Thursday, 28 June 2007

DBTIC II (Quite Well Actually)

Tonight P went for a fitting of his wedding jacket, so I have had the opportunity to cook dinner for us both. A rare one, since P prefers to cook at home himself, hating the whole "meal on the table when I get home" concept, and when I cook for myself alone I just steam a plate of veggies and eat them plain, or maybe with some black pepper and lemon.

I have made far too much, as usual, as I seem unable to cook for company in anything but industrial quantities, and I have used the whole double organic veggie delivery but it should also provide lunch for me for tomorrow. P and I also are very fond of eating mezze style, lots of little dishes, lots of varying tastes. We'll eat everything at room temp, and he can add oil as he chooses. I've already had my flax on an emergency damn-I'm-hungry salad.

So on tonight's menu is:

Mixed mushrooms (the usual white, and some very weird knobbly ones from the veggie delivery, and some portabella, and some shitake) baked in a foil parcel in the oven with quartered unwaxed lemons, lots of garlic, fresh tarragon, rosemary and bay, and a slosh of rose wine (plus one for the cook). It looked great going into the oven, less great coming out, but it smells divine.

Rainbow chard steamed with chilli and garlic and served with fresh tomato sauce (a little more rose, some more chilli and garlic). It looked so lovely raw but there was no way I could serve P that amount of greenery without huge protests! :-)

Fresh broad beans (I think in the US these are fava? I hope so, because that's what I've been entering into CoM), shelled and podded, with steamed zucchini and asparagus in a very low cal, low fat yoghurt dressing with TONS of fresh mint.

P gets new potatoes. And his homemade pie.

It's been just what I needed, some time to myself. Last night we had a wine tasting and in the heat of many bottles a close friend of ours and P fell out, and I caught the brunt of it as well. As a result I've felt really upset and fragile most of the day, and this has given me some chill out space that was very much required.

Of course I haven't been able to weigh or measure any of this but... it doesn't matter. NBD. :-)

Now I just need to wait for him to get home!


Thanks for Robin for the invention of an incredibly useful acronym.

I'm back in London now after a couple of good CRON days at home - low calories (possibly too low, maybe) and good nutrition reports from CoM. Back to 110lbs yesterday as well - which again, might be too low, but I can't worry about sorting that out now. Losing or gaining weight at this point seems to be a cause of stress for me! Honestly, I despair; there always has to be something for me to fret about.

Anyway, today will be a Doing The Best I Can day, not least because the batteries on my digital scales at P's have run out, coinciding nicely with the same happening to my scales at home! Hopefully they won't be difficult to replace but really, I would have expected them to last more than 6 months and 3 months respectively. I guess they weren't stress tested by a CRON practitioner! :-)

I've had a good start with blueberries, strawberries, 0% yoghurt (no Skyr in WholeFoods this morning, a disappointment!), pumpkin seeds, almonds, gojis, cacao nibs and flaxseeds. Not all at once, and I don't think I over-estimated the quantities. I picked up the flaxseeds at WholeFoods this morning because I've run out at P's. I think they've got their pricing slightly wrong on that one - 100g of them cost me 9p! Still, I'm not complaining. Everything else in there really is Whole Paycheck!

Later... Lunch - 4 spears of grilled asparagus (oiled), 3 florets of raw broccoli, a spoonful of peas, a spoonful of lentils, and some tofu in honey glaze from the WholeFoods salad bar. My check is well and truly gone.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Complete Gak Fest

Urgh. I've just had several days of pretty horrible nutrition - lovely company and I did a lot of nice things but as far as CRON goes, it was pretty poor. How it is possible to put 5lbs on in as many days I do not know, but I've managed to do it and I am feeling quite bad about it. *sigh* I hope most of it is water weight and it will be gone soon. :-(

I did try my best up to a point, but I was very lazy about stuff yesterday in particular.... I ate so much bread, and hardly any veggies at all, and drank way too much. Yes, I am beating myself up about it so I won't elaborate but suffice it to say, I wish I had more time at home alone to get things under control this week before I have to head back to London again. What with being sick, and carb-craving, and then running around all over the place, and socialising, and not having access to my staple foods, I've lost the plot somewhat. Unfortunately I only have a couple of days to get it back. I will be doing all I can to make those days count 100% towards nutrition and keeping as low as possible on the calorie front though. Bring on that spinach.

Friday, 22 June 2007

A Whole Foods Discovery

Today I finally managed to visit Whole Foods and come out with something vaguely nutritious and CRON friendly. It's Skyr, a very low fat (0.2g per 100g), high protein (12g per 100g) and fairly low calories (66 cals per 100g) dairy product. Yum yum. Oh yes, and 14% RDA of calcium in a 100g as well. My little pot was 170g, and with its own dinky spoon so I could eat it in the park.

I also left with extra goji berries and some raw cacao nibs from Of The Earth Superfoods because I've been becoming intrigued by this whole superfood thing... really because I still feel and look dreadful and need something to perk me up, although I suspect what I need is a lot more sleep and less general stress overall.

Anyway, I'm now bouncing high on cacao... well, all 5g approx of it I allowed myself with my Skyr. It was a yummy treat.

I still look like hell though.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Mizzi very sensibly often proposes following one's instincts when choosing what to eat on a CRON diet. As a rule, I do this myself. But this bug has totally messed up those instincts and for the last few days I have been eating what I think I should eat, hitting my RDA's etc, but missing something out somewhere because I have been hungry. Hungry as in "foraging around the fridge" hungry, hungry as in "Cooking? - hell, no! Bring it on raw!" hungry, hungry as in "Are you eating enough? Errm, maybe not actually... oh dear" hungry.

It's not been nice.

Yesterday evening I was seriously craving carbohydrate. Toast. Pitta. Anything bready. But there was none in the house, and nothing else would do.

So this morning on the scales I'd dropped another few ounces (Hello, 108! Hmmm...) and even after my usual breakfast and extra strawberries, I was still craving bread. Not just any old bread though; it had to be either rye toast, or fresh warm french bread. My cravings are nothing if not specific. Again, nothing else would do. Not almonds, not gojis, not pumpkin seeds. No. Bread.

Anyway, the upshot of it is that I decided that if my cravings were this strong, perhaps they were beyond cravings and into animal instinct, my body demanding something that only comes in bready form. So... yes, I drove to the farm shop and bought a freshly baked white(!!) baguette and have eaten a hefty chunk of it (unweighed!!), still warm, with fresh orange marmelade and fresh black coffee.

And I feel 100% better for it. I am seriously amazed.

So, I have learnt that trusting my instincts is good (duh!) - or rather, distinguishing between random craving and instinct. Sick, my body might need all the broccoli, spinach, kale and butternut squash I can throw at it, but it also needs and wants a lot more calorific energy than I've been giving it to throw off this sickness. And if that calorific energy needs to come from something that usually I would consider to be nutritionally empty and so resist eating, so be it.

Now, I just need to resist the rest of the loaf that's sitting on the counter top wafting scents of bready deliciousness at me... :-)

I am off to London this afternoon for a few days at the end of which I suspect 108 will be a distant memory. P has prepared me mushroom and tofu chinese leaf parcels for dinner tonight and one of his fabulous veggie soups, so he says. There is Whole Foods to continue exploring at lunchtime tomorrow. On Friday evening we are going to The Taste of London Festival in Regent's Park. And on Saturday I am having my rescheduled hen party, which will be civilised afternoon tea with a small group of close friends at The Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, no doubt followed by uncivilised drinking of champagne elsewhere. I am determined not to let this lingering cold get in the way of any of that; I have been weak and feeble too long.

(I am somewhat mocking myself with this "Sara Eats Some Bread Shocker". I just despair at myself for not seeing the blindingly obvious sometimes. :-)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Beginning a better week?

Thank you for all your get well wishes. I'm still not well, but better than I was. Maybe I was expecting too much from my supposedly revved up immune system in hoping to rid myself of whatever this is in a few days. With luck, I should be back to 100% by the end of the week. *Hopes*

The worst thing about this is the effect it's been having on my CR mentality - it's not that it's been a struggle to stay CR'd, but I've been having more of a struggle than usual wanting to stay CR'd. I think this all comes down to me being tired of looking after myself and just wanting someone to do it for me, or to take an easier route. Have some bread and cheese for lunch rather than the huge salad; have someone else cook me a meal; that sort of thing. Feeling sorry for myself brings on a lax mentality, so it needs to stop.

I'm neither losing nor gaining weight, which is also... a bit dull, really. Another mental attitude that needs adjusting, because at my current weight lack of variation is good and where I should want to be.

I want to get back to the gym because I fear for the tone of my upper arms in The Dress after not having worked out for so many days in a row (not to mention the tone of everything else!)! But once more I don't think I have the energy today. So I will look into acquiring some weights I can use at home until I feel up to the treadmill / cross-trainer again. Going to the gym simply to do weights will not work for me. I will either over or under-do it... although anything would be better than nothing. See, lax thinking!

The Dress has actually arrived but I've yet to try it on properly. The zip on the side is in such a position that I suspect were I to fully draw it up, alone I wouldn't be able to pull it down again, and there I'd be, stuck in my wedding dress. I don't love it that much. :-)

I hope everyone had good weekends and now have good weeks in front of them.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Go AWAY cold

I am distinctly unimpressed by the tenacity of whatever little bug I have picked up and is refusing to just leave me in peace. I've had to cancel my own hen night because I am wheezing and coughing like a consumptive Bronte, and look about as attractive. Grrr.

Still, better sick today than sick in exactly one month's time. Hopefully it won't be raining then, either.

P bought me my wedding ring at the weekend and I am very excited and keep sneaking it out of its box to try it on again. It's very sparkly and very pretty, and not at all what I thought I would get when we went shopping. But it called to me. The precious.

CRON is so-so. I ate too little on Monday, too much (for my taste) on Tuesday, was unable to measure dinner last night because it was with the next door neighbours, and just now failed to fight off an attack by a left-over portion of cold rhubarb crumble that's in the fridge waiting to be passed back to its maker. Not like me at all to do that. Usually I have an iron will with sweets. I didn't touch it last night so why it should suddenly be appealing cold and gloopy I do not know. Still, I guess it's fruit, right?

Monday, 11 June 2007


I'm taking the day off work today, because for the first time this year I am feeling decidedly below par, with a scratchy throat and (I think) a low fever. I'm hot and cold and shivery. I don't know whether to blame the fact I was definitely eating sub-optimally over the last few days - as usual, nothing bad, just not enough good stuff - because I was busy and with P and my mother, or whether stress is just knocking me for six and forcing me to slow down.

Either way, I am taking it easy today, and self-medicating with lemon juice and manuka honey, and lots of garlic in my salad. I thought my appetite had gone but I just managed to put away a ton of lettuce and salad veggies, and some cottage cheese with LLBY, so I guess not. I have the ultimate comfort food (butternut squash!) baking in the oven, and I'm probably going to spend the rest of the day feeling slightly sorry for myself in bed with a few books.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Still excited

So, I have yet to utilise the convenient proximity of Whole Foods Market for ON.

Yesterday's lunch there, despite good intentions, ended up being 2 glasses of fizzy wine at the oyster bar while my friend ate a dozen oysters, some cantaloupe melon and some really damn fine coffee. Ooops. My third trip of the day, to buy hostess gifts for a dinner party I was attending last night, resulted in the purchase of several stinky artisan cheeses and some apricot and oatmeal bread, along with some broccoli florets which I munched walking across Kensington Palace Gardens up to the tube (and almost killed myself by choking on them, I'm not really skilled at multi-tasking) and some late asparagus.

The cashier didn't know what the asparagus was. But in his defence he looked extremely hassled and overwhelmed by the sheer number of people in the line waiting to be served. The store is obviously suffering from some teething problems - one of my stinky cheeses would not scan at all, and after having failed to find a price for the asparagus he gave up, and just dropped it in the bag. I presume it was deliberate, and I smiled and thanked him nicely.

Today I will be more restrained. I have steamed green veggies for lunch, and while I am dragging P to the store to bounce about him like an excited child before we get our train back to my place this evening, I will not be indulging in dairy carby deliciousness again for a while.

Such yumminess though.

I do hope the company is as ethical as it portrays itself to be, to both its staff and its suppliers. The effects of its presense on Ken High Street are already apparent; the small coffee shops are empty, and Marks and Spencers were trying desparately to get people back into their Food Hall by changing their window displays to advertise their fresh produce and offering free fruit salads to anyone who came back. It will be interesting to see if things stay that way, and if Whole Foods Market stays as packed and well-stocked as it is now.

Thursday, 7 June 2007


WholeFoods Market just opened on Kensington High Street yesterday, and I paid my first visit this morning.

OH MY GOD. I just want to move in there.

Such deliciousness! The veggies! The salad bar! So much good food!

I am overly excited. :-)

And shortly to be very poor.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

A Summer Salad

Yesterday the farm shop were selling some gorgeous, organic, freshly dug lettuce with the most beautiful full and juicy leaves. I couldn't resist and bought two - one green, and one maroon-purple.

I tore up half the green one yesterday and washed the leaves and mixed them with baby spinach and piled the whole lot into a large tupperware. A LOT of greenery. The mixture was delicious, but on my third trip to the container I decided it needed something more. So I added a whole bunch of fresh mint leaves from the garden, and lots of lemon juice. Yum.

Today I repeated the process but this time I added crushed dried chillis to my second (or it might have been third) helping. And that was delicious too.

Reading April's post about people's varying tastes for food and quantity, I guess I am in the MR camp. I like my food to have volume most of the time. I really don't like the possibility of feeling hungry, and I am so grumpy when I am. I guard against it when I can.

But still I need to be careful. I thought my salad was enormous yesterday, and it was - I had also added various other veggies to it, and because I was insomniac in the night I had eaten some cereal so had started my day on over 200 calories anyway. I hadn't added it all into CoM at that point because I was logged into my work account, but when I got to doing that at the end of the day, before dinner, I found I was still low in calories, or lower than I thought - I was thinking I was almost at my day's "limit".

Which in a way was good because it meant I had room to grill a wholewheat pitta, tear it up, and make a kind of fattoush with it and the spinach and leaves and mint and lemon and some flax oil. Considering I rarely eat bread-y things any more, that was a real treat. And I had a pile of broccoli and zucchini. And I still ended my day just under 1200 cals.

But in another way it's bad because volume is deceptive. I think I am eating a lot, and I am not. I'm very much aware that I am at the point now where I shouldn't be losing any more weight, but I am finding it quite difficult to add in those tiny amounts of more calorific foods into my diet that would stop the loss (not that it's dropping off at any speed). Quite irritating, because I thought I'd knocked that particular mental quirk on the head years back.

One way around this would be to allow myself to eat more normally socially. Go back to the piece of bread before dinner, and the cheese in small quantities. But it's a cheat, and probably contradictory to the mechanisms of CR. But then not eating enough is also contradictory to the mechanisms of CR.

And I really don't feel as though I can deal with the six-inch-high salad plate!

So I guess I need to fight the fat-phobe in me, because that is where my calorie deficit is. Eat more nuts. Some avocado. Put a little more olive oil on my salad. Add another teaspoon of flax to my hot veggies. What else can I do? :-)

I just don't want to lose any more; I am fine and happy and healthy right here and now.

Except that I have just sunburnt my shoulders in a major way, eating my salad in the courtyard. Ow!

Sunday, 3 June 2007


I've had a weekend full of people. Which is lovely. I do love my friends, I really do. But for some reason the last couple of days, company has been too much for me. I found myself with people all day yesterday, and when I wasn't with people I was cooking a huge meal for lots of people (and I dropped an entire rhubarb crumble on the floor taking it out of the oven, which didn't amuse me), and this morning in what I can only imagine to be a fit of insanity I went to a car boot sale with a couple of friends where I was surrounded by people selling off the detritus from their people-ly lives and... urgh. If I could have been transported to a remote mountaintop right then, I'd have been in heaven. As it was, I was in a real grump and probably not good company.

I bought a few bunches of the most beautiful pinks though, so that makes me happy.

This afternoon I ordered our wedding cake (I am just getting three fruit cakes from extra large to medium, white iced, to tier up and cover with whatever fresh flowers take my fancy - it's not like I'm going to eat it, so I can't be fussed with it) and then spent a couple of peaceful hours with more friends, digging up horseradish roots from the edge of Salisbury Plain in the sun. Now I am back home, blessedly alone, and there is a storm brewing which should be fantastic if it comes to anything. And it will save me having to water the garden later, so bring the rain on please.

Nutrition has unfortunately been so-so. It's difficult to eat enough CR food in company, and today I ate various cheeses and a couple of ryvita rye crackers for lunch (with tomatoes and celery) - cheese is my weakness, and I haven't had it for ages, and I was 109lbs on the scale yesterday so... Hmm, no, I can't justify it! But it was yummy. And I can have a light meal of greenery tonight.

Even with the storm brewing I'd quite like to be lying out in the garden right now, but unfortunately my neighbours on one side, and their neighbours (both sets of friends of mine) have been fighting, and I seem to have been caught in the middle. Now the set of neighbours on the far side seem not to be talking to me, and given the proximity of our gardens it's all rather awkward - they are out there gardening right now, and having not noticed they were there for a while, it now looks as though I am ignoring them as well - which I'm not, but... argh! I don't quite know what to do to fix the rift since it wasn't of my making in the first place, but since I was there when it happened I appear to have been tarred with the same brush. It's quite upsetting.

Isn't it daft how petty humankind can be, sometimes? It's all about territory - the argument began over the garden border. Bizarre. But not nice. I hate conflict. But one can only apologise for something one hasn't done so much before apology becomes a source of friction itself.

Six weeks today and The Day/Weekend will all be over. I wonder what on earth I will find to occupy my imagination after that!