Saturday, 27 February 2010

Things you don’t know about me

For the awards kindly given me by Laura and Hallie – thanks ladies! (Hallie, sorry its taken me so long – but as you’re about to (re)discover I’m not interesting enough to find it very easy to come up with lots of  interesting facts!)


  1. When I’m depressed I like to get into bed ridiculously early and curl up with a book and a big cup of tea. I also quite like doing that when I’m not depressed… yep, I’m 90!!!
  2. I’ve started 3 novels. Never finished one – but I still want to write, I’m just not yet sure what
  3. If I managed to get my hands on millions (and millions and millions) of pounds I would love to be a space tourist
  4. At school I was part of a team of 3 in a couple of public speaking contests. I entered to try to cure myself of my shyness when it came to speaking out in front of people, but it didn’t work even though we came second in one of the contests. I’m one of those people who blushes a lot even when not necessarily embarrassed, so I’m never going to attract attention to myself if I don’t have to!
  5. I once bought some tablets that I hoped would make me throw up after a binge. I took one and didn’t manage anything but dry heaving – and that’s probably the only reason I’m not a fully-fledged bulimic right now.
  6. I love eating cold custard – way better than hot!


  1. At primary school I was a very good sprinter over 100 m. This was before I developed too many bouncy bits to be comfortable sprinting (now I can afford & find good sports bras I’m rediscovering the fun!)
  2. My father’s family claims to be descended from a Viking ruler who dominated the north of England during the Danelaw. I choose to believe it, and feel that I was more at home in Norway because of my Viking blood ;-)
  3. I’m afraid to swim in the sea. oops – not so Viking then!
  4. In the search for an alternative career to IT I’ve considered something to do with food (but without the unsociable hours of, say, restaurant work) or some form of massage therapy. So far I haven’t done anything about it except for convince myself I’d like it better than testing!
  5. I used to play the flute (very badly)
  6. At university I took up fencing for a while. I was paranoid about hurting my opponent (and best friend), so I couldn’t really attack properly (yes, I was using a blunt sword, but still…) and it didn’t appeal to me for very long.
  7. I get seasick. Cruises are my favourite holidays, so I take pills literally every day while we’re away. On my first cruise I took Dramamine and was effectively p*ssed on one mouthful of alcohol; then I tried an injection but didn’t enjoy being injected in the buttock; but I don’t give up easily when it comes to holidays, so I kept trying and happily I found something that worked better for a holiday!

I read so many blogs that I really can’t choose just a few that deserve to receive these awards, so I’d just like to invite everyone in my blog roll to pick it up and share some things we don’t know about them!

Saturday still going strong(ish)

Still no shredding but I think I’ll be getting into it again soon – probably Monday. I did manage to go for a walk with a not-too-heavy rucksack though, and even though the weather was nothing special I enjoyed the fresh air. I also met a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a German Shepherd day to say hello to, that makes me happy! They were 2 very beautiful dogs and they both knew it – they didn’t fuss over me, they permitted me to make a fuss of them! I did feel snacky today and yet at the same time I was motivated to not break the plan. I walked around Waitrose this morning looking at the chocolate, but somehow managed to persuade myself to buy a banana instead! It was nowhere near as satisfying, so I had to fill the afternoon with a hot bath and a self-manicure to keep out of the kitchen. It worked though! This time…

Food today:

Breakfast: Oat bran soaked in apple & ginger juice with Greek yoghurt, chia seeds, chopped apple and vanilla protein


Lunch: Chunky home-made vegetable soup with open-faced sandwiches of roasted garlic bread, hard-boiled egg, LC, and tomato


Dinner: Quorn bolognese sauce with wholemeal pasta and salad



Snacks: Banana; Popcorn with nutritional yeast (yum!!!) and Greek yoghurt with honey and cereal

Weight today: 10 st 2.25lbs

Friday, 26 February 2010

Hopefully back on track

Today has gone a lot more smoothly than yesterday did! I think it helped that I went for my first walk all week long this morning – and I have missed it! It wasn’t an exciting walk, especially when I got drizzled on! But just getting out there was worth it all! And I got my hair cut (just a trim), which was sadly needed!  I didn’t shred again today, but don’t shout at me, I’m planning to start again soon. Honest!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches and a vegetarian sausage in a slice of nimble


Lunch: Soup and a grilled vegetable sandwich



Dinner: A low fat (bought) fish pie with tenderstem broccoli and roasted Brussels sprouts


Snacks: Protein smoothie and Greek yoghurt with honey and cereal

Weight today a very dehydrated 10 st 1.5lbs

Sorry everybody

For my silence yesterday! I wasted the entire morning on getting my car serviced (even though they found nothing and fixed nothing) and sitting in a car showroom for hours (even with a book) was just so boring, frustrating and annoying that I felt way too restless afterwards for any kind of fruitful day. As usual I didn’t handle that very well – I was angelic diet wise until mid-afternoon, didn’t shred but did go on the elliptical walker, and then everything went pear-shaped – I snacked from about 3 till 3:30 pm, filled up on garbage, didn’t have any dinner… No full blown binge, and I think it was at least partly down to my increasing the exercise intensity on Tuesday and Wednesday without also increasing my calories to allow for it, but I’m now proud of myself!

You may have noticed that I keep posting about avoidance tactics and changing my eating habits to resist being bad. I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, these tricks all have one thing in common – they all work… as long as I’m motivated enough, in which case I don’t need tricks. When I really need the help, none of them work because its not hunger or lack of protein that’s making me want to snack!

Anyway, I’m going to put yesterday behind me with a quick food summary and let you go on your merry way!

Food Thursday:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches and a soft boiled egg with toast

Lunch: Soup with a roasted garlic bread / LC sandwich

Dinner: None (unless you count toast with jam)

Snacks: A Clif bar (oatmeal raisin walnut – not a knockout); protein smoothie packed with spinach; fruit cake, peanut butter, a little cereal; a Nakd Gingerbread bar. Dried sour cherries and dates as well. Not masses of any of it, but it wasn’t planned (apart from the Clif bar and Smoothie) and put me over calories so tut tut!

Weight Thursday: 10 st 2.25lbs

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Somebody bring me a saw

And a large bottle of vodka to numb the pain when I cut my legs off.

Actually just the vodka will do.

I just walked up & down stairs for the first time since my bath earlier and MY.LEGS.HURT.

Ow ow ow ow ow.


Off to bake some cornbread to take my mind off the pain!


EDIT: Here it is – and I feel better now! (possibly because I’m not currently climbing / descending any stairs!!!)


Technorati Tags:

My body wants to know…

What’s it done to deserve this? 2 days of 30 day shred in a row, 2 days in a row of doubling up on training sessions… and no walks! After the morning shred session I must admit I had some trouble opening packets and lifting up spoons with my suddenly limp and shaky arms ;-) Luckily that wears off quite quickly (so at least my recovery time is quite good!) and after lunch I decided to train again. I had a cup of coffee again for the energy boost – yep, still works well! – and then headed for the gym. I decided to shock and terrify my body a bit more, so for the first 10 minutes I went on the rowing machine. As I couldn’t read on there obviously, I put a music channel on – it happened to be playing videos from the 80s! Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. Except when it makes someone who is rowing like mad suddenly decide to sing along with Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love’ – that didn’t go well! The music and the nostalgia did mean that the 10 minutes rowing (easing into it because I haven’t rowed for literally months) and 30 mins ellipticising went quite quickly. I ended up ultra sweaty and stayed that way while I got a post training snack, then had a nice hot bath to ease my aching legs. I feel really good now – in a knackered wet noodle kind of way! I have to take my car to be serviced tomorrow so its unlikely I’ll be able to double up again – for which my body may be very grateful!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches and a low fat sausage in a roll (didn’t eat all of the roll)


Lunch: my soup, with a grilled LC and red onion sandwich, followed by the last chocolate tofu pudding, to which I’d added a handful of frozen cherries and left them to defrost and release their juices. I think next time I make the pudding I may well blend some cherries in there as well, it was the nicest of the three.



Dinner: Pan fried springbok with roasted vegetables and dry-fried mushrooms – lovely, lovely, lovely!!!


Snacks: Errr… morning snack (and possibly reason for harder training) a few (really quite few) bits of pic ‘n’ mix sweets from Tesco. Afternoon snack – protein smoothie with extra spinach and a new flavour of protein powder – chocolate orange. Yum! The orange flavour came through really nicely! I also added a teaspoon of ground almonds to get some fat in there, and had a teaspoon of peanut butter for the same reason.

Weight today: 10 st 2lbs

Step away from the big stick…

I 30 Day shredded again today! Despite aching a wee bit from yesterday, and seriously considering making that my excuse to put it off until tomorrow (and then never do it again, knowing me!) Yay me!!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Active Tuesday

Today’s weather has varied from not very nice to completely bleurgh. We’ve had dry but cold and grey, sleet, rain and snow. The only time I left the house was to put the bin out – and it wasn’t very nice at all!

Instead I decided to train indoors today, since I think feeling restless on the days when I don’t get out is part of the reason I do b-a-a-d  things and go a little crazy – excess energy that isn’t getting burned! This morning, therefore, I did a new exercise dvd that I hadn’t tried before, one I keep reading about on weightloss  blogs from the US – namely, Jillian Michaels ‘30 day shred’ (level 1). It didn’t look too hard when I watched it through first, and I liked the idea of a circuit being defined for me, as left to myself I’m more inclined to just get on a machine and keep going till the timer runs out. I’m not going to tell you what weights I used for this workout as certain hard-core people who read this blog will immediately stop following me in disgust and contempt, but suffice it to say that they were lighter than I expected to need, and it still kicked my ass! I am SO WEAK. I’m trying to see this a challenge rather than a defeat, since you all know I have a history of doing a dvd once, maybe twice, then never again… but I don’t like how weak I was, so I will try to break the pattern. Plus I have been trying to persuade myself to add weights to my activity roster and this is certainly a not-boring way to do that. Feel free to periodically call me on this if I never mention doing the dvd again! 

In the afternoon I ellipticised for 40 mins. I decided to test the theory that a cup of coffee 30 minutes before training gives you a boost, and I have to say I do believe its true. I sweated buckets, got my heart rate higher than it usually is (even though I was reading a book not watching TV / listening to music) and the 40 minutes flew by. The machine’s lying over-estimate of calories burned was higher than its usual lies too, so I know it didn’t just feel harder because I had my ass kicked by Jillian earlier in the day!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches; one poached egg on a slice of toast

Lunch: Barley split pea vegetable soup with a LC cucumber & tomato sandwich made using roasted garlic artisan bread; followed by a chocolate tofu pudding (no crème fraiche today)




Dinner: Tofu in a hoisin and chilli marinade with stir fried vegetables.


Snacks: FF Fromage frais with Dorset Cereal’s Pineapple & Mango cereal and honey;


protein smoothie. After reading Kat’s post on green smoothies today I decided my balance of vegetables to fruit was significantly less than optimal; I didn’t want to rush myself though, so I cut back on the fruit and used spinach and avocado to give me a 50:50 ratio. Then at the last minute I threw in a slice of lemon (peel and all) in case the reduced fruit meant I could taste the oiliness of the avocado. I mainly tasted the lemon in the event – but that was a good thing as the smoothie tasted like a tarte au citron minus the crust! I didn’t photograph it as it looked somewhat gross (if you’ve mixed summer fruit with spinach in a smoothie you know what I mean….) but it was delicious! It was still spoonable and creamy-mousse like in texture, and I didn’t bother topping it with chia seeds but did include ground flaxseeds in the smoothie itself. So delicious I’m actually sorry I’ve run out of avocado!!!

Weight today: 10 st 2.25lbs

Monday, 22 February 2010


A better day! Today I am not feeling constantly starving – or as binge-y as Monday’s often feel!

Just wanted to apologise for my failure to publish my post about Saturday’s day out yesterday! My PC crashed and by the time I’d rebooted I’d forgotten that it happened while I was uploading the post. I’m annoyed with myself because this is a recurring problem with the PC I’m using and its not the first time that I’ve posted later than I intended to as a result – though its not usually the next day!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran and Dorset Cereals Exotic Pineapple and mango combined (I’d run out of peaches) and some toast with laughing cow (from now on to be known as LC since I’m sick of typing it!)

Lunch: Split pea, barley and vegetable soup and a wrap stuffed with slow cooked beef, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach and a smear of horseradish sauce. Followed by a little chocolate pudding made by blending a pack of silken tofu with cocoa powder and xylitol and topped with reduced fat crème fraiche. It isn’t very sweet, which I’m fine with, but I didn’t use enough cocoa powder so I’ll increase that next time – or maybe even add some chocolate whey to boost the protein even more.




Dinner: Vegetable curry with millet instead of my usual brown rice and a little cucumber & tomato. I’m afraid the curry was made with a jarred sauce as curries are not one of my talents – which is why a proper home-made curry WILL be making an appearance on an ‘80 meals’ day one of these days! Even though I cheated, I really enjoyed this meal! Colourful, isn’t it???


Snacks: Protein smoothie; Popcorn


Sunday was not a great day food wise. I wouldn’t say I binged but I would definitely say I overate – because all day long I couldn’t feel anything but hungry. I walked into town in the morning and felt quite wobbly for a while – kind of ‘hitting the wall’-ish. I don’t know why, as I’d say my calories were adequate the day before, I walked around for maybe 4 hours – not that exceptional – and didn’t sleep worse than usual (not that that’s saying much!) So, anyway, not making excuses but I kept being hungry and I kept eating. To be honest, I’m not feeling too bad about it – possibly because I didn’t weigh myself this morning and face up to the effects – as I was not feeling that horrible sweaty desperate face-stuffing feeling that you get with a binge, so I figure that for whatever reason I just needed to stuff myself yesterday! Not something I’m proud of either, but I’d really like someday to be able to eat Intuitively, and that won’t always lead to eating less than normal I guess. Especially when – as now – TOM is calling!

Food Sunday:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches and toast (nimble) with laughing cow & marmalade

Lunch: Split pea barley veg soup boosted with turkey and lots of vegetables. And a laughing cow on nimble.


Dinner: Some reheated leftovers from my experiment with lasagne a few weeks back. It was very tasty but looks dreadful! Just so you know, this is because I reheated it in a plastic ‘tubitz’ pot with a plastic splatter guard thing over it and somehow the plastic pot collapsed / got sucked inwards in an attempt to seal itself to the lasagne; this also lowered the splatter guard till it met up with the cheese on top so all in all the resulting dinner looked like the victim of a nasty accident! I had it with some butternut squash ‘fries’ and a salad


Snacks: Ah. Now. Breathe deeply… about a portion of Dorset Cereal’s cereal (eaten dry from the box a bit at a time, but I’m pretty sure just roughly one portion). A small Cashew Cookie Nakd Bar. A small piece (promise!) of my fruit cake. A not-small amount of peanut butter (I was hoping the fat would be satiating but it wasn’t) A snack pack of dates. 2 Dr Karg crackers. Some wasabi peas. Yes, I know how very binge like that sounds, but while I normally could eat that lot in a couple of hours, it actually took me all day. After dinner I finally did manage to feel full (or overfull) so I stopped then.  EDIT: OK, I really forgot this – I didn’t try to hide it from you!!! I also had a chocolate chip cookie from Waitrose when I went wobbly in town!  75g of cookie is a LOT of extra calories to forget!

Weight yesterday: 10 st 3.4 lbs.

A Good Saturday

EDIT: Sorry guys, I wrote this yesterday (Sunday) but it failed to post!

Hi ya! Did you miss me? Sorry I’m late but I got back from Cardiff shattered yesterday (why is walking around a city centre so much more tiring than walking on quiet roads and lanes?) Never mind, better late than never…?

I headed off into Cardiff about 9 in the morning and as soon as I got there went for my traditional Starbucks coffee. I must admit to getting a skinny latte rather than an Americano – but at least I (just barely) walked past all the baked goods to get it, without buying anything else!

After drinking my coffee I set off properly. I had several shops in mind, of course they were all food / cookery related – no clothes! I went to a deli that used to be my favourite source of a lot of ethnic and foreign delicacies – sadly its got so expensive that I didn’t buy anything there. They were the first place I’ve seen honey sold in jars with a lump of honeycomb (and I’ve been looking everywhere!) but it was over £6 for a not very large jar so I decided I wasn’t that desperate! Then I went to the Howells food court (part of the House of Frazer chain) where I found a few very over-priced bottles of what used to be my favourite lager (haven’t had it for years and didn’t drink much beer back then so it remains to be seen if I still love it as much – Canadian Moosehead lager. We went to the brewery on one of our cruises and I loved loved loved it!)

Next up was a health food shop that didn’t sell half the stuff I wanted. I was hoping to experiment with tempeh / seitan but they didn’t have any. I also wanted some nutritional yeast but ditto. All they had was vegetarian ‘pate’ with yeast. Has anyone ever seen nutritional yeast in a British shop, because I haven’t?

I love the little arcades in Bath, they are so much cuter than most you see in British cities!



I popped into a kitchen shop and picked up some cute tiny little dishes that will no doubt show up in some of my food pictures now they’ve been washed, and stopped off at my favourite stall in the Central Market for some wasabi peas – OMG love these!

I also went into the Chinatown area, I was relatively well-behaved and only bought one thing that wasn’t on my list – a big bag of ‘black fungus’, because it features in a few recipes I’ve seen online and I’ve never had it.





I’m sure you expected me to go to Wetherspoons for lunch, and I did think about it but in the end decided against having a full meal for lunch, so instead I went back to Starbucks and bought a sandwich. Then I just walked around the town for an hour or so longer until the play started.


The play was very good. The actors playing Leonard Vole, his wife and the barrister were all really good. I have seen the film a few times so there were no surprises there, but its different when its live somehow! My only question would be why the hell does nothing like that ever start on time??? When we saw Avatar it started 20 minutes late and this play was more than 15 minutes late as well.

I rushed home like a mad thing to get dinner as soon as I walked through the door, then pretty much collapsed!

Food today:

Breakfast: A cooked breakfast with sausages (low fat), egg (poached), mushrooms and baked beans. Lovely, but scrambled egg rather than poached would have been better!


Lunch: Starbucks ‘Chicken and herb mayo’ sandwich with a skinny caffe misto – which I’ve been meaning to try for ages and kept forgetting until yesterday. Followed by a Boots Shapers yoghurt with granola as a much less calorific version of my favourite Starbucks treat (no, of course it wasn’t as good – but still worth the switch!)



Dinner: Slow roast beef brisket with M&S COU mash, carrots & cauliflower


Snacks: One Dr Karg cracker before I left; a Nak’d Gingerbread bar while waiting for the play to start, and a small bag of dried mango & pineapple in the intermission – I wasn’t actively hungry, but was feeling tempted by the ice-cream vendor so it was a better choice! Plus a few wasabi peas while cooking dinner!

Weight today – 10 st 4 lbs, not sure why…

Friday, 19 February 2010

Who says office furniture can’t be fun?

My new office chair:


Boing! When even the internet has nothing interesting to offer…

I never had a space hopper, but my new stability ball does the same job!!!

Ah, small things…

I had a nice sunny walk this morning, no running because I had to use my rucksack both ways :-( Not much likelihood of a run tomorrow either as I’m going to Cardiff – to see Witness for The Prosecution at The New Theatre

I also plan to shop my way around Chinatown, the delis and food halls of Cardiff Centre, and find somewhere nice to have lunch!

Anyway, getting ahead of myself there, so back to today!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches, and toast with laughing cow and marmalade


Lunch: ‘Souped up’ barley split pea vegetable soup with a sandwich of laughing cow, Cauldron Lincolnshire sausages and red onion in Nimble bread



Dinner: The ongoing Tofu saga!!! I finally managed to cook the tofu well – oven baked until it was crunchy on the outside. Unfortunately I then spoiled things a bit by adding a rather strongly flavoured (bluntly, overpowering!) black bean sauce. Still, I know how to get the tofu right now so next time I’ll be able to produce a better dinner overall.


Snacks: A Dr Karg crispbread, some Greek yoghurt with Dorset Cereals and honey;


peanut butter; a Hot Cross Bun!!! (a little too well toasted, as I’m sure you can see!) Waitrose has clearly decided that Easter is here and started selling them individually so I can risk it – there’s no way I’d trust myself with a 4 or 6 pack!


Weight today: 10 st 3lbs exactly

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Didn’t bake any cookies!

Even though I got a new recipe yesterday for low fat chocolate cherry cookies that I have all the ingredients for… even though I love the combination of chocolate and cherries… so proud!!! Thanks for your support!!!

Well, the weather has been a washout today. We’ve alternated between snow, sleet and drizzly rain all day long. I had to go food shopping (by car) this morning and that’s about as outdoorsy as I’m going to be today! I did however make it onto the elliptical walker for 40 mins today. I know that there could be more efficient ways to spend that chunk of time, but somehow that’s the one I find easiest to motivate myself for, so what can I do?

Apart from scowl, sulk, and complain about the weather all. day. long.  Good job there was no one here to hear me, or I’d have been put out of my their misery by now!!!

Food today:

Breakfast: Vegetarian cooked breakfast consisting of a small tin of Weight Watchers baked beans, 2 Cauldron veggie Lincolnshire sausages, 1 egg, some dry fried mushrooms and 2 slices of toasted Nimble. Yum!


Lunch: Barley split pea veggie soup with added spinach and black beans, spiced up a little by the addition of a little cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper. Plus a laughing cow salad sandwich.



Dinner: Turkey stir fry. I confess I used a store-bought bag of vegetables (I don’t like all the chopping!) Flavoured with reduced sodium soy sauce,  garlic, ginger, dried red chilli flakes and oyster sauce. And some brown rice udon noodles, my favourite kind!


Snacks: One Dr Karg Seeded Spelt Cracker; one pot of greek yoghurt with honey and Dorset Cereals Cereal (OMG yum yum!)

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and a small bowl of prawns dipped into Levi Roots’ Fiery Guava Dipping sauce (very well named – both fiery and fruity sweet!)


Weight today: 10 st 3.1 lbs