Wednesday, 31 January 2007

A Double Plus Good?

I posted a question briefly on this subject yesterday and then removed it for fear of over-posting on my day and being neurotic. But researching last night didn't bring me any satisfactory answers!

I had planned to eat sweet potato for dinner last night. Baked, in its jacket, in all its orangey gooey deliciousness (this was how I was managing my sweet craving yeserday, I had factored it in!). Which I hadn't factored in was the sheer amount of Vitamin A I had lined up to ingest in yesterday's foods. As it happens, I'd entered sweet potato into CoM first and was so wowed by the vitamin line going wheeee! that I didn't stop to think that practically everything else I eat is high in A too.

Yesterday would have been 3393% of my RDA in A if I'd kept to the plan. That's quite a big number, isn't it? :-) In the end I freaked out a little and replaced my planned meal with an impromptu quorn in tomato sauce casserole and ended the day on 1023 cals, not including the 5oz glass of Rioja I had as (another) treat.

But the Vitamin A...OK, so it's all beta-carotene A, so the worst that would happen is that I'd get a little orangey if I kept that up, I think. But am I right? Should I be aiming for far less A? More of a balance? A balance of what with what? Where can I find out? What do the numbers mean? Does a red line = WARNING WARNING OVERDOSE IMMINENT? *wail*

Anyway, waste not want not. I just ate the sweet potato I baked yesterday for my breakfast this morning. Warmed slightly in the microwave, with 50g plain yoghurt and nuts and seeds on top. Yum!

But I'm not sure what else I will be eating today. I've planned it out in CoM but it looks haphazard and unappetizing, not to mention approx. 2500% in A again (and that's even with deleting out the 100g kale). I guess I will see how hungry I get. After my sweet potato fix, I don't really have the will to think about it!

I must, however, summmon the will for the gym...

LATER... I am confusing RDA with safe upper limit. Doh. I blame the insomnia. Clearly sweet potatoes would come with a health warning if they contained dangerous amounts of A, as would a pitiful 100g of spinach! So I shall worry not... unless?

The sweetest thing

Seems as though the sugar fairy who has been flitting through this little CRON community trailing cravings for sweet in her wake has come to me today. Clearly I tempted her in with the xylitol in my breakfast, and she then tinkerbelled off to the local deli, ambushing me there with a piece of 70% cocoa (mango and chilli, no less) chocolate and a half-inch-square of chocolate brownie. Such tiny pieces, but together with the caffeine in my coffee this morning (essential to wake me up!), those little tiny pieces have given me the munchies. An afternoon of fennel tea and a judicious amount of almonds for me then.

Let me count the ways...

Tried Emily's suggestion for sweet eggwhites this morning alongside my berries and nuts for breakfast. Scrambled 3 of them with some mixed spice and some xylitol, but... no. I am never going to love thee, eggwhites. I might just be able to tolerate you hard boiled and chopped up on my salad because I have to, but your gunky icky slimeiness is doing nothing else for me, no matter how you dress yourself up in fake sugar and spice. Begone. And xylitol, you can bugger right off too.

Love my berries, nuts and seeds though.

Planned food for the rest of today:

Lunch - spinach and romaine salad, flax and lemon juice, raw red pepper, sliced mushrooms, and chopped plain tofu (needs using up).
Dinner - baked sweet potato, shredded cabbage greens, brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli.
No snacks of any kind because I've eaten everything else on the plan, including my yoghurt which ended up being a 1am snack because I was hungry as well as wide awake.

I might not make all that though. Lunch is low in cals because I may have to eat with friends again tonight, but if I do I will at least made 72% vits and 78% minerals.

So MUCH food. The sheer volume of it... This might go some way towards explaining why I am craving Japanese food at the moment, even though I don't eat fish and have never actually eaten proper Japanese at all. It's just the idea of those little delicate pieces of art on the plate, so much more tempting to me right now than the ever-so-good-for-me veggie mountain.

Here is the estimated crunch anyway. And no Brewer's Yeast to bump things up!

Nutrition Summary for 31 January 2007

General (74%)
Energy | 1092.6 kcal 91%
Protein | 62.4 g 89%
Fat | 37.2 g 52%
Carbs | 149.6 g 62%
Fiber | 40.4 g 161%
Water | 1278.3 g 47%

Vitamins (85%)
Vitamin A | 79158.4 IU 3393%
Folate | 739.8 mcg 185%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.3 mg 119%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.3 mg 213%
B3 (Niacin) | 15.5 mg 111%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.6 mg 132%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.6 mg 202%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.4 mcg 18%
Vitamin C | 600.9 mg 801%
Vitamin D | 6.9 IU 3%
Vitamin E | 16.4 mg 109%
Vitamin K | 1137.8 mcg 1264%

Minerals (93%)
Calcium | 1413.6 mg 141%
Copper | 2.4 mg 263%
Iron | 17.9 mg 100%
Magnesium | 470.4 mg 147%
Manganese | 6.6 mg 366%
Phosphorus | 1008.4 mg 144%
Potassium | 4695.6 mg 100%
Selenium | 69.4 mcg 126%
Sodium | 520.5 mg 35%
Zinc | 7.9 mg 98%

Amino Acids

Lipids (55%)
Saturated | 4.3 g 21%
Omega-3 | 5.2 g 472%
Omega-6 | 13.2 g 110%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Let's try that again...

Today I shall be pure and virtuous with no alcohol and a nice report from CoM.

This morning's breakfast was 100g tofu blended with about 150g of the usual mixed berries, 4 almonds, 1 brazil, 1 tsp flax, and 10g of GrapeNuts. I didn't fall over in the gym after it. Tomorrow I am going to try sweet eggwhites instead of the tofu; the tofu was just an idea.

I have just lost my brewer's yeast virginity and added my 30g to a soup I have made with 300g leeks, 270g broccoli, 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic, and plain water. I blended half of it and added it back to the pot and stirred my brewer's yeast in, and added the remains of my 20g of the day's almonds chopped finely in the processor. It tastes very nice actually, despite being a bit of a sludgey green, and assuming that brewer's yeast doesn't turn out to be one of the few things I am allergic to, I will make the same or similar again. So many calories in that little bit of powder though. Quite freaky.

I am planning my dinner to be raw spinach salad with red and yellow cherry tomatoes and grilled red pepper, and somewhere I have to fit in 6 egg whites, and I have some raw carrot, baby corn and mangetout to get through. But if I do all that, here is today's estimated crunch from CoM.

Nutrition Summary for 30 January 2007

General (75%)
Energy | 1063.2 kcal 89%
Protein | 73.2 g 105%
Fat | 32.0 g 45%
Carbs | 141.8 g 59%
Fiber | 40.6 g 162%
Water | 1544.8 g 57%

Vitamins (82%)
Vitamin A | 32775.8 IU 1405%
Folate | 829.1 mcg 207%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.0 mg 92%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.3 mg 300%
B3 (Niacin) | 21.1 mg 150%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 4.5 mg 89%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.0 mg 230%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.4 mcg 15%
Vitamin C | 538.1 mg 717%
Vitamin D | 6.9 IU 3%
Vitamin E | 13.2 mg 88%
Vitamin K | 836.0 mcg 929%

Minerals (94%)
Calcium | 1177.1 mg 118%
Copper | 2.9 mg 323%
Iron | 20.7 mg 115%
Magnesium | 476.9 mg 149%
Manganese | 5.7 mg 319%
Phosphorus | 935.1 mg 134%
Potassium | 4610.5 mg 98%
Selenium | 155.2 mcg 282%
Sodium | 665.0 mg 44%
Zinc | 8.2 mg 102%

Amino Acids

Lipids (50%)
Saturated | 3.9 g 19%
Omega-3 | 4.0 g 365%
Omega-6 | 9.9 g 82%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Clean slate on the far horizon

I am so looking forward to Tuesday, because Tuesday is when I will be back in my house, alone, for 4 full days and I can eat CRON-ily and... I can't wait.

I've found it tough the last few days combining my social life and CRON. Because of the social drinking. I think it's fair to say I have tumbled off the CRON wagon since Thursday.

We ate out twice yesterday and I think I made good CR choices (if not ON). For lunch I chose cauliflower cheese with purple sprouting broccoli from the menu, and asked them to go easy on the cheese sauce. As it turned out, the cheese sauce was very thin, and it was easy for me to lift the cauli out, shake it, and put it on the plate with the purple sprouting broccoli which was not purple sprouting broccoli but steamed winter greens!

But we drank some wine.

I snacked on mushrooms and salsa when we got home.

But then we drank some wine.

For dinner I ate a pear and fennel salad, and a main dish with grilled aubergine and hummus and salad. The chef had gone very heavy on the oil on the aubergine, so I didn't finish my plate.

But we were drinking wine.


today, I ate two slices of rye toast for breakfast alongside my berries because I was feeling... delicate.

For lunch I roasted (1 tbsp EVOO) beetroot and carrots from the garden and mixed them with rocket (arugala), spinach and watercress into a salad. We also had some hummus, and some lentil salad, and 1 avocado sliced up, and some mushrooms and celery for dipping (and the 3 others and the cat ate shell-on prawns - my cat is as mad for prawns as April's beastie; she is 26 years old, so I can't deprive her of her treats!).

But we... yeah, we did that again.

So... Great food. But... I need to get some serious self-discipline. April posted about some friends and CR not mixing. This is not an option for me. These friends are my weekend neighbours and very important to me, and of course there is also P.

None of them know I am attempting CRON.

I am back to London tonight to look after a friend who is going under anaesthetic tomorrow. But I am back tomorrow evening, and then it's right back on the wagon in all senses. And I will do some serious work on getting a CRON balance in my London days, and be a lot more strict with myself on the wine because it really, REALLY, is not worth it.

No crunch until Tuesday!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. :-)

Friday, 26 January 2007

Home for the Weekend

(As bad days go, comparatively Thursday wasn't even on the scale. I must be less of a stampy child)

I am always so happy to be back home after my 2 days in London. I live in such a beautiful place and it makes such a difference to my mood to be back in peace and quiet. I do like London, and of course being in London 2 days a week is the price I pay for being able to live and work a hundred miles away for the other 3, plus London is where P has his house. But being here is like drinking cool water on a hot day - such a simple, blessed relief.

I was looking through photos I took of my garden last summer the other day, and I am really looking forward to getting back out there again, and tidying up, and preparing for the growing season. I grow a lot of my own vegetables, sharing an allotment patch with my next door neighbours - lots of beans, and squash, and salad greens. Of course this year I will have to plant kale! It's time to think about getting the seeds in, and what an incentive CRON will be to do that.

Food yesterday - berry breakfast; spinach, watercress and rocket salad with a few edamame (enough with the edamame already!), pumpkin seeds, cherry tomatoes (red and yellow), cucumber and mushrooms, and yoghurt and salsa mixed together - that was a great combo, and I think I'll be doing that more often. Almond tolerance is growing - 16 almonds yesterday. Enough, yet? We had to eat out in the evening, and I had some goat's cheese on toast (left the toast, with some salad no dressing) and another small bowl of salad with some avocado and again no dressing. Pretty difficult to estimate the weight of the cheese so I entered it as 100g into CoM and I guess that's why, along with the almonds, that the fat part of the report is so scary looking!

We will be eating out twice today, so I will have to do the best I can with it.

Here's yesterday's crunch. I still need to work out what all the numbers actually mean.

Nutrition Summary for 26 January 2007

General (66%)
Energy | 939.5 kcal 78%
Protein | 55.2 g 79%
Fat | 43.0 g 60%
Carbs | 99.8 g 41%
Fiber | 26.1 g 104%
Water | 1052.4 g 39%

Vitamins (79%)
Vitamin A | 13146.0 IU 563%
Folate | 500.6 mcg 125%
B1 (Thiamine) | 0.7 mg 64%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 1.8 mg 166%
B3 (Niacin) | 11.1 mg 79%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 5.4 mg 107%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 1.6 mg 124%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.3 mcg 13%
Vitamin C | 225.1 mg 300%
Vitamin D | 0.0 IU 0%
Vitamin E | 13.1 mg 87%
Vitamin K | 643.7 mcg 715%

Minerals (91%)
Calcium | 946.0 mg 95%
Copper | 2.6 mg 288%
Iron | 10.4 mg 58%
Magnesium | 313.9 mg 98%
Manganese | 3.1 mg 172%
Phosphorus | 978.0 mg 140%
Potassium | 3490.1 mg 74%
Selenium | 138.8 mcg 252%
Sodium | 1649.2 mg 110%
Zinc | 6.6 mg 82%

Amino Acids

Lipids (52%)
Saturated | 17.5 g 87%
Omega-3 | 0.6 g 53%
Omega-6 | 6.2 g 51%
Cholesterol | 46.0 g 15%

A Bad Day

Yesterday was a very bad day for my CR. The first really bad day I've had all year, and I am as petulant as a child about it. I guess I can write it up to experience and try not to let it happen again, but I can see it very easily happening again on similar occasions - ie, when I am in London, socialising in an evening, and when that socialising is predominantly wine tasting (which is something I am very interested in and do not want to give up). The bulk of my calories yesterday probably came from alcohol. :-(

I tried to eat well during the day - berry breakfast; a cannellini bean and vegetable soup from Luscious Organic on Kensington High Street with some broccoli I grabbed from M&S and microwaved (never again), 100g mango, a banana, a small pot of soya yoghurt, 12 (!!) almonds over the course of the day. But I met friends in a pub before the tasting, and we drank wine there. At the tasting I took one sip from most of the glasses and tipped the rest (we are only talking about 1oz pours here), but a couple of them I finished. The worst of it was knowing that I was getting hungrier and hungrier, despite hoarding the carrot sticks that were on the table and having a little hummus as well. So when we left the tasting I was ravenous, and when we got home I was so cross with being ravenous that I drank another glass of wine, and I shouldn't have done that. Finally ate tofu and stir-fried vegetables (with mushrooms) and edamame at midnight.

I guess it's not really so bad when I write it down. But I feel a bit of a failure today.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Holy Cruciferous!

Oh dear. I've just caused a mass exodus from our open plan office after I microwaved broccoli florets in a bag for lunch, and opened the bag. They have a point; the smell is rather foul. I've promised to eat quickly but the damage is already done!

Weights and Measures

The dinner P cooked for me last night was great, but we agreed that I really needed a large pile of broccoli and perhaps some spinach or other vegetables to steam/stir-fry to make it a proper Sara meal. He'd cooked Udon noodles but I only ate maybe one or two (to be polite); we'd had to miss out the miso too, because his brand had fish sauce in. No way I can crunch the meal into COM because I'd just be guessing on the measures and I wasn't keeping an eye (deliberately!) on the oil he was using for the delicious ginger and garlic mushrooms... Drank a bit more wine than I really should have done; shiraz-cabernet, and some Bourgueil. I think yesterday ended on about 1200 cals and roughly the same in nutritional value as when I left home, with a bit more protein.

This morning's read around blogs made me start thinking about weights and measures because I still seem to be eating a huge amount compared to other people's lists (not that I should be comparing, of course, but still). Was particularly wondering what a cup translates to: there's lots of 1/2 a cup of this, and 1/2 a cup of that. I found this tool on the net which I might use a bit more often.

For example, 100g of broccoli is 0.64 of a cup, not 0.5... So actually it's not my imagination; I am eating more by volume!

I've ordered a decent scale from Amazon now anyway. My current one has been really acting up, and sometimes decides to weigh backwards. I think it's possessed.

Not sure today will be a great day for ON. I've had my raspberries, blueberries, 4 (!) almonds, 1 brazil, pumpkin seeds and yoghurt for breakfast. I think I will call this my berry breakfast now, because it's always the same mixture. I really like the sound of Emily's sweet eggwhites; I'm going to try that when I get a chance for maybe an alternative to the berry breakfast and the oatmeal... But I've no idea what I will be doing for lunch and dinner and we have a wine tasting tonight. Must remember to sip and pour, not sip and keep sipping!

Tuesday, 23 January 2007


Due to ill-considered late night coffee and perusal of blogs, I have just emerged from a night of insomnia interspersed with dreams of being kidnapped and forcefed flax oil. In a house on the edge of a busy freeway with signs to Boston, and lots of buses. Then I was rescued by my mother and brother in a campervan, and the only escape route was first through a deserted farmer's market piled high with sweet potatoes and then through an old fishmarket by the sea manned entirely by wooden puppets. And then it got really weird. :-)

125g raspberries, 25g blueberries, 25g avocado, 40g rye bread, 5ml flax(!!), 4 almonds, 1 brazil, pumpkin seeds. I did mean to go to the gym but somehow I ended up back under the duvet with my cat again for an hour or so.

Have made a huge lunch salad that might do for half my dinner as well, if I take it with me to London - spinach, romaine, watercress, chicory aka endive, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow pepper, raw broccoli, fennel. Am planning 100g of my yoghurt and another 4 almonds as well.

I am hoping the Brewers Yeast I ordered online last week turns up today. That's going to make a huge difference to my nutritional info, I think. If it does I am going to mix it with my yoghurt as a dressing for my veggies and watch those numbers climb! If it does not, I'm going to be quite annoyed because I've paid for the stuff and it's not cheap.

All the above (without Brewers Yeast) puts me at 617 cals, 27g protein (I cannot face eggs today, I really can't), 27g lipids, nastily large number of carbs, and 72% on both vitamins and minerals - B12 and D being the lowest. It's also something I can more or less manage while in London without looking totally insane in front of P. He's used to me eating what he calls "Bird" food now.

Ah bless. P is cooking me dinner tonight and when I asked him what, expecting the usual pasta and salad, or maybe roasted vegetables, he wrote back "Teriyaki tofu with ginger & garlic mushrooms and miso noodles - side dishes of endame beans, pickled cucumber & cucmber/radish salad." I am very excited about my dinner now; that sounds totally delicious and I will get more protein, yay.

More posts than days

Back from dinner and am not going to crunch it, but I've definitely hit my 1200 and maybe a little more today. My friend made a wonderful meal of leek and potato soup, grilled portabello, cous-cous, zucchini and tomatoes, halloumi and leaves. No cous-cous for me, one bowl of soup, one slice of bread, 5 olives, a little hummus, one slice of halloumi, one mushroom, loads of veggies and a huge pile of leaves. LOADS of olive oil, I think. One glass of red and a few sips of white. Admittedly if I had been alone this evening, there is no way I could have (or indeed would have) upped my totals from 600 to 1200 in one meal; I think I would have managed (just) to make 900. That has been normal for me for YEARS. But now I am now thinking about averages - yes, alone I can eat very little (it's amazing how stubborn my mind can make me), but I am not alone for any more than 3 or 4 evenings a week, and on those evenings my calories are going to be higher. So on average, if I did the math (which being innumerate, I can't), I am probably not as low in calories as I seem to be right now. I shall enter as much as I can into COM and see. I will be happy if I am hitting all my nutritional bases to be honest.


So far today... Am promised soup and halloumi at my friends' house, and COM doesn't know what halloumi is (it's a kind of cheese you can grill) so I don't think I'll be entering any more. Still, not so bad with one more meal and a glass of wine (maybe) to go!

Nutrition Summary for 23 January 2007

General (49%)
Energy | 597.3 kcal 50%
Protein | 31.2 g 45%
Fat | 19.1 g 27%
Carbs | 83.7 g 35%
Fiber | 23.6 g 94%
Water | 1178.1 g 44%

Vitamins (71%)
Vitamin A | 12901.5 IU 553%
Folate | 546.6 mcg 137%
B1 (Thiamine) | 0.7 mg 65%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.0 mg 185%
B3 (Niacin) | 10.5 mg 75%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 5.5 mg 111%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 0.7 mg 54%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.2 mcg 9%
Vitamin C | 87.8 mg 117%
Vitamin D | 0.0 IU 0%
Vitamin E | 6.7 mg 45%
Vitamin K | 815.1 mcg 906%

Minerals (71%)
Calcium | 342.4 mg 34%
Copper | 1.5 mg 164%
Iron | 8.6 mg 48%
Magnesium | 273.4 mg 85%
Manganese | 3.7 mg 207%
Phosphorus | 530.7 mg 76%
Potassium | 2833.8 mg 60%
Selenium | 163.5 mcg 297%
Sodium | 640.1 mg 43%
Zinc | 5.1 mg 64%

Amino Acids

Lipids (37%)
Saturated | 2.8 g 14%
Omega-3 | 3.1 g 282%
Omega-6 | 4.3 g 36%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Wassup, Doc?

Hmm, Robin said that beginning CR she felt like a giant stuffed rabbit and that is exactly how I feel at the moment. I couldn't finish my food yesterday, but didn't end the day that much lower on calories that I had planned. But I feel FULL right now. This is because I have just eaten my lunch salad early, and it was huge. I just ploughed away at it until it was all gone; I can't say I really enjoyed it all that much even though it was full of yummy things. Note to self, eating is not a chore! :-) I've plugged what I've eaten so far into COM and it comes up as just under 600 cals which, considering I will probably be eating with non CR friends tonight, seems a lot for just gone noon... but there is 100 cals of rye bread in there (an approximation, of course). Oh, have just realised that I don't usually eat 200g berries for breakfast, it's usually 100g! And also COM thinks raspberries should be 55 cals per 100g and my nutritional info on the pack says 25... Ooh, so full.

100g raspberries
100g blueberries
50g yoghurt
1 brazil nut, 2 almonds

40g rye bread with 25g mashed avocado and 1 hardboiled egg white chopped up - hungry after
gym, should have had the oatmeal but was still too stuffed from yesterday on waking!

100g spinach
100g chicory or endive - I think there is a US/UK mismatch on names here...
125g mushrooms (to finish the pack)
25g watercress
75g fennel
100g beetroot
flax, lemon and garlic dressing

Crunch later.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Thank you for recent comments; it's really good to know there are people out there, reading and considering what I write and taking the time to reply to a complete stranger with sensible advice. I wish I didn't sound like such a complete nut when I write, but... this is just one side of me. The rest is quite rational, really.

Yes, food is An Issue. It would be so nice if it would stopped being, because as Emily rightly identifies, it's been An Issue since my early twenties - when I was working as a chef and doing a PhD and starting a little bit of a "diet" that just went a little over-the-top and deposited me at just under 7 stone (around 98lb). I was never anorexic, or if I was it was borderline... It's just that I couldn't stop thinking about the food in my job, and recipes (I also had to plan the meals to be vegan, or fat-free, or wheat-free, or low-sugar), and calories and... I really hope I don't go there again; I'll admit to being a little freaked out about the possibility of that, since I was being so good about it last year. But if I walk away from this now, that won't help me at all. I will hope that CRON brings some new balance, eventually. Fifteen years of it is getting more than a little tiresome, and to be so obsessive really is terribly self-indulgent.

I will try not to continue in this self-indulgent vein here because it can be a bit self-perpetuating, and no doubt incredibly tedious to read - "Oh, she's off again..."


The sheer quantity of what I chopped up and put together yesterday in order to get me near a 1000 cals with 75% ON was a little freaky. I did cheat, actually, and I didn't eat the broccoli and carrot I had chopped up, so I ended the day around about 900 cals with 70% nutrition. I have no idea where to get D from - that was abysmal at 3%. But I can't expect to get it right first time.. and it's not going to kill me outright if I don't. I was shocked at how wrong I was in counting my cals though. I mean, I did know I was low intellectually, but emotionally I thought I was pretty much on a 1000 a day target, despite the blindingly obvious. Last year, in addition to my salads etc, I was eating oatcakes, rice cakes, some bread, more cheese, occassionally some pasta or rice, quite often a lot of tinned pulses. I've cut all those out this year, more or less, and it's easy to see that actually they were making up the bulk of my calories, when I was probably hitting 1500 a day. Maybe!

Today I began the day with my oatmeal breakfast since I wanted a decent gym workout and I really felt the difference. I entered it in COM afterwards and it was over 300 cals - which seemed a lot. But I was able to speed walk / run at 4 minute intervals for 40 minutes and do my weights, and last week on berries I was flopping with exhaustion after 20 and dropping dumb bells all over the place so... Lunch was just the hugest salad imaginable, and I ate it all (I prepared it without entering in COM so I just hope my nutrition guesses are correct - mushrooms for Bs, right?). I mean, it was HUGE. It filled my largest salad bowl and it took me about 6 smaller bowls to eat the whole lot. God knows where I'd have put it if I'd had to take the thing to work. I'd probably have eaten half that amount if I hadn't crunched the numbers yesterday.

50g oatmeal made with water
50g yoghurt
50g blueberries
2 almonds
1 brazilnut
Pumpkin seeds

100g raw spinach
100g tomatoes
100g mushrooms
25g watercress
25g avocado (I *never* eat avocado even though I love it because it is "high cal" in my mind, so this is unusual for me - Robin, I am sort of copying your lunch salad here!)
25g spring onions / scallions
3 eggwhites, hardboiled and chopped
Dressing with 1tsp flax, lemon juice and 1 clove chopped garlic.
50g blueberries
50g yoghurt
2 dried figs
2 almonds

Dinner will be as much as I can eat of:
200g broccoli (actually I've already eaten 100g of this steamed this afternoon)
100g fennel
1 red pepper
100g celery
100g leek
100g carrot
125g tofu
cooked in a little water with a 400g can of chopped tomatoes

I just crunched it, and if I eat it all, it looks almost halfway decent! :-) Lamentable lack of D, of course, and low on B12.

Nutrition Summary for 22 January 2007

General (82%)
Energy | 1166.9 kcal 97%
Protein | 73.6 g 105%
Fat | 34.4 g 48%
Carbs | 160.5 g 67%
Fiber | 44.6 g 178%
Water | 2095.2 g 78%

Vitamins (82%)
Vitamin A | 40194.9 IU 1723%
Folate | 741.9 mcg 185%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.7 mg 151%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.6 mg 235%
B3 (Niacin) | 17.4 mg 124%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 8.1 mg 163%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.5 mg 195%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.2 mcg 8%
Vitamin C | 491.9 mg 656%
Vitamin D | 0.0 IU 0%
Vitamin E | 11.6 mg 77%
Vitamin K | 966.9 mcg 1074%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1500.2 mg 150%
Copper | 2.9 mg 328%
Iron | 21.2 mg 118%
Magnesium | 559.2 mg 175%
Manganese | 8.0 mg 445%
Phosphorus | 1312.4 mg 187%
Potassium | 5718.3 mg 122%
Selenium | 174.9 mcg 318%
Sodium | 1163.0 mg 78%
Zinc | 9.9 mg 124%

Amino Acids

Lipids (55%)
Saturated | 5.1 g 26%
Omega-3 | 4.1 g 374%
Omega-6 | 11.2 g 94%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Cron-o-meter success


Oh dear... How do I know what are my nutritional targets? 1200 for cals, fine. 70g for protein... but what's everything else?

Um... help? Again?

Oh My God, this is scary, scary stuff.
If I eat everything that I've put into cron-0-meter to produce this, then this is today's nutrition. I've had to force this; I certainly wouldn't have eaten all this... not even sure I can.

How on earth could that journalist have said he was starving on CRON?

Nutrition Summary for 21 January 2007

General (69%)
Energy 985.3 kcal 82%
Protein 59.2 g 85%
Fat 28.2 g 39%
Carbs 135.8 g 56%
Fiber 41.9 g 168%
Water 1352.3 g 50%

Vitamins (80%)
Vitamin A 56231.6 IU 2410%
Folate 871.7 mcg 218%
B1 (Thiamine) 1.2 mg 108%
B2 (Riboflavin) 1.7 mg 151%
B3 (Niacin) 10.7 mg 77%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 4.4 mg 87%
B6 (Pyridoxine) 2.1 mg 163%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) 0.3 mcg 13%
Vitamin C 596.1 mg 795%
Vitamin D 6.9 IU 3%
Vitamin E 12.4 mg 83%
Vitamin K 1755.6 mcg 1951%

Minerals (92%)
Calcium 1165.6 mg 117%
Copper 1.6 mg 179%
Iron 17.4 mg 96%
Magnesium 397.7 mg 124%
Manganese 5.2 mg 287%
Phosphorus 870.7 mg 124%
Potassium 3726.9 mg 79%
Selenium 150.8 mcg 274%
Sodium 885.7 mg 59%
Zinc 6.6 mg 83%

Amino Acids

Lipids (49%)
Saturated 4.1 g 21%
Omega-3 4.4 g 398%
Omega-6 9.0 g 75%
Cholesterol 0.0 g 0%

Don't drink and blog, kids...

I guess last night's was a reasonably coherent D&B post though. :-)

Breakfast (cals approx):
50g raspberries - 11
50g blueberries - 22
100g yoghurt - 58
1 brazil nut - 33
2 almonds - 20
pinch pumpkin seeds

150 - 160 total.

33 cals extra for the brazil nut is worth it because it means I don't have to take my Selenium ACE. I have over 100% of my selenium in that nut, and if I have the same sort of lunch as yesterday I will be good on A and C too. E will be low, along with loads of others I guess - and will have to keep guessing!! I had no idea that the A in my selenium was animal derived until yesterday. Yuck. I suppose I thought that all supplemental vits were artificially created - and while that's obviously not good... Oh let's face it, I didn't think about it at all, really. I just swallowed them. I still took my veggie multi-vit and a hefty dose of milk thistle to try and balance out last night's wine.

I really should get to the gym... attendance this year has been woeful.

Saturday, 20 January 2007


Still problems with cron-o-meter which may be down to enforced prohibitation on downloads on this PC by my employer. Fair enough. :-(

Bummer though. I was hoping this might be the holy Grail of nutrient trackers. Could still be too US-centric for me though, even if I do manage to get the thing working.

Tonight I went to a wonderful "promenade" concert of various compositions by Tallis, in Wells Cathedral (Somerset). I had tears in my eyes within the first 30 seconds, and spent the next hour sitting quietly, with my back pressed against centuries old stonework, my hair over my face, eyes closed, just listening to the voices.

I can understand now how one can believe in angels. Such beauty, such peace. My eyes were closed; but my mind was flooded with light. And I am not, at all, religious.

Dinner plans went awry though. We couldn't find anywhere to eat in town, and so headed back to our village twenty miles away. I didn't eat until an hour or so ago (10pm), and by that time I had drunk one large glass of carmenere. Another with dinner. Which was "grilled" aubergine with hummus and salad. Too much oil on the "grilled". And I ate two of the potato wedges from my friends' plates.

Which I guess takes me from my 400 cal estimate of today's food to... well, well over 1000. And all my nice nutrients down the pan...


Oh well. I guess these things will happen on weekends. I should have stopped at one glass but I was so hungry; I needed *something*.

Anyway, I have a friend coming for dinner tomorrow and we will drink wine, as we have done for... many years. Less now; she will be driving long distance early and I am so trying to cut down. I am planning to do a salad with raw fennel, chicory, watercress, sliced pear, and small pieces of gorgonzola and walnuts, and maybe some soup if we still feel like it - my friend is digging up some jerusalem artichokes at the moment. You take those, and some onions and garlic, and ONE potato, and simmer and blend - and it is heaven, and very CR friendly. I also have some squash/tomato/chilli soup in the freezer, and loads of other veggies for something impromtu. I guess that will do, with some rye toast if necessary,. Fortunately she is veggie too.

Linking. I'm reading round blogs at the moment and if I could link to them on this page, that would be very cool. The usual bunch... From April to Mary and so on... Is this the way everyone did it? I assume the bunch is usual anyway... :-) But I won't do it without permission, so if I can link to you please leave a comment. Unlike Hilary, I think LJ is better for this kind of stuff than Blogger... but here we are on Blogger. And I hope there is no offence caused by me admitting to being a CR blog lurker.

Go me!

100g non-fat yogurt. I found one with higher protein and slightly lower calories, but no calcium info, and since it is imported and non-organic I am sticking with my regular brand where possible. Yeo Organics, mmm.
25g or fewer blueberries
4 almonds
pumpkin seeds
1 dsp grapenuts (I don't think I like these but I wanted the crunch of something and they are good for the RDAs)

Less than 200 cals for breakfast.

Still haven't got cron-o-meter working, but have been doing some math on my lunch, just out of interest.

For lunch I ate:
100g broccoli, steamed
100g cauliflower, steamed
50g baby spinach leaves raw
50g romaine lettuce raw
2 egg whites, hardboiled
Dressing made with with 1 1/2 tsp fax, lemon juice, mustard

Using NutritionData.Com and WHFoods (thanks Robin for that link on your blog; it's great), I've worked out that for just 120 cals or so, without the dressing, I got super amounts of K, A and C, and loads of other good things. Not too bad on the protein either. I think the dressing added another 80 or so cals, so call it 200 cals for lunch too.

This would have been a pretty typical meal for me over the last four or so years, maybe more. So actually maybe I really have been CRON for much, much longer than I thought.... I've always thought that apart from the wine, my diet has been pretty healthy even though I ate mostly vegetables and salad leaves and piles and piles of broccoli and not much else. I was eating more bread and other grains and cheese towards the end of last year and that was what was making me feel fat and blah, I think. I still feel a bit blah, and I had the mother of all fat days yesterday. But I guess maybe I am never going to have the "Wow, eureka, it works!" moment that I've been seeing posted with such joy on other blogs - because I naturally went past that point ways back. I lost the taste for junk food years ago; it's just the wine that's my friendly little demon now.

It would be really nice to be able to see the pretty figures in black and white, or even nice colour, and be sure though. So I really hope I can get that software working...

Friday, 19 January 2007

Cron-O-Meter... Help.

... If anyone is reading this.
Took a deep breath and downloaded cron-o-meter... but when I try to run it, it just brings up a small error box with a red cross in it and no message.
I didn't download java as well, because as far as I am aware I already have that. But should I have done?
I am going to be in so much trouble if I have wrecked my own development environment...

Serves me right

Feel dreadful this morning.

Drank more wine than I should have done last night - I have been trying to limit myself to one 250ml glass a day (which is still too much, but means I don't get tempted to have 2 175ml glasses) - while out on what turned out to be a less than relaxing evening with current partner and my ex. We ate out, and there was nothing on the menu I wanted to eat. I ended up eating a mozzarella salad with rocket, green beans, tomatoes and a gloopy amount of dressing. I left most of the cheese, and didn't eat any of the bread on the table. 8 black olives.

The amount of wine I drank wasn't awful by any means and last year I'd have had no problems with it. I guess right now I am not eating enough to cope with it. I should just have said no to it. I didn't want more than my one glass anyway.

Breakfast - raspberries, Total 0%, pumpkin seeds, and a banana when I got into the office.
Lunch - salad leaves, 100g tofu (156 cals), 2 tomatoes, pumpkin seeds. Miso soup (40 cals). 75g approx blueberries.

I ordered Brewers Yeast!

Later, at home. Am finishing the day with a small plate of steamed broccoli, about 100g. Ate bean salad and edamame on the train, for about 325 cals. 2 dried figs.

Very low calorie day I think. Am very tired still from last night's excess-which-was-not-excess.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Big City

Was still feeling wobbly when I got on the train last night and knowing it would be at least 3 hours before I got anything decent to eat, I went to the buffet car and got a coffee and a cereal bar - organic, fairtrade "Geobar". Nutritional information was horrible - 136 cals, but 1/3rd fat - 35g bar, 8.8g fat (from memory). But I needed *something* or I think I would either have fainted or gone postal in the rush hour and pushed someone under a train in a fit of hypoglaecimic rage, so the Geobar and all its added yuck it was. :-(

Dinner was as planned - the soup (packaged, but organic, low fat, packed full of veggies, etc) and I steamed some of the leftover spinach and kale and mixed it in. Glass of red wine.

I think I hit over a 1000 cals yesterday. But no idea 'bout the nutrition.

Have lost a little weight; this morning am down to 8st 8lbs, or 54.5kg. I must have been slouching on the scales because my height got measured at 5'4.5" - and I am way taller than that!

Breakfast was oatmeal with fresh raspberries and 0% Total. I have salad (will the spinach and kale never end) with tomatoes for lunch and will find some protein to add to it. Tonight I won't get away with not eating out, so I want to keep the calories low during the day.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Running on Empty

I think I should revert to my oatmeal breakfast if I am planning on a decent gym workout, because on berries and dairy I feel stupidly weak and floppy way before I should do.

Apres-Gym: 45g grapenuts mixed up with fromage frais and blueberries. Estimate about 200 cals.

Lunch: huge baby spinach and raw kale salad with 4 hardboiled egg whites, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper (okay, this was leftovers from yesterday), lemon juice etc; 4 almonds. Estimate 200 cals max.

Coffee, and one teeny tiny piece of plain 90% cocoa chocolate. My appetite is all over the place today - I think due to the gym workout on not enough calories.

Which puts me (with breakfast) at around about 600 cals before heading to London. Dinner is planned to be vegetable soup at 26 cals per 100ml (and there are 600 mls in the pack) with more spinach and kale. Whether that will actually be the case, I don't know.

Still too low! Perhaps I am severely underestimating the calories...

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


My third recent night listening to the church bells chime the hours, one after the other. I don't know if this is because CRON (or what I should probably call CR-sort-of-maybe-sometimes-if-I-am-lucky-ON in my case) is stopping me from sleeping, or is making me need less sleep than I think I need, and so I don't sleep.

I don't feel too bad for it this morning however, although what little sleep I did have was full of the weirdest dreams.

I blame the flax. :-)

Breakfast (using up food here in prep for next 2 days in London): 25g raspberries, 100g blueberries, slightly more than 100g yogurt, much less than 250mls soya (almost empty carton), pumpkin seeds - about a dozen -, 1tsp flax oil mixed in (and that was fine).

This weekend I need to set aside a time and work through nutrition issues. Fitday is useless for me because it is so US-centric. I can't find a UK equivalent that is free. If anyone can recommend another program (Mary's spreadsheet, or tool, or something) that is unobtrusive on a PC, I'd be grateful. I have a feeling that Cron-O-Meter would stick things all over the place and I'd be in danger of breaching my IT Policy at work (which for a programmer would be embarrassing). Otherwise my plan is to look at the useful links posted elsewhere and make educated guesses where I can. I've been getting concerned that my calories are low without adequate nutrition, which is rather not the point of doing this or writing this blog.

(Food labelling in the UK is not as detailed as food labelling in the US - not that I eat much food that needs labelling anyway, apart from my yogurt and soya milk and the occassional tofu).

I do supplement at the moment with Selenium A-C-E and a vegetarian multi-vitamins tablet and the occasional B-Complex caplet. I should be supplementing on calcium (ammenorhea for years - shedloads of money spent to establish (I hope!) that there was no real cause apart from lifelong bad eating habits and fifteen years on the Pill but I really wouldn't recommend it as a goal - so an increased risk of oesteoporosis, apparently) but since I've been eating yogurt and dairy for the past year I think I am ok on that.

Gym now.

No idea how much...

Breakfast: 100g raspberries (22), 100g blueberries (55), 100g non-fat yogurt (50), 2 almonds (20), pumpkin seeds (pinch, ??), 250 ml light soya milk (50) - call it 250.
Lunch with friends who are detoxing, so vegan and veggie. Lentil soup; spinach and mushrooms over rice. Yummy but more oil than I have been used to recently so small portions left me stuffed.
Dinner: 2 hardboiled egg whites (32), spinach, kale, grilled yellow pepper (grilled peppers are *so good*), cucumber, cherry tomatoes, lemon juice.
Pub: 250ml carmenere. Oops. And I reek of cigarette smoke. Roll on the ban.

It's really not ON is it?

I could really do with one of those magic brownies right now. But endive?! That's equivalent to chicory here. I wonder how that works.

(Handful raspberries, 2 dsp fromage frais, 1 tsp flax oil - ick, ick, ICK - with 3 more raspberries as a chaser - it tasted really bad tonight)

Monday, 15 January 2007

New week

I thought I'd try a different breakfast today - had a bowl of raspberries left over from the dinner last night, and added 100g non-fat yogurt, some pumpkin seeds and 2 chopped almonds. 250 ml light soya milk. Fewer calories than my usual oatmeal. When I went to the gym afterwards I really felt that, I think; I didn't feel as though I could do as much as usual - but that could be because I missed the gym a lot before Xmas and have only been 3 times this year so far, and fitness goes away so fast at 34!

Lunch was leftover mushrooms and scrambed egg whites. Ick. I really think I can only stomach eggwhites if they are hardboiled and chopped. 100g blueberries and a spoonful of non-fat fromage frais.

Dinner is salad leaves with 100g chickpeas, 100g cherry tomatoes, 1tsp flax oil, lemon juice, 1tsp mixed seeds, and steamed broccoli.

I seem to be quite low on calories - although I can't use any software to prove that. My PC belongs to work and I can't download or install any applications that are unrelated to my job. I suppose I've always been quite low on calories - the main things I have cut out eating these last two weeks are oatcakes and rice cakes, which is probably saving me around 300 cals a day, and I haven't been drinking as much wine as I was - which is good. My maths makes this under 600 cals for the day though. Definitely under 700. Which... um, probably isn't good. Maybe I will have some more yogurt and berries when I get home from pottery class later.

Sunday, 14 January 2007


100g blueberries (55), 100g non-fat yoghurt (58), 15g pumpkin seeds, 15 almonds, 1 tsp flax oil, 250ml light soya milk (52).

Baby spinach leaves, 1 red pepper, 1 tomato, 100g chickpeas, chopped celery, garlic, lemon juice. Blueberries.

I had friends over for dinner and cooked up a load of mushrooms (chestnut, portobello, oyster, weird-and-wonderful-japanese-varieties) and onion in a little prosecco with garlic and onions, and stirred in some non-fat fromage frais at the end (which separated, which was annoying; I had had the mushroom mixture too hot). I cooked rice for them and had one spoonful and we had mixed leaves as well. It tasted fine but aesthetically it wasn't the dish I had in my head, which... irritated me.

Wine too. Back on the wagon tomorrow.

I've toyed with thoughts of deleting this blog, because the entries read... badly. I guess since I left the name of it on another journal, and have commented on a couple of others using my blogger sign in, that I may have had visitors. And I guess they think I am mad.

Please don't. I'm not. I haven't been in a good space in my head these last couple of days, it's true. This happens. This blog isn't "me". It's just the thoughts when I need to let off steam. No one in my real life knows about it. It is both self-indulgent and liberating. I haven't written this much in years, and for me, it's huge step to do so.

(Of course maybe no one has looked at this at all. It's a vast virtual world. Why should they?)

Saturday, 13 January 2007

To self

Oh yada, yada, yada.

Get OVER it, Sara.

You have had (loadsa) wine and 2 slices of pizza tonight and it is not going to kill you. Just get back on track tomorrow as far as you can. Living healthily is for living life. No more than that. It's not a longevity competition. We are all dragging our heels towards the inevitable. Just drag them as slowly as you can while moving through life as lightly and joyfully as you can.

Pessimism is more of a killer than poor nutrition, so research would have it.

So GET a grip.

Jeez. I want to slap myself most of the time. :-)


I am annoyed with myself.
Whenever in the past I have focused closely on food, my mind has slipped into an almost obsessive-compulsive mode when I could think of little but. I had to give up being a chef because of this. But that was 10 years ago, and recently I really thought I had dealt with this.
But it would seem not. I didn't sleep last night for RDA's (or lack of) tick, tick, ticking away in my head. This morning when I ate breakfast and tried to enter the information on Fitday, the numbers were more than I had anticipated for what I saw in the bowl in front of me and it mattered a hell of a lot more than it should have done. (259 cals for oatmeal, 25g blueberries, and 250ml light soya milk). When I went shopping for groceries after that, I could hardly put things in my basket for thoughts of calories and nutrients and the balances and pay-offs thereof.
I will be eating with my neighbours tonight. They like to drink. *I* like to drink, dammit, and I haven't very much this year for me. And I want to be able to enjoy it without the little tap-tap-tap of calorific conscience on my shoulder. I need to switch it off. I need not to keep thinking about these people I don't know and will never know who seem to manage this so effortlessly and without guilt. It shouldn't matter this much. It's JUST FOOD.

(Lunch was raw spinach and kale, I didn't measure it, with one tsp flax oil and one tsp mixed seeds and two hardboiled egg whites. I *know* dinner will involve 2 pieces of thin-crust pizza, a globe artichoke, asparagus and strawberries. And champagne).

Can't find any sodding brewer's yeast.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Final for Friday

Dinner - grabbed to eat on the train - M&S bean salad (200 cals); at home - soya yoghurt, 25g blueberries; flaked almonds. My maths estimates that under 1000 cals for the day for food... and add in 175ml Pinot Noir.

Now I've got the Fitday account I can try and sort out some proper nutritional data and see what's what.

God I'm tired.

Just this journal and the world

... if the world cares to look, of course, which it (thankfully) won't.

I clearly need to do a lot more reading around nutritional theory; I'd forgotten, or hadn't really taken into consideration, the chemistry of the body. Concentrating so much on which foods I consume, and blindly ignoring that actually the process doesn't stop with swallowing. I need to think more! :-)

So, yesterday. As I anticipated, it's not so easy to be as strict in London as I can be at home - or rather, as careful. I ate the bean salad from M&S for lunch yesterday with some of a bag of rocket, spinach and watercress salad. I also ate the 110g of blueberries and pomegranate seeds. Dinner was a bit hap-hazard, because by the time we got home I was starving hungry. I made us sauteed portobello mushrooms with garlic and lemon on rye toast with more leaves, while the meal I was planning cooked. Tofu for me; rib-eye for him - red russian kale, baked tomatoes, baked sweet potatoes. But we were both full after the mushrooms... until about 11pm, when I found myself eating 100g of cold smoked tofu with baked tomatoes on the side and then falling into bed with a full stomach. I've no idea what the day's calories were, or the nutrition.

I shopped for dinner foods at Fresh and Wild in Soho and was really annoyed at the prices and the lack of choice of products. I could have gotten fresher and more varied vegetables at the market around the corner at a fraction of the price, and Wholefoods or not, there is a huge amount of junk on the shelves dressed up to appear healthy... but it's not. That really bugs me. And so very, very expensive; I don't mind paying for quality food, and do - but none of the fresh produce there said "quality" to me. It said - "rip off".

Anyway, with my protein dilemma in mind I looked at the soya supplements that come straight out of the US. But the ingredients list on the back of the packet that read like a chemistry lesson is really, really offputting. Surely it's possible to get that sort of thing without all those artifical additives and flavourings. Cookies and cream flavour, for God's sake? Why would you, why?

I'll check Holland and Barrett later.

This morning I ate a small plain soya yoghurt (60 cals or so) with pumpkin seeds and a few barley flakes and 2 small slices of rye bread with honey. Not CRON at all, I guess. Healthy, I think - but. Oh well, these things will happen.

I suppose CRON is a label that I am newly applying, now that I have discovered it, for a way of eating I have been following or attempting to follow for a while now. It may be a misplaced label; I don't know. I don't even know why I am attempting to justify labelling this journal, or indeed what I eat and how I eat it...

Too much introspection! On with the day.

Later: lunch - "classic" salad pack from M&S (iceberg, tomatoes, cucumber) with 100g of tofu and some edamame beans - not sure how much. 150g blueberries (which I'll carry on snacking on until they are gone. Oh, they have.). Probably less than 300 cals with 14.3g protein (plus whatever protein in the edamame). The salad was just a base for the tofu; I really loathe iceberg.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Wine tasting wasn't such a CR disaster last night, but I'm kidding myself if I think I ended the day ON.
I drank a glass and a half of Pinot Grigio in a bar beforehand, and then sipped each tasting glass and tipped the rest into my partner P's glass. All apart from the yummy walnut brandy. I will not feel guilty about this! There was the usual wine tasting spread on the table - delicious looking cheese and biscuits, but also nuts and dried fruit - to accompany the madeira, which the tasting was based around. I ate 4 almonds, and 1 dried fig, 1 raisin, 1 dried cranberry, and a sliver of cheese from P's plate. The tasting ended rather late - I told P I didn't need feeding, and when we got back home I ate the rest of my spinach and kale, and 1/2 packet of Covent Garden soup for approx 136 cals (but a huge amount of fat that I didn't think about). So not so bad, I don't think.

Today is a London day - I work at home 3 days a week, when I can eat what I want when I want. Breakfast was the usual oatmeal (guessed at the weight, no scales at P's house) with one teaspoon honey. I have 15 pumpkin seeds and 100g of blueberries and pomegranate on my desk for eating when I feel like it, but I don't feel hungry right now. I am planning to go to Luscious Organic on High Street Ken to get my lunch, and maybe some supplement-y sort of food. If I don't, it will be 3 bean salad from M&S, which is about 200 cals. And tonight, I will just do my best with what I can.

I haven't told P I am eating like this, or anyone in fact. Just this journal.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Not tracking as carefully today. By which I mean I don't have any little scribbles on the scrap paper to my right recording and guessing at calories, because I am guessing and curiosity is starting to get the better of me... just what precisely *am* I consuming for cals and nutrients?

Today so far:
Breakfast: oatmeal mixed with quinoa, soya yoghurt, flaked almonds; 1/2 glass rice milk. Apple.
Lunch: huge salad of spinach leaves (100g?) and kale dressed with 1 tsp flax oil and lemon juice (which I can't finish); 1 tomato, 2 egg whites, chopped cucumber. 1/4 apple (?) with soya yoghurt, flaked almonds and about 7 or 8 sultanas.

I'm stuffed, feeling greedy, and I know I have wine tasting this evening so all this hard work is likely to go out of the window. :-(

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Came home after my pottery class last night (2 hours of bashing terracotta clay with a rolling pin to make it halfway malleable to make my bad pots) shattered and hungry. Ate more quinoa mixed with warm rice milk but I still don't think I went over 1200 cals yesterday.

This morning's breakfast was the same as yesterday - 50g oatmeal with rice milk and 1 tsp of flax oil on top. That wasn't a good idea, actually, since I could see the fat just floating there and to be honest it made me feel really sick. I'll just shut my eyes and take the teaspoon neat in future. There's something that goes against all my instincts; oil on a spoon... :-( After that, I made the mistake of going back to bed (it was early, about 5am) to read - and promptly fell asleep and missed the gym. I am wondering whether if I managed not to eat such a carby breakfast I wouldn't slump so quickly - but oats are low GI, so that shouldn't have been a problem. I was probably just tired. I'll need to be be eating my soya yoghurt up tomorrow, so I can have fruit and yoghurt tomorrow, with some flaked almonds and maybe a dessert spoon of raw oats. There is no way I could stomach egg whites for breakfast, like several people on the blogs I've been lurking around seem to.

So far today I've also eaten 1/2 an apple, chopped with two dessertspoons of soya yoghurt and a few flaked almonds - mid-morning snack; I get hungry around 11.

I always eat an early lunch because of that and today's was what I think should be a really high protein salad of 100g black-eyed beans (121 cals, 8.8g protein), 3 spoons of quinoa, and the chopped whites of 2 hardboiled eggs, with a sliced raw carrot, and 100g steamed broccoli and 2 handfuls of kale. I'd estimate that to be about 250 cals, so I am reasonably high on calories today already and it's only 12.30.

I've also had 2 cups of coffee which I was supposed to be giving up for the New Year, but now I find it has thing I need in it, so yay. Guilt free, if caffeinated.

Tonight's dinner will probably be pretty much the same, since I need to eat up what's left in the fridge before London tomorrow. So maybe that won't be too bad.

(I am reading this and wondering who I am writing this for, and how mad I sound. Again. Bloody food.)

I'm getting quite fixated about how to get my protein and how to get enough. More than half my life as a vegetarian and this is the first time I've cared, really. Or truly believed that eating the protein won't make me fat. We shall see if this belief holds true or not. I'm feeling thinner but then I haven't been drinking anywhere near as much as I was drinking towards the end of last year, and that alone has to be worth at least, what, 500 cals a day? Must use that thought as motivation; my liver will only thank me.

Having said that, it's wine tasting tomorrow...

Later. I made a bean casserole for dinner with the beans leftover from lunch, probably slightly more than 100g, with 2 tomatoes and one chopped onion, one chopped carrot and one chopped stick of celery. Simmered in water; no oil. Steamed broccoli, about 75g, on the side with 1/2 tsp flax oil and black pepper. Dessert was a rice cake with home failed jam on top, and a mug of rice milk. No nutrition worth a damn there; probably about 35-40 cals with the jam.

I wonder how many calories for the day that is. I wonder if using software would alleviate this new obsession or push me further in.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Moving into a CRON(ish) lifestyle

When I first read the copy of the New Yorker article on CRON, republished in The Observer Woman Magazine at the end of November, I was both horrified and intrigued. Horrified at what appeared to be cultish delusion; obsessive restraint dressed up as... what, perfectly reasonable behaviour? 24g of rocket? Madness. But I couldn't put the article down. A month of googling later, and lurking round various blogs, and here I am.

I've probably practiced my own version of CR for most of my adult life. I have had eating problems in the past; I have a probably not-entirely-healthy attitude towards my physique; I have been told at various points in my life to "gain weight" - although all medical tests have, so far, given me a clean bill of health (no thinning bones for this 34 year old). At the moment, I weigh around 8 st 9lbs. I'm 5' 7" tall, and my build seems to translate as small or slim. Usually I eat very healthily - I am vegetarian, I eat organic whenever possible, I avoid fried foods, I avoid junk. I have a weakness for cheese and bread but I know those cravings come on with the consumption of both, so I try not eat either. I do drink too much, but so far not in 2007! Long may that continue; I was getting tired of the hangovers.

I do, however, have a real problem with hunger. People who know me well know when I need feeding, because I become a complete bitch from hell. That's because it hurts, dammit! :-) So I am hoping that by paying closer attention to my nutrition as well as my calorie intake, I can stop that horrible gnawing feeling that has me chewing the ends of my fingers off in stress and temper.

I can't follow a strict CRON regime. My lifestyle will not permit it; I live part of the time alone, and part of the time in London with my partner where our social life revolves around restaurants and bars and it would be detrimental to our relationship to give that up, or to constrain it to a great degree. And I am aware that I must not become obsessive about it. And I am not sure I am doing this for life-extension (well, beyond the norm expected from following a healthy diet, of course). Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way; I do see CR resulting in some weight loss and that would be fantastic. I'd like to drop to 8 stone, which I think translates to 110lbs. I've been there several times before and it's where I feel most comfortable in my body. If ON results in my feeling more balanced in my physical self, then that would be wonderful. If CRON results in a longer life feeling fantastic, then wonderful. But I would simply like to feel fantastic and in control of my nutrition.

I don't expect anyone to find this blog for a while, if at all. I'm going to use it to start recording what I eat, and if I end up using software to monitor that, then all well and good.

On the other hand, if you do find me, leave a comment and say hi.

So, onto today's food. I'm guessing with calories. I don't think I'm too far off.

Breakfast: 50 g porridge oats made with water, small amount of rice milk, 1 tsp flax oil. Estimate 250 cals max.

Apple after the gym, 75 cals

Lunch: large salad of raw kale and raw baby spinach with baked butternut squash, tomato, celery, red pepper, cooked egg whites. Estimate 150 cals max. Couple of spoons soya yoghurt. 60 cals. Grapes. 104 cals. (That was a nutritional waste!)

Tonight's meal = 75g cooked quinoa, 100g baked butternut squash, grilled red pepper. Probably with steamed broccoli and raw kale on the side, and 1tsp flax oil. Estimate 300 cals max.

So that's under a thousand for the day. The quinoa is to up the protein. I need to work out how to get enough low cal protein.