Thursday, 31 March 2011

Less achy Thursday

Not feeling 190 years old any more, and I managed some resistance this morning in the form of a few pull-ups, push-ups etc. I'm able to do significantly less of them at the moment than at the beginning of the week though, which I assume is down to not taking a full rest day rather than me gaining 5lbs overnight (I didn't weigh this morning, but I don't feel like I did, and my conscience is fairly clear from yesterday) and therefore having to lift more weight.

I brought some baking in to work today. I'd had an apple cake in the freezer since the beginning of the year, so I defrosted that and added 2 kinds of cookies as well. They went down very well, thankfully!

This morning the weather was drizzly and depressing, but it brightened up nicely by lunchtime, allowing me my usual walk. I marched up to Waitrose in Clifton, then took a meandering new route back to the office for a change. I didn't find anything particularly interesting or picturesque, but I still enjoy exploring so that didn't really disappoint. It was also quite hard work because it was so windy - climbing a steep hill into the wind wasn't easy going!

Food today:

Breakfast: buckwheat 'porridge' with strawberries

Lunch: 3 cheese broccoli soup

Dinner: stir fry with tofu & edamame beans, and roasted broccoli


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, a couple of cookies (No, they weren't gf....and my stomach gurgled all afternoon as a result!)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Oh, my still aching everything...

I did try to do some resistance this morning but my tired and achy muscles argued strongly and successfully for 10 stretching (with a very very few lunges, push-ups and crunches) instead. (I decided I'd made the right choice on the way to work when my thighs hurt whenever I braked...Laughing out loud)
Then I did 28 minutes of intervals on the elliptical to finish myself off.
At lunchtime I managed a fairly brisk walk around Broadmead. My thighs in particular felt so much better when I was walking / ellipticizing than sitting at my desk (and, even more, than getting up after sitting at my desk till I seized up) that I spent the afternoon wishing someone would pay me to just walk around all day...

This evening my mum & her OH came to visit. As always it was lovely to see them and lots of chatting was enjoyed! And food of course...Angry smile

Food today:

Breakfast: overnight buckwheat flakes with kara coconut milk, dried apricots, Greek yoghurt and blueberries.

Lunch: hot & sour soup with wakame seaweed added (too much really, it took over completely, but it bulked the soup of massively for tiny extra calories and tasted not bad, plus once I got used to it I liked the texture contrast. (Still using less next time though)

Dinner: spinach bread veggie pizza with Butternut squash chips


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, protein water, pear, banana, orange, bag of Walkers baked crisps.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Oh, my aching everything...

This morning I started off with an admittedly loosely structured resistance circuit. It was nothing really, but given my failure to embrace resistance to date I was still pleased with my efforts! Push-ups, chin-ups, crunches, lunges, a few kettle bell swings and a couple of very half-hearted Turkish get ups - and a plank (sooooooooo boring) plus some Arnie presses. Then I did a 25 minute intervals program on the elliptical to finish things off. I must admit bits of me were aching all day today – though I still managed another 6 chin-ups this evening.

At lunchtime I had a few boring errands to do so I didn’t get a proper walk, but did have to go out even though it was drizzly. I managed to do most of what I needed to, so it was at least productive. Unlike the afternoon, which was a team bonding meeting consisting of mandatory games – and I’m a contractor, so in a few months I will leave without a trace, out of sight and mind…

The evening was filled with housework. Mum’s visiting tomorrow so I had to dig out a pitchfork to sort the house out to a more or less acceptable level. All in all today was mostly about doing what I needed to rather than enjoying it – but there was a feeling of satisfaction with some of it, and the resistance training wasn’t the worst part of the day…

Food today:

Breakfast: overnight buckwheat flakes with kara coconut milk, dried apricots and fresh blueberries.


Lunch: Pear and turnip soup with added veg stock and lentils

Dinner: Butternut squash cauliflower 'risotto' with salad & asparagus


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, protein water, fruit salad; some almonds for added fat and protein

Monday, 28 March 2011

Oh, my aching arms...

I had a quiet weekend this week, some shopping, some walking, getting my hair cut (just a trim, no exciting new look) and, sadly lots of grazing that included some home-baking to use up more flour etc. and unfortunately upset my stomach. I felt I should test it before asking other people to eat it - or so I told myself!
And lots of push-ups, pul-lups and chin-ups.... hence the aching arms! Still, my shoulders feel broader already ;-)

My freezer is absolutely bulging with cookies, fruit loaf, gf bread....
I still have a ton more gluten-containing flours, including lots of bread flours, but I'll keep going till its all gone (after giving some goodies away at work to make room...)

This morning I declared a rest day apart from doing 3 sets of 20 pushups. At lunchtime I went out, bit instead of going for a proper walk I spent the time exploring the wonderful St Nicholas markets near my office. Artisan chocolate, the Bristol sausage company, bakeries featuring interesting gf goodies (not all just chocolate thankfully...) and stalls selling curries, Caribbean foods, breads and pies... a foodie heaven, though a lot of it wasn't suitable for the gluten intolerant. I resisted everything except for a delicious vegetable & fruit juice (can't remember the details but it included carrot, apple & ginger) and a couple of (expensive) bottles of kombucha to try. I'll definitely be going back when a treat is called for though...

Food Saturday:
Breakfast: massive smoothie with summer berries, whey, a small banana & half a head of little gem lettuce - amazing!


Lunch: fish chowder & spinach bread tomato sandwich


Dinner: Salad with pan-fried salmon


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, homemade granola by the tin, dried fruit & almonds, mini Green & Black bar, a slice of fruit loaf baked in my slow-cooker




Food Sunday:
Breakfast: gf waffle with Bacon, maple syrup & a banana


Lunch: fish chowder & spinach bread


Dinner: big salad of soaked wild rice, feta cheese and chopped veggies


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, more homemade granola, a sesame- port wine cookie and some gf nearly rye bread plus a load of dried fruit

Food today:

Breakfast: gf muesli with soy milk and blueberries

Lunch: 3 cheese broccoli soup

Dinner: fake Nandos mushroom & halloumi with asparagus and Butternut squash chips.


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, protein water, gf maple peanut protein bar (wasn't keen), crème egg, fruit salad

Friday, 25 March 2011

Friday at last!!!

Well, I made a half-assed attempt at changing my routine this morning - 24 minutes of heart rate controlled intervals on the stationary bike followed by 16 minutes of body weight resistance exercises (push-ups, chin-ups, planks, lunges without extra weights) plus a few crunches, kettle bell swings & Arnie presses. I wasn't counting anything or timing anything to allow progress tracking, just trying to get a feel for it. I do realise that if I want to get anywhere I'll have to give it more structure in the future though. Has anyone reading changed themselves from cardio queens into weights warriors? If so, and hints on how you persuaded yourself to make the switch would be appreciated, given the problems I have with motivation...

I didn't have to fight to go for a walk at lunchtime though, and thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was basically a failed shopping trip. I didn't want much, just some caraway seeds, but failed to find any. Bristol has loads of shops, but with exception of Asda most of them are 'Metro' or 'Express' style cut down stores rather than full-sized supermarkets. I wanted them for some gf 'rye' bread, and happily managed to get them in the end, back here in Wales.

Food today:

Breakfast: gf muesli with soy milk, blueberries & blackberries, topped with fat free Greek yoghurt

Lunch: Carrot & coriander soup and a slice of 'spinach bread' - thick low carb spinach omelette really - topped with LC.

Dinner: Gf vegetable pie bought at the health good store I found earlier in the week (vegetable chilli filling) with salad and Butternut squash chips. The filling was a little bland, but the pastry was actually really really good! (I broke it all up getting it out of the packaging, but it was really crispy and very tasty)


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with summer fruit, 2 tangerines, protein water, melon selection, chocolate-raspberry milkshake on my walk.

Weight: At least until I give up on the focus on strength angle I'm not reporting daily weights any more, though I may mention a particularly good - or bad - day

Thursday, 24 March 2011


I just went on the walker this morning - and added 3 pull-ups, 2 * 5 chin-ups, and 20 push-ups.
I'm seriously considering changing my short term focus from weight loss to increased fitness and strength, but I'm not entirely sure if I can stick it. I do feel so frustrated at my failure to lose weight right now that I might be at risk of giving up altogether (or switching to some stupid faddy diet) and I hope a change in emphasis might stop me doing that. I'm 148 lbs today, I don't like that much but it is a healthy weight for my height and my abs actually don't look too bad, plus the things I used to do clearly aren't working any more (even if only because I'm sick of doing them & therefore not sticking to them...) so I need to shake things up a bit. Of course you'll be the first to hear what I do and how I get on... (or don't do, and don't get on...)
In case you wondered though, I'm not even going to try to stop the walking...
And speaking of walking, I went out to enjoy the sunshine again this lunchtime. Last time I went to Clifton I ended up in an area called Clifton Downs; today I bore left and went to Clifton village. I loved it again, even though along the way I passed some ugly University of Bristol buildings (and militant striking lecturers) and found a tiny little deli to kill some time in so that was nice...

Food today:

Breakfast: gf muesli with soy milk, blueberries & blackberries


Lunch: baked potato topped with Thai green curry - chicken - from the work canteen

Dinner: Panhackelty - my take on a Northern traditional casserole to use up leftovers. I browned some gf chipolatas, layered thinly sliced potatoes, carrots and onion in a bowl with the sausages & a couple of rashers of low fat bacon, covered it all with a mixture of chicken & vegetable stock seasoned with salt, pepper & herbes de Provence, and stuck it in my slow-cooker all day. Served with gf bread to soak up the stock


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with summer fruit, 2 tangerines, protein water, fruit salad, snack pack of sugarsnap peas, a little dried fruit

Weight: 10st 8lbs (148). Even though I was well within calories yesterday.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


And what a beautiful, warm, summery Wednesday it has been!

Rowing machine for 40 minutes this morning as I was feeling in the swing of it a bit - that might have been a mistake though, as I think I lost form when I got tired & let my back slump a bit, and now have a definite twinge going on. Ah well, you live and learn... I also tend to tighten my grip when I get tired, which leads to blisters on my hands. Sigh. And I was looking originally for non-weight bearing exercise because I walked into a table corner on Sunday and have a massive bruise on my left knee...

So obviously I went for a shopping walk at lunchtime just to keep things moving and blood pumping etc. After my boring Tesco shop I stopped off at the wonderful Wednesday farmers market and decided to get a lot of the nibbles for my next buffet dinner there in a few weeks. There are multiple artisan cheese makers, fish smokers, a baker and a stall selling mainly Mediterranean & Moroccan goodies - multiple flavours of houmous, for instance - and quite a few of the vendors specialize in gluten free / vegan / diabetic friendly etc., so their offerings are a bit different and interesting. Today I settled for a cheese flavoured with horseradish & parsley, but I could have bought much much more!

Food today:

Breakfast: gf olive-tomato bread with a couple of poached eggs and 2 rashers reduced fat bacon, followed by fruit salad


Lunch: Moosewood pear & turnip soup thickened and enhanced with red lentils and tomatoes - I wanted to make it a little more savoury and take the edge off the sweetness, and it worked very well.

Dinner: Rump steak with Butternut squash chips, mushrooms, peas & corn.


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, 2 tangerines, protein water

Weight: 10st 8.4lbs (148.4). Water retention due to sugar yesterday I think as I tracked calories and didn't go over.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Busy Tuesday

Rowing machine, walker and (very few) chin ups this morning before breakfast. I was feeling a little foggy because I woke up early (around 2:20 am) then nodded back off until my alarm went off - I hate that! Normally I get up 10 minutes before it would go off! Still, I managed to spring / fall out of bed and stagger to the gym, and got through the full session (and episode of NCIS) even if it wasn't the greatest workout ever, and it helped wake me up!
At lunch I went on a longer than usual walk/hike into Clifton. I want to live in Clifton, its far and away the nicest (and most extortionately expensive) part of Bristol I've seen. I was there in search of a couple of whole foods shops, and sadly for my bank balance, I found one... I usually walk for 25 minutes then turn around. This time I carried on slightly further because I was very sure I knew where it was. Then I found it and couldn't drag myself away... I ended up getting back to the office 15 minutes later than planned (and, antisocially, slightly sweaty...). Luckily an impulse meeting was called that ran on 15 minutes past my usual leaving time, so I’m all square!

This evening I did some more baking to get rid of ingredients – quite effectively, as I’m now completely out of non-GF oats, chocolate chips, and dried fruit. I made my favourite oatmeal cookies recipe, you’ve seen it before – but this time I subbed dried cherries for the raisins. They’ll be hidden away in the freezer for now as I don’t want to feed my colleagues to death all in one go…


Food today:

Breakfast: gf muesli soaked overnight in soya milk & Greek yoghurt, then topped with blueberries & blackberries


Lunch: Slow cooker Pancetta-split pea soup thickened and enhanced with red lentil, tomatoes & spinach, with a bag of salt & vinegar flavour snack a jacks, followed by a small gf almond cake I bought while exploring the health food shop


Dinner: teriyaki tofu with stir fried veggies


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, 1 tangerine, protein water, a meringue and a few miniature gf crackers from the health food shop

Weight: 10st 7.4lbs (147.4).

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Monday, 21 March 2011

Monday again…

Rest day today so no pre-breakfast training (though OF COURSE) a lunchtime walk was required!

BTW, forgot to pass on that I passed my OU course in nutrition - and enjoyed using my brain enough to plan to start another in May. I'm torn between a Beginners Psychology module and a Forensic Science module - obviously both would be just for fun but the first might help me better understand my own weirdness and the second might help me should I ever need to commit the perfect murder, so I'm not sure which would be the best choice Winking smile. Any opinions / suggestions?

I visited my Dad after work today. His wife recently had a health scare (is it just me or are there a lot of those going around at the moment?) so it was nice to have a quiet, relaxing evening with no pressure and no talk about her scare (she's sick of the whole subject right now, and I don't blame her!) I baked some old-fashioned ginger biscuits to take them in my ongoing 'use up the evil gluten-flour' mission.


Food today:

Breakfast: gf muesli with fruit salad, soya milk & Greek yoghurt


Lunch: Slowcooker hot & sour soup

Dinner: Bolognese with shirataki noodles

Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit salad; Nak'd bar; 2 tangerines gf chocolate brownie & ginger twist juice from Cafe Gusto.

Weight: 10st 8.4lbs (148.4).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sunny Sunday

And partly sunny Saturday…

As you may have picked up yesterday, my weigh in was not much fun. Still, I managed to persuade myself not to slump too far into my usual self pity, and resisted the urge to stuff my face full of comfort food all day even so. I had quite a pleasant walk into town in the morning, and a very peaceful afternoon featuring a long hot soak in the bath-tub after a 40 minute elliptical session as well.

This morning I walked into Chepstow. It was overcast here early on, but by the time I was heading out the clouds were starting to break up, and by the time I got half way there it was sunny and warm enough to have me taking off my jacket. Lovely! It stayed beautiful all afternoon and M spent some time out in the garden building a new BBQ we’ve just bought because we’re planning another family extravaganza in the summer.

Then… we watched How to Train Your Dragon!!! BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!! Winking smileExcept maybe Bolt! (Seriously, I did think it was cute, funny and really adorable…)

Food Saturday:

Breakfast: Weight watchers beans on GF olive-tomato toast


Lunch: Hot & Sour soup cooked in the slow-cooker with rice cakes topped with Philadelphia light and vegetables


Dinner: Fake Nandos with a GF roll, Portobello mushroom & halloumi marinated in garlic peri peri sauce, salad and squash chips flavoured with garlic pepper.


Snacks: My first smoothie for ages;


A 9 seed bar (all gone now thankfully – I love them but they’re too high calorie for my taste); and some cottage cheese with reduced sugar jam stirred in

Food today:

Breakfast: Gluten free waffles! These were actually probably the most successful waffles I’ve made so far – delish! I basically followed this recipe, but subbed Dove’s GF Plain flour for the brand listed, used buttermilk instead of regular milk, and added a handful of blueberries + half a teaspoon of vanilla essence on impulse at the last minute. With Greek yoghurt and a selection of fruit


Lunch: Chicken rice soup with a couple of GF chipolatas and some spinach added, plus some rice cakes topped with the same toppings as above


Dinner: Socca pizza with swede chips and salad


Snacks: I may have accidentally drunk a Frijj Cookies & cream flavoured milkshake on the way back from town Smile and eaten some dried berries. I’d previously had a planned for cocoa mint Nak’d bar, and I also had a bottle of protein water

Saturday, 19 March 2011

For my next trick

I will gain weight while telling every one I’m on a diet…. Again


Friday, 18 March 2011

So. Tired.

I got virtually no sleep last night and I’m really feeling it today, with aches (especially a headache) and irritability and most of all eating to try to boost my energy levels. Luckily I had booked a day off, so most of what I’ve eaten has not been terribly unhealthy, but there has been too much of it, for sure.

I managed a walk this morning – in the drizzle on the way and in steady light rain on the way back – all the way back. It gave me a very temporary energy boost, but it didn’t last and wasn’t much fun. All in all, this has not been the best day off ever!

After lunch I was eating pretty much constantly and my head was pounding, so I had a lie down for an hour or so. then I slipped and fell on my ass as I headed back downstairs, and in the process I grabbed the banister, twisted a bit, and now have a sore neck too.

OK. Moan over.

For now.

Food today:

Breakfast: GF toast with WW baked beans


Lunch: Oven chips, 2 chipolatas (gf) and peas


Dinner: Grilled veg salad


Snacks: Edamame; Greek yoghurt with blueberries; 9 seed bar; raisins & almonds

Weight: 10st 8.5lbs (148.5lbs) – was I think mainly water retention from the Thai meal yesterday, but sadly I’m probably not going to like my weigh in tomorrow

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I spent 43 minutes on the stationary cycle this morning and was glad I did - even though my body forces the odd rest day on me I do feel so much better when I keep the momentum going! No really horrible side effects from deciding that my own home-baked goodies were worth eating, but I am carefully controlling my portions and I did feel a bit 'windy' again after. (TMI? Sorry, but I live to share... ;-))

I had a short walk at lunchtime managing to stay out of any shops that looked like they might be gf chocolate pushers. My baking went down well and no-one seemed to be put off by the fact that I wasn't eating it myself (be honest, don't you find that a bit weird in a chef / baker / keen cook yourself?)

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight buckwheat flakes, topped with blueberries and a chopped banana


Lunch: Chicken rice soup with added spinach

Dinner: soya mince curry with veg including Butternut squash, carrots and cauliflower served with brown rice, a poppadom and salad


Snacks: the new Fage 0% Greek yoghurt with blueberry compote; protein water; fruit salad and almonds.

Weight: 10st 8.4lbs (148.4). Told you yesterday wasn't for real... ok I'm now back to losing the same pounds AGAIN but that beats having new ones to lose on top of them...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Baking Tuesday

Back on the walker this morning and feeling much better than yesterday! Except for my weigh in, see below...
My mum & her OH are visiting me after work today. I'm really looking forward to seeing them, but I'm really glad I decided (before my weigh in) to cook rather than taking them out for dinner. At least I was in control of that meal...

I then embarked on a baking marathon. I’ve been wanting to do some baking to use up my gluten-bearing ingredients, but with my recent binge fresh in my memory, I was reluctant to risk it in case I decided that it was worth the risk… but with my Mum watching over me I managed to bake without tasting, and between Mum taking some away, and me taking more into work tomorrow as I plan to, the temptation will soon be all gone….

Mint-choc chip blondies


Butterscotch-nut blondies


Flap jack with raisins and chocolate chips (it is slightly over-browned, but also contains molasses so is very dark anyway)P1100389

And choc chip coconut (‘Bounty’) blondie bites.


I started out planning to bake one or two batches of blondies, but then got into my baking groove and just kept going…. my kitchen looked like a full army of bombs went off in it, and I had to make the last batch as blondie bites because I was out of suitable baking tins! (And butter… so I substituted oil in the flapjack and coconut oil in the blondie bites. I am nothing if not determined when the baking itch strikes!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight buckwheat flakes, followed at work by a small melon selection

Lunch: Turnip and pear soup from the Moosewood Sundays cookbook (tasty but slightly too sweet for my taste) and a pack of edamame beans. This wasn't very filling and I added a gluten free chocolate brownie on my lunchtime walk - oops. Bad Chrissie, bad, bad, bad Chrissie.... but it was very good...


Dinner: slow cooked lamb with dry roasted potatoes, carrots & Brussels sprouts plus peas and gf gravy (made with arrowroot to thicken it)


Followed by a tiny sliver of apple cake with low fat ambrosia custard just to be sociable because Mum & her OH were having it…

Snacks: the new Fage 0% Greek yoghurt with strawberry compote; Nak'd bar.

Weight: AAARRGH.
I saw a number on the scales today I never wanted to see again.... especially after a relatively good day yesterday. (deep breath, get it over with....) 10st 11lbs (151lbs)!!! I know, intellectually, that this is not my true weight - while it is within the realms of possibility that I went 3500 over maintenance calories on Sunday I did NOT go 3.5 times that over. But Bleurgh, I did not enjoy seeing that. Something's got to change... my head, for starters, who has a depressing weigh in then eats a chocolate brownie? I mean who does that??? It's like I think I HAVE to try every gf offering in Bristol...

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Monday, 14 March 2011


Hangover this morning so no training, loads of coffee and water, no desire to be at work, and lots of complaining... I was determined not to eat crap all day because of this, so I focused on fruit and veg again. Although I did drink some chocolate milkshake at lunchtime (Frijj chocolate fudge brownie OMG heaven in a bottle...) while out for a walk to buy some new walking boots (bet you'd be amazed to hear that my walking boots wear out fairly quickly!). It was utterly beautiful weather - cool, crisp and brilliant sunshine so I felt like walking home instead of going back to work!

Nothing special happened this morning (see above) so I thought I'd blog about my gf thing as dianeuk asked about it... I haven't been diagnosed as gluten intolerant (didn't ask for the test as its notoriously unreliable) but I decided to avoid it for a month after reading a list of symptoms I could have written myself. A few days into the experiment my digestive system was much more stable, no constipation (despite much lower dietary fibre), no diarrhea, no gurgling stomach and wind, no bloated or nauseous feelings, and much more energy. As all these things are linked to gluten intolerance I'm inclined to think that I am - but feeling that much better is something I like enough not to need a label to feel its worth carrying on (though occasionally I plan to allow myself the odd treat, while monitoring the effect). The only uncertainty is whether I can do without proper toast (or discover a gf recipe good enough to really replace it - not so far!)

Food today:
Breakfast: Gf Nairns muesli - quite tasty and not too unsatisfying either, with no added sugar or salt - with blueberries & soy milk, followed at work by a small fruit salad


Lunch: big salad with prawns & feta

Dinner: fake Nandos marinated Portobello mushroom & halloumi in gf roll with chilli jam, served with salad & squash chips (grilled)


Snacks: protein water (at 2am when I woke up feeling dehydrated and crappy); Greek yoghurt with honey; banana; chocolate milk as mentioned above