything that says 'diet' on the label either, as i don't think it's any good for us. we are designed to eat the fats with the meaty flesh that's what the gall bladder is there for... have also given up wheat & sugar.
    sounds like you're doing well, keep the weights light so you don't bulk up, curvy is good & lots of walking, it's an all over workout.
    good luck (sorry didn't look at the links)

    1. Gulp, i have no gall bladder. I wonder if that will make a difference.

    2. Cannot go walking. I have crazy feet with crazy orthotics and this limits my walking. Hence, the swimming.

  2. Hi Lynda If you are really missing crackers and bread go for something like cruskits as they are mostly air or look online for a recipe that is made with almond flour or something similar. Check out my post on the weekend kitchen and I have listed a recipe you might want to try. I did a low carb diet earlier this year and lost quite a bit of weight. I filled up on salad with eggs and salmon to help me feel full as well as lots of meat and cheese. The reality is that some people just do not need to eat as many carbs as others as they do not burn them off. Most of us do not work in physical jobs so we do not need the carbs. Good luck and keep up the hard work.

    1. I've sat on my arse in an office for 33 years. I definately do not need carbs as i have always had a very slow metabolism. So i think this diet might actually work for me.

  3. That soup looks lovely. Do you make pumpkin pie ? if you use oranges in it you could just tell your friends it's citrus pie!

    1. Anne, ive never had a pumpkin pie. Its not an aussie thing. I believe its a desert. Sounds very yummy but alas, its still a carb.

  4. Eat chillies to speed up the metabolism (the body considers them to be a poison and so speeds up to remove it) and eat lots of small meals or large snacks instead of the 3 a day as then your metabolism will be working all day long, rather than on and off again.

    Gall bladders create bile which breaks down fats so although I would stick to the good fats (animal fats, coconut oil and uncooked or low temp only olive oil) I would be most moderate in their consumption. Not low fat but judicious fat. :)
    Without your gall bladder you will have a continuous drip of bile into your intestine rather than a big dose when you finish eating. It may change the way you digest food I would think. (I just googled that bit on the gall bladder. :) )

    1. Thanks Jess for your input. I need to look more into the gall bladder thing (research as well). Good advice re fats until i know what i am doing.

  5. The pumpkin trellis is fantastic!

    Having had problems with one of my goats going into ketosis, I would personally be hesitant. You have obviously done your homework, however. Good girl! You'll know what to monitor to make sure you stay on the safe side.


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