Fasting in Patagonia

(56 Posts)
wildwater Mon 29-Jul-13 17:21:49

Hi everybody! I can't work out which is the latest thread...so have decided to start my own! Maybe some of you will join me...or else let me know which thread to go to. (I suspect it's over #26 by now, but can't find it...)

Everything is going really well up here in the Andes. The weather has been perfectly settled & glorious for the last two weeks. Two days ago we climbed the mountains behind El Bolson - right up past the snow-line. Walked through the most amazing carved forest...all sorts of animals & figures lurking there in the snow! Took lots of photos. Wish I could post them here, but...?

We are continuing to fast as usual. No harder to do than anywhere else. Probably eating more on non-fast days but then I think I have reached 'goal weight' (probably under 60kg but no scales available to check) so that's OK. I am walking everywhere and feel full of energy.

I am loving my 'new' body. Things like putting my hands in the pockets of my jeans and finding my hip-bones! Now, when I see my shadow in front of me, it looks good. (Before 5:2 I would see my shadow alongside people I was walking with, who looked normal, and decide that wasn't really what I looked like at all - but how we fool ourselves...)

People here are really interested in 5:2. Everybody has noticed the difference in my size from 7 years ago! Our host is fasting along with us, and he says he already feels much better.

LL and I are still looking around for a piece of land to build our house on. The piece we were thinking about fell through, but I am pleased about that as it was outside the village. I want to be able to walk into town rather than have to catch the bus. Fun to look around, and have the choice.

Hope to hear from other 5:2ers soon.

Chau for now (smile)

Talkinpeace Fri 02-Aug-13 22:51:40

YO YO YO
and MN have sorted their picture posting glitch

PS
once our kids are at college, can we come visit

wildwater Sat 03-Aug-13 15:11:49

Hi there Peplum41! Thanks for your message. Re my hair...yes it's all 100% natural at long last. Originally my hair was dark brown and I had thick dark eyebrows. It began to go grey when I was in my thirties. I spent many years covering up with dye...sometimes bright red! In my fifties I started to go 'lighter' with colour, and tried hard to go natural, but kept being confronted by the sight of this 'poodle' on top of my head. Even cut all my long hair off to start again (have always kept it longish) but got sucked back into dyeing. Finally, a couple of years ago, I decided to just go cold turkey. To my amazement, when it all grew out it looked just how I wanted it! There is a little dark still underneath at the back. I am very fortunate that it's a good texture - soft & well-behaved. So there you are! Despite all the anguish, it's possible to get there on the end. Are you somewhere along this track yourself?

wildwater Sat 03-Aug-13 15:39:44

And hello again! Time to catch up after all the drama of the last week. Such a relief to have LL safely home. (Of course he has no idea how concerned everybody was!)

The weather has turned to rain so it's not as freezing cold as it was. We are now spending time walking around the village looking at land for sale. No rush, really, but it will be good when we can focus on an actual site.

Yesterday I went to a yoga class in El Bolson with my 23 yr-old friend from here (we got to know each other back in NZ). Great to stretch properly. I have enrolled for the rest of the month, though might change after that to another class here in Lago Puelo. LL wants to do it too, so that will be good.

Fast day yesterday: slice whole meal bread ( by itself, no spread), small bowl of vegetable soup ( pumpkin, potato, onion, spinach, all boiled together then puréed) with portion of chicken breast (no fat).

I have never actually counted calories - way too fussy for me! - but trust my knowledge of what good eating is, and so far this has worked smile

Yesterday LL gave me a hug and said I was 'demasiado flacita' which means 'too thin' (I think). At the time I wearing two pairs of trousers and four woollen tops. In fact I am NOT too thin at all. It's just the contrast between before and after. (LL's main problem with my new body is that my GGs have become DDs!)

The men have gone to the market to buy food. Here, you don't stock up...but get what you need each day. I like that. Was the same when I lived in Melbourne in the 90s: go visit your local shops and buy fresh produce. Much better than having your pantry bursting with stuff you may or may not get around to cooking...

The chickens here are fabulous by the way - taste just like the ones we raised at home when I was a kid in the 50s. (NZ chickens these days are raised too quickly and have little flavour.)

I am still trying to figure out how to load more photos to this site. Mumsnet was OK with my first pic, but after that it spat the dummy!

Love to you all for now x

Talkinpeace Sat 03-Aug-13 17:20:32

WW - try the pictures again today ... they have changed the software

I love the idea of fresh food every day : I just cannot face the crowds

wildwater Sat 03-Aug-13 19:14:59

Thanks so much! Will give it another go, very soon smile

Talkinpeace Sat 03-Aug-13 19:23:02

I'm probably behind the times, but what made you choose Patagonia and are you expecting to earn a living there?

wildwater Sat 03-Aug-13 19:52:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wildwater Sun 04-Aug-13 14:00:41

Oh dear - gave away LL's name there without realising! And there's no way of deleting, is there? Oh well...

Ended up eating more than usual yesterday.

My food day: piece of toast with vegemite & cheese at around 10am. Handful of peanuts around 4.30pm. Extended family dinner from 8pm...several chicken Milanesa (like schnitzel), salads, bread, wine, followed by lemon meringue pie. Doesn't sound that excessive now I write it down, however I was unusually stuffed full.

It's difficult trying to eat earlier than folk here are accustomed to. I am encouraging meals before 8pm, but with limited success. Me, I don't like eating late then going to bed without exercise. Must change this!

Today I will bake bread again. Am enjoying this return to my roots. (When I was young my mother used to bake bread nearly every day.) smile

Talkinpeace Sun 04-Aug-13 14:37:11

WW : ask MNHQ to adjust the post - they will

eating times : what other meals do they have, as several studies have shown that in agricultural societies, most of the calories are at the end of the day so you can sleep them off

wildwater Sun 04-Aug-13 22:10:11

Thanks again TIP. Have just done so...and will be more careful in future!

Eating times. Because the house gets up so late, breakfast is just a 'nod', if we have anything at all.

Lunch is supposed to be the main meal of the day, which follows my 5:2 WOT - although we don't always manage it. This meal is eaten somewhere around 2-3pm. This is when we might eat pasta or rice or similar...or maybe a platter of tapas-style food.

Dinner, if not eaten earlier, is often presented around 8 or even 9pm. Although there might be a little bread, or crackers, with this meal, carbohydrates are not featured. Meat or chicken with salad of some sort is the norm.

Not sure about 'sleeping off' calories although I guess this is what bears do in winter! I am more inclined to want to move around a bit...

One of the things we have been making, that we learned whilst staying on Ibiza in 2007, is 'escalebada' (unsure of correct Spanish spelling) which is oven-roasted red peppers and aubergines, de-seeded & de-pipped, then sliced/mashed and mixed with olive oil, garlic & salt. You can make heaps and store it for ages in a jar in the fridge. A great side-dish.

Raining hard here all day. Temperature rising; wearing fewer layers. Looking forward to seeing the first flower of Spring. A big difference between here and back home - where flowers bloom all year round - is that there is not one single flower to be seen, anywhere.

Cheers smile

wildwater Sun 04-Aug-13 22:22:02

Oh...was re-reading yesterday's post, and realised I had completely forgotten to include lunch!

Our host made cheese & ham mini-pizzas, which he is very good at. We all ate quite a few...which contributed to my feeling more 'full' than usual.

Yesterday's' eating reminded me how easy it is for me to over-eat, still.

When I am fasting, or controlling what I eat...then everything is fine.

When I start reaching for former 'trigger food' then my brain turns into a monster...I just want more and more!

The other night I couldn't stop eating lemon meringue pie...which was way sweeter than I enjoy (have never had a really sweet tooth) but continued to eat anyway.

I know that I am re-training myself via 5:2 and it's sometimes one step forward and two back. Must not feel like a failure! This WOL is working for me and I fully intend to keep on keeping on.

The way I feel - the taste in my mouth - when I over-eat sugar is just NOT WORTH IT. (Note to self.)

wildwater Sat 10-Aug-13 14:05:20

Hola again to anybody checking in here. Things are going well, if slowly...we are still deciding exactly where we want to buy land to build our house. The village, or a little further out? There are some lovely places close to the lake with amazing views of the mountains. If we went there it would be a bus trip to the village (easy) and more land. If we buy in the village we are close to everything, and can easily get to the lake. Decisions!

Still haven't managed to weigh myself. No idea if I'm the same as I was, or less. My body is changing. Since I've been walking even more than usual - up mountains etc - and started doing yoga again, my abdomen is becoming much flatter. I can't believe the amount of energy I have. The other day we were late for the bus so I RAN flat out down the street to see if it was coming...arrived not puffed at all...felt great.

I retain a (hopefully) irrational fear that all the fat I have lost will somehow reappear overnight. In fact this could only happen if I dedicated myself to over-eating on a grand scale, which I have no intention of.

However I realise I need to be extremely strong in the face of this different food culture, which has little sense of what is healthy or unhealthy...overloads of sugar abound, and nobody wants to eat at sensible times.

I am having some success at re-training this household, though. My ideal eating schedule is: a very small breakfast around 10am, eg piece of wholemeal toast and an egg. Main meal of the day around 2-3pm, protein and complex carbs. Another light meal around 8pm, protein and veges.

I try to not eat sugary stuff, but on non-fast days I am often tempted by some version of dulce de leche, which is far too good to completely ignore.
I am also thoroughly enjoying the magnificent Argentine Malbec wines.

The promised dog story. Last week I was walking with a friend up a steep mountain road behind El Bolson. (We'd had to leave the house-bus at the bottom because we'd stuffed the brakes coming down from the snow the week before.)

Suddenly a large dog materialised right beside me, greeting me by putting his head against my hip and looking right into my eyes.

This dog was, astonishingly, the image of my beloved old mongrel Wolf, who died in 1981. (Wolf was an unusual looking dog: the size of a German Shepherd but lighter, with a long strawberry-blonde coat, black 'kohl' round his eyes and on the tips of his standing-up ears, and a beautiful flag of a tail.)

It was as if my old dog had walked out of my dreams to come say hello to me again. Of course I could not help but give him a cuddle! He walked with us for about five minutes, then melted back into the forest. Magic.

Happy fasting to you all ;

Talkinpeace Sat 10-Aug-13 17:43:26

Good luck on the plot hunting ..... I guess the boring thing is to make sure that it will work long term - even if you are not as fit as you are now.

THe meals may be a bit random, but the lack of chemicals and processing HAS to be hood.

wildwater Sat 10-Aug-13 19:39:16

Thanks...yes, we do have to consider our older-age, closer than we imagine!

wealthypensioneriamnot Tue 13-Aug-13 11:58:06

Have just found your post on the 5/2 diet area of MN and it has made me more determined to lose this pesky extra two stone in weight . I am the same age as you ..... don't know how tall you are but I am 5 ft 4 ins ( that's height , not my waist measurement although that isn't getting any smaller ) . The fact that you have gone from about 80 kg to 60 kg has cheered me up no end , so thanks for posting . I have only lost about 5 lbs since the beginning of May ( although have only fasted for two days on about half those weeks , due to holidays etc .) .Couple of years ago DH and I crossed the Andes by coach ...... not sure what we were expecting ( apart from a lot of snow ,which there was ! ) ...... but certainly not what we had.... a luxury service coach with reclining leather seats and tea and biscuits being served ! Anyway , I shall continue with my 5/2 and hope to match your weight loss eventually .

wildwater Thu 15-Aug-13 20:34:19

Hello WPIAN. So pleased to hear I have inspired somebody. I am just 5'2" - don't think I've started to shrink yet!

I do want to drop a few more kilos; go below 60kg. But more than that I want to stabilise...stay fairly much the same size for a year or two, then I will know I have REALLY 'done it'.

The relief from feeling compelled to over-eat continuously is indeed extraordinary, after a lifetime (well, much of it) of yo-yoing. But I do have to watch out for 'triggers' if I don't want to go overboard on non-fasting days.

Good luck to you. I like your name by the way...we fall into the same category. Nothing like doing your 'retirement' on the smell of an oily rag, is there?

wildwater Sat 17-Aug-13 01:28:43

Hi again. A good fast day today. Had heaps of energy from the moment I got out of bed (LL reported the same).

As planned, none of us three fasting had anything to eat until dinner time - 7.30pm. Which made it a 23 hr fast.

I went to yoga today, by myself on the bus there & back, and it was wonderful. Have never done such a good stretch workout before. The woman taking the class was having a relationship drama (yes, my Spanish is sufficient to understand theses things, plus she speaks some English) and worked through a lot of stuff with us in class...we even went half an hour over the time!

Doing yoga on an empty stomach was a revelation. Maybe it's just that I'm getting fitter, but it felt like I had an entirely different body.

I'm also speaking the language much better, every day. Almost like a radio being tuned properly; now I can hear what's being said around me rather than it sounding like gibberish. So pleased this is happening because at one point I was reaching a state of despair over not understanding.

I still have an alarming lack of words, and my tenses are extremely lacking, but progress is definitely being made.

Made a rather insipid vege soup for our meal, which we had with some home-made wholemeal bread and no protein. Don't think anybody ate their quota. Doesn't matter.

Lesson of the day: don't assume the seeds on the unlabelled jar on the window ledge above the stove are sesame seeds, even though they look exactly like them.

And don't also assume that, when the seeds are not browning as usual, it's the gas in this country somehow behaving differently. (Well, it does seem to!)

When asked what are these seeds, I didn't understand...what seeds?

Oh - those. Sesame, no?

No.

Well, they tasted pretty weird to me, even though the men bravely ate them and said they were fine.

But neither of them could tell me what they actually were.

Birdseed, I think.

Breadandwine Sun 18-Aug-13 10:39:10

Birdseed, I think. Ha hah!

Great post, WW - keep 'em coming. Good that you're settling in well.

About your new-found energy levels - that describes me exactly.

Feels great!

wildwater Sun 18-Aug-13 19:12:33

Making bread. Yes! Lovely locally stone-ground wholemeal plus a little white flour. Lots of linseed, sesame, some whole oats and walnuts I cracked myself. Twice-kneaded (I didn't grow up on an island with my Mum baking bread for a family of six, every day, for nothing!) now rising at the back of the stove.

I decided to make a bread heart the other day...formed a somewhat exaggerated shape, then pressed a knife in lengthways. It worked out perfectly. Laughter at the table when we literally had to break hearts to eat our lunch. I will bake a entire batch of small hearts one day soon...

Back to basics. I re-read some of my older posts and see I have been all over the place. Sometimes I seem to say what I think I should, not what I really feel. For instance, a few posts ago I was complaining about eating meals too late, then said my 'ideal' included one of those times, which didn't make sense.

Because I'm often eating rather extended meals - a meal can go on for hours - I am trialling eating just twice a day on eating days. That means either breakfast or lunch but not both. I am trying to eat our evening meal earlier, but am practically resigned to it being late. Go with the flow etc.

I AM feeling hungry right now, but ignoring it and looking forward to eating the beans with pancetta & tomato that I cooked this morning, which we'll have tonight with rice and chopped fresh rocket.

Plus of course some great Malbec....smile

wildwater Sat 31-Aug-13 12:59:51

Hi fellow 5:2ers.

I haven't been writing here as much lately as things have been getting busier (as I knew they would) and we have been all over the place.

Good news is that we have finally settled on our little plot (700 square metres) which in fact is the piece we first heard about being for sale when back in NZ, and the one I always wanted! So I am extremely happy & relieved.

We continue to fast on Mondays & Fridays. It's a bit of a pain for me to have to be in control of two other people's fasts as well as my own, which is what has been put onto me.

I have explained that everybody needs to figure out their own way of doing it, but that didn't work!

What I have been doing is roasting some root vegetables in the oven, throwing them onto cooked polenta and tossing some chopped rocket on top. Like a polenta pizza.

I think the two men are eating more than their 600 calories - an insistence on helping themselves to multiple portions being the Argentine 'way' - but at least they are fasting for 22 hours twice a week.

I am taking care to not overeat. In fact I am practising the way I observe thin people eating...putting on my plate about half of what I would have prior to starting 5:2 nine months ago.

I still haven't managed to find a pair of scales to weigh myself on. The fact that I can now pull my jeans down without opening the zip doesn't mean too much. They are stretch after all, and maybe after a few washes these kinds of pants stretch a bit more, so I'm not thinking I'm suddenly thinner.

The best thing will be to find that I am just the same - maybe a kilo or so lighter. I have been going to yoga classes twice a week now for the last month and this is beginning to have a good effect. My stomach and abdomen have never felt like this before!

Our life here is starting to move forward. I am in love with the mountains and the stones that are everywhere. These stones will become the basis of my income, as I am about to start painting them to sell in the market. I have an idea that I hope will 'fly'.

Cheers to you all for now smile

78bunion Sat 31-Aug-13 13:14:35

What an interesting set of posts. Good luck with it all.
There is bit of a myth people comfort themselves with in middle age that it is too late ever to lose weight but this thread shows that it is possible.

wildwater Sun 29-Sep-13 13:20:51

Hola amigos!

Here in the mountains of Patagonia 5:2 rules. We continue our two days a week fasting for 24 hours then having our 500 or 600 calories. This works really well for us.

I have not weighed myself since the beginning of July but my jeans tell the story: they are now extremely loose, thanks to walking everywhere and yoga twice a week.

Slowly. I am coming to grips with the reality of my 'new' body. It is not suddenly going to revert overnight, which is my greatest (irrational) fear.

What I love most is how I can now run fast - better than when I was young. Yesterday I took a four year-old to the lake. He want to run, so we did...and it was he who got puffed, not the old lady!

In fact. I am not feeling old at all. The wrinkles and long white hair might say one thing, but the strength & energy from within is something else. I feel like I am growing younger.

Every day I am more in love with this place and it's people. I am learning to speak the language, slowly but surely. My week is filling up with interesting things to do and people to interact with.

I have learned to make willow baskets - something I have wanted to do for years. Had one lesson, then just went for it, like a duck to water (well, I have lots of previous weaving experience, which helped).

The season for gathering cane is nearly over (budding leaves not good) but I have enough to make several more baskets (canastas as they are called in Argentina). I am really proud of my third & latest. It's a good size, strong enough to carry stones and tools, and comfortable to carry. Wish I could post a photo to share but the Mumsnet site doesn't upload my photos.

No breakfast today. Home-made pizza for lunch. Vegetable soup (made with beef bones) for dinner. Fasting tomorrow.

Salut a todos smile

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 17:53:34

Thank you for these posts - I'm both envious and impressed.

wildwater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:06:55

Buenos dias a todos.

Not much has changed since my last post. Still haven't stood on scales...but am sure I am the same, or less, than when I left NZ, despite quite a lot of dedicated eating. Doing 5:2 with 24hr fasts really seems to keep everything under control.

I am realising that old habits die hard, though. I am the original Cookie Monster given half a chance (even though I say I don't have a sweet tooth). The same with nuts of any description. The only answer for me is to just not have anything like that in the house. I can resist the temptation of going out to buy 'naughty' food, but not if it's already here sad

We went to a big Argentine Mothers' Day fiesta yesterday. Huge asado with beef, pork, chicken, chorizo & black pudding with Russian salad and crusty bread, followed by three gigantic cakes.

The saving grace of all this is that people do not serve themselves a heaped plate. You get given a small portion to eat, then wait for the next mouthful. Quite different to the NZ/English way of having everything at once. You might think this encourages over-eating but I don't see that at all. There are very few overweight people in these parts. (Quite different to what I noticed in Chile, where most of the women, at least, seemed large.)

My life here is beginning to fill up. I am doing a lot of my own creative work. Wonderful to have the space & opportunity after five years' hard labour in the fish & chip shop, when there was little time for anything else.
I am painting rocks, sewing, writing, drawing, weaving baskets and making mobiles...as well as being the bread-baker for the household and cooking most of the meals for five people.

Fasting has become a cherished habit. I love the break from thinking about food (never have trouble deciding what to eat on FDs) and my body certainly appreciates it.

Just to skite: yesterday I went for a walk with a friend and all of the children at the fiesta. Two of the children (about 7 or 9) started to run, and so I did too. Was delighted to find I could easily keep up with and actually outrun them! That would never have happened a year ago.

I do think about our Mumsnet group quite often and wonder how you are all doing. Good to have time to catch up with these threads.

Peace, love & lentils to all of you smile

Talkinpeace Mon 21-Oct-13 22:38:51

Oh wow - enjoying running - definitely a bonus :-)

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