I guess this could be read as a sort of Manifesto or perhaps the public declaration of a personal challenge. With the new look Veggies and Me blog I thought it was time to also have a new look Me.

I have always lived a healthy life. I am a non-smoker, very conservative drinker and life long vegetarian. I enjoy clean eating and in turn this clean diet has served me well with no major physical health complained, stomach or digestion problems and good mental health.

At the start of the year I had a full set of blood tests done and my doctor outlined that I had ideal results. He even suggested that I “have a glass of red wine and some cheese more often”. I think this was his way of telling me to not take the nutrition too seriously. The truth is however, these days, I am taking my personal nutrition very seriously and have just started on a personal experiment of self-improvement.

Today sees me, one month, into a diet free of food additives and processed foods. It is also the end of week one of a twelve-week weight training programme. Last week, according to a Tanita body composition analyzer I am 30.3% body fat and have a muscle mass of 49.3kg. The healthy body fat range for women ages 18-39 is 21-33% so you can see I am well within the health range. However, I would much prefer I was closer to the centre of that healthy range.

Other interesting results include my visceral fat rating which was 4. This is the fat located in the peritoneal cavity (abdominal area) that surrounds the body’s internal organs and is an indicator for type 2 diabetes risk. The healthy range for women being 1-12.

My bone mass was 2.6kg with the average for a woman of my weight being 1.95kg and total body water was 50.1% the normal range for women being 45-60%.

From these figures you can see that I have not a lot of belly fat but unfortunately though, due to genetics, I carry excess fat on my arms and legs. So my personal challenge for the next 11 weeks is to see if with weight training, and a diet free of food additives, I can override genetics and bring my body fat percentage down.

By building a greater muscle mass I hope to better control my body fat percentage, better my posture, increase my energy levels and greatly reduce my risk of osteoporosis.

Our body sees heavy metals, chemicals and food additives as toxins, which bind with fat in the body. I am aiding the process of detoxification by eating gelatinous foods such as soaked chia seed, cucumbers and drinking aloe vera juice (thanks for the tip Hungry For Change).

Wish me luck…

… and here are some of the yummy dishes I have been eating in the past month.