The FIT FIX Diet Plan

So far, I’m pretty happy with my FIT FIX Diet Plan. The three-day JUICE CLEANSE has worked well as a kick-starter and now I’m very much ready to move on to the next phase of this experiment – eating REAL food!

DAY THREE – reviewing Wednesday

Yes, I got weary during the second and third days of the JUICE CLEANSE at certain times, but at others, I felt energised and fabulous. The ‘tired’ part is to be expected, given I wasn’t getting any caffeine. It did help that I reduced my coffee intake drastically over the last month and am now more likely to have an Earl Grey tea than a coffee on most days. At least I was spared a splitting headache, which usually happens with the detoxing process.

My juice selection for Day One

My juice selection for Day One

But three days of juice is DEFINITELY enough. Although I didn’t quite do the FULL three days. As I said yesterday, I planned to eat dinner last night at my Mum’s anyway which I did, and managed to eat only a very small portion of her delicious roast with gravy and said ‘no’ to roast potatoes. AND sweetcorn. AND Yorkshire pudding… I even said NO to Mum’s homemade apple crumble… Heart-breaking but essential if this plan is to succeed.

I also declined the red wine on offer, so I can happily say I’ve kick-started the week with three consecutive AFDs. (That’s alcohol -free days in case you were wondering) I am now very much looking forward to a glass or two tomorrow night. But part of this plan is to also reduce my alcohol intake, so I will be monitoring ‘how much’. (sigh…)


The Fit Fix Diet Plan is designed to be extremely flexible to fit a variety of lifestyles. So many of our plans change so quickly on a daily basis, that we all need something that’s adaptable. Having said that, I also believe planning ahead is essential.

Food shopping the LEAST amount of times possible is a biggie for me too. Life’s too busy to be heading to the supermarket on a daily basis. Twice a week is plenty!

My current favourite

My current favourite

Picking components from various diets and mashing them together also appeals to me, so here’s how this diet will work.

As well as THE RULES I spelt out yesterday, I’m aiming for one juice fast day a week, (MONDAY) and one day with a very low calorie intake. (THURSDAY) This will be in accordance with the 2-5 diet which has a lot of evidence backing it to suggest that by almost fasting two days a week, we can eat what we like on the other five. I tried this, but the ‘eating what you like’ on the other days just meant I pigged out ridiculously. Which is why I’ve decided to create my own plan.

Yes, I’ll still have 2 days which are low calorie, but I’m only allowing ONE day which is a free-for-all. And yes, that’s the day you can have CHOCOLATE and don’t have to count calories. For me, that’s preferably a SATURDAY.

The first week of the FIT FIX Diet Plan differs from the following weeks, because of the 3-day juice cleanse, but as of next Monday, I’ll be aiming to stick to a pretty regular eating schedule. So usually today would be one of the ‘almost fasting days’ but after coming off the three-day JUICE CLEANSE, that’s not happening this week.

As well, I can safely say it’s highly likely social commitments will probably force changes to my plans, but then I can explain how I adapt and hopefully this will help you too.


Here’s the plan I laid out for today:

The Muesli - 97% sugar free

The Muesli – 97% sugar free

Breakfast: The Muesli (50 grams) with skim milk, (100ml),  Greek yogurt (50g) and frozen berries (25g).

Snack – celery sticks

Lunch – can of Sirena basil tuna, lettuce and spring onion

Snack – Tamara Yoghurt tub with berries

Dinner – Bolognaisse sauce – NO PASTA, plus two glasses of red wine


Using the My Net Diary App, the total calorie amount would add up to 1409. This is just under my daily allowance of 1430, so well on target. Especially as I put in a good effort with exercise this morning, doing both a half-hour abdominal class, followed by 45-minutes of a seriously sweaty spin class. According to the My Net Diary App, I burned off 593 calories, which means I still have 614 in the bank. Maybe this means I can have more wine tonight??


Speaking of alcohol, the 3-day JUICE CLEANSE reinforced to me how important it is to have at least three days a week without grog if you want to lose weight. I KNOW once I’ve had a couple of wines, I’m far more likely to grab a handful or two (or 5) of cashews from the cupboard, or to hoe into a cheese and crackers session at 10pm.

Even a couple of glasses will drastically reduce your willpower. Which is why this rule is a MUST.


It’s gone to plan except that I decided to substitute my two snacks with a bottle of green juice, left over from the stash I bought for the 3-day cleanse. Which adds up to roughly the same amount so I’m doing fine.

Let’s see what happens tonight after that red wine. I’ll report back tomorrow and also discuss how my weight is going – which is embarrassing but important for you to know as evidence as to whether this FIT FIX Diet Plan really will work. Stay tuned!






What it feels like to do a JUICE CLEANSE

Some of my daily juice quota

Some of my daily juice quota


So now I’m into DAY THREE of my Juice Cleanse and I’ve stuck to it solidly. Here’s how yesterday panned out and what’s happening today:




Day Two started off swimmingly, but my enthusiasm started to wane by late afternoon. It wasn’t that I was getting tired of juice – I was starting to feel rag-doll tired.

Pressed Juices at 25 Carpenter Street, Brighton

Pressed Juices at 25 Carpenter Street, Brighton

I really should have listened to the advice from the Pressed Juices staff who recommend taking it easy on the days you’re ‘cleansing’. I thought I was doing well skipping a spin class at the gym and going for a power walk instead, but in the afternoon, I had quite a bit of running around to do with appointments and errands in the city and Chadstone shopping centre, so by day’s end, I felt completely drained.

I still enjoyed the juices with a fantastic selection of flavours. My favourite was the Zest Juice in the afternoon made up of pineapple, ginger, mint and pear – yum.


Challenges included watching my daughter eat sushi at Chadstone from our favourite store and suddenly missing the action of ‘chewing’ myself. Then she baked some delicious smelling biscuits when we got home which was horribly tempting, but I stuck to my guns.


You might think I’m a piker, but I’ve decided to eat a ‘proper’ meal tonight, cutting back my 3-day JUICE CLEANSE to two and three-quarter days. I can justify this quite admirably though. You see, I REALLY want to get back to the gym tomorrow morning and without a bit of protein in the tummy tonight, that just won’t be possible.

Plus we’re going to a family dinner tonight and how can you say NO to your Mum’s home-cooked roast??? I won’t have potatoes though. Or dessert.  And maybe I’ll have to ditch the gravy as well. NOOoooo. I’ve changed my mind. I’m having gravy.

But I have stuck to the Juice Cleanse for all of today so far and I’m feeling fine. In fact, most of the time (apart from yesterday, late afternoon) you feel fabulous!  For exercise, I put in a good forty minutes on the treadmill, walking at a fast pace, so I can tick my exercise box too.

Now it’s time to get down to the RULES of the diet I’m going to design for myself. Let’s call it the FIT FIX DIET for the sake of having a reference name.


1. Things you can’t eat: potato, rice, bread and products with more than 5% sugar content. (the sugar rule doesn’t apply to wine or the one day you are allowed chocolate!)

2. You must write down everything you eat and count calories. (sounds boring but I have an easy solution for this!)

3. You must exercise every day for a minimum of between 45 minutes and an hour. I am going to aim for spin classes four days a week, plus two lots of abdominal classes and two sessions of body toning or weights workouts. If you don’t go to a gym, you can ride a bike, run and do toning exercises at home.

4. You must weigh yourself every day.

5. You must have three alcohol-free days a week. I calculate my week starting on a Sunday.

6. You can have one day off the regime per week where you eat what you like and ditch the calorie counting.


1. Scales to weigh yourself.

2. Scales to weigh the food you eat.

My Net Diary I-Phone App

My Net Diary I-Phone App

3. An I-phone or device that can use the My Net Diary App. This is my secret weapon in the fight against flab!

It means you can easily put in all your measurements and target weight and it will calculate how much you should safely eat per day in order to lose weight.




Calculating calories made easy

Calculating calories made easy

You might think it sounds terribly boring to type in everything you eat, but the bonus here is that once you pop the food item into the system, the App will recall all the details and the information will come up automatically. Given I don’t vary my food intake THAT much, it isn’t too hard. And believe me, I’m no tech-genius, so if I can do it, you can!

I start with My Net Diary tomorrow and eating a regime of more regular food. Which I’ll detail in a food plan later.

The other aspect of this App I love is that by storing your weight every day, it produces a little chart to show how you’re progressing. It’s great when you finally see the line on the graph start to head south!

A weighty issue – which ‘diet’ works best?

I’ve been debating whether to write about this topic or not, since it’s almost politically incorrect these days to say we’re ‘NOT happy with our bodies’ or to even mention the word DIET, because it SHOULD be about being healthy rather than how we look, right?

Not to mention the fact that there are so many more serious political issues I could be addressing rather than the trivial obsession with what we put in our mouths and whether our muffin tops have grown since last year…

But heck, it’s my Blog so I can write what I want and I want to get into shape for summer, so selfishly, it suits me. It’s also something I haven’t addressed since the beginning of the year, when I went on the SUGAR FREE DIET for six weeks. Well, I did eat some sugar products – as long as they contained less than FIVE PER CENT sugar per 100 grams. I have to say I wish I’d stuck to it, because not only did I feel great during that time, I also dropped a few kilos without too much effort at all.

Just some of my collection of 'diet' books...

Just some of my collection of ‘diet’ books…

Sadly, since then the old bod has expanded beyond what I consider to be an acceptable size. It hasn’t helped that I’ve travelled quite a bit this year, which has meant less exercise, more food and overall, less self-discipline.

Now it’s time to get motivated again. Well, that’s what I thought about two months ago and since then have been re-visiting the rather large collection of fad diet books I’ve bought over the years to try and work out what’s going to be the most effective way. Clearly, it’s taken a bit of time to come to the right decision.

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr


At first I fell in love with Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet, with its vegan slant and wonderful array of fresh juices. Dutifully, I trotted out some amazing salads for the family, but was met with scorn and revolt at the lack of protein and abundance of healthy green stuff. (Not to mention their inability to appreciate hemp seeds.) It was also difficult finding some of the ingredients, which might be a cultural problem, but nevertheless, made the recipes all the more challenging.


My home made green juice

My homemade green juice

Ms Carr’s power of persuasion about the health benefits of fresh juice even led me to purchase our own whiz-bang Breville juicer. A few weeks went by when the fridge was bursting at the seams with magical green juice, that again, I was the only family member to truly appreciate. What I didn’t appreciate was the time and effort to make the stuff.


My enthusiasm quickly waned and before long, the hoards of veggies I was buying with the intention of juicing, would wilt and wither in the fridge, then be tossed out before they even made it to the juicer. The problem is that this juicing caper is WAY too time-consuming. Washing, peeling, dicing and prepping the fruit and veg for the juicer takes FOREVER and then you’re faced with a mountain of dishes.

On the plus side, I have to say I did feel great when I went on a juice binge and I was the only member of the family NOT to get a cold this winter.

Regardless, I put that book to the side and decided to sign up to the Michelle Bridges 12-week Body Transformation. A friend had done the program and swore by it. But it wasn’t for me. Sure, my body transformed – I put on two kilos! I found the meal program to be heavily laden with carbs and again, if you’re a working person, too much time and effort required on the food front – especially for lunches.

The Dukan Diet has worked for me in the past, but does become boring for the taste buds. I also think it’s impossible to stick with long-term and as soon as you break the momentum, the weight goes straight back on.

Yep, it really is marvellous...

Yep, it really is marvellous…

I know, I know, I can hear you shouting – but what about the simple EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE theory? Yep, you’re absolutely right. That makes total sense. BUT I like a plan. A bit of a regime to get me motivated. And to keep me away from all those temptations – like this chocolate, which is TO DIE FOR.

So I’ve decided the best solution is to come up with my OWN diet. A mixture of all the good bits from the diets I’ve been researching, smashed together into one GRAND PLAN. I’ve also realised that being accountable is a good thing. So I’m going to be accountable to YOU.


I’m going to check in with Blog reports, listing my food and exercise plan and whether I stick to it or not. I hasten to add, I am NOT a dietician so please don’t follow this unless you chat to someone with the right authority to let you know if it’s a healthy option for you. I’m just doing this for myself as an experiment. It will probably be more Bridget Jones than Michelle Bridges, but hey, let’s give it a shot and see what happens.

DAY ONE – MONDAY, November 18

Day One of a new regime is always my favourite. That’s when I’m full of positive energy and determination to succeed with my new plan. Part of my enthusiasm comes from the fact that a new store opened in our local area – PRESSED JUICES.

Pressed Juices, 25 Carpenter Street, Brighton

Pressed Juices, 25 Carpenter Street, Brighton

Now, I’ve never been into all that detoxing stuff before, but after feeling the benefits of fresh juices through the Crazy Sexy Diet plan, I do agree that a short-term ‘cleanse’ can set you on the right path for a new way of approaching food. So when Pressed Juices opened up, I was thrilled. Now I could enjoy a fantastic range of fresh juices without having to go to all the trouble of making them myself.

That’s the other drawback of having your own juicer. You can really only make one batch at a time, whereas buying them already made, you can enjoy a variety of flavours.

A fridge full of miracle juice

A fridge full of miracle juice at Pressed Juices

The Pressed Juices brochures explain in detail how it all works, so I decided to kick start my new diet with a three-day juice cleanse. There are a couple of stores dotted around Melbourne and Sydney if you’d like to do the same, and likewise, interstate or overseas, you should find that similar stores are popping up everywhere and there’s very likely to be one near you. Or bite the bullet, buy a juicer and do the work yourself.

My juice selection for Day One

My juice selection for Day One

I’m lazy and LOVE this option of buying my six bottles for the day and putting them in my fridge. Not only are there massive health benefits, it means NO COOKING for three days!! Just grab a bottle, crack it open and down the hatch. Not even cutlery needed. Bliss. I told the family they could fend for themselves.


Breakfast was a Green Smoothie with avocado, banana, coconut water, cucumber, lake, lime, mesclun and pineapple. Delicious! Thank God I didn’t have to make it – would have taken at least two hours.

I won’t detail ALL the juices I drank, but suffice to say they all tasted great and I didn’t feel hungry. It’s advised not to exercise TOO strenuously during a cleanse. Yesterday, I DID go to the gym and did a spin class, but I’d had a big meal the night before so was still burning that off. I felt a little more tired than usual at night, but that’s to be expected.

Today I trotted off to Pressed Juices again to restock, but ditched gym in favour of a half hour power walk. I’ll get back to the heavier gym stuff after the 3-day cleanse is done. SO now I’m half way through DAY TWO and feeling great.

Time to work out the plan of action AFTER the 3-day juice regime. How much I hope to lose, confess to how much I weigh right now etc… Stay tuned…


When is a good age to have babies?

Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster

Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster

So Zoe Foster and Hamish Blake are having a baby! I offer my sincerest congratulations to them both – this gorgeous and much loved-up ‘IT’ couple of our local celebrity culture.

I’m sure Hamish will make an excellent dad. I can say this with some authority, as son Tom (who has just turned 16)  is a HUGE ‘Hamish and Andy’ fan. This means he has spent thousands of hours over the past five years walking around our house listening to pod-casts of these guys with ear-phones glued to his head and ignoring me. Hamish, in particular, is his favourite. Which means I’ve battled to get a word in.

But I’m fine with that. I get it. Hamish is funnier, wittier, younger and a bloke. No wonder Tom would prefer to hear his banter than my nagging him to pick up the clothes from his bedroom floor. But as a result, I believe Tom has absorbed much of Hamish’s take on life and he’s turned out pretty well. (In fact, he’s close to damn perfect… ) So Hamish, if you do read this, you should recognise and take a pat on the back for the great influence you’ve had on the thousands of young men (and women) who’ve grown up listening to you and feel confident, as you await the arrival of your first born, that you WILL be a great dad.

It’s none of my business WHEN people decide to have a baby, but I do admit to feeling a tad concerned when I read more than a year ago that Zoe was in no hurry to have kids. There was a quote where she said ‘I’m only 31 and I don’t want a huge family, but we do want kids, but we’re in no rush. I want to be a fun, married couple for a while.’ Which is cool – I just hoped she wasn’t going to wait till she was forty.

Now, OF COURSE, that was probably a line for the media because why should she tell us what they are planning anyway? But it reminded me of myself when Fletch and I had been married for a few years and I’d said exactly the same thing to friends. In fact, I was having so much fun with just the two of us, that every time Fletch suggested starting a family, I’d laugh it off and say, ‘Next year, honey. Just another year.’

Then the crunch came when he sent me a card with a picture of an adorable chubby baby on the front, and he drew a word bubble out of it’s mouth where he wrote, ‘When, oh when, will you let me be born?’ Yeah, not much pressure, huh?? So I relented, thinking it would probably take a while, but in a matter of seconds I was pregnant.

Veronica at 3 months

Veronica at 3 months

Veronica arrived not long after my 30th birthday and I was one of the first of my friendship group to have a baby. That made it hard for the first few years when I felt like I was missing out socially, but in hindsight, I’m so glad Fletch put the squeeze on for us to start a family when we did.

I still don’t think there’s enough in the media, encouraging younger women to have babies at an earlier age, because there still seems to be a common misconception that it’s all good and dandy to get pregnant in your forties. While many women do, and it works out brilliantly, there’s many more who spend years struggling to conceive and the long-awaited miracle never happens. For many, there isn’t a choice – some are still waiting to find a life-partner – but for those who do, but are like me and are hesitant – this is why I’m writing this piece.

Our second child, Tom, arrived two and a half years after Veronica when I was thirty-two. Even at that age, it was an exhausting time. Especially as I returned to reading the news when Tom was a mere five-weeks old.

Tom as a newborn. Photo by Fletch

Tom as a newborn. Photo by Alan Fletcher

The younger you start, the more energy you will have to cope with the incessant demands of parenting. Your body will bounce back more quickly and you are less likely to suffer from post-natal depression. I wish I’d started even younger!

As well, the earlier you start a family, the greater your chances are of becoming pregnant. After the age of 36, a women’s fertility rate declines at an alarming rate. Only two in five women over the age of 40 are able to conceive.

I know this is a sensitive and complex issue. I have another friend in her forties who is only now, considering having a baby. She says she hasn’t felt ready until now. Everyone is different and that’s all good. I’m just saying – if you’re like I was in my late 20s and think you have all the time in the world – think again. Look up the statistics and decide whether it’s really worth waiting. And to Hamish and Zoe, I’m thrilled for you both.