Sunday, 29 December 2013

Happy Christmas & New Year

Hi there!

So I haven’t been blogging or reading blogs for the past week +. Can’t stay away long though!

I went away for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day – we booked into a hotel for the 3 nights. It was a lovely little hotel in the New Forest – Carey’s Manor & Spa in Brochenhurst. Every year when I’m at home I try to fit in so much entertaining of my family, cooking, shopping and general over the top hard work that I wind up knackered, beyond cranky and hating Christmas, so this year, with the working away thing, I just refused to go there.

My Mum & her OH, A, visited us on the 21st and stayed the night. I had plans that involved being out and about, but the weather disagreed and it peed down all day long, so we all drove to Loch Fyne for lunch and spent the rest of the time sitting chatting and watching tv, which was possibly more relaxing than the local tour I’d been planning. They headed home on the Sunday and I started a marathon of laundry to get us ready for our trip.

Brockenhurst was beautiful, even in the rain, and it was lovely to see the New Forest ponies and donkeys wandering around the village looking muddy and annoyed at the rain Winking smile


On Boxing Day we popped into the village to buy a few bits and bobs in Tesco and saw a bunch of them apparently queuing up outside the coffee shop waiting for breakfast – brilliant!

The food at the Manor was amazing and I was about 80% GF (couldn’t resist a couple of dinner rolls and a fruit scone on the first day, or free canapes) The deal included afternoon tea (hence the scone), champagne reception, dinner (not drinks) in the Zen Garden Thai restaurant, 3 full New Forest breakfast buffets, Christmas Lunch and a seafood buffet, and a Gala Dinner (black tie) on Boxing Day. Every main meal (not breakfasts obviously) was preceded by free champagne and canapes. We discovered an excellent cocktail called a Frosty Jack, and had several over the few days.

It was a really relaxing break, and I even managed one visit to the gym.

Now we’re back, and back to slightly real world. Tomorrow M’s parents are coming to visit and staying over the New Year. Not 100% delighted as this will be a bit more effort for me, but we’re eating out once or twice so that will help.

I have a cold brewing, and a mouth ulcer, and backache. Apart from that I’m not too stressed by things. I’ve been far from good at the old diet so far, but not as bad as I usually am. I have drunk more than I planned to and the New Year visit is going to extend that, but no hangovers so not that excessively. I’ve had a few walks around here, not very long due to the back pain which I am trying to fix before I go back to work.

So how have your Christmas’s been? Hope everyone is enjoying the festive season!!!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Not a low carb / paleo day - but I dont care!!

Between the ongoing stress at work (easing up a bit because it looks like I'll be going back to my last contract in February and therefore no longer working on this project, or 150 miles away from home), the approach of Christmas, the fact that I've screwed up so much this week, and a very stiff, sore neck all day - I must have been sleeping in a VERY weird position last night (until I woke up at 2:50 am and never went back to sleep) I couldn't give a rat's ass about diet, weightloss, exerclowing on from eating gluten. So for a change, although I have eaten a bag of crisps and some chocolate / yogurt coated banana today, I don't feel guilty (which makes a nice change). Given that my office was liberally scattered with mince pies, cakes, sandwiches & sausage rolls all afternoon I feel things could definitely have been worse!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with tomato
Lunch: chicken & ready salted crisps
Dinner: chilli burger (no bun) & fries from the hotel bar
Snacks: Greek yoghurt; nuts

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Not a gluten free, paleo or low carb day

Damn it!
The stress and rushed off my feet busy continues, and with it the questionable decisions. Food I mean. I was having a little trouble focusing (doing millions of database checks... Millions may be an exaggeration but it felt like it) and wanted / needed an energy boost to clear my brain. A walk around the office might have been a better choice, and certainly wouldn't have blown me up like a balloon so my previously reasonably comfortable skirt wouldn't become ridiculously tight in approx. 3 seconds flat.
Yes. I'm a genius. And the queen of self control. Sigh....
So, bloated, windy, stressed & knackered... No gym again, just tv, reading, and a long soak in a hopefully soothing lavender scented bath...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with red pepper
Lunch: homemade soup - vegetables in really thick homemade chicken stock
Dinner: chicken & tomato
Snacks: Greek yoghurt; nuts; slice of cake (not Gf); dried fruit (approx 700lbs)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Life - well, work - gets in the way

My project at work has been shaken up & shuffled seismically over the past week, and now I have a new manager. Remembering how well it went when that happened on my last contract I am not filled with delight - especially as its happening less than a month before the first release, with Christmas falling in the middle of that period. I had agreed two weeks off from Friday this week with my last manager; as that would mean coming back to work on release day, that's not going to happen now, though I managed to agree that I would work from home in between my holiday / family commitments if absolutely necessary - I'm just not prepared to drive up here for a day or two then drive home for a day or two throughout that period (and was prepared to hand in my notice over it)
So once again my work life has become more stressful and political. I'm sure it wasn't like this back when I started in testing, I don't know what's gone wrong / changed...
As usual I handled it brilliantly by eating sweet gluten. Not too much, thankfully, I got it out of my system.
After work I intended to go to the gym and make an attempt at fitting in some weights machines as I am aware that I never do any strength work. But after the day I'd had I didn't feel like it, so instead I languished in the bath till I turned into a wrinkled prune

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with garlic &herb boursin & red pepper
Lunch: homemade soup - vegetables in really thick homemade chicken stock
Dinner: cold meat & strawberries
Snacks: Greek yoghurt; nuts; mince pie (not Gf)

Monday, 16 December 2013

Monday again

Apologies for disappearing for several days there... Thursday I was really busy at work, then drove home so I could work from home on Saturday, so no time to write or post a post. On Friday I was still busy, spent most of the day on the phone, and had nothing interesting to report on (even more so than usual) - just moving from desk to sofa & back again :-)
Over the weekend itself I stayed Gf apart from the odd beer, stayed grain free, and was largely low carb apart from a few dates on Sunday. I didn't do much, just a couple of not very long walks, lots of laundry and a bit of cooking.
Today my journey in to work went very smoothly, not really fun, but no hold ups or problems. I was a little less busy at work, which was nice because I'm always tired on Mondays but less nice because it was less interesting and I was back to working on my own after enjoying working with someone else last week.
After work I didn't go to the gym. I intended to do a mini workout in my room, but I had such an early start that I lost interest in the idea. I then considered going to the hotel bar for a drink & meal due to being a bit down in the mouth, but while I was waiting for a reasonable time to go down I realised that didn't really appeal to me, so I stayed in my room & watched TV instead, while eating an unexciting but low carb dinner to compensate for a slight splurge earlier.

Food today:
Breakfast: 2 rashers bacon, 2 poached eggs - from the canteen
Lunch: homemade soup - vegetables in really thick homemade chicken stock
Dinner: beef & chicken roll ups
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with dried fruit; nuts; packet of crisps

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Busy busy busy

Another busy day at work today so I didn't have time to write a post in the gaps - there weren't any! I was working with another tester who knows a lot about the background of the project - and is only available for brain picking until the end of the week, Aaarrrggh!!!
I did however leave work on time, as my head was threatening to explode at anytime, and therefore was able to train after work in the hotel gym, 45 minutes (and 3 km) on an elliptical machine.

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with the last (thank god!) of the tinned fish
Lunch: chicken & cheese 'sandwiches'
Dinner: chicken, celery & nuts
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with mixed seeds; almonds

Busy busy busy

Another busy day at work today so I didn't have time to write a post in the gaps - there weren't any! I was working with another tester who knows a lot about the background of the project - and is only available for brain picking until the end of the week, Aaarrrggh!!!
I did however leave work on time, as my head was threatening to explode at anytime, and therefore was able to train after work in the hotel gym, 45 minutes (and 3 km) on an elliptical machine.

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with the last (thank god!) of the tinned fish
Lunch: chicken & cheese 'sandwiches'
Dinner: chicken, celery & nuts
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with mixed seeds; almonds

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I worked out!

Well, falling asleep early yesterday did me some good, I felt a lot better this morning though it would have to happen a few more times to really make up for my usual problems sleeping.
I was busier than usual at work so its just as well I was feeling a little bit more alert - I spent the whole morning trying (and not entirely succeeding) to get my head around some fairly complicated and technical information. I even had to work on a little bit after my usual finishing time.
After I got back to the hotel I went to the gym & spent 40 minutes on an elliptical machine, which felt pretty good.
That was followed by a hot bath, a not great tea, then TV & chamomile tea to complete the relaxation part of the problem.
FYI... I'm sick of fish now :-)

Food today:
Breakfast: peppered mackerel, Greek yoghurt with mixed seeds
Lunch: warm chicken & ham salad
Dinner: tinned tuna and sardines, rollmap herrings & cockles - just a mixture of all sorts of stuff I had in my room as I didn't feel like shopping.
Snacks: bacon; almonds; cheese

Belated Monday post

Back at work again...
This weekend I managed to keep my food under control completely despite being so knackered by the time I got home (after detouring to Lincoln to collect my car - a total driving time of approximately 4 and a quarter hours) that we went to a nearby pub for dinner. I was gluten free all weekend except a few beers - 2 small bottles on Friday and one pint yesterday, also grain free apart from those, and low carb to boot (again apart from the beers) I had meat, eggs or cheese with veg for every meal and only snacked on Greek yoghurt or nuts. And as usual feel so much better for it that I can only wonder (again!!!) why its so easy for me to stop doing the thing that makes me feel better in favour of doing the things that make me feel bad....
Speaking of feeling bad, well tired anyway, my god I've been tired all day today. I was too busy being pathetically terrified while driving in in the dark this morning to notice early on, but as soon as I hit busier / street lit roads towards the end of the journey it really hit me and once in the warm office I really just wanted to curl up and nap... I'd set my alarm to get up at 4:30am, woke up about 3:10, and only dozed after that until I had to get up needing the bathroom so I guess I don't have to look far to figure out why I've been so knackered... I had a 2 hour meeting this afternoon and its never been so hard to stay upright and (apparently) conscious...
ETA I meant to post this last night, but after wandering around some local shops for an hour, then taking a hot bath, and  then eating my weird not entirely satisfactory dinner, I fell asleep in front of the tv and didn't get round to hitting Publish...

Food today:
Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 rashers bacon and an avocado in caesar salad dressing
Lunch: chicken & cheese 'sandwiches' minus the bread
Dinner: peppered mackerel, rollmap herrings
Snacks: cashews; almonds; cheese

Thursday, 5 December 2013

It was a wild & windy winter's day

Hope nobody had serious weather problems today? We had very strong winds (not Scottish strong, but strong enough) early morning - they woke me up - then again mid morning and early afternoon. I was quite entertained watching a pigeon (aka dirty sky rat with wings) struggling to land in a pretty strong gust - then a few minutes later,when it got even stronger, fighting against being blown away with the rest of the rubbish... We had some brief rain showers as well, but the cloud was swept away virtually as soon as it started, so we got off very lightly, although flosed due to fallen trees.
As I slowly chugged through rush hour traffic this evening the garage fixing my car called. I didn't take the call at the time but when I called back I learned that my car is ready for collection - so tomorrow I'll be taking a detour to Lincoln to pick it up. Yay! The courtesy car was absolutely useful and necessary but I won't be sorry to get rid of the tin box on wheels, however cute it is.
I continued with the very low carb thing today, though less so then yesterday as I ate nuts & seeds. Looking in the mirror (not something I enjoy but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do) I can see my abs beginning to get more defined as I've clearly dropped some retained water. For some reason I generally have the beginnings of abs even when I'm heavy & puffy (not at my heaviest but ever since I
lost the majority of the weight) but they do become less distinct with puffiness when I'm bad. I always like to see them return!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with goat's cheese
Lunch: ham, & cheese 'sandwiches' minus the bread
Dinner: ham & goat cheese
Snacks: Greek yoghurt; mixed seeds; cashew nuts

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Low carb gf crunchless...

I'm going ultra low carb for a few days to ease the bloating I've been experiencing since skipping Gf & low carb over the weekend (which obviously spilled over into Monday & Tuesday). Its kind of similar to the induction phase of the Dukan diet except I'm deliberately going higher fat than that as I don't think low carb & low fat together is a good idea for me, which allows me to include dairy that isn't part of Dukan's plan.
I do feel less bloated already. I know damn well I gained real weight over these past couple of weeks as I've been comforting myself excessively with food - both excessive quantities and making poor choices, particularly the ones involving gluten. Even so, carbs do cause water retention and that clears fairly quickly once the carb intake drops.
Surprisingly enough despite going totally overboard with sweet stuff yesterday (and at the weekend) I haven't been missing sweetness today at all. But I have been missing varied textures - I always feel that all meats once cooked are of a similar texture, maybe more or less chewy, finer grain or coarser - and none of it is crunchy or crisp. Neither is cheese of course, though the silky softness of Greek yoghurt offers a little variety. But I want crunch, damn it!!! I did include spring onions with my dinner for a different texture (luckily there's no-one here I want to kiss) and it helped - a bit... Ah well, its only for a little while...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cheese
Lunch: ham, chicken & cheese 'sandwiches' minus the bread
Dinner: smoked salmon, spring onions, goat cheese & prawns
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with pumpkin seeds, chicken breast

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

So far off the wagon I can't even see it heading over the horizon...

Slept poorly last night due to noisy neighbors. I woke up multiple times and was horrified when my alarm went off forcing me to get up this morning.

I'm thoroughly bored by my job now and really wish it was January already. Sadly unless the job market picks up I might not have any choice about accepting an extension if one is offered, but for now that's all I'm committed to so I'm clinging to that. But I'm a little depressed at the moment and not happy about the prospect of extending OR the prospect of being unemployed - and it's two months before either of them become an issue. So why am I letting it get me down now??? Especially given that I might find a more local job in January or win the lottery or something???

All I know is that my work clothes feel tight and I binged on chocolate today. Just realized after admitting to that - I believe it may be TTOM, which would make sense of it all... Especially the heavy duty carb cravings...
It's also been a very grey day today after such beautiful (cold) weather over the weekend so maybe that is also contributing to my generally feeling low and cranky.

Food today:
Breakfast: Scotch egg & Greek yoghurt
Lunch: baked potato with tuna mayo & a little side salad
Dinner: chicken & cheese
Snacks: chocolate brazil nuts & snickers bar

Monday, 2 December 2013

Another week begins

I am proud to report that today I demonstrated the amazing ability to drive out of Lincolnshire without entering a single ditch!!!! And that on a cold foggy morning in the dark... I'm so happy about that I can't tell you!
I had another lovely weekend at my dad's this weekend. Friday I worked from home and collected the courtesy car, which went very smoothly apart from some road works in Lincoln. Its a doddle to drive but as you'd expect of a courtesy car, a very basic model which doesn't compete with mine in power or comfort - in fact the 45 mins or so I spent driving to Dad's house was enough to numb my bum & thighs :-) As a result of that and the fact that I am still not fully recovered from the aches and pains post-ditch, I decided against the 3 hr drive home on Saturday.
On Saturday Dad, his wife C and I went to a local stately home called Doddington Hall & Gardens. The gardens would be better in Spring / Summer obviously, though still impressive

; IMAG1886IMAG1887



the house was lovely


and the farm shop an absolute treasure trove of exciting produce and treats (most of which I couldn't buy due to having another week of work ahead of me.) This was followed by popping to a large local garden centre for lunch and some gift shop browsing.

A quiet evening with a beautiful sunset followed…


Sunday we had no plans until 4 pm when the village Dad lives in was having its Christmas Market. We spent the morning very quietly - just a stroll into the village to buy a paper, reading that paper, and prepping a room for some work they were having done today. After lunch Dad & I walked to the next village through beautiful sunshine and happened to arrive at the village pub just as we were getting thirsty... It was a nice pub, which did a Sunday carvery that looked good, and they served a very nice guest ale indeed.


The sky in Lincolnshire goes on forever…

We got back about half an hour before the market was due to start, so we grabbed a quick cuppa before heading off. Unfortunately I forgot my phone when we dashed off (its rubbish at night time photography anyway).
When we got to the village square the choir was singing carols until the market officially opened. Then the stalls started selling, the free (donations requested for next years) coffee, tea, mulled wine & mince pies started being served, and kids started queuing for Santa's grotto. My Dad & C have some friends in the village they've known for years and as a result have been introduced to lots of other locals, so chat and laughing and eating roasted chestnuts were the order of the day. It was a lovely evening, though it did get cold by the time we left. Then it was home for supper and a sadly early night for me given my earlyish start this morning.
It was chilly but not frosty this morning; there was fog part of the way and I was damn glad to have gone a different route (one I'd practiced twice over the weekend) and not have hit the fog on that road in the dark. I was very tense driving in and slow enough to be overtaken by at least half a dozen locals  but I'd decided that getting here at all had to be top priority, regardless of the time, so didn't let it phase me. And I made it!!!
My drive to the hotel was surprisingly painless (I'm back at the hotel I used in my first week this week) but there was a disappointment in store for me... No bath in the ensuite! A massive shower, very nice I suppose, but no bathtub. Sob whimper

Food today:
Breakfast: Scotch egg & slice of C's homemade tea loaf (neither gf)
Lunch: chicken fried rice sort of, from the canteen
Dinner: chicken & lamb shish kebab
Snacks: cashews & wine gums

Friday, 29 November 2013


I am back at my Dad's now having caught the train after work. Tomorrow/today - Friday I mean - I'm picking up the courtesy car while working from (his) home. Luckily the automatic is available so I won't have to try to remember how to change gear while driving around Lincoln. I just have to remember to collect the TomTom charger from my car while I'm there.

Food today:
Breakfast: Microscrambled eggs - overcooked & dry again, I usually add tomatoes and haven't this week - they go annoyingly watery in the microwave but they do keep the eggs moist
Lunch: lamb-stuffed pitta from the canteen
Dinner: cottage pie (topped with sweet potato mash) & peas; gf cranberry & pecan flapjack to follow
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Doing better... more or less

I took a taxi in to work this morning, it arrived outside the hotel early and so did I, so I was in the office by about 6:05 am!
I have fewer aches and pains today although if I sit still for too long my upper back / shoulders stiffen up and that's uncomfortable until I get up and move around. Its really nothing though, all things considered. I managed to walk back to the hotel again without problems from my knees, but felt really tired by the time I got back (unsurprisingly I haven't slept well the last couple of nights)
The garage that will be fixing my car have told me they expect to finish with it by the 9th of December. The work shouldn't take that long but they're having to order parts of course. I'm hoping to get a courtesy car, but mine is an automatic and I haven't driven a manual since May 2011 so I want an automatic; unfortunately they only have one so it depends if they finish another job on time. It's due back tomorrow at the moment and I'm going back to my Dad's for the weekend (all or part of it depending whether or not I get the courtesy car on Friday.) I feel like I haven't been home for years rather than a week & a half... I'm feeling a bit lonely tonight to be honest, which is why I had dinner in the hotel restaurant before my hot bath...

Food today:
Breakfast: Microscrambled eggs - overcooked & dry sadly
Lunch: Beef chilli from the canteen
Dinner: Roast chicken with green beans followed by a peanut chocolate parfait (how did that happen???)
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds, and cashews

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Back to work

First off thank you so much for your lovely comments after yesterdays post - it really gave me a much needed boost! And I'm taking your advice to take it easy - absolutely no training (I have no real choice there since I have backache, shoulder ache, a sore elbow and a twingey knee) and lots of hot baths, and no dieting until I'm feeling better.
My Dad drove me to work this morning, a 100 mile round trip for him, and showed me the route I should have used yesterday, which was much better (mind you we left after rush hour, when it was light, as opposed to around 6am in the pitch black, so it was bound to look better) - wider, straighter roads with more warnings where there were bends, fewer ditches and more villages to provide light & landmarks. We got here around 10 and he took me to my hotel first so I won't have to manhandle my suitcase this evening. Which is good given the backache. Everyone in the office was really nice and sympathetic. At the beginning I was feeling over-emotional, I think because once dad left I felt kind of alone in what is still a strange city to me, and got a little bit tearful in the face of people being kind,but I managed to settle myself down after a bit by focusing on work.
And then it just got everyday boring, which was kind of a relief :-)
I know I'm not fit to train but I'm not that smart either so I walked the 3.7 miles from office to hotel this evening. Possibly more than I should have done given that earlier in the day my left leg was bothering me, but in the event it was fine. However I had some more back pain as a result of carrying my rucksack - with a laptop in it - all the way back.
When I got to the hotel I went to the bar for some comfort food, then did a little shopping before taking a hot bath with Epsom salts as some people believe it helps with healing or at least alleviating muscle pain. Unfortunately the plug in the bath didn't fit brilliantly so the bath slowly drained away, which made it less relaxing than I'd hoped.

Food today:
Breakfast: Omelet with diced tomato, yellow pepper & mushroom
Lunch:  Chicken fajita from the canteen
Dinner: Fish & chips from the hotel bar (and a beer) followed by a mini pannacotta from Tesco
Snacks: pork rinds & a dark chocolate (70%) Green & Blacks mini bar

Monday, 25 November 2013

A wonderful weekend–with a horrible ending :-(

So, I love Lincolnshire and have reluctantly forgiven my Dad for moving up here.
On Friday he & I strolled around the village and stopped in a pub for a pint (of beer – yes, I did!)
On Saturday the three of us went to another little village nearby called Woodhall Spa. This is a lovely village, with some really nice shops including a fantastic deli, an excellent butcher, a lovely Victorian / Edwardian hotel called The Petwood, where we had a little lunch, and a truly unique retro cinema called the Kinema in the Woods – a tiny little 2 screen cinema literally buried in a small woodland area, with an actual live organist who plays in the intermission when they play old movies!
On Sunday we all went into the beautiful city of Lincoln. I was born in Lincolnshire when my Dad, who was in the RAF, was based in a camp here, and apparently I visited Lincoln a few times in my early years, but I’ve no real memories of it apart from a very steep hill in the middle (It’s called Steep Hill – truth in advertising!!!) which you can climb to visit the castle and cathedral, and the lovely old shops in the Cathedral Quarter. We didn’t tour the castle or cathedral as it was a taster visit and we wanted to see everything, but did go into a few shops, and a cute little tea room which tempted me to forget the gluten thing and eat a scone with clotted cream and jam (best scone I’ve ever had!) while drinking hot chocolate with Baileys in it – amazing!!!
Then the horrible ending… If you’ve been to Lincolnshire you’ll know its very very flat, with acres and acres of sky, lots of reclaimed (drained) fenlands and enormous fields like something from the American midwest (I imagine – I’ve never been). At 5:45 this morning I headed off into the darkness (because these rural bits have no street lights ANYWHERE) on my way back to Nottingham. My TomTom took me on a bluntly horrible route through dead black countryside on a road that was dead straight for several miles, then right before a small village, it went into a series of sharp bends – also unlit.
I drove round a bend that I misjudged.
The road surface was damp and a little slick.
I went off the road and into a ditch.
The car was sitting nose first in a heavily overgrown drainage ditch with its ass sticking slightly out into the road, right after an almost blind bend, that is apparently a rat run, AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE.
It wasn’t coming out without being towed out.
I was being followed along the road by a lovely and very helpful lorry driver on his way to work. He stopped and helped me by calling the police (I had NO idea where the hell I was at this point) and let me sit in his car in the warm while we waited. Then another lovely thing (in context) – another car stopped. in that car were a couple, who happened to be police officers on their way to their station to start their shift. They let the first man go off as he was going to be late for work, and waited with me for the responding cars to arrive before going to work.
When it first happened I’d called my dad saying I was about 13 miles from his house, but unfortunately, as the tomtom had taken me on a route he wouldn’t use it took ages for him to find me (I didn’t know where I was and he didn’t know that area) so I sat in various police cars while waiting. I have to say that all the officers I spoke to today were lovely, very helpful, sympathetic and reassuring when I was feeling upset about things. Even being breathalysed (A new experience for me! And not one I want to repeat) wasn’t as freaky an experience as it could have been because they were so nice – if you have to have an accident I’ll recommend the Lincs police to anyone!
Eventually Dad showed up to get me and my stuff, and the officers let me go off while they waited for the recovery vehicle to come and get it. I think I was probably cursed by many, many commuters this morning especially when they had to close the road (briefly I hope) to let the recovery vehicle do its thing. Later I realised I’d left something I needed in the car and we drove to get it from the recovery site. I was nervous of seeing my baby in that place but actually it looked really pretty good, just one small dent in the front wing (and some foliage), lots of dirt and probably scratches, but I didn’t even break a head light (and the airbags never deployed either) so you can tell I nearly managed to stop it before the ditch happened. I will confess that when I realised what was happening I screamed like a little girl… I don’t think I ever have just screamed in fear before, at least not as an adult, its weird…
My car, as a flower pot…
Anyway, I didn’t hit hard but I still do have some aches, pains and stiffness today. At the time I was absolutely fine – but of course in shock slightly, or at any event under the influence of a major adrenalin surge. As the day has passed I’ve had new and different twinges and aches, most of which passed on by. I think the stress / tension I’ve been under today are as responsible as my accident itself – unless I get dramatically worse I can’t claim much sympathy. Consequently, assuming that I’m able to move tomorrow morning Dad is going to help me get back to Nottingham so I can go back to work, and I’ll have to decide what happens next as I get an update on the car and it’s immediate future. It looked like I could have driven it right away, but they still need to check it over, fix the dent and clean up some scratching before they’ll release it to me.  I got off lightly, but that doesn’t mean I’m taking it lightly. It was a horrible experience, a real downer after a great weekend (though not so bad that it put me off coming back to Lincolnshire again – it feels kind of like home) and an expensive mistake in terms of car recovery charges, repairs to the ‘road furniture’ I damaged, a lost day’s work, etc etc… But I was very very lucky in terms of the lovely people I dealt with today, and although none of them will ever know about this post I still want to thank them for making a bad morning a little less bad.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Testing... testing

This is an experiment with blogging from my phone (no clever apps, just using the phone to access directly instead of through live writer on my Pc or iPad. I thought I wouldn't like doing it this way because of writing the post on a virtual keyboard, then realised that was daft - I always do, its just that usually I email it to myself from the phone so I can finish by publishing it on the pc.
If its totally lacking formatting you'll have to forgive me...
I decided to try this because I wanted to mention something I forgot to post yesterday - I'm not going home this weekend, instead I'm spending the weekend at my Dad's new house. I'm pretty excited about it as I haven't even seen it yet (apart from the advert on rightmove when they found it) and I haven't seen Dad and his wife since they moved either. Obviously.
I am accepting the strong probability that my new plan for healthier eating will probably go by the wayside for the weekend and I'm fine with that since this week has demonstrated how quickly I start feeling better on reverting to plan. Its my Dad's wife's birthday this weekend, so whereas I have inflicted my diet on them in the past, this time I won't. Expect some moaning on Monday, but hopefully more rambling about how good it was to see them!!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 4

Still going (relatively) well - gluten free, real foods, less salads in dressings made of cheap crappy oil & artificial sweeteners etc. I'm still not entirely grain free obviously but keeping it to white rice which is at least not allergenic as far as I can tell - certainly not for me. I have still been eating packaged meats, which of course are cooked with lots of salt and some added sugar. Yesterday I finally bought some cheap microwave safe crockery - hence the ability to cook breakfast, though I know a purist wouldn't use a microwave, but there are some things I just can't afford to worry about.
I slept much better last night and woke up feeling better as a result. That might not be cause and effect but I think eating more - and some of it hot! - helped yesterday.
Today I didn't train after work because my knee had been bothering me all day - just an uncomfortable twinge, but I felt it every time I bent my leg. So bloody annoying, but I will rest it now to be able to train properly next week. Instead, faced with going food shopping again - I do find having to shop more or less daily because I can't store anything that needs refrigeration annoying - I went to the pub in my hotel for a hot meal (it was freezing when I left work and I couldn't fancy cold meat & salad as I'd planned.) The canteen at work has been partially closed since I joined and I was hoping once it reopened fully - which happened today - I might find enough to eat my main meal in there daily. I should have known better, the extension seems focused on increasing the number and type of grain based foods available for breakfast & lunch. At breakfast they did add poached eggs and tinned tomatoes to their previous offerings of bacon, sausage (not gf), and hash browns (not gf) in bread rolls(you guessed it), but they also added baked beans (probably gf but not low carb / Paleo),  black pudding (not gf) veggie sausages (not gf) toast & bagels (not gf) and porridge (not gf). And lunch follows a similar theme... I enjoyed my dinner anyway, nothing special again but actually very tasty. Now its time for the daily bath…

Food today:
Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in the microwave with a diced tomato
Lunch: Microwaved sweet potato with a portion of tuna mayonnaise from the canteen
Dinner: Flat iron steak with a fried egg & salad. It normally comes with fries rather than salad, and when I decided to order it I told myself I'm allowed potatoes at the moment, but my mouth wasn't listening and asked to sub the salad before I could stop it! As a result my dinner was absolutely Primal / Paleo except, I suspect, for the oils used to cook the meat & egg.
Snacks: nuts & Greek yoghurt

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 3

Got into work at 6:15 this morning,switched my PC on, blue screen of death.... The service desk doesn't open until 8am, so this was not the most productive of early mornings (and the early mornings are generally the best time of day for me)
I was feeling a little bit rocky this morning to be honest anyway. I slept a but better but woke up with a niggling headache, I think dehydration as I don't think I drank enough fluids last night to make up for training. I won't make that mistake again!!! Anyway, that being so, I was quite glad that today was an IT away day - permies only - so the office was quieter than usual. Although there was a slight 'holiday' atmosphere due to the absence of most managers. Around 10 I stopped waiting to feel better through eating breakfast / drinking lots of ginger tea & sparkling water, and bought some pain killers - which didn't noticeably improve the situation. As I was feeling rough I decided to eat a 'proper' lunch in the work canteen... Nothing special, but a hot meal is always comforting. After eating lunch I finally started feeling better, but decided not to train tonight since I'm just getting back into it - I'll train again tomorrow. I settled for relaxing with a little shopping followed by a hot bath (this is now my established technique for avoiding any temptation to go to the bar for a drink / extra food, it not only kills time but also makes me unlikely to bother getting dressed just to go misbehave afterwards

Food today:
Breakfast: Boots salmon, cucumber & potato salad followed by Greek yoghurt
Lunch: beef madras with rice
Dinner: chicken & tomato 'sandwich' - the chicken breast was the bed, the filling was the tomato
Snacks: nuts & Greek yoghurt

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 2

I went to the gym today! God, it felt good to work up a sweat!
I plan to look into exercise classes there as the hotel gym offers a reasonable range including a few I've considered trying for a while such as Body Pump, Body Combat, and Spin, but today I just wanted to get on a machine and cardio my ass off, so that's what I did, using my old favourite - an elliptical machine. The gym in my hotel is open to non-residents to join and includes a proper swimming pool (I currently feel too fat to go swimming in public) so its quite well stocked and much larger than the average hotel gym, it was a pleasant surprise and I kind of wish I'd tried it last week. I followed the session with an indulgent bath again - ever since we moved from Wales I've been settling for showers due to low water pressure so it feels good to take a bath again!
I stayed gluten free again today as well. I was tempted by some sausages at breakfast time but was pretty confident the company wouldn't buy gf as standard so I didn't risk it. I'm feeling much less bloated already but, annoyingly, I'm still constipated and I have a (massive, painful, hideous) cold sore on my lip so clearly I'm not 100% yet.
I'm also still quite tired today after waking up early again. I tried to relax over my wine in a soothing bath last night and did fall asleep fairly easily, but it just didn't last long enough. My hotel is still quite noisy even though I'm in a different part of the building from last week, which doesn't really help any. At one point as I was in the bath I could hear the TV next door almost as clearly as if it had been on in my room...

Food today:
Breakfast: smoked salmon and cashews
Lunch: chicken & bacon salad followed by Greek yoghurt
Dinner: mackerel & salad
Snacks: more cashews...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten Free Day 1

I'm so tired....
I woke up at 3 am today. I wasn't getting up until 4:30, but once I'm awake, I'm awake... I got up on schedule and headed out as soon as I was dressed, and I'm happy to say I had my best drive in so far by far - as I had my best drive home so far on Friday - 2 hrs. 35 minutes each!
I spent some time at the weekend thinking about where I'm at with the food etc., which can be summarized as rubbish and not very happy about it, and trying to work out a way forward. As part of that I weighed myself. As I already knew, I have indeed gained weight - all the weight I lost doing the whole30 to be precise; however I thought I would have gained back more than that, so it almost - almost - seems like good news!
I now have a sort of plan to start working my way back to food sanity. (Starting today)
Step 1, and most important - ditch the gluten. Including beer, even though I don't react to beer. But I will, in the short term, allow limited amounts of gf grains such as rice and gf oats, as well as starches in the form of potatoes and sweet potatoes, if it makes life working away easier, which it most definitely will. And I’ll try to make sure the potatoes and sweet potatoes aren’t all deep fried…
Step 2, almost as important - ditch the sugar & sweeteners. No gf sweet treats, no chocolate, no dried fruit. I will eat fresh fruit but if I want a snack it shouldn't have any refined sugar.
Step 3 depends on logistics quite heavily - that would be getting Primal 80% of the time, and may not be possible during the week right now
Step 4 probably won't happen until I'm finished working away, but nothing wrong with planning ahead - another whole30, which may extend into a whole45 or 60 depending how long it takes to feel like I've restored my sanity. And which won't include the unlimited nuts I allowed myself last time.
I won't be leaping head first into trying to achieve all of these at once, since I do have certain logistical problems to work around, and much as I love setting myself unachievable goals then bashing myself for not achieving them, I actually want to get somewhere with this one.
Of course that is all about food, which is not the whole picture... I need to get active as well. Given my long weekly journey I know I won't train or walk any useful distance on Monday or Friday (some weeks I may work from home on Friday in which case that applies to Thursday instead) but I'd like to do something on each of the other days. Also, I won't be walking to work as M has asked me not to (he thinks its dangerous as I was walking in the dark) and I don't want him worrying about me on top of all the other long distance relationship demons which in my case include regular Sunday night meltdowns at the thought of going away again. Whether I go for a walk in the early evening or hit the gym will depend on the weather, how much time I have at my disposal, and, when away, how busy the gym generally is in the early evening as it doesn't open early enough to let me train before work. This part of the plan will have to be flexible (and include recovery time at the beginning as I'm really unfit now)

Food today:
Breakfast: sausage & onion 'sandwiches' - 2 gf grilled sausages, cold, with caramelized onion, wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves
Lunch: hard boiled eggs (home made) & salad followed by Greek yoghurt, no fruit or seeds.
Dinner: chicken breast, prawns and wine. No veggies - without the wine I would have been all Dukan phase I about it!!!
Snacks: cashew nuts & a bag of crisps (gluten free, grain free, not sweet... Definitely not primal / Paleo or whole30 but I never promised perfection, especially on Mondays)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Doing better

First I wanted to say thanks for being supportive, Deniz & Diane, I really appreciate your comments the last couple of days.
I'm still at a loss as to why I went so overboard yesterday; I'm not overwhelmingly tired, I don't consciously feel depressed (well, not until after the boatload of unnecessary and undesirable carbs, anyway), I'm definitely not over exercising. I did feel run down over the weekend, with the start of a cold that hasn't yet fully manifested itself,the first spots I've had for ages and a general lack of energy, so I suppose that even though my brain believes excess carbs hinder healing, health and happiness my body wanted them as easy energy sources to feel better. Or maybe I just haven't broken the emotional link between sweetness & comfort. I spent some time on Tuesday reading success stories on Mark's Daily Apple for motivation but I must admit I think that actually made me feel kind of inadequate due to the general theme of 'this is so easy and satisfying' and 'I don't even want to break the plan' when I'm not finding it easy at all and I damn well do (well, did) want to break it. I think I'll have to steer clear of stories that stir up those unhappy comparisons until I feel a bit better about myself! Maybe its pathetic but I'd actually feel better reading about people who found it really hard to change, struggled to find motivation to train and to carry on, and took much longer to achieve their goals than expected - but did so, eventually, and despite slips and mistakes along the way... I guess that kind of thing doesn't present the desired advert for a diet or healthy living plan though...
Ah well, I have reached one conclusion spending yesterday feeling out of control, hippo-like and bloated, constipated and pissed off... Even if I don't lose weight / can't lose weight I want to feel healthy again and this really isn't going to do it!
I don't have scales here (body or food) as well as not having a fridge or the ability to cook, so my usual highly anal weigh everything I eat & weigh myself every morning approach is not within my grasp (actually that might be part of my problem - maybe I feel adrift without those familiar routines to cling to? God knows its been years since I went any length of time without them)
I'm not willing to schlep my scales backwards and forwards (plus I believe that they need regular recalibrating if you keep moving them) so I need to get over that loss - at least until the end of January - and find other ways (healthier ways) to ground myself.

Food today:
Breakfast: small sweet potato with ham
Lunch: ham salad and 0% fage
Dinner: salmon burger (no bun - but ok, it came with a small portion of fries)
Snacks: cashew nuts; unhealthy chocolate, caramel & walnut slice purchased from a charity bake sale in the office supporting Children in Need. I wanted to give, and I guess I should have thrown it away after buying it, but that just seemed wrong somehow. It was delicious and strangely didn't result in more bingeing.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


No walk to work today - all the fruit last night left me with a dodgy tummy and I didn't think it was a good idea to spend over an hour walking with no bathroom access. :-(
It was really cold this morning, my car was thoroughly iced up and I spent 10 minutes on defrosting it before I could even start out. The drive in on empty roads took slightly less time than defrosting the car- only 9 minutes compared to the 65 minutes to walk it. That may mean I walk even less often than I predicted... It's hard to convince myself that its worth walking with such a discrepancy, and the use of a gym & pool at the end of the drive...

And then.

The binge monster did strike today.

Big time.

Chocolate, I hate you

Gluten, I never want to see you again

WTF is wrong with me? Today my suit felt tight. So I ate chocolate. And many other evil things.

After work today I did intend to train but the binge left me feeling bloated and icky so I didn't.

I am not happy with myself.

Thankfully tomorrow is another day..

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The road to hell…

Well, for once I made plans to do something healthy & active and stuck to them - I walked to work today (and back again, obviously) It was a walk of 3.7 miles each way, and as well as giving me a very healthy daily total it also killed 2 hrs that I otherwise would probably have spent sitting in my hotel room reading or watching tv while solemnly swearing to go to the gym tomorrow...
I doubt if I'll do it very regularly while staying at this hotel - it does take a lot longer than driving (3 times longer than rush hour driving, probably 5 times longer than it would in the morning) and its less efficient than 40 minutes in the gym will be once I work up to it, plus of course it is weather dependant and at this time of the year that's likely to be an issue. Plus of course I'm not going to do it with my suitcase or on top of the long drive on Monday or Friday. Still, I feel better today than at any time last week, so if its dry in the morning (I don't care as much in the evening) I may as well do it as often as possible.
However,that will mean changing some things, which I didn't do today... I was starving all day, and I think its because I didn't eat till I arrived at work, and then didn't eat enough. I caved at about 3 pm.... I'd struggled most of the day not to eat anything except what I brought with me, and was totally preoccupied with food the whole time until I gave in. Damn, its hard to get this stuff right without access to a fridge, cooker, or even microwave.... Anyway, the holding back until 3pm put me in a binge mood and I overindulged in dried fruit, strawberries & cream (feel slightly sick now). I will try again, but if the binge monster resurfaces I will have to reconsider

Food today:
Breakfast: Tesco cooked chicken breast, small amount of salad & some fresh raspberries
Lunch: salt beef roll ups containing mixed salad leaves, with cherry tomatoes & red pepper
Dinner: Tesco cooked chicken breast with salad
Snack: cashew nuts and an apple. And a packet of crisps Surprised smile


Monday, 11 November 2013

The start of another week… working away

The drive in was better today because I left half an hour earlier and left the motorway at a different junction so I only had ordinary work traffic to deal with rather than monster roadworks work traffic. I still got in just before 8am - slightly under the 3hr mark - when I'd hoped for closer to 7:30. By the time I entered the building I was so desperate for the loo I felt I might explode!

It rained all day so I didn't do anything or go anywhere at lunchtime today. After work I drove to my new hotel, checked in, then donned my waxed waterproof jacket to explore a bit, as I should have done last week near the other hotel but was too depressed to bother. This hotel slightly weirdly, is in a retail park, and there’s a Tesco Express & Lidl not too far off, so I'm reasonably well set up here.

I brought a couple of prepped (bought) salads and some cold meat with me for dinner today & tomorrow and put them in the work fridge on arrival, then took one set to the hotel today while leaving the other in the fridge for tomorrow, making me feel more in control this week straight away. Even though I ended up eating in the hotel restaurant instead... I thought it was worth scouting out, particularly as Monday’s, with their early start – I was up at 4:25 this morning and it still wasn’t early enough – and their need for hours of concentrated driving first thing (on only one coffee in an attempt to avoid the dreaded toilet break) are never going to be days when I eat strictly to plan and work out. Realistically, it just isn’t. Though I have plans for tomorrow…

The hotel has a bar and a separate grill/restaurant. I had a pint of beer in the bar first, then wandered through to the restaurant. The food was nothing special – decidedly average hotel restaurant fare – but quite good value  and I think doing that rather than holing up in my hotel room straight away helped contribute to a much more positive mood this evening than I experienced last week or during the weekend. Maybe things are looking up! The drive back to this hotel took 20 minutes (actually that’s from my desk, and not from starting the car) rather than the tortuous 45 minutes to cover a very similar distance all last week. And a much less stressful 20 minutes it was too, without the bumper to bumper lurching travel I enjoyed so much then. Now its time to watch TV and collapse into an early night!

Food today:
Breakfast: Waitrose gf egg mayonnaise roll
Lunch: Waitrose gf chicken salad roll & an Eat Natural bar
Dinner: sweet corn & pancetta soup followed by roast chicken & green beans from the hotel restaurant
Snack: nuts, roast turkey & an apple

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Friday, Saturday & Today

Friday was crap. Not all of it – I enjoyed going to the pub for a drink with the test team – but apart from that, it was crap. And the trip to the pub ruined my very short gluten free run as I didn’t get lunch beforehand, thinking I’d pick up something at the pub, didn’t, and then when I got back to the office had nothing available but a beef burrito. In a wheat wrap. I considered fasting but knew that wouldn’t be likely to help with the sustained driving effort so I bit the bullet (and the burrito). I spent the morning & early afternoon getting stressed about the journey home (soooo productive) then got in the car at 2:40pm and had the journey home from hell. I got home at 6:15pm. I was exhausted after such a long drive, and by the end was barely hanging on to my reflexes and observation. I had been planning to stick some fish in the grill (cook from frozen – so handy) but I was just too tired. So we popped round the corner to the nearest pub and I drank San Miguel while eating a massive burger and fries. I started out eating the burger roll, but, no credit to my sense, had to leave most of it not because of the gluten but because it was just too massive.

Saturday I had a reasonable breakfast – gf sausage, bacon, scrambled egg. Lunch was fine too, lettuce wraps with hardboiled egg and tomato. But I’d eaten a mini box of 4 Guylian chocolates before lunch. Dinner was a gf curry, but I had no cauliflower for cauli rice so I had white rice (and really enjoyed it!)

I think in the short term I will focus on gluten free, try for mostly grain free, and aim to avoid refined sugars while I get to grips with the new lifestyle. At least that should reduce bloating and digestive issues, though it won’t cure them as I don’t do great with grains generally. Today didn’t go brilliantly in terms of the refined sugar as I had a GF Mrs Crimble’s chocolate brownie, but the food was all gf all the time, so it could have been worse.

On the non-food front, I was tired on Friday so an early night was called for – and enjoyed. Saturday I tried to avoid driving anywhere since I felt like I’d spent the whole of last week in the car, and walked to not one, not two, but three different supermarkets with my rucksack. In total probably about 6 miles walking, but lots of weight in the rucksack, so still tiring. In the even I had a total meltdown and ended up weeping, wailing, snapping at M and eventually crying myself to sleep.

I’m such a heroic figure, you must be in awe of my warrior nature.

This morning I woke up around 4am, feeling like I’d barely closed my eyes all night, and continued Saturday’s nuttiness. I walked to one of the furthest away supermarkets in town – not that far, a 5.5 mile round trip, but bought some heavy vegetables and a kilo of rice there (plus some 21 days dry aged sirloin steaks for Friday) and again the rucksack was too heavy – and I still didn’t have everything I wanted, so I then made one last trip to Waitrose and was verging on collapse by the time I got home. I need to learn to pace myself rather than trying to fit in everything I might want to do in the two days I have at home.

Food today:

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, bacon & a gf sausage

Lunch: Turkey salad ‘sandwiches’ – the turkey was the container, with lettuce, cucumber & tomato in between the slices of meat

Dinner: will be the low carb meatloaf I’ve posted about before, with steamed veggies tossed in homemade pesto

Snacks: Greek yoghurt with defrosted summer berries; nuts; gf brownie

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Chugging on

A mere 4 days after starting work (2 days later than originally planned) I got a work PC yesterday. It wasn't set up by the time I left, but I came in with high hopes this morning only to find I can't log into anything at all. Ah well, its not like they're paying to work in IT or anything... The annoying this is that for the past 2 days I've been using my own laptop to at least check my email but today I didn't bring it in because I knew the work one would be here...Ah well, by mid-morning it was mostly working apart from a few inhouse systems (the ones I'm supposed to be testing of course!!!)

Last night I still didn't train (the gym in this week's hotel is tiny & busy) but managed to be good as far as the diet went, giving me 2 consecutive days of no booze or (refined) sweet stuff. Though I did study the room service desserts menu with a little too much interest. Still, I'm already feeling less bloated and flabby thankfully.

At lunchtime I walked a (very) little - just over a mile. I've had backache most of the day (I'll call it backache though its actually slightly lower...) and hoped getting out would help, but it continued hurting so I stopped. The fresh air did help though, it was a beautiful sunny lunchbreak with wildlife sightings... As I walked along I was thisclose to a very fat, rather cocky rabbit eating the lawn!

After work I had another go, but covered even less distance, about a half mile, but it was worth it as I came back with a tummy (very Paleo) takeaway dinner!

Thanks for your kind and supportive comment Deniz. I must admit though, there have been times I definitely did think stuff it - like on Saturday, when I ordered pizza for dinner... but it was only a temporary 'stuff it', I always intended to get back on the wagon again!
Food today:
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: chicken Caesar crouton-less salad
Dinner: mixed chicken, lamb, pork kebab with salad - no naan / pitta.
Snack: nuts, Greek yogurt & an apple

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Where I am

So, you've probably gathered if you've slogged your way through my recent pity party that I've lost my way lately in terms of both diet & exercise. I'm not being all self-hating or overly critical when I say that, I've had lots of challenges and haven't really invested enough time & energy to overcome them. The result is that I feel fat - and the way my clothes (don't really) fit supports that feeling. Part of this - a small part - is down to me allowing carbs, including the dreaded gluten carbs, back onto my plate so that I'm now retaining some water. More of that is down to the sheer amount of food I've been eating (and to me allowing myself a fair amount more booze) so that I've gained actual weight, though I've no idea how much. As far as the constant eating is concerned that's also down to a few things - the comfort / stress eating is a large component, but I do also believe that carbs increase the appetite and make it harder to be mindful and resist overeating.
I obviously don't have the degree of control I'd like over my food. I'm not staying in the serviced apartments I was looking at so I don't have a kitchen. To save money I'm staying on a hotel that offers a corporate deal to the company I'm contracted to. The good news is that the hotel I'll be staying in next week has a full health club attached, one good enough to attract non-resident members, so I'll have no excuse to continue avoiding exercise. Of course we all know you can't outrun - or out-train - your mouth, so I need to find better ways to manage my food. This week I'm kind of giving myself a pass as I was too busy at the weekend to be able to plan my eating let alone execute a plan. But that has to end. I have discovered that the office has a breakfast bar with full fat Greek yoghurt, fruit - mostly tinned or defrosted - and seeds, so that sorts out breakfast (though it doesn't open till 8 am which isn't ideal. I could buy tomorrow's breakfast today & stick it in the fridge over night perhaps.)
Lunch is difficult because the main options are sandwiches or pasta salads, and I have to treat getting rid of the gluten as a top priority, even above general low carbness. There are options, though limited, I just have to accept them.
Then there's dinner. This week's hotel is a 3 minute walk from a Lidl store, and I used that yesterday quite satisfyingly (although I carried a 100 g bar of dark chocolate around the store with me and only put it down at the last minute). I'm not sure if there's anything similar near the hotel I'm moving to next week, and if not things will be both awkward & expensive should I have to rely on their restaurant. I may buy a small veg / rice steamer - electric - at the weekend in the hope I can use that to make things better. I can easily bring tinned fish for protein and some meat as well so long as I use the fridge at work to keep it cool.
Today there was a team lunch at a local pub, so I was immediately faced with a challenge. I tried to check the menu online in advance and couldn't find anything compliant with all the restrictions I wanted to impose, so was forced to focus on the gluten issue. I did really enjoy the lunch despite it including potatoes, and as they're one of the lest processed starchy carbs you can eat I don't feel too bad about it.
Food today:
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: not low carb, but grain & gluten free - salmon fillet with pesto mash & green beans,topped with a poached egg
Dinner: chicken Caesar salad (minus the croutons) with a snackpack of raw veggies & pot of butternut squash dip to make up for the boringness of a Caesar salad with no croutons. It didn't
Snack: almonds & an apple

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Moved and moving on

Yesterday was my first day working away. I have to admit the prospect had me fairly upset in the morning before I set off - not just the obvious stuff like missing M and not knowing quite what to expect, but also because I was just so tired from the house move. We worked quite hard on unpacking Friday & Saturday and the house is now liveable with nothing left to do this weekend,which is nice - but I don't feel like I had a week off between jobs at all.
The drive to work yesterday took 3 hours thanks to roadworks this end. It should take 2.5 hrs without those problems, and most of it went smoothly enough (even the M25!!!!!) but after I left the motorway everything went to crap. Luckily I'd left myself 3.5 hours to get here as I didn't know what to expect so it didn't make me late for my first day.
The first day in the office was monumentally boring but I expected that - I was reading documents for most of the day,and that's never interesting,but its more boring when you don't really understand what you're reading and its impossible to take anything in like that. All the people I met seemed lovely and the office has all the mod cons, so if it were only 150 miles south I think I'd be very happy with this contract, though its way too early to say for sure.
After work it took me another 45 minutes to reach my hotel - 5 miles from the office. That was a combination of me going the wrong way, roads being shut for construction work, and volume of traffic. By the time I got there I was so knackered I just changed my clothes, ordered a fattening and non-gf burger from room service, and drank a bottle of wine before collapsing. On the plus side I slept better than I've managed for weeks!
This morning I left the hotel at 6:30 and was in the office before 7 - a much better journey! I didn't have quite so much trouble getting back either. One thing I will say for driving through a city in the rush hour is that you have lots of time to react to any mistakes as you crawl along at 2 mph, much easier than trying to get back on track at 40-70 mph!
Food today:
Breakfast: pack of deli roast pork and Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: chicken salad
Dinner: smoked salmon & salad
Snack: nuts & flapjack (I know, I know!!!)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Where we are at

Just a quick one because you can understand this is a very busy time…

I didn’t get the job in London, so will be working away for 3 months from Monday (I asked them to put back my start date from today so I could do the house move necessaries and they kindly agreed)

We’re actually moving into the rental property today (we got it – and in under a week, yay!) having spent yesterday with a removal man packing everything we weren’t actually using while he went around the house. Including things we could have done with today actually - when we finish the move in 6 months time we’ll need to give him a better list of things not to pack on day 1!!! He was very efficient but he achieved that by packing absolutely everything, which is obviously quicker than considering each thing as you go around.

Due to the very short notice between exchanging and completing, getting the rental property sorted etc. we will be without phone and broadband until Monday (assuming things go to plan on Monday) so there probably won’t be another update until then unless I find myself in a wifi area with my laptop or the iPad – I’ve never figured out how to post from my mobile.

We’re eating out / takeaway / crap because I literally have no kitchen. For expedience sake I’m even eating sandwiches made with normal non-gf bread, which is not making my stomach entirely happy but so far anyway that’s mostly showing itself as a feeling of bloated fullness all the time rather than anything more intrusive / extreme.

I realised yesterday there’s no microwave in the rental, which M will need once I’m working away. We’re also leaving the Bibo behind in our current house and not replacing it until we’re in a house of our own, so I need to pick up a cheap kettle, water filter jug & microwave this weekend, all of which I’ll be throwing away in 6 months. Sigh. On the plus side we complete the sale tomorrow as early as our buyer can swing it and then the house sale from hell will be over; the house move from hell of course will not be over till we’ve unpacked all the essentials at the other end.

I think I slept about 90 minutes last night, so if this post looks & reads as though it were written in Sanskrit by a 2yr old that’s why…

Roll on (more or less) normal life… I miss you!!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Last day in the office

I had no real work to do so I had no distractions from stewing as I waited for the letting agent to get his references and things to confirm we get the rental property we want.
I have an interview for the second contract - the one I really want - but its not until Tuesday morning so too much time for worrying about that too. I'm starting to feel mildly ill about it all in fact, my stomach is churning fairly constantly and I'm still waking up in the middle of the night - generally about 2:45 am. I'm overeating and I've regained the weight I lost on the whole30 plan as a result, so now I plan to repeat it once this upheaval is out of the way and I have the chance to take control again. And at 2pm I was hiding in the ladies at work having a very small weeping fit.

Four people are leaving our office today so everyone (including me) brought cake &/or cookies in today. I admit I ate a cookie to destress this morning (no, obviously it didn't work) but only one, and at lunchtime, when we all went out for lunch, I ordered the only gluten free meal on the menu (with a diet coke).
As my order arrived a colleague who'd ordered the same thing commented that they hadn't skimped on the Cajun seasoning and he was right - spicy!!! Too bad my stressed out stomach had me feeling slightly sick as I walked back to the office (not a comment on the food I assure you)
I'm sorry to whinge and whine so much today, I know everything will probably work out but I'm so tired and so uptight I can barely see straight, and certainly can't think of anything positive to write. I wish I could hibernate for a month and wake up to find everything had just happened without me... Except even if I could try to hibernate I'd just wake up at 2:45 and lie there worrying Smile

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cooked gf sausage, mushroom & leek
Lunch: Cajun chicken skewers (a whole chicken breast I think) with side salad
Dinner: Bolognese sauce on courgette noodles
Snack: nuts & a cookie

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Written (started) yesterday

Today we exchanged contracts on our house finally - such a relief after all these months! I also discovered I'm still in with a chance on the more local contract I interviewed for yesterday afternoon after all. So the stress hasn't ended, but it has moved on a bit.

I spent a somewhat embarrassing amount of time on the phone to various people and institutions about moving along the process, and then when we got home we went out for a celebratory dinner & drink

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cooked gf sausage, spinach & leek
Lunch: leek & sweet potato soup
Dinner: Starter: Baked potato skins with chorizo sausage & cheese. followed by Lamb & Beef fajitas (minus the tortillas) with sangria
Snack: nuts & roast turkey slices

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wasted day

I worked from home today because we were supposed to be exchanging on our house and I had private phone calls to make as a result. Except we didn’t exchange, its now supposed to be tomorrow but who knows…

That was followed by a phone interview for another job (yes, I have one already, but this one was much more convenient. It didn’t go too well though, so I’m still expecting to be working away from next week. Sigh.

I consoled myself with cashew butter. Sigh again. But at least it was gluten free

Food today:

Breakfast: hard boiled eggs, bacon & avocado in homemade mayonnaise
Lunch:leek & sweet potato soup and a bag of dried fruit, nuts & seeds                               
Dinner: chicken thigh stir fry with sunshine sauce

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Thanks Joy & Diane for your nice comments that didn't call me for being a dumbass - which I was. I should have avoided the prosecco, celebrations or not, and left my judgment unimpaired. (though far from good as we've all got reason to know...) Sigh. Ah well, I did feel better very soon because the one advantage of diarrhea is the way it quickly clears the toxins from your body Winking smile

I was back in the office today and booked the removal service first thing. M & I have agreed that I will spend the weekend directly following the move at my dad's as agreed since I'd be useless after the exertions of Thursday & Friday anyway, and with me working away there'll be no-one there wanting to cook or get at my clothes & stuff anyway, so it can wait till the week after, (when I will have to pull my weight.) Thank god. The stress response has fully kicked in now with the obligatory 3 am mental wake up call to allow me an extra couple of hours building mental to do lists while my brain spins uselessly in place at 200 miles an hour. In fairness that would have happened anyway with the new job coming up, but possibly not quite as early as this.

This afternoon at work I was terminally bored and desperately trying not to let myself go into a tailspin. I found myself standing in front of the vending machine with cash in hand staring at crisps and chocolate, chocolate & crisps, my hand moving towards the coin slot… I wasn’t hungry and didn’t even particularly crave chocolate either, and when I realized these small yet important details I put the money away and walked back to my desk sans chocolate, sans crisps, sans regret…

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: leek & sweet potato soup, mini chicken satay and strawberries
Dinner: venison (roe deer loins) pan fried, with jicama chips & sautéed mushrooms & onions
Snack: nuts & homemade pork rinds

Monday, 21 October 2013


Things are moving along, we’ve found a rental property so long as no one steals it out from under us (they should only have 2 more days to that so it probably won’t happen) and the removal company is currently available for the dates we want. I’ve been signing documents and getting sorted – but although I should feel better I’m still feeling antsy about the actual move. My father in law has said he’s let the guys in and out of the houses, since M & I should both be in work on those days. That means I should feel totally relaxed about it happening without me, but all I can think about is having to start a new job with long drives on the Thursday & Friday, then come home to lug boxes all weekend before dragging myself back again. (on a weekend I was planning to visit my father in his new home). Am I horribly selfish because I would really like to visit my dad as planned and let it go till the following weekend? I probably am, but that’s just the kind of person I am…

Today I worked from home so that I could make lots of phone calls as and when needed without having to go out to a quiet spot in the office. It was very productive I suppose, not a fun day, but I did get the work done as well. Foodwise I did Ok today due to being too busy for anything else. I kept thinking I’ll get a drink and then pop to the bathroom, and then 20 minutes later realised I didn’t do either…

At the weekend the same was not entirely true. M and his father were going to Brands Hatch yesterday for  motorbike racing day. As they had to make an early start his dad came to visit on Saturday, and we wen out for lunch to celebrate the progress we’ve suddenly been making on the house move thing. At the meal M ordered Prosecco, which is my favourite sparkling wine so I drank it even though its fairly high carb. My first two courses were fine, marinate Northern Herring followed by pan fried halibut, then it got to dessert and I was going to order cheese just to join in… but I didn’t fancy the cheeses on offer, and then I saw the Rhubarb & Custard Cheesecake with white chocolate ice cream… and I broke


After lunch my father in law and I went for a 5 mile walk and then I drank a few beers, not a huge number but like the cheesecake not gluten free or low carb either. On Saturday night I woke up around 2am with a splitting headache and agonising cramps in both calves. I took pain killers and managed to go back to sleep eventually, but in the morning I had an upset stomach with diarrhea. So once again I prove I have to think harder about whether things are good ideas. On Sunday I got things much more under control – a good breakfast and dinner, only a little bit off at lunchtime, and no snacking at all. I did have a couple of beers again, but they didn’t have any untoward effects.

Food today:

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with a gf sausage & a rasher of bacon                        Lunch: soup made with homemade chicken stock, another gf sausage and a ton of veg Dinner: Beef casserole with veg

Friday, 18 October 2013


I have a lot on my mind at the moment, mostly house sale / move with a hefty dose of new job coming up soon and working away. So I feel unsettled - we are unsettled - and I'm not training again. Once the new job starts that will change - what else am I going to do with myself alone in a hotel room every evening? But right now I'm firmly held in the trap of 'I'll do it when...', 'I'll start when...' 'It'll be all right/easier/more productive when...' Sigh. I see the trap but can't find the energy to pull out right now, and I'm trying not to be too annoyed with myself about it since I'll still not train while hating myself if I do.
This morning the solicitor for our house sale informed us that the purchaser wants to exchange on next Wednesday - the 23rd - and complete on either the 31st of October or the 1st of November (aka the first day of my new job or the 2nd day of my new job). We've been waiting for this since July and now we might be moving on the same day I start a new job!!! Because we've been so convinced that everything was going to fall apart for so long we haven't yet found a rental house to live in while they build the one we're buying - and of course once we do find one we'll have to go through the process of references, credit checks etc. We asked for 2 weeks between exchange & completion to let that happen; they're proposing 1.5 weeks. Cue phone calls to letting agencies that don't call you back, removal firms & a (non gf) white chocolate chip cookie. Or 2.

Must find a better way to handle stress.
Must find a better way to handle stress.
Must find a better way to handle stress....

Rental house viewing #1 tomorrow morning. It would be nice if that were the only one we needed. Even though we can't sign anything until we exchange in case it all falls apart leaving us owing 6 months rent... There's no way this is all going to just fall into place...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables & gammon
Lunch: gammon & veg soup, Greek yoghurt & a snack pack of grapes
Dinner: chicken stir fry with sunshine sauce
Snack: nuts & crème fraiche with summer berries. And a cookie... or 2

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Still chocolate free

(but I ate dried fruit) and stuffed full of fat & protein. I've been researching hotels for my new contract and if it works out, may go to stay at a serviced apartment block with a full kitchen and fitness room - fingers crossed that works out!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: curried beef mince soupified with homemade chicken (paws) stock.
Dinner: courgette noodles tossed with a 'pasta sauce' of gammon, leeks, mushrooms & peppers with crème fraiche
Snack: biltong, cashews & coconut cream with summer berries

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Crawling back from the edge

Stuck to allowable foods again today, with noticeably less inclination to eat sweet things, thank God. Still over eating but I'm more focused on getting back to eating the right things, I'll work on quantities next. I spent the whole day thinking about food - but not in an obsessional 'what can I eat, when can I eat it' kind of way, more in a 'how can I most easily eat Paleo while working away & living in a hotel?' way. I know the easiest answer would just be 'buy a roasted chicken breast / whole rotisserie chicken and bag of salad every day' 3 meals a day, but I wouldn't last a week if I tried to do that so I need a little more of a plan. I'm going to be working in the centre of the city so shopping should be easy enough, but unless something amazing happens I won't have storage or cooking facilities. I am considering buying a small electric rice cooker (obviously not to cook rice, but most of them will also steam veg and meat / fish as well.) Assuming there's a microwave & fridge in the office I may be able to keep things interesting at lunchtime & possibly breakfast without too much effort (interesting may be an exaggeration, but not too tedious anyway) and maybe make the evening meal more snacky. It's all just speculation until I can check out the situation anyway, and luckily the very first week I'll only be at the hotel for one night anyway. If anyone has any ideas for really portable Paleo friendly snacks or meals that don’t need refrigeration or cooking I’d be very grateful… don’t ask for much, do I???

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: pork & ham soup. Last portion finally!
Dinner: grilled chicken thighs with stir-fried veg & sunshine sauce
Snack: biltong, cashews, pork rinds & crème fraiche with summer berries

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Developments and discoveries

I worked from home today because I was due to get my central heating boiler serviced. Due to a problem with the online appointment booking offered by British Gas this didn't happen... I called to check the time mid-morning, but they had no record on their system, and the nearest appointment they did have was not possible for me, for reasons that are about to be made clear...

Development #1
9 days before the end of my current job, I have been offered and accepted another contract. This one sadly is over 130 miles away, so I will be working away from home during the week; however I won't have the soul destroying experience that is searching for a job for months, and I will be working only an hour away from my Dad's new home, so I will have opportunities to visit them much sooner than I expected if I'd been working full time around here.
Development #2
It looks like our house sale may go through after all the drama!!! All of a sudden, out of the blue, things seem to be falling into place and we may actually succeed in moving somewhere much more convenient for M's work - which is a huge relief
Discovery #1
When I was doing the Whole30 I survived unsickened when surrounded by man infected with the plague - including my own husband. I was whiny and whingey I admit, but my body laughed at cold germs and I suffered nothing worse than a slight sniffle. Since deciding to treat myself to evil sugary chocolate on too many occasions following the plan, I had developed an annoying tendency to sneezing fits and have a massive - MASSIVE!!! cold sore outbreak on my lip. Coincidence? I'm not so sure... SO I AM DETERMINED... proper low carbing (with the inclusion of dairy unless I continue feeling sub par) is BACK!!!

Happily today I ate too much of the good stuff, but apart from dairy, which is open to interpretation, nothing at all that isn't at least Primal - a step in the right direction!

Food today:
Breakfast: Lettuce wraps filled with a salad of hard boiled egg, gammon and avocado in homemade mayonnaise
Lunch: Pork & vegetable soup
Dinner: Thai coconut beef heart with cauliflower rice
Snacks: Toasted coconut flakes, cashews, creme fraiche with summer fruits (partially defrosted), biltong