Thursday, 31 May 2007

One of those days

I'm having one of those nibbly, unsatisfied by food days. :-(

It's not being helped by the office being freezing cold and for once the cookies being passed around with cups of hot tea are almost appealing. My body seems to want sweet and warm and comfort. It really didn't want the bitter lettuce and chicory salad I fed it at lunchtime and would have been happier with some steamed spinach, but it was lettuce that was in P's veggie box and lettuce the veggie must eat.

I've tried appeasing it with miso soup in anticipation of tonight's dinner which should consist of the first three dishes from these recipes from one of the Sunday papers. It's not working!

Oh well. I keep saying I must up my calories. I guess today is going to be a day when I do just that.

But not with cookies!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

I've been slightly lamenting the fact that postings from this little community have been getting fewer and fewer as the months go by; I quite like having random musings to read in the mornings over my coffee - I miss them when they are not there! But looking at my own blogging stats from the past month, I am blogging less and less myself - yet I think I am always rambling on about stuff and nonsense. :-)

I guess with CRON more or less under control, there's not a whole lot to write about (to do with CR). Actually, sometimes I am getting too good at the CR bit; I thought I was eating all day yesterday but when I came to add it all up into CoM I was under a 1000 calories. I'd had a few cups of Green and Black's cocoa made with water and a glass or two of sauvignon blanc so the day's total wasn't really that low, but with hovering just over the lowest weight I want to go (I think), I need to be careful of being too low on a regular basis. 100% ON though, according to CoM. Bar the wine, of course.

I'm mildly fretting about this protein restriction thread that's going on on the CR mailing lists. Arturo posted last night/today begging for a layperson's explanation (especially for us vegetarians) and I totally second that because I really cannot understand a word from the more hard-core scientific contributors' posting (yes, I do read them!).

But only mildly fretting. It's not like I'm mainlining steak at la Atkins. It's just that I upped my protein this year to eat CRON and I'd actually be fine lowering it again - this should we, shouldn't we, is getting a bit tiresome for me. I guess I should just make my own decision based on my own instincts - which lately has been cut the eggwhites, and get non-vegetable based protein from non-fat yoghurt, low-fat cottage cheese and LLBY. I'd be quite happy going back to all veggie protein though.

Off to London again later this afternoon. I've almost completed the CRON colonisation of P's cupboards - my nuts and seeds are there, my goji berries are there, my fat-free yoghurt is there, my flax oil and my scales! It makes such a difference knowing there are nutritious foods available, and P's health-kick continues. I am promised fresh tomato soup with braised fennel, and salady things for dinner. Lucky me. :-)

I just cannot believe that it is almost June.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Meme - eight random things about me me me

It's a bank holiday in the UK, but after driving back early this morning from a visit to my mother yesterday, I have done nothing with the day apart from wash the kitchen floor, nap, put the rubbish out, and watch Spiderman III which has to be The Worst Movie I have seen for long time and I would like my brain back NOW please.

It has been really terrible weather up until the last hour though; freezing cold, torrential rain and northerly winds. The broad beans in the allotment patch are flattened, and the rocket, carrot and beetroot seedlings are looking none too happy either.

Still, I am incredibly tired and achy for some reason so doing nothing probably hasn't been a bad thing. I'd like a few more days of the same. With sun. My sleep is still appalling, and the shadows under my eyes are defeating industrial strength concealer. Not pretty. *sigh*

So - eight random things, tagged by Nenette. Well, what haven't I already randomly babbled on about myself in this blog?

1)I have a tattoo of blue lilies on my right ankle, vertically along the bone. It hurt.
2)I love snow, and mountains, and that deafening silence when the flakes are falling.
3)I never liked cats until my Tigsy decided to adopt me.
4)I adore hot-tubs, preferably on high buildings at midnight in the snow.
5)I am innumerate.
6)I was going to write I didn't know what my natural hair colour was anymore, but April already did that one. Oh God, and the shoes - you too, April??! Okay, um... oh yes, I don't have a TV and haven't watched TV on a regular basis for ten years.
7)I have never tasted fish (except in batter, with chips, out of newspaper by the sea) or shellfish of any kind.
8)I also love the sun, to the point of giving myself sunstroke every time P and I go somewhere hot - I throw myself into sunbathing with abandon, and poor P spends the next three days mopping my fevered brow and feeding me watermelon.

There. :-)

(I've deleted my links to some recently deleted blogs. If you come back, let me know!)

Friday, 25 May 2007

Seasonal Treats and Unnecessary Decadence

Walking back to the tube on the way back to P's from work yesterday, I had an overwhelming urge to buy some foodie deliciousness for us to share. I was walking past Clarke's on Kensington Church Street and loitered outside the window... but I knew if I went in, I would buy bread and cheese and other treats for P and I would spend too much money and the evening would be one of gluttony and about as far from CRON as one could get, and there would be wine and... No. I wrenched myself away. How virtuous.

But we still would need to eat. P had arranged a couple of organic vegetable deliveries but I'd eaten most of that already in my lunchtime salad (oops), leaving just the potatoes, a less than perfect beet and some runner beans in the box. That was not going to make dinner... I had a bunch of asparagus in my bag, and a pack of spinach - but I was intending to steam that and eat it as soon as I got home. So that wasn't going to make dinner either.

And then I remembered. It's samphire season. I adore samphire; I love the green saline crunchiness of it. I haven't been able to find much nutritional information on it so far, but it's a dark green asparagus-y veggie - what can be bad? Mmmm. So off I went to the fishmongers on Notting Hill Gate and bought half a kilo of it for a king's ransom and three rock oysters for P. When he got home later on in the evening, we ate it raw with lightly steamed asparagus and lemon juice, and drank a chilled Albarino.

And, um, a 1971 Riesling Beerenauslese. But that's another story.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Zzzzz.... I wish. :-(

I'm not sleeping well lately.
And when I am sleeping I am dreaming I am awake not sleeping.
It's getting quite tedious.

I read a really interesting article in one of the Saturday papers relating to this book which touched on the decline on vitamins and minerals in vegetables grown since the 1950's until the present day. The figures were quite alarming, but I'll need to read more about it before worrying unduly. I seem to remember that one of the CR lists touched on this recently and it hypothesised that the research was undertaken by companies interested in pushing supplementation... which I guess reverts right back to the premise of the book anyway, so it might be worth getting hold of. Unfortunately I can't find the link to the article because The Guardian has completely messed up its pages with a recent redesign. Irritating. So actually me telling you about this really interesting article is totally pointless. Sorry! :-)

I blame the lack of sleep.

But I do sometimes feel a little concerned about trusting the nutritional data we have so absolutely... not much choice there though.


I've been to the gym the last couple of mornings but haven't increased my (food) calories accordingly. I have actually been ravenously hungry and eating lunch and dinner really early, at around 12 and 5pm, but once that is done I lose my appetite for having any more - which is good and bad, I guess. I think my increase in appetite is also to do with having started drinking caffeinated coffee again - because I can't wake up because I'm not sleeping... Hmm, I think I see a vicious circle there. Anyway, I need to lay off the coffee for a few days and see if that helps. Surely nature will take its course and I'll have to sleep eventually?! *hopes*

Today's (food) crunch.

Nutrition Summary for 22 May 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1078.8 kcal 90%
Protein | 89.5 g 99%
Carbs | 152.6 g 127%
Fiber | 37.1 g 124%
Fat | 22.7 g 57%
Water | 1719.7 g 64%

Vitamins (99%)
Vitamin A | 66143.3 IU 2835%
Folate | 1624.0 µg 406%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.9 mg 171%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.4 mg 307%
B3 (Niacin) | 20.2 mg 144%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.1 mg 142%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.3 mg 257%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.2 µg 91%
Vitamin C | 410.3 mg 547%
Vitamin D | 425.4 IU 213%
Vitamin E | 20.3 mg 135%
Vitamin K | 1518.1 µg 1687%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1222.1 mg 122%
Copper | 2.5 mg 282%
Iron | 19.4 mg 108%
Magnesium | 548.5 mg 171%
Manganese | 5.2 mg 289%
Phosphorus | 1464.7 mg 209%
Potassium | 5786.8 mg 123%
Selenium | 71.8 µg 130%
Sodium | 1245.0 mg 83%
Zinc | 10.3 mg 129%

Lipids (61%)
Saturated | 4.0 g 40%
Omega-3 | 2.5 g 229%
Omega-6 | 5.3 g 120%
Cholesterol | 9.6 mg 3%

Monday, 21 May 2007

My CRON staples

Sort of leading on from my previous post about knowing where to get my nutrients from now, and because I am a little - shall we say - bored, here is a list of what a Sara has in her fridge and cupboards on a regular basis to sustain her CR Life.

Total 0% Greek yogurt
Low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
Free-range eggs

Alpro Light Soya Milk

Lewis Labs Brewer's Yeast


Spinach leaves
Romaine lettuce
Broccoli (calabrese)
Red, yellow and green peppers
Butternut squash

Brazil nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Flax seeds (whole and ground)

Goji berries

Canned lentils
Canned cannellini beans
Dried oregano, thyme, rosemary



Flax oil

Balsamic vinegar

It doesn't seem like much considering the length of other CRON-practioners' staples, but I find that if I have all these things available, and add to them with other bits and pieces (I eat more variety of vegetables than listed here, for example), I easily get all my nutrients every day - I am usually at 90% of vitamins and 80% of minerals by the time I've eaten lunch, which isn't bad going really and good to know! Looking at that list, actually - I will have eaten everything on it by the end of the day bar the oats and cannellini beans! Yep, there is a lot of food when eating CRON!


And all that... gives me this.

Nutrition Summary for 21 May 2007

General (82%)
Energy | 1025.9 kcal 85%
Protein | 84.0 g 93%
Carbs | 142.2 g 118%
Fiber | 37.1 g 124%
Fat | 23.0 g 57%
Water | 1573.7 g 58%

Vitamins (99%)
Vitamin A | 57585.1 IU 2468%
Folate | 1290.7 µg 323%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.9 mg 177%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 358%
B3 (Niacin) | 20.9 mg 149%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.4 mg 128%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.3 mg 256%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.0 µg 84%
Vitamin C | 407.7 mg 544%
Vitamin D | 433.9 IU 217%
Vitamin E | 20.9 mg 139%
Vitamin K | 1737.4 µg 1930%

Minerals (97%)
Calcium | 1226.7 mg 123%
Copper | 2.5 mg 275%
Iron | 20.8 mg 116%
Magnesium | 483.3 mg 151%
Manganese | 4.7 mg 263%
Phosphorus | 1193.0 mg 170%
Potassium | 4839.7 mg 103%
Selenium | 98.4 µg 179%
Sodium | 1016.1 mg 68%
Zinc | 9.3 mg 117%

Lipids (58%)
Saturated | 3.0 g 30%
Omega-3 | 3.6 g 331%
Omega-6 | 4.7 g 106%
Cholesterol | 5.8 mg 2%

Sunday, 20 May 2007

You've got the tools, so use them...

I'm pretty used to having a couple of days a week when it's difficult to impossible to record my nutritional intake in CoM - because I am eating out, away from the machine, without my scales... that sort of thing. But most of the time when I am able to, I use CoM and am glad I do because it lets me know where I am. Today I haven't recorded, and I really wish I had! I had breakfast here, and I had dinner here, and I should have weighed and measured and I didn't... and now I am sitting here wondering, did I get enough iron? and, there's no way I got enough if any B5; maybe I should eat some mushrooms.... Hey ho.

I'm not too bothered really. I let today be kind of a free day because I dropped to 110.6lbs on the scale this morning, and while I know that was probably because I was dehydrated after drinks with friends last night (oops) or because I skipped lunch the last 2 days (no choice), I really don't actually want to be under 8 stone. Well, I don't mind being under eight stone as long as I am not getting a skinny heart... I don't care what my BMI is as long as my heart is fighting fit and keeps doing its job! And as long as The Dress isn't too big on the day, of course.

The funeral on Friday went as well as these things go. Sad, quiet. I hate the conveyer-belt feeling of crematoriums (crematoria?). But it is amazing that they are such quiet, empty places, considering the amount of traffic that has to go through them... Amazing, and horrific. Urgh.

Yesterday P and I went up to Stratford on Avon again, this time to see The Seagull. LOL. That didn't really cheer me up! P enjoyed it though. When we got home, we joined my neighbours for drinks and later, a pot luck supper. I ate asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli, and salad leaves with chives and chive flowers (yum), and even a spoonful of the rhubarb from the rhubarb crumble that had been made for dessert. We drank a lot - tested out some more wedding wines and settled on our red - a Chinon.

Today I made brunch for us all to eat in the garden - coffee and croissants (I had half of one) and strawberries - and then P and I went to Bath to sort out the family meal for the evening before the wedding in one of our favourite pubs. We ate lunch there and it was as delicious as always - watercress soup, and asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise for me, and some cheese - but annoyingly there is not the space to have such a large group of people all sitting together, so we'll have to resort to Plan B for that. And then we went and bought more wedding wine... and test-drove another in the garden afterwards.

So, I guess I don't really need to worry about the weight! It will be back on soon enough. But I do wish I had recorded breakfast and dinner (asparagus (no, I can't get enough of the stuff), broccoli, peashoots, LLBY, spinach and lentils) in CoM. I'd feel happier knowing I was in the nineties on most things, even if the calories are higher than usual. No, not happier; safer. It feels irresponsible to be CR'd without tracking my nutrition... and it is. I must remember that, in future.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Cold and Wet and Out of Sorts

Stop raining already, 'kay?!

Urgh, it's horrible here. So cold, even for May in England... and grey, and windy, and wet. This sort of weather makes me unable to settle, and feel scratchy in my skin, and just blah.

Tomorrow evening I'm heading off again for the funeral, which looks likely to be held on as bleak a day as the occassion. I've been breaking in new shoes around the house, which might contribute to today's grumpiness, and I have a new black dress and leggings which I am determined to team with my new yellow summer jacket, because I am pretty sure that Doris would not like to be seen off by a group of mournful crows. She already vetoed the lilies. It's not going to be an easy day. Since Dad went, my mother, brother and myself have been rather estranged from that side of the family (after the initial bonding in grief); finding words on these occassions is hard enough, but especially when it looks as though one's behaviour demonstrated apathy towards the deceased. Obviously apathy was the last thing I felt towards my grandmother... but my paternal family are very detached and stiff upper lip and I - am not. For all that, I never knew Doris as well as I would have liked to in an ideal world, but then the world often isn't ideal, is it?

So... well. Anyway.

I've had a couple of good CRON days with slightly higher calories than usual (ie, breaking the 1100 mark!) with accompanying higher protein and carbs: lots of butternut squash, and my new favourite addition to salads - peas - to blame for that. I am also trying to eat my way through a vat of cottage cheese, because I foolishly bought the larger version and of course, it goes off faster than I can eat it. I've pretty much cleaned out the fridge of the groceries I bought on Monday - just enough left to make lunch tomorrow.

I have still failed to knock the wine on the head.

A very dull post, I'm afraid. I seem to have all manner of rubbish to ramble on about, which is why I keep posting while others, probably more sensibly, are keeping their thoughts to themselves until they are worth sharing. :-)

I can get duller! Ta-da! Today's crunch. Sans vino. It was just not a day for iron no matter how hard I tried.

Nutrition Summary for 16 May 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1069.4 kcal 89%
Protein | 83.8 g 93%
Carbs | 148.3 g 124%
Fiber | 35.0 g 117%
Fat | 24.5 g 61%
Water | 1846.4 g 68%

Vitamins (98%)
Vitamin A | 73626.4 IU 3156%
Folate | 1267.2 µg 317%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.1 mg 194%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 4.1 mg 376%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.2 mg 165%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 7.0 mg 140%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.9 mg 301%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.9 µg 79%
Vitamin C | 369.0 mg 492%
Vitamin D | 423.4 IU 212%
Vitamin E | 24.0 mg 160%
Vitamin K | 982.5 µg 1092%

Minerals (97%)
Calcium | 1337.6 mg 134%
Copper | 2.8 mg 315%
Iron | 17.6 mg 98%
Magnesium | 600.4 mg 188%
Manganese | 4.5 mg 251%
Phosphorus | 1344.3 mg 192%
Potassium | 6029.7 mg 128%
Selenium | 98.8 µg 180%
Sodium | 1150.9 mg 77%
Zinc | 10.0 mg 125%

Lipids (58%)
Saturated | 3.1 g 31%
Omega-3 | 2.1 g 189%
Omega-6 | 6.0 g 135%
Cholesterol | 5.1 mg 2%

Monday, 14 May 2007

A Very Good CRON Day

I haven't had a report from CoM as good as this in a while and I am surprised, both at the nutrition and how low the calories are now I've entered everything and totalled it up. They are probably a bit higher in reality because breakfast #1 was estimated and it's impossible to make hummus without licking the spoon (or maybe that's just me).

Breakfast #1: melon, blueberries, Total 0%, wheatgerm, almonds, pumpkin seeeds, flax seeds
Breakfast #2: grapenuts and museli flakes with 1 tsp LLBY and warm soya milk; 1 boiled egg, one boiled egg without the yolk.

Lunch: salad of pak-choi, spinach, peas, asparagus, green pepper and mushrooms with cottage cheese and LLBY and flax oil; baked butternut squash with cinnamon

Dinner: Romaine lettuce wraps with homemade hummus (with extra pumpkin, sunflower and flaxseeds blended in) with chopped raw zucchini, tomato and mint (this was yummy); steamed broccoli and the rest of the zucchini.

It felt like loads but actually it doesn't look like much now I write it down. I'll probably have some strawberries and a few nuts or something as a dessert later on.

Here's the crunch.

Nutrition Summary for 14 May 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1052.1 kcal 88%
Protein | 83.9 g 93%
Carbs | 139.7 g 116%
Fiber | 34.3 g 114%
Fat | 26.2 g 66%
Water | 1643.2 g 61%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 46040.9 IU 1973%
Folate | 1162.0 µg 290%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.0 mg 185%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 350%
B3 (Niacin) | 21.7 mg 155%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.5 mg 129%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.6 mg 278%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 3.0 µg 123%
Vitamin C | 397.4 mg 530%
Vitamin D | 441.9 IU 221%
Vitamin E | 17.1 mg 114%
Vitamin K | 967.6 µg 1075%

Minerals (99%)
Calcium | 1148.6 mg 115%
Copper | 2.3 mg 259%
Iron | 20.4 mg 113%
Magnesium | 464.8 mg 145%
Manganese | 3.7 mg 206%
Phosphorus | 1362.0 mg 195%
Potassium | 5057.8 mg 108%
Selenium | 97.2 µg 177%
Sodium | 1391.2 mg 93%
Zinc | 10.3 mg 128%

Lipids (80%)
Saturated | 4.7 g 47%
Omega-3 | 3.6 g 331%
Omega-6 | 4.7 g 108%
Cholesterol | 219.0 mg 73%

No Place Like Home

Finally I get three whole days (more or less) in my own house, and three straight nights in my own bed, and (counts them) eleven completely CRON meals made by my own fair hands in my less than fair kitchen. Bliss. It's a shame I can't completely relax and chill out as well, but... work.

The weekend was pretty manic and, as usual, too much wine was consumed. Another good thing about being at home for three straight nights - little or no social temptation, and right now I have no desire to continue the indulgences.

I had my lovely visit on Friday as planned with N and C, who slept in my arms for most of the time I was there, stunning me as usual with the incredible weight of a child. N assured me that I couldn't break him, but there is something about the fontanelle of a five week old baby that is very disconcerting! But I didn't drop him, and he is a little angel.

On Saturday, since I had the car in London, P and I did a supermarket shop and when we got back to his place, we cleared out all his cupboards of all the old, dusty, half-opened packages of dried goods (pastas, rice, dessicated herbs!), and replaced them with my CRON staples of nuts and seeds. 0% Greek Yogurt and eggs in the fridge (since when did you eat eggs, bird?), and lots of veggies that hopefully will get eaten this week by P because I barely made a dent in them. We ate with neighbours on Saturday night (asparagus with foaming hollandaise (a tsp for me) and risotto (couple of spoons for me and a truckload of salad), and drank champagne and elderly burgundy.

Sunday we met an ex of mine and his new partner for lunch. I ate a fabulous spring minestrone - a shallow bowl full of tiny broad beans, asparagus, snap beans, peas, zucchini and artichokes in a light broth which I suspect was loaded with butter but was totally delicious and I'm going to recreate it asap sans fat - and the freshest buffalo mozzarella with arugala salad and yet more asparagus, grilled and served with shaved parmesan. White burgundy, followed by a Brouilly.

After all that, all I wanted to eat last night was watermelon and a tiny bit of feta cheese. In fact, I was craving watermelon and I'm glad that the little Turkish-Cypriot shops on P's street always sell it. I ate half!

So yes. This weekend I ate and drank (oh those "toxic calories"(?!)) and didn't measure because I'd forgotten my scale. But for all that, I still weighed in at precisely 112lbs this morning when I got home - and that was after breakfast #1 at 4am and breakfast #2 at 9am. So the extra eating is probably a good thing; I know I need to be careful right now. Actually I'm really looking forward to being careful; I have had such a sense of being on an out-of-control roller-coaster lately and I'd liek some control back please, thank you very much.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Thank you

Thank you everyone for your comments and kind thoughts. It's been a strange and disconcerting and disorientating week and it is somehow grounding to know people are reading this blog and taking the time to respond to my posts.

Thank you.

Irritatingly, once more I find myself on an unplanned visit to London because when I got home late on Wednesday, I found my ADSL router was non-functioning and of course without it, I can't really work from home. Slow is not the word. So after spending yesterday on dial-up into the office (urgh), I left home at 3.30am this morning to drive up because I was just too tired last night to contemplate it. I haven't been sleeping at all well recently, and feel incredibly stressed and hassled. This happens, I find, when I am away from home for an extended amount of time and not on vacation. I hate living out of a rucksack, not having my things around me, not being able to eat Sara food as and when, and I've been doing that for over a week now and will be doing so until early next week, and then some more when we head north for the funeral at the end of it.

On the bright side, I got to see the sun rise behind Stonehenge at 4am! Or as near to sunrise as it was going to get - it was actually raining and with a striking grey band of cloud on the horizon... but the concept is still good, right?

I will struggle through the rest of today with the help of strong coffee (and maybe power naps in the loos). I forgot to bring my scales with me this time, but I did manage to be organised enough last night to pack a salad and cottage cheese with LLBY for lunch, and enter it all into CoM so I know where I am nutritionally.

Then this evening, I hope I finally get to meet my good friend N's new baby boy C - I say hope because the poor little mite has been in and out of hospital for blood tests because he has a mild case of jaundice. Those of you who are mothers will be able to appreciate how frantic N is at the moment not knowing the results. With luck they will be in later today, and N can enjoy introducing C to his Bad Auntie Sara. I am very excited about this; I hope my friends' children will be an important part of my future.

I hope everyone has good weekends... with better weather than we are promised here! We've gone from summer in spring to winter in summer and I am not amused.

Oh, and out of curiosity, is anyone reading this not vaguely zoned in their eating? There was an interesting posting on one of the CR lists about 90g protein resulting in higher incidence of mortality... Of course, I don't understand these things, but the posting also used as an alternative example a diet that was lower in fat and protein and higher in veggie carb - and since I struggle with keeping my veggie carbs to 40%, and getting both my fats and protein to 30%, I was wondering if this might be a better ratio for me. Sometimes I feel really icky on a day when I've done 90g protein... Huh. My brain just keeps ticking away on the trivial, doesn't it?

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

My grandmother passed away early yesterday morning. She'd just endured two weeks of radiotherapy in the hopes of gaining maybe two more months of life, of time to come to terms with leaving. Sadly, she wasn't granted that in the end. My grandfather told me he was with her all evening, talking to her, holding her hand. He said she didn't close her eyes at all until dawn, and then she went peacefully with the night. I hope that was how it was for her.

She was 87 years old, and up till fairly recently she'd been in good health, if increasingly delicate and frail. They were still living in their own home, mobile, independent of the world but wholly dependent on each other. They were truly soulmates, truly two halves of the same person and I cannot imagine that my grandfather will endure their separation for very much longer. To live so long, to fight a war, to fight oh-so-very-many wars against the world itself after that (as I suspect many of the WWII generation did), to lose a son (my father) and now a wife... No, he will not go quietly, but I think he will go.

I have a real problem with accepting death, with accepting finality. Someone posted on Mary's blog during that we are all eating disordered in denial debacle to the effect that CRONers are terrified of fat and dying. The comment was flawed in context but it cut deep for me because yes, I am terrified of it - more of dying, than of fat, obviously - since I was at my father's side when he went. But then it's not death per se that frightens - it's the helplessness in the face of inevitability, of implacability. Can we delay the inevitable? I guess that is and has been my question since my father passed away five years ago and the attraction of CRON is that, pursued properly, it might offer that possibility; it might be the only way to fight.

Practiced properly.

But of course there is always the alternative. To find grace, to practice acceptance, to live as well as one can in all ways in the here and now.

I'd like to find a way to combine the two.

But this post shouldn't be about me. It should be about my grandmother and my grandfather, two very human, very flawed people, very much in love for over sixty years. They were, are, and will continue to be an inspiration for me.

RIP Doris. I wish you'd had your two months that you fought so hard for. I hope your son got to where he should be to meet you on the other side. Give him my love, and take mine with you too.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

One Inch Off A Vanity Size

This weekend I ended up being measured for Another Dress and found that I am 1 inch on my waist away from being a size 0. Not that this means anything whatsoever, of course, but it gave me a chance for a good giggle and a vague wonder if I can knock off that inch by July!

However, those measurements were taken on Saturday afternoon. After the rest of the weekend they may no longer be valid! P and I spent the long weekend with my good friend E in Leeds and the surrounding countryside; we ate and drank A LOT, shopped, walked (though not as much as we should have done because it has got COLD here), gossiped, lounged and slept. Last night when P and I arrived back in London I was hoping for an evening of broccoli and LLBY, but P decided he wanted to eat out so... we did. My weekend of gluttony culminated in the sharing of a cheese plate, but it's over now... and from reading everyone else's blogs, I don't sound as though I was alone in clinging to the CRON wagon by my fingertips. :-)

I'm looking forward to getting back on track again now though. I didn't actually eat anything bad (well, apart from two polenta fries yesterday, oh dear), and I did have some LLBY everyday, and nuts and seeds and gojis and lots of fruit and vegetables, but as usual with eating out there were loads of hidden calories and I know the nutrition couldn't have been as ON as it should have been.

So with July heading towards me at a rate of knots I am starting to think about a serious 2 month plan - drink lots of water, cut the caffeine, cut down on the booze, body-brushing, that sort of thing... I don't feel as polished as I should be. My body feels like a perfectly solid family car, and I want it to be as revved as a lamborghini. :-)

So, give me your best tips for feeling and looking fabulous... food, supplements, tips, tricks?

Yes, well. I just caught up on all the blogs, inc April's post about the definition of being truly CRON. So perhaps the label is not one I should lay claim to any more. Not that I want to be labelled at all. I do love the feeling of community that exists around these various CRON blogs, but until I can really walk the walk perhaps this isn't the place for me any more... if I am somehow letting the side down with my less than perfect behaviour! I don't know; I don't know, I really don't! :-)

Thursday, 3 May 2007

BBC CRON Article And Lunchtime Ramblings

Our CR Life!

I do wish they'd drop the "Eat Less" angle though. I couldn't eat much more if I were a foie gras goose.

So, I am in London for a whole week. More accurately, London-Leeds-London but it still means a week of more ad-lib eating than usual. So this time... I brought my little red food scale with me. I give up; I don't care if P thinks it's weird. :-) Breakfast was a variation on the usual - non-fat Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, almonds, gojis, with flaxseeds - and a weighed bowl of melon and raspberries. For lunch I ate a perfectly weighed and measured salad with tomatoes, mushrooms, cannellini beans (I realised I hadn't eaten any legumes for ages when someone posted about the connection between legumes and longevity!), cucumber, spring onion, pumpkin seeds, LLBY and a mix of salad leaves from the local farmshop that seemed to include arugula, baby chard, dandelion, mustard greens. Yum. More yoghurt and wheatgerm and a tiny amount of dried cranberries and raisins for dessert - I will need to lock the pack away somewhere, too easy to munch on those in the afternoon hours. And before wine tasting tonight I am planning to eat 235g steamed spinach with flax oil. I think that gets me to pretty much complete nutrition on around 800-850 calories, so I can more or less relax and enjoy my evening. And try to remember to measure my wine intake equally carefully!

P has gone on a bit of a health-kick himself, purchasing a smoothie maker and coming over all enthusiastic about blended fruit concoctions. We shared a melon, strawberry and peach smoothie last night (not weighed!) - I ate mine out of a bowl with a spoon, like a chilled soup. Smoothies are, I know, fairly high calorie so it won't be something I indulge in very often (and I prefer my fruit whole) but it will be interesting to see if the same machine will cope with veggies like carrots and beetroot. The really good part of this is that there is more Sara friendly food in the house, and he has also ordered an organic vegetable delivery from Abel and Cole, to arrive weekly so that I won't be scrabbling around grumpily trying to feed myself from his usual meagre stores. We don't share tastes in food at all at the best of times, but it's always great when he starts paying more attention to his diet; after all, I don't want to see him (or me!) suffer for poor nutritional choices in the future.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A Correction

In a moment of blog-immersed enthusiasm, I posted on April's CR diary to the effect that I rarely feel hunger on CRON if I have done the ON right - and that is indeed true. What I neglected to say, and what I am saying here in case people follow the link and then see me saying over and over in this very blog "I was hungry", "I was bad-tempered with hunger", "my food came too late", "argh where is the decent food??!!!!???", is that getting ON right 100% of the time is sooo tricky and takes so much concentration and effort that... well, sometimes it doesn't happen and sometimes you get hungry... at inconvenient moments.

Like late this afternoon, right after posting that comment, I went to visit one of my wedding suppliers to talk about catering equipment. I was fine; I'd eaten lunch and an afternoon snack... He and I were having one conversation. And then my stomach suddenly decided to make its best growling efforts to generally distract and interrupt us with another. Grrrr.

And what had I done? I think I'd missed all the fat out of my lunch. 300g romaine, spinach and rocket with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and cucumber topped with fat-free cottage cheese and LLBY, and blueberries, Grapenuts and goji berries for dessert. No nuts, no flax... and it really does seem to matter. Tiny details that I really must pay attention to.

So dinner tonight had a double helping of flax oil on. It's officially asparagus season now - for 14 days!!! - and I am taking full advantage. The farm shop had gorgeously fat, locally grown spears for sale at not too horrific a price, and my treat to myself this evening was a whole bunch, steamed alongside other veggies and drizzled with the flax. Yum. I shall spare you pictures this time though.

Hmm, this is a bit low in calories. Maybe I need some tofu chocolate mousse...

Nutrition Summary for 01 May 2007

General (84%)
Energy | 997.9 kcal 83%
Protein | 84.1 g 93%
Carbs | 130.1 g 108%
Fiber | 39.7 g 132%
Fat | 25.5 g 64%
Water | 1760.5 g 65%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 29917.5 IU 1282%
Folate | 1573.8 µg 393%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.1 mg 190%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 357%
B3 (Niacin) | 20.8 mg 149%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 5.9 mg 118%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 3.0 mg 232%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.3 µg 96%
Vitamin C | 375.6 mg 501%
Vitamin D | 424.9 IU 212%
Vitamin E | 23.0 mg 153%
Vitamin K | 1214.6 µg 1350%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1144.0 mg 114%
Copper | 2.8 mg 313%
Iron | 20.2 mg 112%
Magnesium | 509.4 mg 159%
Manganese | 4.5 mg 249%
Phosphorus | 1378.0 mg 197%
Potassium | 5349.3 mg 114%
Selenium | 161.0 µg 293%
Sodium | 1134.4 mg 76%
Zinc | 10.7 mg 133%

Lipids (60%)
Saturated | 3.7 g 37%
Omega-3 | 3.7 g 339%
Omega-6 | 5.3 g 120%
Cholesterol | 8.1 mg 3%