Wednesday, 28 February 2007

More Theatre and Even Better Nutrition!

I am going to see this production of Faust this evening. It will be the second time I have seen it; the first time I was just amazed and thrilled by the sheer theatricality and imagination of what was being achieved in a warehouse scheduled for demolition in the East End of London. I just had to see it again, so I am very excited. It's interactive theatre; you are taken to one of four various floors in an old, creaking elevator and left there to make your own way around - you can find the actors and follow them, or just wander through disused offices, chemical labs, pine forests laden with snow, cornfields.... I did the latter last time; this time I want to follow the performance more. The audience don masks before entering the show, and so the whole evening is imbued with a sense of nightmare and unreality. It's great.

And then there's a hoe-down in the bar afterwards. Yee-hah!

I am feeling remarkably cheery today and I wondered in a comment on my last post whether it is due to my D supplements kicking in. Probably too soon to say, but it's a good feeling none-the-less.

Since I won't be at P's until late, and no plans to eat out on the way to the show, I have got all today's food planned out, and two boxes of salad to keep me going after the massive lunch I am eating.

And I am, I am proud to say, finally at 100% of vitamins! A single hardboiled whole egg was enough to bump me up to 99% on B12, and that's good enough for me (though I will think about supplementing - all the B's, or just B1 and B12 if possible because they are the ones I end up lower than the DRI on). I won't be eating a whole egg every day, but it was a useful discovery if the information that CoM relies on is correct.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Basic CoM

I had a fairly low (food) calorie day yesterday due to feeling meh and also because I had a couple of glasses of wine at lunchtime; big mistake. But I still got 98/96% on vits and minerals. I think it's safe to say that, thanks to Emily's spinach-mushroom-seeds'n'nuts- tip, I have ON nailed!

I must remember not to slip into eating the same foods every day though. I'm still not sure what is low and what is not, even if I am over 100% on most everything now according to CoM. But CoM is not the last word, of course.

I think because yesterday was low on cals, I have been feeling it a little today. I felt too tired for the gym this morning, and I've been hungry about an hour ahead of schedule, which meant an early lunch and now an early dinner. I'm now stuffed, but I have a feeling it won't last. I've got a website to build tonight and... urgh, I can see an evening of fennel tea ahead of me.

So, back to the boring basics with today's food... I've had my usual berries and yogurt for breakfast; lunch was raw spinach and kale, grilled yellow pepper, tomatoes, cooked leeks, and eggwhites with lemon juice, flax and balsamic (I ate this just before friends invited me down to the pub for lunch - which meant that at least I didn't eat fries even if I did drink some chardonnay); dinner was lentils and mushrooms and celeriac in yogurt dressing with mixed herbs, steamed broccoli, asparagus, and butternut squash. I still have 50g of yogurt and some more grapenuts for later and (tada-tada-tada fanfare) I give you 99% on vitamins!

So, where can I get more B12? :-)

The Crunch Without The Glass

Nutrition Summary for 27 February 2007

General (80%)
Energy | 999.9 kcal 83%
Protein | 65.0 g 72%
Fat | 24.9 g 62%
Carbs | 151.9 g 127%
Fiber | 36.3 g 145%
Water | 1605.9 g 59%

Vitamins (99%)
Vitamin A | 46565.2 IU 1996%
Folate | 1081.5 mcg 270%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.3 mg 120%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.9 mg 262%
B3 (Niacin) | 19.7 mg 141%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.4 mg 188%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.3 mg 177%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.0 mcg 83%
Vitamin C | 410.7 mg 548%
Vitamin D | 582.2 IU 291%
Vitamin E | 17.2 mg 115%
Vitamin K | 1629.5 mcg 1811%

Minerals (95%)
Calcium | 1094.3 mg 109%
Copper | 2.7 mg 302%
Iron | 24.4 mg 135%
Magnesium | 538.2 mg 168%
Manganese | 5.2 mg 288%
Phosphorus | 1441.2 mg 206%
Potassium | 5285.2 mg 112%
Selenium | 125.0 mcg 227%
Sodium | 800.8 mg 53%
Zinc | 10.3 mg 129%

Amino Acids

Lipids (41%)
Saturated | 3.2 g 16%
Omega-3 | 3.5 g 319%
Omega-6 | 5.8 g 48%
Cholesterol | 5.0 g 2%


Juniper. Five years ago, that was what I would have called the wine bar / restaurant I believed I would have opened by now. Unfortunately the name is now taken by another establishment, but the idea is still with me. My pipe-dream, maybe. Where does that phrase come from?

I wanted to serve small plates of food accompanied by, if desired, really great wines - sourced from small collectives, unusual grapes, organic if possible, affordable always. I had the idea before I read your idea of the Tomato Bar, April! :-)

I also wanted to combine it with the idea of a wine library, during daytime... or early evening. There would be racks of books, some new for purchasing, some secondhand just for browsing. Sofas and comfortable armchairs in discreet nooks and crannies for those single diners. Stripped pine tables for large groups. Mis-matched chairs. Flagstone / wooden flooring. (I was designing a gastropub before they happened). Depending on how many rooms I had, the walls would be stripped back to the brick and lathe (obviously I am doing this in a C17 building with no planning restrictions or preservation orders!), or white-washed, or painted with silver and gilt. Works by local artists and photographers, for sale. Pottery and sculpture in nooks and crannies. An open fire. Candle-light or strategic spots. A courtyard garden for summer, with wisteria flooding down from the walls; lavender and rosemary in pots; herbs for picking at.

The drinks list would have recommended reading beside some of the entries - tongue in cheek, mostly. "The Great Gatsby" - champagne, of course. And possibly a mint julep. Anything by Jane Austen - a dry sherry with a frivolous kick, with an optional swift knock on the head afterwards, because it would be less painful than reading "Persuasion". Iain Banks - an Islay malt; possibly Caol Isla (are you au fait with Caol Isla, Miss M?). Dickens - a vintage port, or an elderly claret. Chick-Lit - a chilled Viognier, or Riesling, so much classier than Bridget Jones's Chardonnay. And so on.

Food. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts - toasted, in bowls, with salt for adding if required. Hard-boiled quails eggs and fresh radishes, again with salt and herbs for dipping. Massive rocket (arugala) salads with aged balsamic and shaved pecorino on the side. Bowls of wild mushrooms cooked in white wine with herbs. Baked butternut squash (champagne risotto optional, and on the side). Huge platters of simply grilled courgettes (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), peppers, radicchio, sweet onions, garlic (parma ham, bresaeola, salami on the side). Fish simply grilled over sliced potatoes and drizzled with olive oil. Freshly steamed broccoli and french beans (almonds on the side) with lemon and olive oil to drizzle at the table, and sea salt and fresh ground pepper to scatter over. Purple sprouting broccoli - nude! Grilled asparagus with fresh black figs, black grapes and goat's cheese. Rye bread bruschetta. Tomatoes roasted with basil and garlic for hours and hours and served with black olives and hummus. New potatoes baked in the oven with a tiny bit of olive oil and rosemary. Well sourced and simply cooked meat. Fair trade coffee, with dark, dark chocolates on the side. Everything traceable to source.

Add your favourite dish and it will be there! Dishes would come in "nibbling", "grazing", "feasting" portions. Carbs of choice - good bread, good pasta with EVOO, rice - would come separately. Bowls of organic mixed leaves as standard with balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, for dressing. I guess I'd offer flax and EVOO too. :-)


I could so do this if I had any kind of financial backing at all. But I don't. I've researched loans and I'd need to put in at least 50% of my own money to get anywhere starting, and I have no money at all. I am also mired in ennui.

Still, it's still a dream even if I don't achieve it by my 35th, which is what I said I would do.

And doesn't it sound damn fine?

Monday, 26 February 2007

Tender Hearted Vegetarian

I've been veggie for coming up close on twenty years now. Yes, it's a frightening number, because those twenty years have gone in no time at all. The last ten, particularly, have flown by. It's like time creeps if not stands still while you go through school, and college, and uni (and - in my case - a disasterous relationship in another country) and then as soon as life in the world of earning a living kicks back in, it's *boom, whoosh* - and those years are flying by. To put it in some kind of warped perspective, I've now been in my current place of employment for over 9 years. That's more than my years at senior school and university (grad and post-grad) put together. I'm heading for my mid-thirties at an incredible rate of knots and in my head, for various reasons, I haven't even celebrated 30 properly yet. It's scary stuff.

The ups and downs of this weekend have also revealed two new wrinkles under my eyes in the mirror. Not good!

Anyway, moving back to the original topic - having become a (rather strict) vegetarian at 15 means that I have never actually tasted loads of stuff. Scallops, say. No. Prawns - only in prawn balls from Dad's Chinese takeout, and those were spat out immediately. Any kind of fish other than battered and from the fish and chip shop in newspaper with salt on a Friday night (it's an English thing) or in "fingers", no. Lobster, no. Other shellfish, no. Steak, no. Venison, no. Duck, no. Goose, no. You get the idea.

But do I *want* to taste it? I think the answer has to be, in all honesty, no. I would like to share a meal with P in the true sense of sharing and eating the same food and savouring the same tastes and knowing that the enjoyment was equal. To be able to discuss our food as we can discuss our wines. To enjoy the same subtleties and nuances of taste that can be experienced when pairing a Pinot with rare lamb, perhaps, or a Sauternes with foie-gras (ok, a bad CR example). But that's not going to happen because with all the application of all the logic in all the world, I would feel that eating shellfish, fish, or meat was wrong. Wrong for me, I hasten to add.

I am harking on about this because I do find it difficult to get my protein levels up while keeping my calories down and not going for tofu every day (I must find that article about soy and dementia) or quorn (I swear it wouldn't surprise me if one day someone finds out the damn stuff is sentient), and I feel like griping about it. I'm particularly tired (and this is not new) of eating out as a CR'd vegetarian being so difficult to do. But I guess that's a problem there are no easy answers to. Either I assert my superiority on the food chain and qwell guilt, and eat the scallops... or not, and my days are filled with eggwhites (from eggs laid by free-range chickens fed on a non-GM organic diet, naturally), and grumblings about not being able to eat out and be CRON.

I'll probably do the usual and post today's CoM report later, after my pottery class, but I have to admit I am feeling reasonably blah about food today after the weekend. I might aim for as much nutrition as I can get in as few calories - and usually I have to push to get my calories over 1000 - 1100; that's just the way it is, no drama. I'm reasonably tempted just to eat a bowl of cereal to be honest. Sometimes one just gets tired of trying, and of food.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

A Dinner Of Herbs

A plate of vegetables is not so hard to prepare, now is it? I just fixed myself one, and ate it: 100g lentils, 150g leeks, 150g spinach, 200g celeriac. Tsp flax oil! It didn't take me long to do either. So why, when I ask for a plate of vegetables in a restaurant serving at least 10 different meat and fish main courses, all with various vegetable accompaniments, do I end up with 12 green beans, 12 slices of carrot, and 6 broccoli florets and being charged £10.50 for the privilege? Grrr.

I've had a weekend with real highs and real lows in quick succession; I am exhausted. More on that tomorrow.

I have also eaten most of the day's nutrition and calories in about 3 1/2 hours. From necessity. And it was so *easy* to do. Broccoli, butternut squash, yoghurt, almonds, pumpkin seeds, grapenuts, plums, spinach, lentils, leeks, celeriac, a brazil nut (there were spaces in between all this lot; I didn't eat it ALL at once...). But why in the real world does it have to be so damn difficult to get a decent balanced meal as a vegetarian? Even in decent restaurants. I swear it's got worse lately. Why can't I go out to lunch and not be faced with a single option of gnocchi in cream sauce? Where are the vegetables in the vegetarian options? It is making me really, really cross at the moment, can you tell?

I should put the wine down now and back away slowly...

This report from CoM doesn't include the 2 slices of toast from breakfast at the hotel or the slice and a half of wholegrain bread at lunch or the glasses of you-know-what but I am still probably, just, if I really stretch the definition of CR, CR'd. Even if my carbs are off the scale.

Nutrition Summary for 25 February 2007

General (71%)
Energy | 883.2 kcal 74%
Protein | 41.6 g 46%
Fat | 23.5 g 59%
Carbs | 148.4 g 124%
Fiber | 37.1 g 148%
Water | 1354.0 g 50%

Vitamins (92%)
Vitamin A | 58575.4 IU 2511%
Folate | 847.8 mcg 212%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.1 mg 99%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 1.6 mg 144%
B3 (Niacin) | 10.0 mg 72%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 4.9 mg 98%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.1 mg 162%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.9 mcg 39%
Vitamin C | 252.5 mg 337%
Vitamin D | 406.9 IU 203%
Vitamin E | 17.7 mg 118%
Vitamin K | 1166.1 mcg 1296%

Minerals (90%)
Calcium | 862.4 mg 86%
Copper | 1.5 mg 172%
Iron | 20.0 mg 111%
Magnesium | 483.6 mg 151%
Manganese | 4.7 mg 263%
Phosphorus | 1098.3 mg 157%
Potassium | 3946.2 mg 84%
Selenium | 74.8 mcg 136%
Sodium | 562.4 mg 37%
Zinc | 7.4 mg 93%

Amino Acids

Lipids (40%)
Saturated | 2.8 g 14%
Omega-3 | 3.4 g 311%
Omega-6 | 5.4 g 45%
Cholesterol | 2.2 g 1%

Oh, and I found out by reading a weekend foodie supplement that scallops are FIVE YEARS OLD before they are harvested, or ready to be consumed. Five years. I'd been thinking that maybe I could justify eating scallops - low on the guilt scale... not after five years of life it wouldn't be, to me.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Shakespeare, Supplements and Fortification

This weekend is a Shakespeare weekend. Yay! Up to Stratford on Avon for MacBeth (in Polish, with English surtitles) tonight, and for Coriolanus tomorrow. It also means a weekend away from the CRON kitchen, but this time I am determined not to stress and just do my best with what's available. Hopefully there will be no manic hunger episodes - well, I can hope.

Tomorrow we are meeting friends here for lunch. Spot the CR-ish choice for Sara which she really hopes is on the daytime menu...

Sunday's lunch is here. Again, it's pretty obvious what my choice will be... These are the times though, when eating fish or shellfish would be useful.

I will have lots of fun anyway; Shakespeare, P, two sets of friends, and someone else doing the cooking for me. What's not to love?

I have today's food all planned. I've had my usual blueberries / yoghurt / seeds / nuts combo for breakfast; lunch will be quorn and lentils cooked with tomatoes and garlic with steamed broccoli, butternut squash (Vit E - and I never knew!), and steamed kale; and dinner will be a massive salad of spinach, grilled peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and eggwhites. Flax/lemon/mustard/garlic dressing.

I tried to make space for more chocolate pudding but given that I am bound to be having a couple of glasses of wine this evening with P, there just wasn't room. Cocoa deprivation!

Robin asked if I was including supplements in my CoM totals. The last few days have had my Vit D tab included but apart from that the answer I gave is no.

However, I do drink 250ml (at least) of Alpro Lite Soya Milk a day, and this is fortified with various B's, Calcium and E. I also eat 10g Grapenuts with my yoghurt at breakfast, which are also fortified.

I'm not too bothered about this - I've taken both sets out of CoM and I am getting 100% on what they give me anyway in other foods, most of the time; I just happen to like the taste of both - unlike Brewer's Yeast, which is emergency bump-the-numbers nutrition for me.

However, I was thinking about my reaction to one of A's posts on Emily's blog, when she reveals plans about a post regarding how CRONies shouldn't be too bothered about whether food is natural or not. Now she hasn't even written the post yet, and I may have misunderstood her! But I immediately thought - oooh, no! In my opinion, food being as natural and as unprocessed as possible is incredibly important, esp for CR when we need all the nutrients we can get and surely in a natural form. This is one of the reasons why I am really having to force myself to eat quorn, and why more often than not I will just steam my veggies and eat them plain, and why - given an option - I will never eat something without a good long look at the ingredients list.

But of course, I am drinking 250mls of something that is definitely unnatural a day. So I won't be able to say a word! :-)

Still looking forward to the post though.

And finally, the Crunch of the Day...

Hope everyone else has a good weekend!

Nutrition Summary for 23 February 2007

General (84%)
Energy | 1044.0 kcal 87%
Protein | 75.9 g 84%
Fat | 28.4 g 71%
Carbs | 145.6 g 121%
Fiber | 37.2 g 149%
Water | 1654.6 g 61%

Vitamins (98%)
Vitamin A | 57133.5 IU 2449%
Folate | 1032.2 mcg 258%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.5 mg 133%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 4.2 mg 380%
B3 (Niacin) | 21.9 mg 156%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 8.9 mg 178%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.7 mg 286%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.8 mcg 75%
Vitamin C | 873.2 mg 1164%
Vitamin D | 406.9 IU 203%
Vitamin E | 24.6 mg 164%
Vitamin K | 1699.3 mcg 1888%

Minerals (96%)
Calcium | 1153.0 mg 115%
Copper | 3.0 mg 332%
Iron | 20.8 mg 116%
Magnesium | 550.3 mg 172%
Manganese | 6.9 mg 382%
Phosphorus | 1456.3 mg 208%
Potassium | 5845.5 mg 124%
Selenium | 164.6 mcg 299%
Sodium | 840.5 mg 56%
Zinc | 14.1 mg 177%

Amino Acids

Lipids (40%)
Saturated | 3.0 g 15%
Omega-3 | 3.5 g 316%
Omega-6 | 5.6 g 46%
Cholesterol | 2.1 g 1%

Thursday, 22 February 2007

I Ate Dessert!

I *never* eat dessert, but I was low on calories, pretty damn perfect on nutrition, still in the mood for food and not in the mood for more broccoli... and there was some leftover tofu...

So, tofu chocolate pudding a la Miss M! With blueberries! OMG, yum.

(The Green and Black's cocoa will now be placed *back* in the cupboard where it belongs).

Thanks for all the comments and CR validation on the other post! And I will be trying some of those dressing suggestions out on future immense salads.

Nutrition Summary for 22 February 2007

General (82%)
Energy | 1010.5 kcal 84%
Protein | 72.2 g 80%
Fat | 27.5 g 69%
Carbs | 142.5 g 119%
Fiber | 35.1 g 140%
Water | 1564.5 g 58%

Vitamins (98%)
Vitamin A | 56844.2 IU 2437%
Folate | 919.4 mcg 230%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.4 mg 127%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 354%
B3 (Niacin) | 20.3 mg 145%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 8.3 mg 165%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.1 mg 240%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.8 mcg 75%
Vitamin C | 496.1 mg 661%
Vitamin D | 406.9 IU 203%
Vitamin E | 21.6 mg 144%
Vitamin K | 1730.3 mcg 1923%

Minerals (96%)
Calcium | 1279.2 mg 128%
Copper | 3.1 mg 350%
Iron | 19.7 mg 109%
Magnesium | 559.5 mg 175%
Manganese | 7.6 mg 425%
Phosphorus | 1481.1 mg 212%
Potassium | 5697.3 mg 121%
Selenium | 157.2 mcg 286%
Sodium | 896.3 mg 60%
Zinc | 15.5 mg 194%

Amino Acids

Lipids (38%)
Saturated | 3.3 g 16%
Omega-3 | 0.9 g 80%
Omega-6 | 6.4 g 53%
Cholesterol | 2.1 g 1%

Coming Out With CRON, Coffee and Cocoa

I've been a bit more open about doing CRON lately, in that I am telling people that I am trying this new way of eating where you have a software program to monitor what you eat and aim to get all your RDA of vitamins and minerals in your food, rather than taking supplements. Mostly people think I am no madder than they usually think I am. I don't mention the calorie restriction bit though.

Today in the gym, the attendant and I had a long rant about obesity and poor food choices and the misrepresentation of healthy food in general. It was quite cool to not be given weird looks when I say I eat mostly veggies, mostly straight. Most of the time I really do believe I have a super-healthy diet, but sometimes...

Comments about the size of the huge salad at work last week have hit me harder than I thought, because now I am questioning whether I am actually being a CRON glutton or not. CoM can't lie, I hope. Or my food scales? I do seem to be eating huge quantities of veggies now, more than ever, and I'm eating almonds by the palmful. Well, up to 20g of course. But then I have cut out all grain-based carbs (except occassional oatmeal) and all dairy apart from yoghurt in my quotidian diet. So in food, I *have* to be CR'd, right? Because I really can't go any lower in cals.

Today's lunchtime salad practically fills a 3.75 litre box - spinach (no, really?!), mushrooms, yellow pepper, cherry toms, and lentils. I might even add to that with some chopped eggwhites, and something really low cal but crunchy like celery or cucumber. But it is.... huge. I mean, it really would serve 4 with leftovers.

But then I suppose when you only eat mostly veggies, mostly straight, you have to eat a lot to get what you need. My evening meals, when I make more of an effort and add in tofu or quorn and try and make something more elaborate, are smaller. They'd feed 2, say.

This ramble is brought to you courtesy of one teaspoon of cocoa powder in a cafetiere of coffee. *bounce*

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

CoM - Job Done

Have a thrilling evening of cleaning chores ahead of me, so had an early dinner to procrastinate. I have an inspection from my rental agency tomorrow. :-(

Vitamin D supplement (10mcg) finally arrived so now I am only low on B12, and sodium, if that matters at all.

Today I ate:

Breakfast - blueberries, yoghurt, pumpkin seeds, grapenuts, almonds

Lunch - raw spinach and raw kale dressed with lemon juice, flax, garlic and mustard; cherry toms; green pepper; marinated tofu. 2 chopped plums.

Dinner - lentils, leeks and butternut squash cooked with thyme; steamed kale and broccoli; chopped eggwhites.

Will have hot soya milk after the cleaning marathon. Such an exciting life.

Nutrition Summary for 21 February 2007

General (82%)
Energy | 991.6 kcal 83%
Protein | 65.4 g 73%
Fat | 31.9 g 80%
Carbs | 134.3 g 112%
Fiber | 30.5 g 122%
Water | 1491.0 g 55%

Vitamins (97%)
Vitamin A | 43832.6 IU 1879%
Folate | 727.3 mcg 182%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.2 mg 110%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.7 mg 333%
B3 (Niacin) | 18.6 mg 133%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.5 mg 151%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.0 mg 230%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.7 mcg 70%
Vitamin C | 419.8 mg 560%
Vitamin D | 406.9 IU 203%
Vitamin E | 19.6 mg 131%
Vitamin K | 1680.8 mcg 1868%

Minerals (94%)
Calcium | 1517.3 mg 152%
Copper | 2.9 mg 327%
Iron | 17.9 mg 99%
Magnesium | 453.8 mg 142%
Manganese | 5.1 mg 285%
Phosphorus | 1254.5 mg 179%
Potassium | 4863.7 mg 103%
Selenium | 165.4 mcg 301%
Sodium | 557.6 mg 37%
Zinc | 9.5 mg 118%

Amino Acids

Lipids (47%)
Saturated | 3.6 g 18%
Omega-3 | 3.7 g 340%
Omega-6 | 8.1 g 68%
Cholesterol | 2.1 g 1%

One for the Road

I am starting to feel that this blog is very dull reading - what has Sara done today? Oh, she's eaten some spinach and drunk too much wine again. Yada yada yada, next! For this I apologise. :-)

Appropriately enough, today is the first day of alcohol free week here in the UK. As well as the first day of Lent, of course. Now, I am not going to say I am going to abstain from wine because I know full well I will not, and then will have the extra guilt and embarrassment of confession to deal with. (Confession to CRONies, not to the Church, I hasten to add). But, apart from the horrific delivery charge making me hesitate, I am considering purchasing alcohol free wine, because it's not the effects of alcohol that I enjoy; it's the taste. I hate diet soda, and drinking fizzy water in a bar quickly becomes tedious and uncomfortable. It would be so much easier all round if decent alcohol free drinks were more readily available in bars and restaurants and stores.

I won't be drinking today or tomorrow though, which has nothing to do with Alcohol Free Week and all to do with no planned socialising or temptation. I met a friend in Paddington before I got my train home last night and while we had planned to drink coffee, it was so disgusting that we ended up on the Shiraz instead - 1 250ml and 1 175ml glass each. The calorific equivalent of a couple of doughnuts apparently. Needless to say, I did not have pancakes when I got home - if only because there was no one to cook them for me! -, but my calorie level was a lot higher than I'd want it to be, almost not CR at all. Bad bad bad. And then more bad.

So, in other news,I am planning to bake this week, adapting this recipe for CR.

100g soya flour
100g wholewheat flour
100g porridge oats
100g Barlean's Forti-Flax
50g linseeds
25g sunflower seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
10g sesame seeds
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 pieces stem ginger, chopped
200g raisins
2 free-range organic eggs
150ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml soya milk
1 tbs malt extract
50g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Line a loaf tin or round tin with greaseproof paper.

Put all the dry ingredients except the almonds into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Stir in the ginger and raisins. Add the eggs, milk and malt extract. Mix well and leave to soak for 30 minutes. If the mixture is too stiff, add more soya milk. Spoon into a loaf tin and press the almonds into the top. Bake in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours. Turn out and leave to cool.

It came from The Observer Food Monthly supplement in an article about essential fatty acids. I haven't put the ingredients into CoM yet and I am wondering about substitutions, esp for the wholemeal flour. I am wondering if rice bran and wheat bran might work instead, and I am also wondering if I can get brewer's yeast in there somewhere. Maybe replace the malt extract with blackstrap molasses. I will just use one whole egg and make up the difference with eggwhite, and I will probably replace the milk with my lite soya milk. So we shall see. It could be one sticky bowl of expensive mess.

And look, there's a post that's not *all* about spinach and booze! :-)

I could ramble on about how underoccupied I am at work, and how it really is getting embarrassingly beyond a joke now, and how quite concerning it is that I seem unable to get myself out of this situation without wrecking a whole lot else... But that has little - ok, nothing! - to do with CR, so... another time, when I am safely back in the CR groove.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Yes I am a PIG

Still questing for the perfect CR lunch at work (P rarely has food in the house so the obvious solution is not, in this case, a solution). This time I decided to buy a big plastic box and the essential salad ingredients - spinach, mushrooms, watercress, cherry toms - and put the two together in the office kitchen.

No fewer than five people commented in less than the same amount of minutes on the amount of food that was going into the box, and in tones of horror, as though I were mainlining lard or drowning kittens rather than mixing 200g spinach, some veggies and some marinated tofu with some fresh lemon juice.

YES it's a big salad and YES it's going to take me all afternoon to eat so let me get on with it, people!

Oooh I hate having to justify my food.

Oops she did it again

Back in London after a too brief weekend; it's another set of Shakespeare plays up in Stratford-on-Avon this coming weekend, and so I need to placate the Gods of the Office and do my two London days today and tomorrow. But oooh, I *so* didn't want to leave my CRON nest and come back up to town with its toxic temptations.

I was pretty sure that P and I would eat out last night so I made a real attempt to get everything in and at a reasonable calorie level before I travelled up, and I did. Blueberries and yoghurt and nuts and seeds for breakfast - the yoghurt was O% Total, and I do love it, but can I really justify the food miles when I can eat Yeo Organics from just a few miles away? No. *sigh* My feeble excuse is that it comes in 150g packages and I can eat the lot and not worry about the rest spoiling by the time I get home. I also made a fantastic soup with ginger, garlic, chilli, halved mushrooms, spinach, green beans, quorn and lemon to eat after a walk with friends and their dogs. (MUST get back to regular gym). I ate some cottage cheese before I left (or it would have spoilt). So I left home on 714 calories and over 90% on vits and minerals... and then drank a glass of wine, a glass of champagne, and shared a bottle of wine with P while eating Lebanese mezze. Argh.

I am getting bruises from falling off this wagon so much! :-)

I've indulged my obsession with monitoring my weight and bought some digital scales to replace my non-digital ones and save me having to do the math to convert stones and pounds and kilos into numbers that make sense to me. I've put on a little weight. And the ONLY thing I can blame for it is the wine because I know I am eating well and low cal (in fact, I'd have been under 1000 yesterday (oops) if I had been alone and I didn't eat that much mezze with P, but it was swimming in oil, annoyingly). Perhaps THAT will encourage me to Just Say No (after one glass!). Every little helps, right?

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Saturday C-o-M

I have eaten:

* Oatmeal with blueberries and lite soya milk

* Baby spinach leaves with flax and balsamic, red pepper, tomato, spring onion, steamed broccoli, cottage cheese. 0% Total with almonds, sunflower seeds, 1 chopped plum and grapenuts.

*Vegetable soup with green beans, leek, savoy cabbage, carrot, brewer's yeast and chopped eggwhites.

I'm definitely done.

Not too shabby, really. I'm still waiting for my D supplement to arrive. Maybe a little high on some minerals?

Nutrition Summary for 17 February 2007

General (80%)
Energy | 1029.3 kcal 86%
Protein | 74.7 g 83%
Fat | 24.1 g 60%
Carbs | 145.4 g 121%
Fiber | 35.6 g 142%
Water | 1369.2 g 51%

Vitamins (91%)
Vitamin A | 34782.7 IU 1491%
Folate | 729.7 mcg 182%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.4 mg 123%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.5 mg 321%
B3 (Niacin) | 17.0 mg 122%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.4 mg 129%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.7 mg 211%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.2 mcg 91%
Vitamin C | 424.4 mg 566%
Vitamin D | 6.9 IU 3%
Vitamin E | 15.8 mg 105%
Vitamin K | 929.6 mcg 1033%

Minerals (95%)
Calcium | 962.2 mg 96%
Copper | 2.4 mg 262%
Iron | 17.2 mg 95%
Magnesium | 481.1 mg 150%
Manganese | 6.0 mg 332%
Phosphorus | 1293.3 mg 185%
Potassium | 4310.2 mg 92%
Selenium | 103.3 mcg 188%
Sodium | 1021.8 mg 68%
Zinc | 9.7 mg 121%

Amino Acids

Lipids (43%)
Saturated | 3.5 g 18%
Omega-3 | 3.4 g 309%
Omega-6 | 6.4 g 54%
Cholesterol | 7.1 g 2%

Toxic (Part II)

Today I'm still paying the price for overdindulgence this week.

Cake and chocolate hold no allure for me. I can easily resist desserts and sweet snacks; I can resist fries and chips. I don't even want them. But when it comes to wine with friends, I can never stop at just the one glass. So Thursday evening saw P and I with 2 friends (an ex of mine, and his current partner) knocking back the vino - 3 bottles between the 4 of us. Yesterday I felt like hell, and today I am exhausted and lethargic; I know I am retaining water, because the skin under my eyes and across my cheekbones feels taut and puffy. I feel incredibly ugly and out of sorts and horrible in my own body like I don't know where to put myself; I have the sniffles; I am shivery cold, and I've gained back weight. Pah!

I'm also ashamed of my lack of self-restraint. Drinking too much is far worse than eating too much. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of eating a 1000 cals worth of cake, so why my mind refuses to grasp that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie even if it's in 3 large glasses of Burgundy is beyond me.

I suppose on the positive side, I have really cut down on drinking alone this year. I'm even measuring when I do.

Still, it's done now, so I will just have to work at undoing the damage, and once more try to learn the lesson. I can't indulge so much any more at 34, and there's no way round that!

I should also be particularly mindful of my health at the moment, since P's father is currently in hospital after a suspected mild heart attack, and my own grandmother has had a mild stroke this week. I want a healthy old age, and if I want that, I need to invest in it now. I'm not a great planner - in fact when I think how little I have invested in my own future at the moment I become quite terrified - but I have to be more sensible now. Nothing comes without a price; the price to pay for restraint now is surely a better deal than the price I will pay for over-indulgence in several years.

And in the short-term, I have A Dress to fit into.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Another Super Green

Watercress Each Day Keeps Cancer Away? Mmmm, watercress.

Loved Up

Wow, everyone sounds like they had a great Valentines (except Robin, poor Robin!). Mine was great too...

P never does Valentines. Ever. Well, one year he did buy me a Bonsai tree two weeks after the date - which unfortunately didn't survive my tender ministrations, and died after it got hit by an unexpected frost when I wasn't at home... :-( But usually, Valentines Day will see him grumbling about commercialism and cynicism and refusing to participate at all.

This time... I got to his place to find he had laid the table with white linen and scattered the deepest, reddest rose petals all over it, and put some more roses in a bud vase. He'd laid out stemware and silverware and the few matching plates he has, and he'd printed out a menu for the evening's meal - "Valen-Thai-nes Night Chez P" - with all the food and wine he'd planned. He'd lit candles, and he'd made a real effort to put on soft, but not slushy, music. I was overwhelmed, and got a bit teary! It was so lovely.

So, from the menu, we ate

* Thai mushroom cakes
* Lemongrass and mushroom soup
* Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (with red curry paste)
* Tofu and Pepper Green Curry
* Broccoli with ginger and garlic
* Baby Leaf Salad with Smoked Tofu Croutons

We drank Veuve Cliquot and Pazo Senorans Albarino 2003. I'd bought him some vodka with fig in a heart shaped glass bottle and he drank some of that, but I didn't. We drank lots and lots of coffee afterwards, and shared one heart shaped chocolate, and talked until midnight.

It was such a gift from him to me; he is not usually demonstrative in that way. Yes, I drank more than I should have done, but the sharing of good wine is one of the things that binds us together, and so (apart from this morning's rather tender head and a fiendish craving for heavy-raisiny-carby things) I don't regret it. And the food was delicious, and not heavy, and he'd made a real effort to keep it calorie-light (he might not have managed it, but the intention was there!) and I certainly got my B's, and since the mushrooms were shittake, I even got some D. But to enjoy the evening properly, I did switch off the CRON voice in my head, and it was just... a wonderful evening.

Today I have lunch with one friend and dinner with a couple more (cooked at their house), so it will not be a CRON day, I don't think. Oh well, c'est la vie. Will try not to stress; it's not as though I am going to be mainlining fries and stuffing my face with candy and cake.

And on that sour-sweet note, this is a really interesting (and quite scary!) article on sugar.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Hearts and Flowers

P is cooking me Valentine's dinner this evening, so I have the challenge of being low cal and high nutrition before I head off to London. I also have the challenge of finding him a late, non-tacky, non-gushy, Valentines gift. The food is way easier!

I baked what I suppose is an eggwhite "tatta" in the oven yesterday with 250g spinach (raw weight) packed inside - 29g of protein, and 50% approx of vits and minerals, and 207 calories. I just ate it for breakfast with a side of blueberries and almonds and I AM STUFFED. Interesting experience, but might be better left for a dinner when it's hot and fresh. Cold, it was a bit... bouncy.

I actually went over 1100 cals in food yesterday! Plus 4oz Shiraz, not counted... I wonder which one is making me feel lethargic this morning, or gave me the nightmares about mushrooms. :-)

Nutrition Summary for 13 February 2007

General (84%)
Energy | 1111.7 kcal 93%
Protein | 73.9 g 82%
Fat | 29.0 g 73%
Carbs | 164.2 g 137%
Fiber | 45.2 g 181%
Water | 1537.3 g 57%

Vitamins (87%)
Vitamin A | 47978.9 IU 2057%
Folate | 1018.6 mcg 255%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.6 mg 148%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.5 mg 319%
B3 (Niacin) | 18.3 mg 130%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.1 mg 181%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.5 mg 192%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.1 mcg 47%
Vitamin C | 276.5 mg 369%
Vitamin D | 0.0 IU 0%
Vitamin E | 16.3 mg 109%
Vitamin K | 1446.6 mcg 1607%

Minerals (95%)
Calcium | 844.5 mg 84%
Copper | 3.0 mg 335%
Iron | 17.9 mg 99%
Magnesium | 627.2 mg 196%
Manganese | 10.0 mg 555%
Phosphorus | 1640.3 mg 234%
Potassium | 5999.5 mg 128%
Selenium | 157.7 mcg 287%
Sodium | 919.4 mg 61%
Zinc | 17.2 mg 215%

Amino Acids

Lipids (44%)
Saturated | 3.7 g 18%
Omega-3 | 3.6 g 330%
Omega-6 | 6.7 g 56%
Cholesterol | 2.0 g 1%

Size Zero Cat

I took this picture of Tigs this morning. It's hysterical! I have no idea what I did with the camera to get her at this angle, but my cat could rival any lollipop head Hollywood Starlet. I just had to share.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Monday's CoM Report aka A Very Dull Post

I was racking my brains trying to work out why this was so low since I felt like I was eating all day yesterday! Certainly was never hungry like last week. And then I remembered I ate a tiny leftover portion of the spinach-tofu bake I'd made at the weekend and cooked in a little ramekin. Didn't count those calories, nor the cals in my soya milk (which I must enter as one of My Foods). And I still don't believe the winter squash (which I am STILL eating!) is as low calorie as CoM says. The calorie information in the database behind CoM quite often conflicts with the information on the package in front of me (blueberries, for example, are higher in cals in CoM - only a little bit, but still).

Anyway. It's more like 1200 for the day, and I ate LOTS.

I am going to supplement with D and calcium just as soon as I can find a supplement that isn't coated in gelatin or costs me calories as a chew. If I could find those Adora tabs over here, I'd go for those (dark chocolate, mmmm), but the ones in the store I've found so far are toffee. Urgh.

Crunch for Monday

Nutrition Summary for 12 February 2007

General (81%)
Energy | 995.1 kcal 83%
Protein | 62.0 g 69%
Fat | 26.7 g 67%
Carbs | 154.9 g 129%
Fiber | 39.3 g 157%
Water | 1818.8 g 67%

Vitamins (89%)
Vitamin A | 33213.8 IU 1424%
Folate | 758.3 mcg 190%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.3 mg 119%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.5 mg 320%
B3 (Niacin) | 19.6 mg 140%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.0 mg 181%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.7 mg 206%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.7 mcg 69%
Vitamin C | 615.8 mg 821%
Vitamin D | 6.9 IU 3%
Vitamin E | 17.0 mg 114%
Vitamin K | 994.0 mcg 1104%

Minerals (95%)
Calcium | 931.7 mg 93%
Copper | 2.7 mg 302%
Iron | 16.8 mg 93%
Magnesium | 477.3 mg 149%
Manganese | 7.3 mg 405%
Phosphorus | 1419.4 mg 203%
Potassium | 5744.5 mg 122%
Selenium | 150.1 mcg 273%
Sodium | 885.3 mg 59%
Zinc | 15.7 mg 196%

Amino Acids

Lipids (41%)
Saturated | 3.3 g 16%
Omega-3 | 3.9 g 352%
Omega-6 | 5.8 g 49%
Cholesterol | 3.0 g 1%


This weekend my mum came to stay, and there was much shopping and walking around and wailing at the injustice of clothes designers who do not cater for the shape of the average 62 year old woman.

I think I've managed to stay fairly on track with CRON, but of course that wine crept in again. I need to recover the iron discipline of early January in that respect, and FAST! I think I've gained a little back of what I lost; I feel heavier.

I made breakfasts for us both on all three mornings (she just left this morning), with mine carefully measured and hers not so. Berries, and nuts, and seeds, and yoghurt. Two of the mornings we shared a 60g slice of rye bread.

Lunches were tricky. Mum suffers from terrible migraines, and has cut out a load of foods that she believes to be triggers - and they may be, but she still gets the headaches. So she doesn't eat anything with cheese or chocolate in, or chilli. She doesn't like fish, or shellfish, or "meaty meats" like game. She doesn't really eat many eggs either. And there's me, who doesn't eat pasta or rice if she can help it, nor cheese (not now, though I adore it), nor meat nor fish. Try finding a decent place that serves a menu to suit both of us! It was hard. On both days we went to pubs that I know do good food - well sourced, well cooked, usually delicious. Even then, it was so difficult to find something that we could / wanted to eat, despite the wonderful dishes available.

I did compromise on both occasions. Saturday lunch I ate some goat's cheese on "wafer thin pizza" (essentially crisp filo-like pastry, which I left) with roasted peppers and salad leaves. An oil and basil dressing. Sausage and mash for mum. Saturday evening I made her soup, and a spinach, rocket and watercress salad for me with steamed asparagus and hardboiled eggwhites. I also managed to find time to steam some broccoli and eat some raw mushrooms mid-afternoon, so I got close to good nutrition when I entered it all in CoM. I had no idea what to estimate for the dressing on my salad, but was surprised that the total, even being generous with th goat's cheese and adding in a couple of slices of baguette, was so low. I think I am over-estimating how many calories I consume in food when I eat out again. Note the "in food" part of that sentence!

Yesterday (Sunday) we grabbed soup in one of my favourite pubs in Bath. Mine was chilled beetroot with sour cream / yoghurt and dill. Yum! Large slice of bread. Oh dear. In the evening, I cooked a tofu, spinach, mushroom bake. 1 packet of tofu blended with 500g spinach (raw weight, didn't measure it cooked); mushrooms cooked in a little red wine; tomatoes and onions cooked with garlic. All layered with courgette, and topped with cherry tomatoes. It looked extremely 70's vegetarian, but tasted alright. And if I did the cals correctly in CoM, just over 300 cals a portion.

I want to start making pretty food again though, food that looks good on the plate and will be delicious and CR friendly. I love my piles of veggies and my salads but there are times when I look at the greens that need to be consumed and just wilt in the face of them.

I read the online article that featured Mary and was linked to in her blog and once again I just don't understand how people think CRON involves so little food! Eat the mountain of kale if you want it and the vat of soup; I do!

Nigel Slater in yesterday's Observer has some totally yummy kale suggestions... I love Nigel Slater's food writing; reading his recipes is almost better than eating the results... I need to get some miso; that kale and chilli soup sounds just right for me at the moment; it is a totally foul, wet and windy February day.

Wedding... well, obviously I am hoping that CRON will transform me into a stunning bride! So it's sort of connected to this blog. But I won't go all Bridezilla and keep going on about it. I might post some pictures of the venue though, if anyone is interested; it is so pretty! And on this horrible cold day, I need a summer party to look forward to.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Random Musings and Observations

From the last 24 hours, to Self, partially tongue-in-cheek

- The view from Hungerford Bridge across the river to St Pauls and the South Bank at dusk is one of the wonders of London. You should stand and gaze at it more often.

- You can't handle coffee after 4pm, no matter how nice it is, or how continental you feel sipping it out of the bowls at Le Pain Quotidien. It makes you more neurotic than usual, and you really don't need it. Do yourself a favour and do Decaff.

- You can get a really nice tofu salad at LePQ, but it would be even better if they'd put the dressings on the side like you'd asked. The Nebbiolo didn't really cancel out the caffeine in your coffee. Still, your average is well and truly bumped.

- Eating that much broccoli and that many mushrooms at lunchtime is really not a good idea after all. It left you short on A, and bloated your tummy so much a couple of hours later that both your friend who is 7 months pregnant AND yourself were offered seats on the tube on the way home, and given knowing, conspiratorial, "when's it due?" glances from random sympathetic women.

- P will eat dinner with unusual appetite and enjoyment at 10pm. He's just never hungry before that. He never told you before.

- If he is distracted by cooking said dinner, he won't freak out when you write out the phrasing and choose the fonts for your Save The Dates and invitations. He will even contribute. And by some miracle you actually agree on the font to be used.

- Three cats are very useful hot water bottle substitutes on a cold night.

- Sleeping in pantyhose hurts your toes.

- You must remember that the electronic scales in Boots are no longer a good option for monitoring your weight, since they've upgraded them to shout instructions and then the said weight in a loud and patronising voice across the entire store. This is very embarrassing.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Booze and Cake

Last night's wine tasting was Bordeaux under £20. Frenchy cabs, April! A couple of unexpected stunners; I particularly liked two - one with 30% malbec in the blend (pretty unusual) and one with 2% carmenere. For the most part though, they were too thin and bitter for my taste, and although I am assured that in 10 years or so, some would be delicious, I like my wine to be good right now thank you very much.

You might have noticed I have little patience. :-)

Also didn't manage to do so badly with food - one small piece of bread, some aubergine dip, one small pumpkin pasty, and 6 black olives at the tasting; slice of rye toast and some cottage cheese and some red grapes when we got home. I couldn't be bothered to cook, and my nutrition was already acceptable-to-good.

This just has to be the cold weather.... today I have a yen for something carby and cakey; heavy on seeds and nuts and sultanas and good things. Raisin-Rye bread from Borough Market, mmmm. (I won't be indulging it).

So I decided to look up the megamuffin recipe. I googled it, and the first hit (from was spot on. Now, why did I think it was so difficult? Why do I remember postings about endive and mango and green slime and chaos in the kitchen? I think with a bit of online ordering I should be able to manage them. And then, when I find I am having a low calorie day and can't face the idea of piles more broccoli, I can grab one from the freezer and problem sorted. If they taste good, that is. I wonder what adding cocoa would do to the recipe... I will wait until payday, because some of the ingredient, esp the flaxmeal (which I presume translates to ground flax?), are quite pricey online.

But I love the idea on Aaron's blog of making some kind of mega-cereal from the dry ingredients. That's definitely something to play around with on CoM. I had oatmeal this morning: it was cold, I needed hot food, and I forgot to bring blueberries with me. I ate my brazil and almonds with it, but it would be nice to know there are more "nutritionals" there. And plus, if I made a Sara cereal, I could package it up and bring it to London and that would be London breakfasts sorted. If I could fit it into my calorie day, of course.

I am also toying with the idea of getting another electronic scale to keep at P's. He could do with one...

I clearly have too little work to do. I want to go home and cook and experiment now!

I have also hit upon a working lunch for a London day that is reasonably easy to get hold of and - from a quick look at CoM - nutritious,if oddball. One 240g package raw broccoli, one 250g package of organic mushrooms, 170g salsa, approx 100g yoghurt. Bless M&S. Not sure I will be able to move for the rest of the afternoon now though... and I still have 5 mushrooms lined up on my desk staring at me. :-)

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Apres Midi

Several people have posted about the settings in CoM recently, and the tweaking thereof. Is there an online user guide about anywhere? I haven't tweaked it at all from when I first set it up, apart from lowering the calories to 1200 and upping the protein to 70g. I'd like to know I was actually getting the right reporting out of it so I knew my nutrition was fine even if my calories are lower than they might be.

Miss M has a point in that I've probably been more hungry than usual over the last 2 days because it's been COLD. And suddenly cold as well; proper February weather. No snow where I am yet, but lots of thick frost to scrape off the car in the mornings, and frozen fingers in the gym.

I will try to find a way to add an extra 100 nutritious cals to my daily food where I can and get nearer to 1200 than 1100 on a more regular daily basis, and then work up (or not) from there. I still think my days in London bump my average though. And I really am not dropping weight fast, not like any kind of potato at any kind of temperature. :-)

I'm heading off to London this afternoon with almost 700 calories of breakfast, eggwhites and the most enormous mixed vegetable salad in the world inside me. Another wine tasting this evening - and this time I will post what we taste! And severe snow forecast for late tonight and tomorrow... For severe, read possibly an inch in Central London. I've lived in Colorado; I find it difficult to share in the hysteria generated annually in this country by a few meagre flakes of the white stuff.


Nutrition Summary for 07 February 2007

General (56%)
Energy | 673.3 kcal 56%
Protein | 46.0 g 66%
Fat | 23.0 g 35%
Carbs | 89.3 g 37%
Fiber | 24.3 g 97%
Water | 1193.6 g 44%

Vitamins (88%)
Vitamin A | 14428.0 IU 618%
Folate | 462.4 mcg 116%
B1 (Thiamine) | 0.9 mg 80%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.4 mg 218%
B3 (Niacin) | 15.0 mg 107%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.5 mg 130%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 1.2 mg 95%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.4 mcg 19%
Vitamin C | 285.3 mg 380%
Vitamin D | 196.9 IU 98%
Vitamin E | 10.4 mg 70%
Vitamin K | 610.2 mcg 678%

Minerals (77%)
Calcium | 635.0 mg 64%
Copper | 1.7 mg 189%
Iron | 10.6 mg 59%
Magnesium | 272.6 mg 85%
Manganese | 2.7 mg 151%
Phosphorus | 768.4 mg 110%
Potassium | 3248.1 mg 69%
Selenium | 108.8 mcg 198%
Sodium | 469.4 mg 31%
Zinc | 4.8 mg 61%

Amino Acids

Lipids (40%)
Saturated | 2.7 g 13%
Omega-3 | 3.1 g 278%
Omega-6 | 5.6 g 47%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


For April - my 26 year old calico girl, taken almost a year ago on a cold day. She's as mad for prawns as your Keiffer.
For Miss M - enough pumpkin for you? This was last year's squash harvest.

Media Grrrr.

Reading this article today made me FURIOUS. And then it made me very upset, and scared. And then I ate some more blueberries and yoghurt to remind myself that I DO NOT HAVE AN EATING DISORDER, I DO NOT WANT TO BE A SIZE 0 and I am NOT KILLING MYSELF by practising CRON.

Just the food and the crunch. I'm still a bit upset. I've also had a "hungry" day, and reading that article set me up even more for the comfort munchies. I've probably been hungry for another reason. I keep wanting the final calorie total in CoM to be (just) less than 1000 - in case, what? In case I suddenly desire to dive head-first into a tub of Ben and Jerry's? (which would have to magically appear in the house anyway!) In case I want 2 glasses of wine rather than 1? More likely... Because I want to be hard-core perfect at this? Hmm, warmer! Because I don't want those 4lbs back that have been bugging me since 2004? Um, ding-dong! I can be a right stubborn (and stupid, and contradictory) cow when I put my mind to it.

The Food

Breakfast - 100g blueberries (not 8, sweet Jesus!!), 100g yoghurt, pumpkin seeds, almonds, grapenuts
Snack - 100g sweet mama squash, almonds. I still don't believe the squash was 33 calories.
Lunch - soup made from 260g leeks, 100g broccoli, 15g brewer's yeast, almonds (that 20g went a long way today!). Spinach salad with avocado, raw red pepper, cherry tomatoes, flax and lemon.
Snack - 50g blueberries, 50g yoghurt, 16g (unsulphured) dried apricots - ie, 2.
Dinner - casserole of mushrooms, onion and quorn, topped with mashed celeriac, steamed kale and green beans on the side. Glass wine, I think.

The Crunch (sans wine)

Nutrition Summary for 06 February 2007

General (74%)
Energy | 1073.6 kcal 89%
Protein | 54.5 g 78%
Fat | 33.5 g 52%
Carbs | 166.3 g 69%
Fiber | 44.8 g 179%
Water | 1510.1 g 56%

Vitamins (91%)
Vitamin A | 39319.4 IU 1685%
Folate | 710.3 mcg 178%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.0 mg 93%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.7 mg 246%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.2 mg 166%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.8 mg 156%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.8 mg 218%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 0.3 mcg 15%
Vitamin C | 474.8 mg 633%
Vitamin D | 157.2 IU 79%
Vitamin E | 16.4 mg 110%
Vitamin K | 1633.8 mcg 1815%

Minerals (93%)
Calcium | 869.8 mg 87%
Copper | 2.9 mg 322%
Iron | 20.9 mg 116%
Magnesium | 446.4 mg 140%
Manganese | 6.1 mg 337%
Phosphorus | 966.2 mg 138%
Potassium | 4862.7 mg 103%
Selenium | 61.0 mcg 111%
Sodium | 573.4 mg 38%
Zinc | 10.3 mg 129%

Amino Acids

Lipids (43%)
Saturated | 3.9 g 19%
Omega-3 | 3.8 g 343%
Omega-6 | 6.4 g 53%
Cholesterol | 0.0 g 0%

Monday, 5 February 2007

Nothing to see here...

Today I am incredibly lethargic, and I seem to be wanting to eat everything in sight. It's got cold outside all of a sudden. Perhaps I am heading for late hibernation.

I grabbed a copy of The Longevity Diet from Amazon; I thought I should probably read it. This will be the last time I buy a "diet book" - I have so many, and it's so stupid that I do! What instantly struck me from a quick flick through is that I really *have* been eating according to the recommendations in The Longevity Diet for a good fifteen or more years now, at least as far as choice of food is concerned. I suppose the wine I drink could be said to cancel out the benefits, though; the calories in that would have been pushing me out of restriction.

I was starting to think that I was being a bit of a CR fraud - especially in the light of last week's blogging around degrees of restriction and severity. I'm never going to be an April - although I wouldn't eat the cheese either (but then nor would I eat the processed eggwhite patty!) - but I think I'm reasonably up there with what I eat, and getting there with cutting down on the wine. I dunno, maybe I still am just kidding myself that I am doing anything other than eating, or practising CS - common sense.

P this weekend, of course, said that what I eat is mad, and I am the worst person in the world to cook for. *sigh* On one of those, though, he probably has a point; he can't put a plate of pasta in front of me and expect me to eat it. A plate of broccoli, on the other hand... But I really do not see the point of eating junk. Admittedly my definitions of junk are fairly wide-ranging. I'm trying to decide if Quorn sausages, yummy though they are, actually come under "junk". Quorn is certainly as processed as I am willing to go. The jury is out on the occassional glass of fortified lite soya milk I might drink.

Today's Food

Breakfast - the usual blueberries and yoghurt, grapenuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds

Snack - the 3 hardboiled eggwhites I was prepping for one of my salads. The shells were being such a pain in the ass to peel off that I ended up just eating the whites there and then as I got to them.

Lunch - Quorn sausages with steamed kale and broccoli, cherry tomatoes with chilli and garlic and a huge amount of baked sweet mama squash (300g!!). CoM says 111 cals for the squash. I say, I wish! Nothing could taste that good and sweet and be 33 cals per 100g. I ate the 3rd 100g portion as a desert.

Dinner - 100g raw spinach leaves with avocado, roasted yellow pepper, mushrooms, and sunflower seeds; flax and lemon dressing.

Today's Crunch (to be taken with a pinch of salt)

Nutrition Summary for 05 February 2007

General (70%)
Energy | 933.8 kcal 78%
Protein | 61.3 g 88%
Fat | 35.6 g 55%
Carbs | 117.1 g 49%
Fiber | 36.8 g 147%
Water | 1378.2 g 51%

Vitamins (96%)
Vitamin A | 44070.0 IU 1889%
Folate | 710.8 mcg 178%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.1 mg 103%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.1 mg 281%
B3 (Niacin) | 18.9 mg 135%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 8.8 mg 177%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.3 mg 175%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.2 mcg 52%
Vitamin C | 529.5 mg 706%
Vitamin D | 196.9 IU 98%
Vitamin E | 15.6 mg 104%
Vitamin K | 1624.1 mcg 1805%

Minerals (90%)
Calcium | 640.6 mg 64%
Copper | 2.4 mg 264%
Iron | 14.4 mg 80%
Magnesium | 421.2 mg 132%
Manganese | 6.3 mg 348%
Phosphorus | 1175.0 mg 168%
Potassium | 5148.8 mg 110%
Selenium | 58.0 mcg 105%
Sodium | 829.6 mg 55%
Zinc | 13.3 mg 167%

Amino Acids

Lipids (47%)
Saturated | 4.3 g 21%
Omega-3 | 3.8 g 349%
Omega-6 | 7.8 g 65%
Cholesterol | 2.0 g 1%

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Plays and Plans

The weekend's plays were fabulous. The Henry V turned out to be a more than slightly pretentious riff on the text by an Italian company - written, produced, directed and led by the same actor - a monumental ego trip really, which I thought I hated until we came out and were discussing it and I realised that there actually were some good ideas in there. The most striking tableau of the evening was the company forming a pile of partially naked bodies, as the battles wore on. Of course, after Iraq and the prisons and all the photo taking, that image has contemporary resonance... as does the whole horror and futility and sheer bloody waste of war, and that came across powerfully. Saturday's Merry Wives, The Musical, was just delightful and left me in tears with hysterical joy; Richard III was a perfect end to the Wars of the Roses grouping.

Didn't do so well with my food though, or rather with balancing food intake and hunger and the inevitable booze.

I'd *planned* well - I'd packed a salad (spinach and mushrooms and seeds and egg whites and tomato and zucchini and flax and lemon) to eat in my car while I waited for P in Stratford. I'd also packed blueberries, measured amounts of almonds and pumpkin seeds, and some cherries which practically bankrupted me (I misread the price when I picked them up; they might as well have been pitted with platinum for the price). But all good plans... P arrived early in Stratford, and I never got the chance to eat much of my salad; he had already eaten, but by the time we established this it was time for the show and no time for me to find something for me, or to shovel down the rest of my leaves and 'shrooms. After the show, I was starving an meant to finish what I'd started then, but as it turned out I ended up eating goat's cheese on toast instead, back at the hotel. With some wine. (At least I didn't partake of P's bowl of chips, with fried onions, all covered in melted cheese - nor, of course, was I tempted to).

So Saturday morning saw me locked in the bathroom after my bath shovelling down leftover spinach and mushrooms while P slept in. I do at least realise that this was totally mad. But get those nutrients in where you can, right?! :-) And I was kind of hungry. After that, and a couple of pieces of toast at breakfast proper, I wasn't hungry at lunchtime - ate some almonds and pumpkin seeds and a few cherrries and headed into The Merry Wives. Big mistake. Major hunger by the interval which could only be assuaged by a swift glass of red wine. We headed off to find food immediately after the show, but everyone was descending on the town and the choices were limited. In the end I managed to get another spinach and mushroom salad with some buffalo mozzarella... but failed to avoid the breadsticks that came with it (and also P threatened to beat me senseless if I didn't eat at least 2 of them). More red wine. Nothing then until midnight, which saw me in the hotel room guzzling the rest of the cherries I'd brought along, downing peppermint tea, and then more or less passing out with exhaustion.

Today has been a picky day - blueberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cherries, toast. Lunch was in a pub on the way home - goat's cheese, one green fig, salad leaves, and a vegetable selection which seemed to be pureed carrot, green beans, and zucchini with tomatoes. I've just finished off a plate of broccoli and spinach and mushrooms for dinner, with yoghurt and sunflower seeds for dessert and CoM doesn't look too bad, but I haven't entered the bread. There has been wine again, of course, and I haven't entered that either...

Oh the bread. I *know* there's no reason to eat it, but it's there, and it's crunchy-chewy-good... But it does me no good, I know that. It seems to make me emptier. I'm pretty sure the bread at breakfast on Saturday was to blame for the afternoon hunger, which never seemed to be appeased for more than an hour or so. for the rest of the day. I just wish I didn't get so *hungry*, because my temper becomes almost impossible for me to manage; I just want to lie on the floor and howl and kick and scream like a spoilt five year old in the throes of the worst tantrum in the world. It's so tiresome. This is nothing new though. I got like this before eating CRON. I just need to learn how to work it out.

Never mind. Monday tomorrow, and a few proper days of more balanced eating. And back on the wagon.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Shrink To Fit

Just a quick post in response to yesterday's comments - thank you for those, by the way. It's almost like a mini-Christmas, finding comments on my blog in the morning. I am easily pleased. :-)

Anyway, Emily - don't worry, I won't be using your spinach-and-mushroom-and-seeds nutritional tip to cut my calories as far as I can! I was just so amazed that it was so easy, after a couple of weeks of entering various tiny quantities of foods into CoM to get me where I needed to be. It's a real relief to know those quantities don't have to be so tiny or diverse at all! And I love nuts and seeds; it's good for me to work out how those can fit into my day and not be afraid of the fat-and-calories that I have mostly avoided them for. I'm up to 25g of almonds a day, and I would NEVER have even thought of doing that in December, because almonds were of The Forbidden Food. Yay for breaking down the barriers. :-) Also, I'm not entering my glass of wine in CoM, so I am probably hitting 1200 cals a day on the days that I eat by myself, and more than that when I am with friends or with Phil. I think it averages out to a lot more than it looks.

Hazel - I checked back to see if I was losing weight fast, and I'm not really - 4lbs in a month, 1lb a week - and I may have been having a "light day" yesterday. I had just been to the gym. :-)

And the mushroom thing - you're right, Hilary, in that generic mushrooms DO seem to have D according to CoM. I've just been entering mine as "brown, crimini, Italian, raw" - because mine are, er, brown and I usually eat them raw - and those don't have any D associated in CoM at all. But I am still confused because my little leaflet about Vits that I picked up from Boots here doesn't mention them as a source of D in any respect...

And finally, Robin - would it make you even more jealous to say I've also seen Patrick Stewart (as Antony in Antony and Cleo and Prospero in The Tempest), and will be seeing Ian McKellan doing Lear at the end of March? :-) There have been other famous names as well; it's been such a marvellous and theatrically diverse experience!

Not so quick after all! I also have today's report to post when I can get to it. I'm quite pleased that I've managed to hit almost all the bases with lovely food (albeit a lot of leftovers) AND will have some spare calories to have a light supper with P after the theatre tonight.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

It's the End of the Week as I know it (and I feel fine)

Tomorrow P and I are going to Stratford on Avon for the weekend to see a few more Shakespeare plays. It is coming to the end of the Complete Works Festival, and we have 9 more to go: Henry V in Italian tomorrow, and then The Merry Wives of Windsor (The Musical) with Judy Dench Saturday afternoon and Richard III in the evening. By the end of the festival we will have seen all 37. It's been a really fascinating thing to do, and has made me realise how much I miss being involved in the theatre and in art and literature and generally being creative... I really do need to get myself out of the job I do and back
into something a little less soul-destroying.

This job does, however, let me work at home and this has proven to be a bonus for attempting CRON this month; on the downside it does mean I can spend far too much time planning and measuring and preparing the next meal. I just had to stop myself from playing around with my zucchini slices on my digital scale to get them to 100g exactly. (It's a zucchini, Sara: it has no calories!) But I am such a perfectionist for round numbers. :-)

The nice round number on the scales this morning was 118lbs, incidentally. Which was nice.

Inspired by Miss M, I made a variation on Nicoise salad for lunch: cherry tomatoes, green beans, cannellini beans (craving them), egg whites, and black olives on spinach leaves dressed with lemon and flax oil.

Dinner tonight, which was so good(!), was mushrooms and leeks cooked in red wine with garlic and thyme and pieces of quorn sausage (they really do smell just like real sausages cooking, I had forgotten!), topped with celeriac mash with 1 tsp mustard. Steamed broccoli and the aforementioned zucchini on the side, and a glass of Rioja for dessert.

In fact, it was so good, I might put the recipe into CoM and see if nutrionally it's worth sharing. For taste alone it was heaven. And I still have my rioja and a good book and maybe a DVD to go! *happy Sara*

Cooked mushrooms appear to have lots of Vitamin D. How strange! Cos they sure don't when they are raw. Is CoM being weird to me again, or some strange natural alchemy?

Without the Rioja, today's report from CoM...

Nutrition Summary for 01 February 2007

General (73%)
Energy | 1048.6 kcal 87%
Protein | 58.1 g 83%
Fat | 25.3 g 39%
Carbs | 168.6 g 70%
Fiber | 47.1 g 188%
Water | 1574.5 g 58%

Vitamins (93%)
Vitamin A | 59663.6 IU 2557%
Folate | 667.2 mcg 167%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.2 mg 109%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.6 mg 234%
B3 (Niacin) | 18.8 mg 134%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.1 mg 183%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.3 mg 174%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.0 mcg 44%
Vitamin C | 306.2 mg 408%
Vitamin D | 141.9 IU 71%
Vitamin E | 15.1 mg 100%
Vitamin K | 818.3 mcg 909%

Minerals (96%)
Calcium | 715.3 mg 72%
Copper | 2.4 mg 272%
Iron | 18.1 mg 101%
Magnesium | 487.1 mg 152%
Manganese | 6.5 mg 359%
Phosphorus | 1252.2 mg 179%
Potassium | 5193.9 mg 111%
Selenium | 107.5 mcg 195%
Sodium | 1323.6 mg 88%
Zinc | 10.8 mg 135%

Amino Acids

Lipids (41%)
Saturated | 2.9 g 14%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 303%
Omega-6 | 5.8 g 48%
Cholesterol | 2.0 g 1%