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

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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

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the house was lovely

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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…

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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.

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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
Sigh

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