Friday, 20 November 2009

An Unhealthy Mind

I have recently realised that I am sick. Nuts. Twisted and weird. Not in a good way either. My blog title says that I am seeking a healthy mind and body, and my body is pretty healthy - though I still don't do any resistance or stretching, and the exercise I do get tends to be very low impact & samey - but my mind? I don't think I've made any progress on this side of the equation at all. None.
I am obsessed to a ridiculous degree with this whole weight loss / maintenance deal. I know that unless you strayed here because you did a search for twisted minds and have never seen this blog before this isn't really going to come as a shock to you, but I have been letting myself not really notice this for quite a while now and I finally realise that its time to take stock and try to do something about it. Because I am ruining a lot of things that should give me pleasure in life because of this obsession, and that is not healthy.
I approach holidays / vacations with dread because I know I will gain weight and already I feel like a failure. I have a folder in my Favourites on my browser called 'Eating Out' with links to restaurants that offer nutritional info on their food - even restaurants I've never been to, and ones that I don't want to go to. I have the same meal every time I get a takeaway (vegetable chow mein) or eat out (5 bean chili at Wetherspoons) because I'm freaked out by having to decide on a meal on the fly and possibly failing to spot the words 'smothered in cheese', 'deep fried', or 'stuffed with pure fat, coated in chocolate and THEN deep fried '...
I seem to have convinced myself that I can't enjoy a new food that I didn't cook for myself without triggering a binge or regaining 10 lbs in weight overnight. And that if I do binge or gain 10 lbs overnight the sky will fall on my head and I'll be whisked off to hell because I am evil. I even resent M having food or drink that I 'can't' have, when no-one is stopping me except myself. Its not fun and its not sexy and its such hard work.
I don't want to regain all my weight, but there is a part of my brain that realises I'd still be me if I did - sometimes considerate, caring, warm, sometimes lazy, selfish, thoughtless, always messy - but not fundamentally bad or undeserving of life or love.
I don't think less of people who lose and regain weight, don't lose weight, or lose weight and maintain that weigh loss - unless they're me.
I don't want to be that way any more. If nothing else, I'm too old to be investing so much energy in this one issue.
So I've reached a decision. I'm going to be cold turkey offline after today for at least 1 week, maybe as much as 2. In that time I also won't be weighing myself. I will photograph food that looks interesting, but I won't be recording it formally in my Food Diary on WLR.
I will be back, because blogging means a lot to me, and I hope I'll be back a calmer, less obsessed blogger. And one whose trousers haven't all mysteriously shrunk 3 sizes in the wash while I wasn't looking ;-). Who makes a salad because she likes salad, and doesn't weigh the lettuce...
Please keep your fingers crossed for me! There's a very good chance this won't work and I'll be just as crazy and obsessional when I get back... in which case I'll apologise in advance for the inevitable whinging!!!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie xxx

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Devizes visit

I was trying earlier to work out the last time I went to Devizes, and it was a little depressing to realise it was about 20 years... thinking about anything I was doing 20 years ago makes me feel soooo old!
Anyway, I got to my Mum's house a bit later than I'd planned - almost 10 am. Before going out I had to say hello to her cat - sadly, he is about 12 and has been having kidney issues. Lately he's been refusing to eat, and has lost weight, so my Mum & her OH have decided if he doesn't start picking up soon they will have to have him put out of his misery. Its a heart breaking decision to make, but they can't let him starve himself to death... in a way, this visit was partly to say goodbye to him. However, the good news was that the novelty value of my visit seemed to perk him up a bit! He has been going off to sit staring into space by himself a lot, but when I called him over he came to see me, and he was persuaded to drink some milk, eat a little fishy catfood, and sit on some laps. It was good to see, but what used to be a satisfying solid-feeling cat now feels like a bag of bones in a fur coat, so I'm afraid to hope too much that he's really doing better. Free Blinkies
We headed into Devizes on market day. Its a really good market place to visit - as well as the main market in the square there was an antique and collector's fair in the Corn Exchange, and a little market called The Shambles (The Famous Shambles, in fact!):
In this market was a wonderful little butchers stall selling the most amazing Pork & Leek sausages, among other things. I bought a pack of pork & leek, and a pack of sea salt, sage & black pepper sausages, for £5 - and even though I'd crossed over into England, the stallkeeper told me the pigs were Welsh!!! I'm thinking of saucy sausages with lentils... Don't they look good?


Here are a few shots of the beautiful old buildings in the town. There's a magnificent brewery, which offers Brewery tours, so I think I may go for a tour some time in the future! (The Brewery is the big red building at the end of the road)




The Corn Exchange:





Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with a satsuma - slightly disappointing, I didn't feel the satsuma went well with the cereal, but it was the only fruit I had in!
Lunch:
Wetherspoons Five Bean Chili - I didn't bother photographing it as you've seen it before - and a diet coke. No dessert!
Dinner:
Home-made split pea veggie soup with a ton of extra vegetables added, served with seeded wholemeal bread and laughing cow.

And a beer... I liked this one a lot!

Snacks:
Protein bar, babybel light cheese, and... in Devizes I went into Somerfield and bought a pastry that I used to be addicted to - an almond & cherry croquante. The Somerfield in Chepstow has stopped selling them since Co-op took over, so I bought one today as a one off. And it really was a one off - because I found it very disappointing. I ate half of it, and threw away the other half. I was actually kind of pleased, as its clearly packed with calories and unhealthy carbs!


Weight today proved the connection between smoked gammon and water retention... 10 st 3.5lbs... Sad Emoticons. It doesn't bother me this time, as I now understand what's going on!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Normal Service is resumed

Hello everybody! Hope you had a good Wednesday! Mine was wet and depressing - the weather, not me!
I got no exercise today because I woke with a splitting headache that put me off the gym, and the weather put me off going for a walk. Of course the headache cleared eventually and then it was only my laziness that held me back. Why is it so much harder for me to motivate myself later in the day? First thing I can usually make myself do something, but in the afternoon or evening - not so much!
I had a wonderful chore to do today, one of my favourites... I went to get my legs (and some other bits) waxed. What a delightful half hour! Actually, it wasn't as bad as it usually is because I spent the whole time talking to the beautician about the benefits of healthy diet and exercise over fad diets! I always enjoy that, especially when - as today - the other person agrees with me!
Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with tinned peaches, and - for protein - pineapple cottage cheese on top! It was a yummy change, though I don't like cottage cheese enough to make it a regular thing.
Lunch:
Split pea and vegetable soup au naturel apart from crumbling a couple of pieces of firecracker cornbread onto it, and a satsuma

Dinner:
Something I used to do quite often, then forgot for a while. I wanted some stuffed pasta, but couldn't think of an appealing sauce to eat with it. The pasta was stuffed with pumpkin and pine-nut puree, and the recommended accompaniment on the package was olive oil, parmesan & fresh sage. I can't really fancy pasta tossed with olive oil, it makes me picture some kind of oil slick on the plate, but I didn't think it would go with a more normal tomato or cheese based sauce. Instead I cooked a very light broth flavoured with garlic salt and dried sage, with vegetables - carrots, squash, onion, peppers, celery and asparagus - and cooked the pasta in it, then served it as a sort of Italianesque variation on wonton soup. So much lighter and fresher than the normal sauces - or it would've been lighter if I hadn't made about a gallon of broth - and eaten it all!!!

Snacks:
Protein smoothie topped with chia seeds, cacao nibs and raisins;
protein bar; fromage frais with honey... and a small amount of gammon that I couldn't resist eating while portioning up the rest to freeze it so it won't be looking at me every time I open the fridge. Plus a little artison bread that I shouldn't have eaten while waiting for the pasta & broth to cook, some more raisins, a little frozen banana and a very little peanut butter... yes, I've been nibbling all day again!
Tomorrow I'm off to visit my Mum. We're going to Devizes, a little market town in Wiltshire, and having lunch in Wetherspoons - so aof course I'll be aiming to have the five bean chili! Haven't been to Devizes for about 15 years, so I'm looking foreward to it - and I'll try for some good photos for you!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

No more cry baby!

For now anyway. I want to apologise for my pathetic whining yesterday! You were so nice to be encouraging and tell me what I should have worked out for myself if I wasn't too busy wallowing! The irony is, when I first tasted the gammon that I ate the day before yesterday my first thought was 'oh, salty - but delicious' - yet when I weighed myself yesterday all I thought was 'No -this can't be happening to me!'. Hmph. Water retention sucks!
I made the decision yesterday to go vegetarian for the rest of the week as I usually feel lighter then. It was based on a theory that because I'm not eating as much meat these days it was having a blocking effect digestively. Now that I know its probably not about that, I'm still going to try to steer clear of the meat for a few days simply to feel better. So expect some weirdly unbalanced looking meals when my imagaination runs out!
Yesterdays food:
Breakfast:
All bran with peaches
Lunch:
Split pea vegetable soup with artisan bread & laughing cow. I've now used up the dough I had sitting in the fridge, and decided that I prefer this bread made with dough that's been refrigerated over night, not longer - its gets more of a dense sourdough effect that I'm less keen on.

Dinner:
Quorn-bulgar bolognese with spiralised vegetables and sweetheart cabbage


Snacks:
Fromage frais with frozen fruit (defrosted)

Protein smoothie, dark chocolate-coated marzipan bar (oops - but although I'm not that keen on marzipan for some reason I've been craving it for about a week now - and at about 176 calories it was a fairly harmless way to get the craving done with!)
I started the day with 40 mins on the ellipticla walker, and also walked into town with my trademark laden rucksack, so plenty of exercise for me!
I can't resist leaping ahead to give you today's weight even though its muddled in with yesterday's food:
10 st 2 lbs (142 lbs) - much better! All that water yesterday did help!
Thanks again for your support yesterday, it really made me feel better. I need you all to keep sane so please don't get bored with my ramblings and abandon me!!!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie xxx

I am fed up and sulking

Weight today: 10 st 3.4 lbs. I don't deserve that!
I know all about not letting a number on the scale ruin my day - but today that's exactly what is happening.
I could probably cry
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Monday, 16 November 2009

Productive, yet lazy and greedy day

I wanted to walk into town today for some errands, but it was pouring with rain, and very windy as well, so I drove in. Then of course the rain cleared - but I was too busy getting a haircut, and other various jobs, to make the most of it. I feel guilty now for not getting any exercise though... ah well.
Sorry to say I'm feeling kind of bleurgh and apathetic today so I think that's all I have to say!
Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with peaches
Lunch:
Split pea soup with added spinach, peas & corn with a laughing cow and rocket salad sandwich followed by a satsuma

Dinner:
Roasted butternut squash stuffed with black bean chili & goat's cheese served with a salad. It was very very tasty - and I loved the way the creamy, lemony fresh goat's cheese melted into the chili!

Snacks:
Pecan pie flavour nakd bar, raisins, unweighed amounts of roast smoked gammon (I roasted it for M, and it was so good I had to eat the bits that fell off when I carved it myself - all the bits, and some of them had help!!!); a small amount of crunchy peanut butter, home-made spelt crackers, and about 20 g of 70 % Green & Black's chocolate
Weight: 10 st 3.1 lbs!!! Arrgghh!!! I think I failed to drink enough liquid yesterday - I was bunged up this morning...
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Not a very good cooking day today!

I did make a very nice soup for my next several lunches... but I also tried to make the spelt crackers again and only got half a batch that weren't thick and leathery - and then I tried a new recipe for dinner which M didn't like, I thought was tasty but the vegetables were undercooked... so not the best! I find screwing up meals a bit depressing, but I know it happens to everybody so I need to just get over myself.
I did have a nice walk in the sunshine this morning before the rain started again, and after working on it all day I think my PC is looking a lot better - I have rebuilt it from the O/S up today, and although I don't yet have all the applications I usually run on it installed yet, the ones that are on seem to work, and it hasn't crashed since I started!
Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with peaches
Lunch:
New soup based on split peas & veggies with a grilled veg sandwich

Dinner:
Slow cooked mutton stew with baked sweet potato and cauliflower - unphotogenic and undercooked veg - but it still tasted better than it looks!

Snacks:
Peach & nectarine yoghurt, Protein smoothie, protein bar
Weight today: 10 st 2.4 lbs (142.4 lbs)
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Did better today!

No walk today because we've had so much wind and rain - its really depressing when it gets like this! Instead I just spent 20 minutes on a HIIT program on an elliptical walker - and that was enough to work up quite a sweat, though I feel restless now. Very short workouts just don't satisfy me the same way as a longer one or a long walk - I think I've become an 'endurance athlete' by nature, and however exhausted I may feel after a tough intense workout I still feel like I've slacked off because it doesn't last very long - weird, huh?
Also my PC is still slowly committing suicide. Its crashed a multitude of times, several times while trying to boot, so I'm expecting it to just refuse to start up at all any time now. Luckily we have a laptop I can use when that does happen - but I find it very stressful and frustrating while its mucking about. Most of the issues started when I installed Windows 7, and I can't believe I'm feeling nostalgic for the good old days with Vista! Speaking as a tester, I hate the way Microsoft seems to expect its paying cuctomers to test their software for them! They should pay me to fly out to Silicon Valley, I'm sure I could improve things! (sorry for all the exclamation marks, I guess I feel quite strongly about this!!!!!)
Food today:
Breakfast:
Oat & wheatbran cooked in water, flavoured with banana, vanilla whey & cinnamon
Lunch:
Vegetable soup (with a ton of extra veggies) and a laughing cow & spinach sandwich

Dinner:
Lazy! I bought an Innocent Vegetable pot - Indian curry dahl. I haven't tried that one before and it was delicious! With asparagus & green beans

Snacks:
Protein smoothie, cashew cookie nakd bar, fromage frais with honey. I haven't had much interest in food today after yesterday's binge (I never did eat anything else last night and wasn't particularly hungry this morning, though I had been expecting to be starving) so I've had to push myself to eat the snacks especially, because I don't want another binge if my blood sugar drops. I've had 2 bad days in a row and its all to easy for that to become a habit with me... so far though it looks like I've got the urge out of my system for a while - I hope.
I have used my slow cooker to make something for tomorrow's dinner though, you'll hear all about that tomorrow night! (Probably from the laptop.... Angry Emoticons)
Weight today: 10 st 2.4 lbs (142.4 lbs) - not too bad, all things considered!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Friday, 13 November 2009

Bugger

This morning we went out to test drive a car for M and on the way back decided to stop for a meal at our favourite local restaurant - a great Thai & Indian food restaurant. The food was amazing as always, but I didn't remotely try to be good and on the way home from there went to Waitrose where I bought a gingerbread pumpkin, a small bag of vegetable crisps, and a small box of chocolate-coated black currants - all of which I have already eaten - and a beer, which I haven't yet drunk. I was feeling quite bingey there after we got back, but the one saving grace is that it seems to have run its course - and now I'm not interested in food at all!
Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with tinned peaches
Lunch:
Chicken sate starter

Starter

Posted by ShoZu


Steamed sea bass with ginger, chillies & lemon (fantastic!)

Steamed sea bass

Posted by ShoZu


With a shared side dish of stir fried vegetables with cashew nuts and an (un-pictured) bowl of steamed rice
Parfait caramel - yum!!!
What do you think of the pictures? They were taken with my mobile as I didn't plan a meal out & never took my camera - I think they came out surprisingly well! There were other pictures, but I can't seem to upload them - sorry!
Dinner:
Nothing so far - still not hungry!
Snacks:
see above....
Weight this morning a not too unacceptable 10 st 2.1 lbs (142.1 lbs)
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Ow ow ow

I have back pain today - first time in ages! I guess maybe I threw something off balance when my hip was bothering me yesterday? Any how, I slept fairly badly because I wasn't very comfortable, forced myself to stay in bed until 6:30 despite waking up finally at 4:45, and when I got up - ow!!! Today may be even more restful than I'd planned!
I've had back trouble since I was about 12 or 13, when I pulled a muscle playing volleyball (my PE teachers thought that the best way to warm up for a game involving jumping, stretching and bending was to run twice round the sports hall.... not so much!
I had lots of doctors visits and physiotherapy as a teenager, none of which helped much - I think they couldn't understand why it didn't get better so they just threw anything they could at it in the hope it would help. X rays, sonic machines... I had bi-weekly physio sessions that actually left me in agony for the next day for a while!
Because I had so much back pain (plus I'm lazy - and I had big boobs and no sports bra) I didn't like PE much anyway (though I was a very good sprinter before then) so I used it as an excuse to avoid PE for the rest of my school career. If it hadn't been for that, maybe I'd never have got overweight - or not to the same degree anyway. Nowadays I'd just like to invent a time machine and go back (bearing a variety of sizes of sports bras) and smack myself round the back of the head till I started getting some exercise at least... Once I did start exercising, in my mid-twenties, I found my back pain improved dramatically (not surprising as I believe exercise is now the doctor's recommendation to strengthen the back - at the time I needed to hear that it was more common to be told to 'rest it') and these days it usually takes something on the scale of a house move with lots of heavy awkward lifting to set me off. Usually...
Expect more whinging later - unless the ibuprofen kicks in!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Thursday, 12 November 2009

No baking today!

But rather a lot of piggish behaviour....
Ah well, my calories for the week are well down so I don't care! Plus I managed to walk into town before the heavens opened and my garden started to drown, so I'm tired, and clearly need the fuel... Actually something weird happened with my hip as I headed for home (god, that makes me sound about 70!) My left hip started twinging with every step, somewhat uncomfortable! Luckily it eased up as I walked so I didn't have to limp 2.5 miles, but it was unpleasant while it lasted so I think tomorrow I'll try to do something lower impact - cardio machines or pilates - rather than going for another long walk.
Breakfast:
French toast! Made with my beer bread, egg whites, vanilla extract & soya milk, served with stewed apples and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. It was good!

Lunch:
Vegetable soup with half a piece of firecracker cornbread crumbled into it; salad topped with the other half of the piece of cornbread, goat's cheese & pomegranate seeds

Dinner:
Stir fried vegetable 'noodles' with quorn chicken style fillet and more vegetables.

Snacks:
Protein smoothie, cashew cookie nakd bar, chocolate chip cookie!!!!! (They just looked so good when I was in Waitrose this morning and I didn't try very hard to resist, though eating the whole thing was a mistake & made me feel slightly nauseated), peanut butter, walnuts & 100,000,000,000 raisins, yoghurt with tinned peaches.
EDIT: And 2 slices of my artisan bread with reduced sugar jam, and a lot of frozen banana. Weigh in tomorrow will not be pretty....
Weight: 10 st 1.4 lbs (141.4 lbs)
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

5 min Artisan bread is A-MA-ZING!!!

Truthfully, did you ever see a prettier bread?
From this...

To this...

then this...

And then to this...!!!

I'm very pleased with it - it tastes as good as it looks, and the crust behaves as a crust should!!!
I walked to Chepstow this morning, making the most of it not raining as the forecast says it will every day for the rest of the week. It wasn't a very inspiring day, as it was very foggy over the fields - glancing across from the road everything seemed to just end in a wall of mist. Not very exciting scenery, so I didn't take any pictures! Once I hit the town I went to Coffee #1 and had a steraming mug of apple juice with cinnamon - just as good as last time! It seems very festive to me, and boosted my mood as well as my energy levels. I then just did some very uninteresting shopping and headed home. My feet hurt now, and my leags are tired, so I have a virtuous feeling of having worked hard-ish!
Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with tinned peach
Lunch:
Home-made vegetable soup spiced up with thai yellow curry paste and some extra vegetables, with a houmous & bell peppers sandwich made with the new bread - just in case you hadn't noticed, I'm kind of pleased with it! So pleased I then had a small crust piece with some reduced sugar jam for dessert!

Dinner:
Turkey meatloaf with mashed cauliflower, peas, cabbage & gravy. This was based on a recipe from a cookbook called 'Healthy Cooking for Two - or just you' and it was delicious!

Snacks:
Protein bar, cashew cookie nakd bar, fromage frais with honey... and popcorn!!!
Stay Healthy

Chrissie

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Mad Baker of Gwent...

... or, how many loaves of home-made bread does one couple with no kids need anyway???
Its another damp day - nonstop drizzle since its been light enough to see, so I haven't been anywhere except the post box to return a lovefilm disk.
Instead, I decided I felt like baking - savoury baking, not sweet.
So. I started out looking through a baking book I borrowed from the library yesterday - a Weight watchers book to be exact. I found lots of recipes I want to try (including one for sticky gingerbread that looks gorgeous) but nothing that really fit my mood. So instead I decided to try something I did once before with very limited success - Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day - probably because of my usual substituting too much issue. I halved the recipe to make enough dough for 2 loaves instead of 4, and its now sitting in a big mixing bowl for the initial room temperature rise.Pre-rise...

and 5 hours later...

The problem was that I won't actually produce any bread from it till tomorrow at the earliest (I decided to give it 4 hours at room temp and then over-night in the fridge) so it didn't satisfy the baking urge for today... so off I went again, looking for a quick unyeasted bread to take the edge off. And this is the one I picked! Beer bread with wholemeal flour. It couldn't be easier (though I forgot to add the sugar till after the beer!) But it looks great, smells great, and tastes great!

I do however have a question for any bakers who may be reading... how do you achieve a resilient crust that doesn't break up when you slice the bread? I mean, there are advantages... I think its cook's prerogative to eat the bits that break off, as they obviously have no calories (and even if they did, I've clearly burnt off at least that many calories slicing the loaf!) and OMG the crumbs were very tasty!!! But I'd like a loaf that could actually be used to make sandwiches or toast, and I seem to specialise in breads that taste amazing, look good in loaf form, are great dipped into / crumbled onto soup... but the edges crack off in lumps as I hack slice the loaf, leaving me with very rustic looking chunks of bread instead of nice tidy slices!
One of only 3 decent slices taken from the loaf... as you can see, the crumb looks great, the texture is lovely... but the crust, damn it, the crust!!!!

Food today:
Breakfast:
All bran with pomegranate seeds
Lunch:
Spiralized zucchini, sweet potato & carrot 'noodles' stir fried with vegetables

Dinner:
Cumin carrot chick pea burger with a huge salad - the burgers are still yummy!

Snacks:
Half a home-made bagel with a smear of sweet chilli houmous;
protein bar; protein pancakes made with sliced banana and egg white, and I finished my little bag of wasabi nuts
Stay Healthy

Chrissie