Wednesday, 28 March 2007

In Lieu Of Content

I don't feel much like blogging about my CR; it feels trivial. Of course, it is anything but - if it contributes to my health and longevity. If I feel so bereft without my feline companion, I can't even imagine the emotional state of my grandparents at the moment. My grandmother has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and after almost sixty-six years of marriage, they are facing their final separation within months if not weeks.

Life is very sad at the moment. But it's life, and I want it.

Monday, 26 March 2007

The Long Goodbye

My girl, my baby, my Tigsy, is gone.

It's such a beautiful day; warm sunshine, clear blue skies. The kind of spring day that she loved, and would beg to be allowed outside to roam in, and lie in the damp grass, looking at the wind.

I am just so upset - naturally. I hardly want to be in this house without her. I feel very alone.

It's never, ever the right time.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Shoot me

Oh for heaven's sake. It's far too early on a Saturday morning to be fretting about EFA's, but I started doing some googling with an early breakfast and now I am all confused.

- Omega 3 to Omega 6: ideal ratio 1:2.
- Most diets deficient in Omega 3 with too much Omega 6

How have other CRONies set up CoM to monitor lipids? I cannot get a grip on it at all. Numbers! Ratios! MATHS! :-(

Simple spoon-feed guide please!

Although looking back over my CoM reports, now I've adjusted minimum Omega 3 to be 1.1g and minimum Omega 6 to be 2.2, I'm actually more or less on 1:2 even though I am over those minimums on each so why on earth am I obsessing?!

This is just too tragic. It's a weekend, dammit. Chill, woman!

I am also very stressed and sad because I think I am losing my Tigsy. She won't eat, hasn't eaten all the time I've been in London, and all she will do is lie on her pillow with her head on her paws and sleep and purr very, very quietly when I pet her. I took her to the vets on Wednesday and she spent some time there having not very nice things done to her, so maybe she's in some kind of feline mega-sulk, but... I'm going to go and find some tempting catty treats in a while, and see if I can make those purrs louder. It's very sad. I love my girl to pieces.

Friday, 23 March 2007

I shall CRON to the ball

I am in the throes of post-shopping-splurge-binge comedown, after having purchased not one, but two, dresses from the collection at H&M designed by Madonna. I just wandered in for a look and was really unimpressed by the whole lot until I saw this and was smitten. And they had it in black too. And.... well, I tried them on. And I just had to. They are lovely and timeless and as long as I don't put weight on (because they are both a very, very small UK 10 (US 6)), I think I will be wearing them for many years to come. So, another vanity reason to keep up and step up the CRON and to cut down the wine. Again.

Speaking of which, of course I indulged again in that with my friends last night, but the food wasn't a disaster - I ate rocket and parmesan salad, round courgette stuffed with a small amount of gorgonzola and stuff, carrots with rosemary and garlic and salad leaves. I also ate a little bit of cheese from my friend's cheese plate, but to be honest everything was just that little rich for my CRONed palate and I was full after the rocket.

So it's April's CR gathering this weekend. I hope there will be pictures, and tales on blogs later on next week. Hilary Grace and I will be having our own CRON get together the week after next when she visits the UK. By coincidence she will be staying about 10 miles from where I live, so it would be rude not to extend hospitality to a fellow CRONie! How exciting! Also, she might be bringing me mega-muffin mix - if we can work the logistics. Cool... :-) So... what to cook, what to cook. I day-dreamed my way through a really dull training course this morning, creating yummy CR meals in my head. There may very well be chocolate pudding involved...

Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Eating Out

Last night I met up with a friend whose schedule is almost as packed as mine; we have to book ourselves months in advance. She is currently renting a fantastic flat, right on the river just down from Greenwich Palace, on the north side. We sat in her darkened living room, with its wall of glass facing onto the river, drinking sauvignon blanc and watching the play of lights and reflections on the water, and in the air as the planes came in on their approach routes to Heathrow. It was totally stunning. I wish I had been able to take pictures.

She is Canadian and says living in such a place is the only way she can handle living in London. I can certainly appreciate that; it was very quiet and peaceful and yet wonderfully dramatic. I'm jealous!

Then we went to the Thai restaurant which is part of her apartment complex and had the most delicious meal which just had to be almost perfect for CR. We had lettuce wraps as appetizers (the best use I can imagine for iceberg, really!), and I had Tom Yum Hed (clear ginger and lemongrass soup with mushrooms and chilli), and then a few bites of Morning Glory with green beans (yes, the name made me giggle like a loon). I took the rest home for P. Fantastic evening. I do love Thai food.

Tonight we are meeting friends and eating here. Oh dear. Not good for CR. Last time we went they had a wonderful dish of steamed purple sprouting broccoli with chilli and garlic and the freshest buffalo mozzarella (but I wasn't CR-ing then). I guess I will have the salad, and hope the soup is reasonably CR-friendly and vegetarian. Or maybe I could have the peppers without the anchovies and hide the bread under the table. :-) Or perhaps today's menu will be totally different and perfect for me. I am saving my calories up for it, which is going to make for some tricky lunchtime eating... Maybe today, I won't be getting the near perfect nutrition I've been managing recently.

Or think I am managing... I'm not sure I am doing the fats right. I am still very fat phobic, and 1tsp of flax oil is about all I can manage in terms of straight oil a day. I've got my almonds and pumpkin seeds down pat though. Any suggestions for improvement? I've been thinking about it because the skin on my hands is getting very very dry. In fact so much so yesterday, they looked like the hands of someone in their sixties or seventies (it was very cold) and this is not good! Hands age faster than any other part of the body, I know, but even so; I'm not ready to go there yet!

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Warning! Threat to CR Discovered!

And the threat is the demon drink...

No, not wine, in all its Frenchy cab deliciousness. The other one.

Green and Black's Organic Cocoa.

Because it tastes totally decadently divine made with just water and one cup is only around 13 calories!

Of course, it's when you're on your 4th or 5th cup of the day that you realise you have been seduced by the dark side.

I wonder if I bought super-expensive, super-food chocolate from Shazzie, if I would gulp it down quite as quickly.


Today's Food and CoM

Chopped strawberries and plums
Total 0%; pumpkin seeds, a brazil nut, a few almonds, Fibre Plus Cereal, cinnamon

Almonds, cottage cheese with tsp Brewer's Yeast

Spinach salad with beetroot, mushrooms and eggwhites; balsamic, thyme and flax

Cottage cheese

Veggie stew / soup thing with leek, onion, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes. Cinnamon, paprika, oregano and a little marmite. Baked butternut squash.

2 glasses of wine not inc. in report bringing me to just under 1400. Argh.

Nutrition Summary for 20 March 2007

General (84%)
Energy | 1003.9 kcal 84%
Protein | 80.4 g 89%
Carbs | 128.6 g 107%
Fiber | 31.6 g 105%
Fat | 27.0 g 68%
Water | 1640.2 g 61%

Vitamins (99%)
Vitamin A | 39385.5 IU 1688%
Folate | 976.4 µg 244%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.4 mg 128%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.0 mg 272%
B3 (Niacin) | 21.6 mg 155%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 5.7 mg 113%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.3 mg 178%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.1 µg 86%
Vitamin C | 281.7 mg 376%
Vitamin D | 427.3 IU 214%
Vitamin E | 14.6 mg 97%
Vitamin K | 1145.3 µg 1273%

Minerals (97%)
Calcium | 834.7 mg 83%
Copper | 2.3 mg 257%
Iron | 19.3 mg 107%
Magnesium | 542.7 mg 170%
Manganese | 5.2 mg 291%
Phosphorus | 1194.6 mg 171%
Potassium | 5218.8 mg 111%
Selenium | 133.1 µg 242%
Sodium | 1263.0 mg 84%
Zinc | 8.5 mg 106%

Lipids (44%)
Saturated | 5.2 g 26%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 303%
Omega-6 | 5.6 g 47%
Cholesterol | 8.7 mg 3%

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Chained to the kitchen sink

I've seem to have spent most of the day in the kitchen.

I got my long night's sleep after dinner last night and woke up just before 6 this morning. Got up, pottered about, went for a walk to get the Sunday papers, had coffee and pineapple with the neighbours, had another walk, and then decided to make a start on the sack of freshly dug jerusalem artichokes that I wanted to turn into soup...

Anyone who has attempted to deal with Jerusalem artichokes will understand why two hours later I was still washing and scrubbing the little bastards (all the goodness is just under the skin, so peeling is a waste of time and nutrients). I hadn't realised that there were just under three kilos there. And let me tell you, that is a lot of soup. Actually, not all of them made it into the soup because I just don't have a pot big enough, nor enough room in the freezer to store it all. So eventually I made it with a kilo and a half of artichokes, some onion (about 150g), some garlic, some butter (50g) - I find jerusalem artichokes really need butter in soup - and several litres of water. Each serving will probably be around 150 - 200 cals, with lots and lots of iron (which was rather the point of the exercise).

I also baked butternut squash, and beetroot, to eat over the next couple of days. I am thinking of maybe getting some reduced fat feta and making a beetroot and feta salad, with some walnuts and some walnut oil and balsamic; or perhaps make a yoghurt and horseradish dressing... but knowing me, I'll probably just eat them plain - straight out of the fridge, onto the scales, and into my mouth.

Today's food was consumed in bits and pieces again; foraging. A plate of spinach here; eggwhites eaten as I peeled the shells off, that sort of thing. I kept thinking I just wanted someone to cook me a decent meal and serve it to me! I haven't managed to up the food calories yet. I thought I would, but right now I am not hungry for anything else. Typical. Maybe some fruit... but I am already over on carbs. We shall see.

So, today's CoM. I'd like to post pictures of the interface like Deborah does but I eat so many things a day, the screen scrolls down too far to show them all! I'm tired of chasing B12, so I've ordered some supplements, to take twice a week. Manganese today is very high... pineapple. I also had ground flaxmeal with my breakfast yoghurt rather than taking flax oil, but I don't think I will make it an every day thing.

Nutrition Summary for 18 March 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1028.6 kcal 86%
Protein | 80.2 g 89%
Carbs | 142.4 g 119%
Fiber | 36.7 g 122%
Fat | 26.8 g 67%
Water | 1915.4 g 71%

Vitamins (99%)
Vitamin A | 56168.8 IU 2408%
Folate | 1219.3 µg 305%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.6 mg 146%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 4.0 mg 366%
B3 (Niacin) | 27.8 mg 198%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.9 mg 159%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.7 mg 282%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.1 µg 88%
Vitamin C | 646.7 mg 862%
Vitamin D | 445.0 IU 222%
Vitamin E | 22.8 mg 152%
Vitamin K | 1825.6 µg 2028%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1194.2 mg 119%
Copper | 2.5 mg 281%
Iron | 19.5 mg 109%
Magnesium | 569.1 mg 178%
Manganese | 8.9 mg 492%
Phosphorus | 1323.4 mg 189%
Potassium | 5489.5 mg 117%
Selenium | 117.9 µg 214%
Sodium | 1167.0 mg 78%
Zinc | 13.8 mg 173%

Lipids (41%)
Saturated | 3.2 g 16%
Omega-3 | 2.1 g 192%
Omega-6 | 5.4 g 45%
Cholesterol | 3.0 mg 1%

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Weak as a kitten

Well, it was going to happen. I suspect that after three months of eating more or less 1100 calories a day (not counting alcohol calories) that my body might be saying, enough already, and it's protesting. The last few days I've noticed that I seem to be logging far more calories into CoM earlier in the day, and not feeling satisfied with what I've eaten until I'm at around 1100 (which tends to be late at night, and then I stop and just drink herbal teas). But right now I am hungry, and I've been hungry all day.

I think I need to give in, at least for tonight. Maybe tomorrow as well, and then we shall see. I really don't want to up my calories. My weight loss has been nice and steady and I really, really want to hit a certain point before the wedding, but I would like my body to co-operate, please.

I do know CR is not about the weight loss, but I have been so long out of tune with what my body really needs and requires that it takes a lot not to focus on the visible, on the tangible. Of course, right now my body is telling me it's not happy. I guess I need to listen, and work out exactly what it is it wants.

I think I am very tired. It's been a lot of running around, and I play too hard. But I really don't want to be this tired. I want to be full of CRON bounce and positivity and verve and... but I am not. I am... knackered. Working in the garden, digging the allotment patch and weeding and building a bonfire should not take so much out of me.

I am cooking dinner for my neighbours tonight, in an hour or so. I've got all my vitamins and minerals down already, a bit low on B12, and iron. So I need to let myself eat and enjoy it! We've got a yoghurty lebanese dip and bread (and I shall dip with chicory), and gnocchi (I'm going to roast some cherry tomatoes with garlic for a sauce) and tenderstem broccoli. And a huge pineapple.

And then lots and lots of sleep.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Ambushed by Butter

I picked up a package of veggies to steam from Marks and Spencer for lunch - spinach, asparagus, peas, scallions - they had "white wine butter" packed in with them, but it was easy to spot and I took what I thought was the single piece of it out, and zapped the lot in the microwave... but I missed one! Damn. So my lovely lunchtime veggies were coated with melted butter (I'm estimating 10g) for a whopping 71 calories of nothing! Grrrr.

(However, with low-fat cottage cheese on the top, I'm ashamed to report that they were delicious...)

I bought flax oil capsules in Holland & Barrett as well, hoping that taking one or two would set me up for Omega 3's for the day (I'm in London, my flax oil is at home). But I swear, the things are HUGE. Horse pills. No way am I going to be able to swallow them. So I can see myself later on this evening slitting them open with a kitchen knife and getting the contents out any way I can. Sometimes CRON is not glam.

I've eaten nothing but good and ON food today: cereal mixed with brewer's yeast mixed with cinnamon mixed with soy milk; Total 0%; blueberries; almonds; those veggies; mushrooms; cottage cheese... and I am sitting on 850-900 calories at 4.30pm! It's weird. Sometimes I have days when getting to 1000 is really tricky and involves grazing around and constant chewing of spinach like Wallace and Gromit's Were-Rabbit. (These days are getting fewer though). Other days, I seem to inhale calories without even meaning to and BANG! I am almost at my "limit" with an evening to go (and of course the evening involves a wine tasting and no chance for solitary broccoli). Now, just guess which one of those food items I could quite gladly have done without? :-)

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Safe Upper Limits And On The Road Again

Just so that I don't lose the link, and just in case this is useful to any of you, here is a guide to safe upper limits for vitamins and minerals. I'm assuming it's reasonably current. It looks as though I am reasonably okay for most things despite CoM screaming red bars at me on various vitamins, and while I was slightly concerned about my level of Niacin (double the DRI, and because I am a paranoid worrier, we know this), this document assures me that I am probably fine with it, although maybe I shouldn't eat marmite AND a fortified cereal each day, every day. I need to read it all through properly. Complicated, all this! :-) Really must see if I can find some funds to have all the blood tests and things I should have done, done...

Back to London again this evening but I have a quiet evening in alone with P's cats, since P is working hard and late on a software release. Dinner will be along the lines of steamed spinach with eggwhites and one whole egg (still chasing B12), and (if I can get some) a huge bunch of asparagus - I love asparagus. I've just more or less hoovered out the fridge for lunch - butternut squash, loads of mushrooms cooked with quorn and marmite, steamed broccoli and green beans.

I need a nap now.

I've been thinking vaguely about Cat and Hazel's musings on the privacy of Blogger and how LJ provides more personal security. I guess I count on the absolute vastness of the virtual world concealing me within it; I don't have a whole lot of secrets (apart from, ironically, the existence of this blog!) and I'm not too concerned about having posted some of the more personal things I have posted here. In terms of convenience LJ wins hands down for its friends list and community functionality, but I never wrote half as much on LJ as I write here. Still don't. Blogger has actually allowed me to write more than I have written in years because, I think, I do see it as reasonably anonymous - despite the fact I use my real first name and photo. I haven't had a whole lot of hits on my personal info page, and I am pretty sure if one googles "CR Blog" mine does not appear... so I don't really think many, if any, people are reading this apart from the other CRON bloggers (and maybe not even then!)...

Yeah, so vague thoughts... not entirely sure where I was going with them! But I know I'd better get back to work... :-)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

CoM for the Day

Time to start balancing my nutrients in earnest, I think. I know where to get them; now I need to know where to put them. I'm getting several red "warning" lines in CoM. Which means I've gone over a CoM DRI maximum setting, but this may mean nothing. Any tips? Where is a good place to find a useful guide for that sort of thing? Anyone, anyone? :-)

Nutrition Summary for 13 March 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1067.7 kcal 89%
Protein | 75.6 g 84%
Carbs | 140.1 g 93%
Fiber | 38.6 g 129%
Fat | 32.0 g 80%
Water | 1763.4 g 65%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 65567.3 IU 2810%
Folate | 1290.3 µg 323%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.9 mg 171%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 359%
B3 (Niacin) | 38.7 mg 277%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 10.1 mg 203%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.2 mg 243%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.4 µg 100%
Vitamin C | 571.9 mg 762%
Vitamin D | 459.4 IU 230%
Vitamin E | 23.1 mg 154%
Vitamin K | 1427.9 µg 1587%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1291.6 mg 129%
Copper | 3.2 mg 357%
Iron | 27.7 mg 154%
Magnesium | 640.4 mg 200%
Manganese | 7.7 mg 426%
Phosphorus | 1356.9 mg 194%
Potassium | 5841.7 mg 124%
Selenium | 129.1 µg 235%
Sodium | 1181.2 mg 79%
Zinc | 13.1 mg 164%

Lipids (52%)
Saturated | 3.9 g 20%
Omega-3 | 3.4 g 313%
Omega-6 | 6.3 g 53%
Cholesterol | 109.0 mg 36%

Positive Perceptions

My blog makes it more than apparent that I have an overwhelming tendency towards negativity... I am quite often down on myself, and on my achivements - quite frequently without even realising that this is what I am doing. To be negative is as much a sin towards oneself as hubris, and Miss M's little pep talk on yesterday's post has got me all fired up today to be more positive, or at least have a damn good try. In the end, it's all too easy to tie oneself down and that is as detrimental to one's health as a poor diet. So, I need to make a real effort to stop judging myself so harshly and, more importantly, stop comparing myself to everyone around me!

Things I can genuinely be proud of (excuse me for a moment):

I am intelligent and creative. I have two degrees, one with distinction, and I got two years into a PhD before being pole-axed by foodie problems and then distracted by an ill-advised and ill-starred relationship in another country. There is no reason why I could not have worked through the former and gotten my doctorate, but because I did not, I am not a failure. It just wasn't the right time and, if I am honest with myself, it wasn't the right subject. There was a damn good reason why no one has published papers on the area I had chosen to base my thesis around and it is because there really is nothing there (even though there should be). ("Images and perceptions of kingship in Caroline Drama", in case anyone is wondering. I am much better on the Elizabethans and Jacobeans.)

I have leapt without looking and survived.

I have managed to acquire and keep a techy job without any formal training. Ok, so I hate it, and sometimes I drive myself almost mad with the frustration of it being so alien to my mindset, but I can do it; I meet deadlines, I have satisfied clients who believe I do a good job. It is an achievement.

I have an incredibly healthy lifestyle (for the most part!) which I enjoy maintaining. Yes, I probably drink more than I should but I continue to make real efforts to cut this down; yes, I eat out more often than I should for optimal nutritional health but when part of the week one is in transit and living out of a rucksack, this really is unavoidable - still, I make real efforts to make this balance and work with my CRON. (Yes, I read April's recent post and immediately thought I am a failure for not making the decision to avoid eating out for the sake of my CR - that's my negativity directing itself towards myself again; nothing whatsoever to do with April's post which is, of course, perfectly valid in its content and I am in no way criticizing).

I have a large and varied set of wonderful friends, friendships that I have worked hard at creating and keeping. I hope I am good at being a friend. I certainly try to be. I am including this little CRON community in that, because it counts.

I am a damn good cook with enough imagination and creativity to envision this being a viable part of my future.

I made the decision to live apart from my lover in a beautiful place where I knew no one, and I have made a life here. See friends above! And we survived. And we are going to have a fantastic wedding party which will be all our own work.

Obviously there are things in my life that I am not proud of, and things I am not entirely happy with - but the existence of these things do not make me a failure in any respect. I need to remember this and stop tying myself down.

The sun today is wonderful. It is even starting to feel like spring. :-)

So, tell me at least one thing about yourselves that you are proud about at the moment.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Several Hundred Miles Later

That was quite an exhausting weekend; lots of partying, and lots and lots of driving. I am feeling very tired now.

Due to wine, I have to admit the two days were probably a write-off for CR which is making me feel a bit of a loser and a fraud. I didn't eat much, but I really never am going to have the iron discipline to sip slowly at a single glass of champagne, especially at a wedding party.

I woke up feeling thin on Saturday and Sunday and this morning I woke up feeling like a whale, so I am paying the price. Heigh-ho.

Still, I spent Saturday night with many people who I have known since university days; old friends, old lovers. People whom I love very much; some of whom I remain very close to, some of whom I have drifted apart from. And for the first time I can recall I felt genuinely confident and secure in my skin in front of them; I felt accepted, but by myself, not by them. Very odd. I was also paid a lot of rather drunken compliments, which is always good for the ego. I wish it hadn't taken seventeen years to feel right though. I wish I could have this feeling, and be in my twenties.

I think I am feeling rather old.

For some reason I am finding it really difficult to write this post. I'd love to post some really good CR news, or something introspective and meaningful but actually my mind seems to have frozen up. Maybe I need me some Omega 3's.

Today's CoM Report. This could have been 200 calories lower, and I would still have got good nutrition - 100% vitamins and 99% minerals (only down slightly on sodium) - but I ate cereal in the car while taking a break from the motorway this morning, and a slice of rye bread at lunch, and that has pushed the count right up. I could really have done without either, so I won't be buying the rye bread for a while; it's really not worth it. I prefer to have more room at the end of the day for extra calories than this.

Nutrition Summary for 12 March 2007

General (89%)
Energy | 1163.5 kcal 97%
Protein | 81.4 g 90%
Carbs | 149.3 g 124%
Fiber | 54.0 g 180%
Fat | 35.6 g 89%
Water | 1523.8 g 56%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 53384.6 IU 2288%
Folate | 1351.2 µg 338%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.3 mg 205%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 4.9 mg 448%
B3 (Niacin) | 36.5 mg 261%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.0 mg 139%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.7 mg 282%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 3.2 µg 133%
Vitamin C | 426.0 mg 568%
Vitamin D | 437.8 IU 219%
Vitamin E | 23.4 mg 156%
Vitamin K | 1841.3 µg 2046%

Minerals (100%)
Calcium | 1405.5 mg 141%
Copper | 2.6 mg 285%
Iron | 29.0 mg 161%
Magnesium | 733.7 mg 229%
Manganese | 9.3 mg 515%
Phosphorus | 1175.3 mg 168%
Potassium | 5078.4 mg 108%
Selenium | 110.9 µg 202%
Sodium | 1708.4 mg 114%
Zinc | 16.2 mg 202%

Lipids (44%)
Saturated | 4.5 g 22%
Omega-3 | 3.5 g 322%
Omega-6 | 6.0 g 50%
Cholesterol | 9.0 mg 3%

Friday, 9 March 2007

More chilled

Just before noon today, I finally got the piece of code I worked on all day yesterday running. The frustration was that it was such a simple concept, but a bug in the software (hello Microsoft!) meant that I had to spend hours and hours finding a work-around for something that literally just replaced 4 letters with another 4.

But... it's done.

Now I can look forward to my weekend. More Shakespeare In Stratford-upon-Avon this evening (As You Like It), and then a wedding reception tomorrow evening in York where I will see lots of people I haven't seen for very many years and seeing them will be fantastic. I have no idea what to wear though; I have 4 potential outfits packed and ready to go. I will see how I feel tomorrow.

I've packed lots of little en cas as well - 10g packs of almonds, and pots of breakfast cereal, and I'll take some soy milk with me; hopefully this means I won't feel the need for toast, and my pot of breakfast cereal with soy milk gives me 50% vitamins and almost the same on minerals.

And, after saying to Miss M yesterday that I hadn't tried marmite since I was a toddler but I didn't think my tastes would have changed... well, I was wrong. I've mixed some up in a quorn casserole for lunch, and I had a scraping of it on some rye bread, and it was yummy.

I have eaten more than I usually would have done at this time of the day, but I am hoping this means I won't be hungry and irritable after the show later and will be an all-round nicer, less-stressed, more chilled person to know.

Also tofu chocolate pudding really is balm for the CR soul; it feels decadent and luxurious to eat and my lunchtime portion was only 40 or so calories.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Today's CoM report (assuming I eat everything, which I will, I'm sure).

Nutrition Summary for 09 March 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1109.7 kcal 92%
Protein | 98.3 g 109%
Carbs | 128.3 g 107%
Fiber | 44.6 g 149%
Fat | 29.3 g 73%
Water | 1267.8 g 47%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 18779.7 IU 805%
Folate | 1034.0 µg 259%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.8 mg 255%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 5.6 mg 506%
B3 (Niacin) | 38.4 mg 274%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.9 mg 139%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.6 mg 275%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.5 µg 103%
Vitamin C | 306.3 mg 408%
Vitamin D | 459.4 IU 230%
Vitamin E | 16.9 mg 113%
Vitamin K | 985.1 µg 1095%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 956.6 mg 96%
Copper | 3.3 mg 369%
Iron | 24.1 mg 134%
Magnesium | 587.0 mg 183%
Manganese | 6.2 mg 346%
Phosphorus | 1293.2 mg 185%
Potassium | 4896.3 mg 104%
Selenium | 117.8 µg 214%
Sodium | 1313.6 mg 88%
Zinc | 15.8 mg 197%

Lipids (39%)
Saturated | 2.8 g 14%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 298%
Omega-6 | 4.9 g 41%
Cholesterol | 3.0 mg 1%

Thursday, 8 March 2007


I've been having nothing but trouble and uncertainty with CoM today, it appears. Or not with CoM itself - obviously the application is great, fantastic, etc - but with the data that I am putting in it, and that it is giving back to me.

Yesterday I was tinkering and decided to set all my DRIs to the UK DRIs (as in my handy little Boots leaflet, which is at my side all the time at the moment - obsessed, me?!). And then this morning I decided to change them all back again - because I decided that that the UK DRIs I had were too generic, and CoM does have male/female values. So I did.

But then I forgot what my calorie protein/fat/carb ratios should have been for 1200 cals a day (because of course CoM had sent all my targets back to non-CR). So I spent the next hour on the treadmill at the gym attempting to do the math to reset those. I know it's not a hard calculation but I am seriously, but seriously, innumerate...

I think I've got it set up right now... or maybe I haven't. I've never been too sure, really.

(Oh, and for the first time I entered the herbs and spices and vinegar and lemon juice I use on a daily basis. And then I took them off again, because really, surely one can count a calorie too far. And I took the B's off my Total 0% entry...)

On top of all that I have had a particularly cr*p and non-productive day at work that still isn't over, and a not-cheap trip to the vets with the elderly cat. But at least today has not involved Brewer's Yeast in any shape or form. Thank heaven for small mercies.

The Food

Baked butternut squash with cinnamon; Total 0% with the usual nuts, seeds and grapenuts

Raw spinach with mushrooms, tomatoes, steamed green beans, artichoke hearts, and hardboiled eggwhites. Flax oil.
Chocolate tofu pudding!

Quorn tenders cooked with leeks, mushrooms and savoy cabbage; steamed broccoli.

1 red plum
21g rye bread with sunflower seeds
18g hummus
100g raw celery
Lots of decaff coffee with cinnamon
Lite soya milk (which is supposed to have 48% of my DRI of B12 in 250mls. The US DRI for B12 is double what it is for the UK, I noticed last night).

The Crunch
Nutrition Summary for 08 March 2007

General (89%)
Energy | 1073.5 kcal 89%
Protein | 86.8 g 96%
Carbs | 128.1 g 107%
Fiber | 40.0 g 133%
Fat | 33.6 g 84%
Water | 1666.3 g 62%

Vitamins (95%)
Vitamin A | 35707.8 IU 1531%
Folate | 853.2 µg 213%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.4 mg 127%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 356%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.7 mg 169%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 10.0 mg 199%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.9 mg 226%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.1 µg 44%
Vitamin C | 286.7 mg 382%
Vitamin D | 476.0 IU 238%
Vitamin E | 19.6 mg 131%
Vitamin K | 1032.9 µg 1148%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1078.6 mg 108%
Copper | 3.1 mg 341%
Iron | 20.6 mg 114%
Magnesium | 573.2 mg 179%
Manganese | 6.8 mg 379%
Phosphorus | 1510.9 mg 216%
Potassium | 5315.3 mg 113%
Selenium | 128.6 µg 234%
Sodium | 1234.0 mg 82% <--- not as high as I was thought
Zinc | 15.3 mg 192%

Lipids (42%)
Saturated | 3.5 g 17%
Omega-3 | 3.4 g 307%
Omega-6 | 5.8 g 49%
Cholesterol | 3.0 mg 1%

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Total Confusion

Recently I've been eating a lot of Total 0% Greek Yoghurt, as do Miss M and Cat. I'd held out on it in favour of my organic, locally produced fat-free variety, but it has more protein and is convenient to grab and measure in London (I know I am eating approx 150g), and I can use the pots for seedlings.

So, I'd entered it into CoM somewhat haphazardly by modifying the entry for "yoghurt, plain, skimmed milk, 13 grams of protein per 8oz", because I wasn't sure of the calcium value of the Total and assumed it would be the same. It didn't occur to me until now to google for the nutritional information.

I noticed, though, that eating 2 pots of it (one for breakfast, one at lunch) was sending my B's rocketing in CoM. Great, I thought! Fantastic. With the amount of mushrooms I eat, and adding in some cereal, I've got the B's covered.

But on the link above there is no mention of vitamin B's at all! Now I know that B1, B2, B3 and B12 are found in milk. And the CoM entry for 150g skimmed milk yoghurt reads 15% DRI for B12 and 20% DRI for B2, and backs that up.

So why not mention it? It is, after all, a good whack of 2 of the B's. Reckon it's reasonable to assume that the B's in Total 0% are roughly equivalent to the B's in generic yoghurt? What about the calcium? Even the Fage site can't work out if 150g has 16% or 10% of the DRI of calcium. And the other trace minerals? My Yeo Valley Organics brand is 26% DRI of calcium per 100g.

And why on earth am I obsessing on this? Well, my numbers had been looking good. Now they might not actually be as good. That is... annoying. It just goes to show that no matter how hard we try, it's possible we have no idea what we are eating at all. And it means I need to decide if I need the protein and the yumminess of Total more than the extra calcium and lower eco-footprint of the Yeo Organics.

It is all very confusing.

Either the rye bread at lunchtime or the caffeinated coffee I had in the deli this afternoon has thrown my day out of whack; I got really, really hungry at around 5pm and instead of making a meal and sitting down and eating it calmly, I ate all the ingredients I'd intended to put into the meal, one by one. Steamed asparagus. Baked butternut squash. Steamed broccoli. Steamed mushrooms and to complete the theme, a pile of steamed spinach. Not entirely satisfying!

So I am hoping my second pot of Total 0% with a teaspoon of cocoa powder in it will make me feel a little more... cared for.

Here's the crunch.

Nutrition Summary for 07 March 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1095.1 kcal 91%
Protein | 81.4 g 90%
Carbs | 152.1 g 127%
Fiber | 43.0 g 172%
Fat | 28.1 g 70%
Water | 1588.8 g 59%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 39596.8 IU 1697%
Folate | 988.1 µg 247%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.1 mg 193%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 355%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.3 mg 166%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.2 mg 184%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.6 mg 198%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.4 µg 98%
Vitamin C | 388.7 mg 518%
Vitamin D | 441.2 IU 221%
Vitamin E | 18.5 mg 123%
Vitamin K | 1393.8 µg 1549%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1187.5 mg 119%
Copper | 3.0 mg 334%
Iron | 25.0 mg 139%
Magnesium | 565.9 mg 177%
Manganese | 4.8 mg 268%
Phosphorus | 1330.1 mg 190%
Potassium | 5150.1 mg 110%
Selenium | 149.3 µg 271%
Sodium | 1172.8 mg 78%
Zinc | 11.7 mg 147%

Lipids (42%)
Saturated | 3.4 g 17%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 297%
Omega-6 | 5.7 g 48%
Cholesterol | 6.0 mg 2%

Catching the zzzz's and saving the pennies

Mmmm, sleep. I love sleep, when I can get it. Good quality, restful sleep - with occasional interesting, entertaining but not worrisome dreams that I can just tell are the products of my mind attempting to let go of stress and crap - but mostly sleep. And I've had almost 12 hours of it, broken by breakfast (LL Brewer's Yeast in Total 0% - hmm, not really, waste of yummy Total) which I did intend to follow with a trip to the gym, but decided to follow with another couple of hours of zzzzz curled up next to the Tigs instead.

I feel so much better. I've been running myself ragged the last few days, dashing all over the country for work and entertainment, and it was going to take its toll sooner or later. I play too hard sometimes; I'm very lucky, of course, that I can and I'm not complaining about it, but simply being quiet and still is very important to wellbeing too. Maybe I should look into practising some form of meditation, like some of you.

Usually one of the first things I do when I get home is head to the supermarket to stock up on my CR staples - fresh veg, fresh berries, yogurt - but today I have enough leftovers in the fridge, freezer and fruit bowl and I must use them, and not run out for more spinach and mushrooms.

I have: red plums, shredded kale, broccoli, asparagus, celery, cucumber, tomato, mung bean sprouts(!), carrots, bell peppers, an entire savoy cabbage, a whole butternut squash that I have just baked in the oven, some lentils defrosting, and some quorn in the freezer. There is also a small packet of hummus which I might have some on of that dark, heavy wheat-free rye bread that comes full of sunflower seeds and vacuum packed... maybe an open faced sandwich with the mung bean sprouts, tomato, chopped bell pepper and celery... Mmm. I think I just came up with a lunch plan! I wonder if there is nutritional information on similar in CoM.

(EDIT - I love the internet. This is it! Except "Serving Size=1 ea" is a bit vague. And the info is in ounces not grams. Urgh, I can see maths in my future just trying to get the DRI of iron out of it and into CoM. I so hate being innumerate).

I must also fit in a gym visit; I have become horribly unmotivated to get there of late, and it's not a good thing (as seen in the mirrors in the changing rooms when I attempted to buy some more jeans this week, in horrible clarity).

Oh yes, and some work. :-)

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

A Much, Much Better Day

Finally at home, with a big plate of steamed broccoli and asparagus with flax and lemon, eggs hardboiling on the stove, and my bed calling my name. I'll be answering shortly.

Nutrition Summary for 06 March 2007

General (86%)
Energy | 1041.4 kcal 87%
Protein | 77.0 g 86%
Carbs | 124.8 g 104%
Fiber | 36.1 g 144%
Fat | 33.9 g 85%
Water | 1515.5 g 56%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 23730.9 IU 1017%
Folate | 935.0 µg 234%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.8 mg 160%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 4.4 mg 402%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.3 mg 166%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 8.2 mg 164%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.1 mg 237%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 3.1 µg 130%
Vitamin C | 258.5 mg 345%
Vitamin D | 414.4 IU 207%
Vitamin E | 22.8 mg 152%
Vitamin K | 1253.7 µg 1393%

Minerals (97%)
Calcium | 1293.6 mg 129%
Copper | 3.1 mg 349%
Iron | 20.3 mg 113%
Magnesium | 527.4 mg 165%
Manganese | 4.8 mg 269%
Phosphorus | 1450.8 mg 207%
Potassium | 5530.6 mg 118%
Selenium | 176.4 µg 321%
Sodium | 1085.9 mg 72%
Zinc | 12.9 mg 161%

Lipids (43%)
Saturated | 3.7 g 18%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 301%
Omega-6 | 6.4 g 53%
Cholesterol | 6.0 mg 2%

Moving On

So, unsurprisingly, yesterday did not end as a good CRON day. We ate tapas and I was still soooo food-wanty that I ordered double portions of espinacas con garbanzos and green beans with artichokes, a huge plate of salad, and shared a platter of very evil pimientos de Patrón with P. Okay, so I didn't finish all the food, so was not a total glutton, but even so I hate to think what the final calorie count was - let's say the serving was not skimpy on the olive oil.

But today is another day, and (even if it did begin again with cereal, loads of blueberries and early almonds) I don't feel as desparate to chow down on anything and everything this morning, so that's a marked improvement. I will write yesterday off as an anomaly, and I'm back home tonight so can have 3 straight days of uninterrupted CRON eating. Blissful prospect.

Monday, 5 March 2007


Hmm, okay, maybe the cereal hit first thing in the morning was not such a good plan after all. I have the serious mid-morning munchies, and I've already eaten around 500 calories (raspberries and Total 0% after the cereal, and an extra 10g of hazelnuts). Oh dear. I can see a Diet Coke in my immediate future, or I will be in danger of eating my lunchtime salad* before eleven. I'm not hungry, just wanting.

In the last few days, people have started commenting on the weight I've lost since January, which made me pay a bit of attention to it too. It's like someone has come along with a giant eraser and rubbed out strange and random bits of me, except for (of course!) the bits that I want to disappear. Meh. Actually I haven't lost that much (am weighing in between 115 and 118 at the moment) but it all seems to be on the move and redistributing - I really need to work at getting back into the gym on a more regular basis and make sure things stay where they should be.

*I'm really looking forward to this; it has baked onions and quorn sausages in it, left over from dinner last night. Yum!

Later... Urgh. 4.30pm and I'm on roughly 1000 calories, give or take a few. Haven't eaten anything bad at all (and am 99% vitamins (lowish on E) and 96% minerals which is as good as it gets), but that is so high for me for this time of day, and I imagine we will be eating out tonight so I can't just call it done. Most irritating.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

The Rain It Raineth

I'm glad that today's rain didn't arrive until the small hours of this morning, because it meant that we got a fabulous view of the lunar eclipse as we drove back to Somerset from Warwickshire between 10pm and midnight last night. With my eyes glued to the road, I was constantly asking P, "What's it doing now? What's it doing now?" until he persuaded me that maybe I should just stop and look. So I did, got some coffee and stared at the sky. The quality of the light, or lack of it, was amazing, and I haven't seen stars that clearly for many years, even given the light pollution of the service station and the motorway just yards distant. This was a natural phenonomen (sp?!) which had me totally awed; the universe is so amazing, and so implacable, and so huge.

Twelfth Night was also fantastic and I really enjoyed our meal out beforehand, and I slept well after we got home, if not for a long time, so today I feel in a much better mood. I have repeated my nutritional feat of yesterday today, in preparation for heading to London tonight, but it's been slightly knocked off whack by joining the neighbours for lunch and hence social eating - slice of rosemary foccaccia from the local farm shop, 5 black olives, about 10g goat's cheese, 1tsp spinach dip - yogurt based, I think -, 2 pickled onions (no sight of those in CoM!). But I ate my spinach and mushroom salad as planned afterwards (thyme has iron, and oregano has Omega-3 - good to know! - and I mixed those with flax and balsamic and garlic into a dressing), regardless of lunch's unplanned calories, because I wanted to know I had my 100% vits again, dammit. I will, if possible, go lighter on food when I get to P's around 9. I've requested broccoli and asparagus for dinner, and butternut squash.

If, for now, to get 100% on vitamins on days when I can't eat 3 meals at home (or prepare meals in advance), I have to resort to fortified cereal, small amounts of LLBY, and my lite soya milk, I will do so. I've mixed up two pots of cereal mix for the next two mornings which will be in London, to include yesterday's discoveries that got me to my magic number. 20g Kelloggs All Bran Fibre Plus, 20g Grapenuts, 10g almonds, 5g pumpkin seeds, 7g LLBY and 50g either blueberries or strawberries. I can have this either with my soy milk or Total 0%, and it gets me to around 40% on vitamins and minerals with a decent whack of protein, if slightly too high on carbs than I would like (and I'm not happy with the sodium and sugar in those commercial blends), but I will live with it for now. I know I only have to add 200g spinach and 250g mushrooms to that for lunch, maybe a bit of broccoli, with the thyme in a flax-lemon/balsamic dressing and I am at 100% vits (supplementing D), 91% minerals and around 700 calories, which leaves me plenty of scope for the rest of the day.

It feels like cheating but cereal in London it is, for now. Those are the days when I need to get my nutrition when, where and how I can. At home, I can work more on nourishing myself, caring for myself. I think it's this aspect of life that I miss out on a lot, and have been missing out on for sure the last few days. Nutrition v nourishment; it's a tough one. My mind and body are in constant conflict and getting a balance right is a really, really hard thing to do for me.

Seems at 34 one should be too old for such things, doesn't it? Oh well.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

When you get what you need but it's not what you want

We have another Shakespeare performance this evening, "Twelfth Night" (in Russian), but to save money and time we are not staying the night in Stratford on Avon... This means a 2 1/2 hour drive there for me, and a 2 1/2 hour drive back late at night. I am quite tired today, and worked in the garden this morning, and I'm feeling quite achy-shaky, as though I haven't eaten enough. Maybe I haven't. I've had a couple of days when the numbers in CoM are great, but I haven't felt enthused or satisfied by anything I've eaten - it's been eating for the sake of nutrition, and out of necessity. I don't feel as though it is has been eating that has nourished me in an emotional sense, and I need to work on that.

We have a table booked for dinner pre-theatre and right now I am trying to finish my enormous spinach lunch salad with yogurt, LLBY, mushrooms, and yellow pepper included in the CoM report below. So, once again, I know my nutrition is good, and actually the salad is delicious, but... I think I am just very tired.

Here is the crunch for today minus whatever ends up being pre-theatre dinner. I've left myself room for it.

Nutrition Summary for 03 March 2007

General (63%)
Energy | 706.8 kcal 59%
Protein | 44.5 g 49%
Fat | 25.8 g 65%
Carbs | 89.4 g 74%
Fiber | 24.9 g 100%
Water | 868.7 g 32%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 23931.5 IU 1026%
Folate | 657.2 mcg 164%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.3 mg 117%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.8 mg 341%
B3 (Niacin) | 20.4 mg 146%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.2 mg 124%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.8 mg 218%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.3 mcg 96%
Vitamin C | 432.8 mg 577%
Vitamin D | 414.4 IU 207%
Vitamin E | 18.0 mg 120%
Vitamin K | 1117.3 mcg 1241%

Minerals (91%)
Calcium | 1022.4 mg 102%
Copper | 2.3 mg 258%
Iron | 17.6 mg 98%
Magnesium | 423.7 mg 132%
Manganese | 3.6 mg 199%
Phosphorus | 979.1 mg 140%
Potassium | 3768.9 mg 80%
Selenium | 147.7 mcg 269%
Sodium | 456.3 mg 30%
Zinc | 9.3 mg 116%

Amino Acids

Lipids (40%)
Saturated | 2.8 g 14%
Omega-3 | 3.2 g 291%
Omega-6 | 5.1 g 43%
Cholesterol | 3.0 g 1%

Friday, 2 March 2007

Spring Forward

Miss M's post on her garden and veggie plot plans, and Hazel's talk of spring, inspired me to share these pictures taken in my garden last year, or the year before, to remind me as I look out on a London street with its stark bare-branched trees that summer really will be here before I know it, even if it doesn't seem that way right now.

And this one is just for the pretty.

I don't have much to blog about CR-wise today, except that my London days' nutrition is getting better thanks to LLBY and fortified cereal. Yesterday would have been pretty perfect in the end if I had managed to add a bag of spinach and subtract several glasses of champagne. Today I am getting my B's from mushrooms and yoghurt, and am on track for 97% vits and 94% minerals, a bit low on iron and potassium. All a bit dull really.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

To spare you the horror of discovery...

Brewer's Yeast in OJ at 6.30am? Uh - no. :-(

(I must find Robin's post on the info in the CoM database on the LLBY being wrong, and adjust it in my CoM. The prettier numbers might have lessened the horror, but not much. Still, live and learn!)

Faust last night was terrific but far more crowded since the last time I went. Last time I wandered around for at least 30 minutes alone through the various sets, hearing only the distant muffled thunder of rapid footsteps before silence fell around me again. This time it was difficult to see or move for the crowds haring along the corridors in swift pursuit of the actors. I did, however, discover a silent movie theatre and a nightclub that I had missed previously.

I think a 3rd visit might be in order; this time alone, to really run around and see everything there is to see without worrying about leaving a friend behind, or having a partner stranded alone in the dark on the 4th floor after having cheeked the elevator operator.

Those two paragraphs are going to make no sense to someone who hasn't seen the thing. Sorry!

My back is protesting this morning though, at having done the whole 3 hours while carrying 10lbs of laptop, my clothes for the next couple of days, and a large box of spinach salad. Ow. I am feeble.