Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Fall

Ok, I take it all back about feeling confident about cooking meat as a veggie.

Not that I even have to deal with the lump of dead cow that is currently scaring the living daylights out of me every time I open the fridge, but. Ew, ick.

The friend who was supposed to be hosting NYE dinner is sick, so now NYE will be a joint effort between my friend E (next door) and myself. E will cook The Cow. All well and good. But I had to go and buy The Cow from the farmshop this morning - rib of beef, 3 ribs.

Almost four kilos of cow corpse. Given the cost of it (not mine, bless E), please God the butcher didn't see a blanching vegetarian and decide to palm off the mankiest beast that had ever ended its days under a sharp implement (no, I don't want to think about it) onto me. Never mind creating deliciousness out of this for my carnivorous beloveds; all that I am going to create with this monstrosity is one very large hysterical fit.


Happy New Year, all. xxxx.

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Dragon

In the end I had a very quiet, peaceful and lovely Christmas with my mother. I cooked butternut squash with orange and pomegranate; brussels with chestnuts and roasted shallots; roasted parnsips and carrots (and one potato for her), and braised fennel. And veggie gravy. Yummy. We just chilled out and took long, cold walks along the river and watched TV (something I do rarely, and wow have I had enough of it) and it was just lovely.

This morning I made the Best Soup I Have Ever Made (until the next time). Making soup is my current addiction. Veggies are so cheap at the moment (which is scary and comforting at the same time). Parsnips, carrots and onions are 50p a bag in Sainsburys, and if I had more room in my freezer I would be a one woman soup production machine. The Best Soup I Have Ever Made was thrown together with a pack of parsnips, a bunch of carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 2 onions, some garlic, one star anise, a shard of cinnamon stick, a shake of the cumin seed pot and a very restrained one of the dried chilli, all simmered together with plain water for about an hour and then whizzed vigourously in my food processor (star anise and cinnamon removed). I really think soup is a miracle in potentia and today the miracle happened. OMG, v yum. I've got 3 lovely boxes of it frozen ready to grab whenever I want now.

Of course sometimes the miracle doesn't happen and in order to make room in the freezer for the miracle that did happen, I now have a vat of pond slime (aka celery-from-the-garden-soup-which-I-know-I-didn't-try-hard-enough-with-so-is-all-my-own-fault) defrosting in the kitchen. But... waste not, want not! But mmmm, parsnips!

Friday, 19 December 2008

The Cold

I'd have to have been superhuman not to have caught this. P came down with something absolutely disgusting in the middle of last weekend, and while I fought very hard against it with lots of lemon juice and honey and garlic and broccoli (not all at the same time), consecutive nights of him hacking and choking and spluttering all over me (I assume not deliberately) took their toll, and I feel like a walking plague. Perhaps it is the vestiges of my CR'd immune system kicking in, trying to rid my body of this bug as quickly as it can and, apparently (risking TMI here) any way it can... but my, am I not pretty right now.

Still, I should be okay by Christmas, I hope. I've taken 2 days sick and had some much needed bed time, and I have the days before The Day off work next week as well. P and I are spending it apart - he's in London because his football team are playing on Boxing Day, and I'm going to my mother's. Mum has asked me to sort out our Xmas lunch / dinnner, so I need to get that in hand.

Last weekend I cooked the anti-CRON festive dinner for P and 2 of our bestest friends. My friend T and I went to Borough Market and foraged as I planned the menu in my head, changing it depending on what looked good as we walked around.

We ended up with:

A salad of chicory, raddiccio, and frisee, mixed with sliced orange, scattered with pomegranate seeds and tossed in a light dressing of pomegranate molasses, white balsamic, EVOO and grain mustard. I stuffed a pheasant with lemon, garlic, thyme and butter; rubbed it with salt and pepper and roasted it; P did the honours for me and shredded it once cooked, and the shreds of meat were scattered on top of the salad leaves (although not mine, obviously).

Roasted haunch of venison. I had had the idea of cooking sea bass but what can I say? Walking around in the rain on a freezing cold day, Bambi looked a far more solid bet for the carnivores, and I wasn't wrong. I roasted it on a bed of jerusalem artichokes, carrots, onions, whole garlic and thyme, with the pan deglazed with red wine after the meat was removed.

I roasted plain veggies for me.

We polished off a HUGE savoy cabbage, and a romanesco cauliflower.

Yum. I'm told I am really good at cooking meat and getting the flavours right. Quite how, I don't know; I can only describe it as sort of like painting in my head, things click. But then I might just have incredibly generous and complimentary friends. :-)

But my mother is not at all a meaty person. She doesn't like fish. She also doesn't like chilli, garlic, or most spices. In fact, all she has demanded for her Xmas lunch / dinner so far are roasted parsnips. The lazy part of me is thinking about going with that, adding some extra veggies, steaming some kale, and chucking some pomegranate seeds around for that festive touch. It's only the 2 of us; any excess just seems unnecessary and unwanted work. We shall see. I guess it all depends if I am fit for human company by then.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Hunger

I don't know what is up with me lately; whether it is the cold weather, or the stress that I've been under / am under / feel all around me when I see my friends suffering and am unable to help... but my appetite has become voracious. And this really annoys me. I hate feeling hungry (if hungry is what it is); it hurts, it makes me snappy and bad-tempered, edgy, unable to settle, nervy - frankly more mad than usual. And no matter what I do, I don't seem to be able to get rid of the feeling. I feel as though I am eating all the time. Just, grrr!

I am irritated that I cannot download the version of java onto this machine that I would need to run CoM again. If I was tracking the calories or nutrition in what I am eating, it might explain why I am hungry, or feel so desparately unsatisfied all the time, even after a meal. Maybe I've got my protein too low, my carbs too high - I'm almost certainly not having enough good fats. I've been eating fruit and adding agave nectar to my yoghurt; maybe that's it. The last thing I need is to be coming up to these few weeks of parties and dinners and feel as out of balance as I do.

Today I've eaten:
55g oatmeal (I weighed that!) made with water
10 almonds
fat-free cottage cheese (let's say 100-125g) mixed with pumpkin seeds and flax seeds
2 bowls of homemade veggie soup (mostly carrot, 1 leek, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 onions, garlic, water - it made those 2 bowls plus 3 .75l containers as leftovers)
2 apples
c.175-200g fat-free yoghurt with a tablespoon of museli and some agave nectar
carrot sticks (say 150g or so)
c.75-100g smoked tofu

Dinner is going to be broccoli, zucchini, and leek, possibly some peas. Can you tell I'm trying to finish up the contents of the fridge? :-)

I don't think I've forgotten anything... Written down it doesn't look all that much - but I just can't tell any more.

Thoughts? Suggestions? (Nice ones please; I'm fragile.. :-) )

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Bright Side

This promises (so far) to entertain me all afternoon (alongside the joys of coding .net, of course).

So, come on. Let's have some guilty foodie secrets in comments here. CRON or otherwise; past or present... Hmm, one of my own? Um... P would say its my prediliction for steamed broccoli with sea salt and black pepper but I hardly think that counts as a guilty secret.

In the past, I have to admit I adored Kraft Mac&Cheese. Out of the box. In all its buttercup glory. And cold rice pudding, or cold custard, out of the tin.

Couldn't bear either now, of course, but oh the nostalgia!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

"Post" (Haste)

Bad things happen to all people, good or bad. The last few months have been pretty dreadful; people have died, died suddenly, unexpectedly; died slowly, after a long, declining fade; people have become ill, it seems as though there has been bad news on top of bad news until I find myself wondering fearfully when it will stop. And then I remind myself that all these things are part of life and they will not stop. Life will continue to be bitter just as it will continue to be sweet. Life is not fair. There is no rhyme nor reason behind far too much of the suffering, but there must be comfort in this: it is not personal;; it cannot be. The ego needs to acquiese, to still, to be at peace. The winter evenings are long and dark but the sun does rise every morning; the world spins on its axis; life goes on, we go on, we endure. And sometimes we don't. And that is a part of life too, one that is very hard to accept but has to be accepted. We have to see the beauty in the shadows; we have to not fear the dark.

Of course that's far easier said than done and I've spent the last several months in quite a dark place raging futilely against the seeming injustice of it all - why my friends, why my friends' friends, why my grandfather, why my world, why my life. Needs to stop. I'm getting there. On crisp, cold days like this one, when I can look out of the window as I type and see a clear, cold sky filled with a weak but persistent light, see the trees silhouetted against the skyline, see the last shocking scarlet flashes of the autumn leaves clinging on to the branches, hear the birds fluttering, chattering, even singing - it's just another winter. And winter is beautiful. We even had snow last week, briefly; I lay in P's bed and watched the flakes fall fatly past the window and settle on the tiled roofs of the tightly packed London houses, sugar-coating the dirt and the mossy damp with soft white frosting before fading and disappearing in faint wisps of steam back into the sky. I am trying very hard to arm myself with optimism, and to think Good Thoughts.

Friday, 21 November 2008

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.

Time after time I begin an entry and time after time I delete it.

I think all I can post for now is that I am still here.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

On the menu tonight

Onions roasted on a bed of rosemary with thyme and black pepper
Puy Lentils (tinned, I'm afraid, but pantry stocks are low; will warm up with herbs to match the onions).
Cauliflower puree (CR'd version - cauli steamed with garlic, zapped with Total 0%, seasoned)
Steamed rainbow chard, petit pois

I am cooking dinner (or veg accompaniments) for friends tonight.

I am feeling quite ashamed that only one of the above is straight from the garden but really, there is only so much squash and beans a girl can take.

But the summer bounty is coming to an end. My beloved leaf patch is looking decidedly stalky. The cabbage white caterpillars have massacred my curly kale, the complete and utter little slimy wriggly bastards. I did persuade the ten year old son of a friend of a friend to spend a delighted hour picking the little buggers off each leaf and depositing them in a jam jar to feed his mother's chickens with... but it's done no good, and the chickens apparently spat them out. I can quite appreciate the sentiment, because I'm not too sure I could even stomach a bite of the kale myself now. In the squash patch, I have two courgettes that are marked for my lunch tomorrow (current lunch fave - steam squash, mix with chopped tomato, black pepper and Philadelphia Extra Light... yum), and that's about it. There is a pumpkin I am saving for a Halloween supper if it doesn't get carted off to a Harvest Festival.

However, we're still good for carrots, chard, spinach, beans (for another few weeks, probably), beetroot and Autumn raspberries. I've planted more cavalo nero, white sprouting broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli, stonehead cabbage (very unenthused about this one, even I have a limit on greenery), and lots of winter salads in pots and in the patch. So we'll see what happens.

Technically I could have been self-sufficient this summer, but I wasn't disciplined enough to eat only what I was growing. I wanted tomatoes, and I hadn't gotten around to growing those. And I failed on broccoli, and cauliflower, and romanesco.

But still, it's been quite an impressive gardening year.

I'm thinking I might be CR-ing more seriously in the near future. I haven't really counted calories for a while, but my weight was dropping so I assumed I was CR'd, if not ON'd. Not sensible, but... I hardly have an unhealthy diet. Now it's on the way back up, from 107 in July or so (too light!), to 111 this morning (hmmm, slippery slope). I feel like being more disciplined with myself, so am investigating some pilates classes, trying to summon the motivation to get back to the gym (this is very hard, has never been this hard, why why why, is it age, sheer laziness (yes, probably the latter)??), and downloading CoM onto the machine I use isn't going to be far off.

But if anyone is following this blog for healthy living tips, there's probably a while to go yet. :-)

Love to all.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


One of my favourite sounds in the world is the singing of crickets in the evening as the dusk and darkness fall. Crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas - whatever they are; that throw up that low chirruping hum that makes the very air seem to shimmer with sound, that sound the hypnotic pulsing in the shadows that is the essence of dying heat and daylight - oh, it brings back such precious memories to me; of gazing up at clear star-studded skies in Colorado, night times floating in the warm waters of the hot springs in the arms of a lover, the sharp reek of sulphur rising with the steam, and all around the murmuring of the crickets. So imagine my joy when on a rare warm night last week, sitting in my friend's garden, that sound rose again into the night silence from a sun-warmed pile of rubble. And imagine my horror when I exclaimed in delight and she couldn't hear it. Was I hallucinating? Longing for the summer we haven't really had so much that I was conjuring its essence from memory and sheer force of will? The next night was equally warm (last Saturday, and yes, that was really the last day of summer!), and I was sitting in the same spot, with the same friend and other acquaintances of hers, and once more the low song began in the stone pile... I called for silence and everyone listened and only one person, apart from me, could hear it from where we were sitting. All but that one person were twenty or so years older than me. It does seem that, in this country at least, the cricket orchestra only plays to the under 40's, unless you're up close and personal.

I was so insistent that yes, the crickets were singing, that everyone got up and headed for the stone pile (to shut me up, I think!); after several minutes of silence, the insects struck up again, almost louder than before, amazed or terrified by the sudden proximity of their audience. And this time everyone heard them. A relief for me, because I was starting to feel that maybe the years would rob me of the ability to hear that precious sound forever, and with it the essence of memory. But it won't. I will just need to keep my mind open to wonders that are not immediately apparent. I will need to keep listening.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Just say the word

Post something, anything..., says Robin... and so I finally charged the batteries of my ancient digicam today, intending to take pictures of the garden (even though it is raining so hard right now I can hardly see it) and the ridiculous varieties of obscenely shaped squash that are appearing day by day (seriously, one of those is at least half a metre long now, and growing fast, and another looks as though it could be the mothership for an alien nation; I keep expecting it to develop flashing lights and spin off the vine). But... plugged the newly charged batteries into the cam, and... nada. Not a peep, not a squeak, nothing. Grrr. So the post that was going to be lots and lots of pictures (once again), is (once again) just me and my words.

Rain is good for the garden. It's great. It's wonderful. Thank you all you heavenly entities for your watery bounty. But please, stop it now, okay? I've gone through several sets of clothes today picking beans (why, why, why do the English keep planting runner beans, I mean does anyone actually (hand on heart) like them?) - runners, yellow flats and purples -; the said squash (10 in the fridge right now (despite making clear-the-fridge soup earlier), another 10 in a basket); a huge bouquet of rainbow chard... and don't even start me on the kale, or in fact the sweet peas (which went mad when I was in London the last couple of days and exploded into a riot of heady, blowsy colours - the hussies). I got my salad in and washed at 6am, so that's something.

No, I'm not really complaining. All this bounty is such a gift right now; I really am more or less self sufficient, and it's great. But the quantity is daunting. And rain puts me in such a bad mood. I had planned to cook for friends tonight and had the menu sorted in my head (I was going to roast squash and runner beans and chard stems; steam the chard leaves, dress with garlic and lemon juice; bake tomatoes with herbs; I baked aubergine earlier as per previous blog entry in anticipation thereof; mix a garlicky yoghurty dip with my beloved and as yet ungiven up Total 0%; and they were going to have pork) and I grumpily, when asked if really sure, cancelled on them (actually while typing this I was stricken with guilt and phoned and uncancelled if they still want to put up with me). But my GOD this rain... the kind of rain that makes you feel damp just looking at it, you know?

Plus I am on leave from work this coming week. And it's August. I want to chill in my garden in the sun with books and pink wine and laze around with friends and see my mother in her lovely little Devon town on the Exe Estuary and vicariously eat seafood with my wonderful friends who are visiting her with me (if I haven't wrecked said friendship with my moany bitchy oh-god-I-hate-rain grump).

Still, me time is good too. And the house is a pit and needs tidying badly. So I must look at the weather as a blessing in a soggy disguise.

CRON - ah. I think we can probably take it as read that this isn't a CRON blog any more, not right now. I'm not using COM at all; just doing my usual, lots and lots and lots and lots of veggies (right now beans, squash, chard, salad leaves, tomatoes, occasional aubergine), non-fat yoghurt; trying to work my way through a cheese mountain that seems to have accumulated in a tupperware in my fridge from various neighbours. Cheese is so yummy. Mmm, cheese. Mmm, sheepy cheese. I am pretty sure I'm not too far off hitting most nutritional bases though; I reckon I'd be 90% without even trying on vitamins and minerals if I did attempt to log what I'm eating. But I don't think that yellow blistered squash comes into the USDA database. :-)

I'm looking out at the garden right now - do you know, I think it might have stopped raining? - and it looks like September or later. The sweet peas I was training up the side of my horrible lean-to shed have flopped over under the weight of water; the golden rod is tumbling hap-hazardly over the steps, twining its dirty golden flowers with the last of the lavender; the black-eyed susans are budding, their stems whipping in the growing wind; my basils are flowering and so is the chervil, delicate fronds and fat leaves that would smell like heaven if the sun came out. I can hear the leaves of the ancient oaks and chestnuts at the back rustling like fall, and the sky is a heavy, laden slate grey. The church bells have just stopped pealing; a practice, a summoning, a rememberance, or a wedding I don't know (I suspect not the latter). My once-christened BBQ is full of water, and the tin buckets that we used for flower arrangements for the wedding are plinking and plunking with each drop that falls in. It's hard to believe that a couple of weeks ago we had a garden party and people were hiding in the borders, clutching their icy flutes of fizz, because the sun was so strong and so hot. I guess that is an English summer.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Another Year Older

I turned 36 last week. 36, OMG. I'm trying not to freak out too much, because hopefully I will get a lot older(!) but wow, 36 is a big number. I have no clue what happened to the first half of my thirties. Must try not to lose the other half in quite the same way.

I really must get my camera sorted out / software installed to sync my phone with this machine, etc. I would love to post pictures of the garden and the veggies but you'll just have to take my word for it that everything looks fabulous. I love being practically self-sufficient... even if it means I am living mostly on zucchini, and Italian yellow blistered squash (which are the most obscene shape, and make me giggle like a loon every time I harvest. I am very juvenile, despite my advancing years. They are so delicious though - off the plant, straight onto the BBQ, or even munched raw).

This past weekend we had a garden party for a few people in the village. The weather behaved itself wonderfully. It's currently really quite warm, and actually I am looking forward to the storm we have been prmosed for later, not least because it means I might not have to spend the two hours watering everything that I currently need to. But if that's the only downside to all this bounty, I can live with it... :-)

Ooh, and I finally got my cavelo nero into the ground, along with some seeds for romanesco cauliflower. It's a bit late, but I can always hope for a bumper brassica harvest. I've got loads and loads and loads of curly kale on the go. I could feed an April and an MR for... oooh, days at least.

Oh well, another dull blog post from Sara... Just saying hi, really. Hi. :-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Quick, no-brainer (and no originality, but hey).

Heat oven to high, whack in 2-3 whole aubergines (eggplants), cook until wrinkled and utterly molten inside. You might need to put them on a baking tray.

Cool slightly, and then scrape out the insides into a dish. Mash a lot.

Make a paste with 2 cloves of garlic and sea-salt to taste. Add juice of 1/2 lemon.

Add to aubergine gloop. Mix a lot. Taste and season with more salt if nec and black pepper. Forget the tahini and olive oil.

Serve to as many people as you have.

(Even P loved this. And that's saying something).

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Things you don't want to see in your veg patch

There are, of course, many. Slugs, snails, caterpillars... but I'd take any of our invertebrate friends over the dessicated rat that I found this afternoon, near to the radishes, the spicy leaf mix and one of the (many) zucchini plants. OMG, barf, yuck times one million. P, thankfully, came to my assistance with a spade and removed what little was left. Said deceased beastie was so far gone I can only think something else dragged it there... because surely I wouldn't be so far immersed in my gluttony for greenery that I would have failed to notice a decomposing rodent for several weeks. (Please God, thank you very much...). Urgh.

However, thay say love is blind...

Monday, 16 June 2008

Washing My Dirty Brassicas In Public

I've been wanting to update for days, but kept thinking that I'd do a photo post of my garden and the veggies to go with my (little) news... but my digicam is so ancient, needs charging, produces really quite poor quality photos and, well, I'll give up on that idea for the time being. :-) You'll just have to use your imaginations, if you're in the mood.

My life recently has been almost wholly centered around the garden and the veg patch. I think it's fair to say I've pretty much fallen in love with it this year; I just want to be with it all the time. Hmm, makes me sound more tragic than usual really! But honestly, going out in the morning when the sun is almost always shining (it stops shining fairly quickly, I'm not being blessed with the UK's only summertime down here) and picking my leaves for my huge bowl of salad, is just so special, and precious and life-afirming; I just want to hold onto every moment, yet every moment goes so quickly. I am trying very hard to live in the here and now. There is some uncertainty about how long I can hold onto this place at the moment. I rent, and I am hoping with every ounce of my being (shrinking ounces, as it happens, but that's another story) that this will continue to be the case. I can't afford to buy myself; property prices are plummetting but they would have to plummet and then some for me to even be able to get close to grabbing onto this slice of heaven in my own name, but I might be able to get close another way. We shall see.

In the here and now, as I said, I am gathering my salad bowls every day. I need to harvest again for this evening's meal actually, since I just gobbled the lot for lunch today. I snip beetroot leaves, mixed salad bowl lettuce, rocket, baby red chard (growing up fast, so won't be baby for much longer!), curly kale (the other morning I went out and washed each leaf by hand to get the butterfly eggs off because this is *my green* and those little critters are *not* going to have it), nasturtium leaves (hurry up flowers), mustard leaves, and mizuna; the whole lot gets washed several times and then dumped in an enormous salad bowl for me to add what I want to it. Today it was the remains of last night's mixed bean/pea/mint veggie combo and some roasted beetroot. Yum. And then some Total 0% with agave nectar and some crumbled pecan and some oats for dessert. Coffee.

Given another few days I will be eating my own broad beans, raw from the pod with shavings of pecorino cheese. It doesn't take a lot of cheese for a complete taste sensation, so I urge you to try it if you can - I'm afraid this is unadulterated full-fat cheese, but I am getting more and more anti-processing lately so I'm advocating a little of the real stuff, and not often. Peas aren't far from being eaten either. And I've had two very small, very yummy zucchini. No sign of a glut yet. Despite having, um, at least 30 varieties of squash plants out there at the moment....

I'm keeping an eye on my distaste for processed, non-seasonal foods, just to make sure I don't tip over into being completely, utterly insane, rather than just insane. But I might have to give up my beloved Total since I think it is the one thing (over wine, and coffee!) that I think I have got addicted to, and that worries me. I eat it for the extra protein boost but - it's got to be intensively produced, who knows what the cows are fed or in what conditions they are kept to produce their milk, and the stuff is shipped from Greece, so has to undergo even more processing... And it's increased four-fold in price recently. No, I need to switch back to the local Yeo Valley and either stop fretting about my protein, or source it (naturally) elsewhere. Oh, but I do love Total 0%... *sigh* Anyway, in the same vein, I've just chucked a load of cereal for being health food in disguise - if I'm going to have grains, I want them to be pure oats, or sugar free, local museli, not processed Kraft cereals no matter how "fortified"; fortified is fake; I don't want to go there any more. Now, if I could just kick the craving for wonderful, dense, artisan rye bread... but a little and not often (as per cheese) won't hurt me. And let's face it, I can't see me giving up coffee (apparently one can source it from Cornwall, but there are limits), or switching wholly to wine produced in the UK (99% urgh, although most of what I have been sipping lately has been from small producers in France so...), so I am still quite hypocritical and.... ok, just fussy and plain mad.

Has anyone else read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"? I would recommend it. It has brought a lot of my fuzzy thinking around the issues lately into focus. She is such a fantastic writer. It would also be fair to say that I am insanely jealous of her lifestyle, but there we go! I am so fortunate with my own.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have fresh raspberries and strawberries from my mother's allotment. We have rhubarb and gooseberries in the veg patch here, but only Autumn Bliss raspberries which aren't fruiting yet (although the cuttings from the same plants that mum put into her allotment are, in abundance; a lot to be said for micro-climates). I've more or less given up eating non-seasonal fruit on a regular basis too, so this was a much anticipated treat. Visiting with my mother was a lovely end to a week off work, most of which was spent intensively gardening both here and in a friend's garden. If I never see an 8 foot bean cane again, it will be too soon for me. Erecting around 60 of them to cope with the bumper germination of various bean seeds I've managed was far less enjoyable than I had anticipated - 8 foot pole, strong breeze, bright sun, and 5'6" Sara in a temper are probably not a good combination.

Oh, and Arturo - last time I tried to read your blog (last week) one of your pop-ups gremlins tried to install and run an executable on my machine(!), so can someone let me know if it's safe to venture back into the land of the Yogitect? :-)

Love to all.


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Farewell Thunderchild

P and I had to have one of the cats put to sleep last week. Thunder, one of the floppiest bundles of feline joy I have ever had the pleasure to hear purring in my ear. He developed a very sudden and aggressive cancer of the larynx and it was almost immediately apparent that we had no choice but to let him go. So last Wednesday night we slept with him in the bed between us, and last Thursday morning I held his paw and put my face down by his and heard him breathe out his last laboured breath in one long whimper of (I hope) relief. It is very sad. I miss him dreadfully, and the next morning when we woke up, there were not enough tails and paws in the bed.

J continues to rally. This seems to be such a miracle; no, is such a miracle. That something could be done when he was so low, that something was done. I am very thankful for it. We're not out of the woods by a long way yet, but there is more hope now. At least he is being pulled back into the world, rather than lingering in the suspended half-life that is existence in an isolation unit in a stroke ward.

So a sad thing, and a happy thing, and neither to do with CRON.

Once again I am two minds whether to continue this blog at all. Linda writes in her journal that if you aren't measuring your calories, or monitoring your nutrition, then you are not practicing CRON. I am doing neither right now. I'm eating everything I ate in more or less the same quantities as I did when I was practicing properly last year, and I'm losing (or have lost) weight. The latter is not surprising given we've not been eating out half as much in between hospital visits, work and travelling. I'm monitoring the weight loss, but I'm not monitoring my diet with CRON-0-METER. I'm a good ad lib eater; I have confidence in a lifetime of good eating habits to carry me through right now. The results of the blood tests I had done back in December were apparently excellent.

So if I am not CRON, do I blog? Hmm, don't know. Doesn't stop me reading other blogs though, so I am around.

In other news, I've been gardening fiendishly. The courtyard is crammed with pots of herbs and flowers and I am eating my own salad at least once a day. I can't eat it any more than that because a hungry Sara would do more damage to a tub of leaves than an army of slugs, and I do need to leave some things to grow. Another month, and even I should be defeated by the quantity of greenery that has been sown. The squash plants are growing steadily, although they could do with some more warmth. The beans are climbing away up their poles. I really *must* get my kale into the ground.

Yesterday I thought of channelling the spirit of Miss M, and eating the nettles and ground elder that I was dragging out of the flower beds, but in the end my nerve failed me. I had visions of mistaking the apparently nutritious and delicous tasing ground elder for something less benign, and being found poisoned in my kitchen surrounded by evidence of my veggie gluttony. Maybe in a few days. It is a crime just to chuck nature's bounty on the compost heap, after all. And there is a lot of ground elder out there for the picking.

Saturday, 10 May 2008


Someone somewhere must have access to a hotline to God because J has rallied once more. I didn't see him today, but P tells me he was off oxygen and off the horrific monitors that had us transfixed like some goulish soap-opera last weekend.

After last week's hailstorms and freezing cold, we are having summery days. Oh, it's so lovely to be warm. Mmmm.

I have a weekend at home and spent all of today getting the veggie patch in order. My purple climbing beans are now in the ground and we have (ahem) 30 squash plants waiting (slight unexpected germination issue). I'm even getting my courtyard sorted out, which is mostly dedicated to leaves, herbs and veggies this year. I'm 2 weeks off being self-sufficient for salad for the next 6 months. This makes me very happy.

And I have an asparagus patch! It is torture letting it all get on and grow rather than eating it though.

However, tonight we had much asparagus - steamed and dressed with a little olive oil, rock salt and black pepper - for appetizers as the sun went down. Everyone else had beef, and I cooked veggie dishes of beetroot baked in foil with thyme, rosemary, and a little oil, and then mixed with red onions roasted with fresh rosemary sprigs and balsamic, and topped with a little feta and mint; carrots and leeks steamed and then dressed with a warmed mixture of honey, grain mustard and lemon juice; a huge green salad with flowers and herbs; and new potatoes with mint and olive oil. You can guess which of those I didn't eat. :-)

Sometimes I feel guilty how much I love my life here. It feels like such a gift. I forget that it is, and that I need to pay for it, and London and the job that I hate is the price I need to pay.

But it's been a good day. I hope whoever it is who has the hotline stays on it, because J needs good days like this too.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

May Day

J is very bad today. P and his family have been with him since late last night and now all we can do is wait.

In defiance of (or reaction to) this, I have spent much of the day when I could get away from the PC planting as many seeds as I possibly can into pots (for micro-leaves) and seed trays. I just want to create. I wish I could cook for friends tonight too, but I think it's just me and I have little appetite.

Outside it's hailing, but there is evening sunshine teetering on the edges of the storm.

British Summer.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Foodie Weekend

P and I went to the Real Food Show at Earl's Court yesterday. Billed as London's largest farmer's market, there were probably several hundred producers gathered under the one roof - lots of bread, cheese, wine, ciders, beers, chocolates... and hardly any veggies at all, which did seriously amaze me. We came away with far too much bread (because I can't resist dark, dense, artisan rye bread, heavy with seeds, or home-baked soda bread) and cheese (two varieties and ages of parmesan, my favourite sheepy cheese, some blue goaty), and wine and (for P) beer and cider. We picnicked briefly in the park for tea - but the weather didn't hold, and I had been too optimistic in not taking a jacket out with me.

I also came away with more veggie seeds than I will ever be able to plant. Yellow climbing beans; purple climbing beans; borlotti; custard squash; romanesco cauliflower. I need to do some serious garden work when I get home.

This morning I woke up knowing I hadn't had enough green. So while P slept I pottered up to the farmer's market in Walthamstow and loaded up on mustard greens, rocket, baby spinach, lettuce, red russian kale, purple sprouting and some radishes and shallots for good measure. I was the first customer to buy veggies at one particular stall; the second was G, Linda (Minicronnie)'s partner. We've only met the once so he didn't place me at first; when he did, I laughed that there were very few people who would be buying so much greenery at 10am on a Sunday morning. :-)

Now I am back at P's house and wondering what to do with the rest of the day. I kind of can't face any more foodie shopping, which is my default London activity when I spend weekends here. Later on he will go and visit J in hospital (who relapsed seriously last week but now, thankfully, is rallying again), but I won't because I have a slight cold and don't feel I can risk it. But we have the afternoon, so maybe we shall do something with that. We'll see.

Saturday, 19 April 2008


I feel as though I need to (should?) update this blog, because I haven't just vanished; I'm here, still Sara-ing away - the usual, the usual; home-London, London-home; great CR, not so great CR; wine, whine. :-) But things are very... up in the air. P's father is still in hospital and now, for heaven's sake, has some kind of infection that has him back on oxygen. Our greatest fear now, obviously, is that having survived major heart surgery, and a fairly serious stroke, is that the hospital environment currently more detrimental to the speed of his recovery and to the state of his health in general - but what can we do? Private care is financially impossible - and there's no guarantee that conditions would be any better in a private hospital anyway. He's not well enough that he can just go home. This does, quite frankly, suck. And I am on the periphery of this limbo; it's taking far greater toll on P, his mother and his siblings. And poor J (P's father) must be in a terrible mental state.

Doesn't matter if CR helps with our future health and longevity (although that's no reason not to focus on it; I still do - I think, but then given my eating habits it's hard to tell what's CR and what's just Sara). We should just thank Whatever that we have (reasonable) health right here and right now. And I do, I do.

Even if I have caught P's cold. Which, ironically, might be what has laid J low again.

Tonight I foolishly agreed to make risotto. Risotto. *sigh* Hey ho. Lots of veggie side dishes, I guess. We have artichokes to steam. And some radicchio, which I am planning to make a salad from with some beetroot I have roasting in the oven right now and some shavings of sheep's cheese that needs using up. Plus tons and tons of salad leaves from market and farm shop.

The rain can sodding well stop right now as well, please.

Moan, moan, moan huh? :-) Hardly an update worth reading. Love to all and I hope all are well.


ETA, because lovely acts are always worth mentioning to the world. This morning I went to a Gardener's Market in my nearest town. Such fabulous plants and herbs and flowers (indoors, so nothing was shrinking back from the cold and the wet). One of the owners of my favourite plant nurseries was there - fantastic couple, work their butts off to raise such a variety of stunning beautiful things in a fairly isolated location but one that is fortuitously close to my home. They specialise in bulbs, and I took the opportunity to ask him what might have gone wrong this year that meant that my Queen of The Night tulips just failed to appear altogether, while the fabulous orange/red with the black hearts came up as reliably as ever. (Answer, likely rotted in the soil in the wet January). I thanked him, and continued wandering around, and when I next passed the stall he handed me a bag with a full pot of Queen of The Night in bud "as a replacement" because he "hated disappointment".

Bless him. I do seem to whinge and whine so much but really, I do know how fortunate I am. How very, very (touch wood) lucky.

Sunday, 30 March 2008


The clocks went forward this morning. Of course, being ditzy me, I failed to realise and thought my PC was playing me up when it told me it was 6am rather than 5am when I gave up on sleep and staggered downstairs for my morning internet fix, and so was rather surprised when the neighbours offered me morning coffee at what I thought was 8.30am but was actually rather later. P fared somewhat better and was actually on a train to visit his father by the time I gathered enough wits to phone him and make sure he had more nouse than I did.

We both visited P's father on Thursday evening. He is making progress but his condition is very distressing, and the hospital, frankly, sucks. I am sure that the nurses are doing their best for him, but of course they can't be everywhere at once nor give him the individual attention and more importantly mental stimulation that he requires. I felt horrible leaving at the end of the visit. But he continues to improve and so, no matter how slowly that improvement is, it's good.

I know this is supposed to be a CRON blog but this last week, I certainly haven't been CR-ing. Apologies for that (if anyone is expecting deep and meaningful CRON revelations, that is; I'm not apologising for not CR-ing!). P and I have had a lot of meals out; a neighbour injured her foot and was unable to stand, so I've been cooking for her and her partner, and those evenings have been somewhat convivial as well. I have, however, apparently completely revamped her concept of how vegetables can be served and cooked and she, like me, is now swooning over the simple pleasures of steamed purple sprouting broccoli and kale. Steamed carrots tossed in a teaspoon of grain mustard and a teaspoon of honey (warmed 10 secs in the microwave) have met with approval too, and last week I made a salad with cannelini beans, lots of flat-leaf parsley, rocket, tomato, cucumber, black olives, lemon juice, garlic and chilli that went down a storm. I do love to cook.

Today I went to an open day at a herb farm and came back with lots and lots of packets of seeds - far too much, really. With the extra daylight I have started to sweep out my courtyard and plan where to put pots of salad mix and other veggies and herbs that I want to keep close to the house. It's still a bit early to think about planting in the soil (and it's water-logged anyway) but I might set up some trays of veggie seedlings in the kitchen, to pick for micro-veg in salads.

I very much like this light evening thing. It's a little bit of positivity. I need to hang on to the idea of regeneration, and the cycle of life right now. Things get better, they get better. They must.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Still here

A brief and boring update, just to keep myself in the blogosphere... :-)

Not much going on worthy of CRON note. To be honest, full CRON has been fairly far from my mind with the situation with P's father - which doesn't really get much better but at least isn't (and please GOD won't) getting worse. It's really, really horrible to even contemplate that someone can go from more or less decent health (give or take a dodgy aorta) to being unable to move or speak or see in one slice of a knife on an operating table. We are so, so fragile beings.

Life goes on though, busily busily. Have managed to get more of a routine back into my weeks - weekends and three full days at home (good nutrition; good CR!) and two days in London (not so good, but then never bad, nutrition; CR on the back-burner); that helps. Am planning what to grow in the garden this year and have a bunch of seeds already picked out: various lettuce varieties, kale, chard, spinach, courgettes, butternut squash, beetroot, green beans, peas... Last year, what with the wedding and growing all the flowers for that, the veggie garden was a bit neglected in the end - and it didn't help that all the weird and wonderful squash varieties we thought we were growing turned out to be ornamental gourds and inedible. But this year I am optimistic. It's lovely seeing the world wake up again; one can take heart from that, in a way.

I also think I am winning the battle against the Christmas weight, finally. Which is good. I'll feel much better when I am back down at an upper weight of 112lbs rather than the 114-5lbs I'm at now; even carrying a little extra feels more uncomfortable than I'd like... but anyway, that's not really the point; I do wish it didn't matter to me but it does... Although not as much as eating well. April says she feels the lack of good nutrition when she's not fully with CRON and I do too. Yesterday I was craving chocolate, for heaven's sake - ordinary, sugared, crappy chocolate. I just hadn't hadn't had enough green for lunch.

Enough inanity for now... Later!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Someone on the CR list posted about the effects of CR on sleep. I don't know whether it's CR, or me aging, or me not needing as much sleep as I used to and still trying to get as much, or what, but in the last year I have had more episodes of bad insomnia than ever before. Like this one. 3am. Meh.

Still, I watched No Country For Old Men earlier in the evening. I suspect that has more than a little to do with it. What an unrelentingly cruel movie; fabulously done, but so so so bleak. I guess being awake is preferable to being in the half-daze of troublesome dreams it left me with.

The Inspiration of the Long Distance Runner

101 year old man intends to run London Marathon.

And there was me feeling quite pleased with myself having managed to get to the gym 4 mornings in the last week so far and do my 30 minutes treadmill stagger each time!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Cautiously Optimistic

Over the last few days, P's father seems to have been making gradual, positive progress towards a recovery. It appears that he had a stroke after his heart surgery. However, today he was able to open his mouth of his own volition to have his teeth cleaned, and he is sitting in a chair rather than lying in bed. As yet he can neither see nor speak, but we are hopeful that the system will continue to reboot and he will be back with us, fully compos mentis, very soon. Thank you for your good wishes.

INO, I found Robin's latest post today fascinating, setting as it does a hypothetical non-CRON day against a CRON one. It reminds me, not that I really need to reminding, that getting one's RDA's on a CRON diet without using software is really impossible. It's ironic that when I was using CRON-O-METER regularly, P would chastise for me disordered eating, but when I do not, and sit down with him and eat my way through a plateful of romaine quietly, he doesn't comment at all. Yet I know that that plateful of romaine really doesn't do it for me! Often I am in danger of eating unhealthily-healthily.

Today I have eaten (in order, as far as I can remember) fat-free yoghurt, LLBY, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, flax seeds (4am insomnia); a mug of hot soya milk some of which was poured on 10g of puffed spelt, almonds, and a brazil nut (2nd breakfast, like a hobbit); more yoghurt, LLBY and cinnamon (after gym); salad of romaine, cavalo nero and mustard greens with eggwhites (back to shelling my own); cooked beetroot, the kind that comes vacuum packed (because it needed eating up); some more gojis, a few more almonds, a couple of walnut halves and some more pumpkin seeds; and a baby cauliflower and a baby romanesco cauliflower with two chopped tomatoes and a little feta. I don't know the calorie count or the nutritional profile of any of that lot, because I can't get CRON-O-METER downloaded onto my new PC (something to do with the settings of IE, which I just cannot change; it keeps wanting an Active-X script running and it won't have it - any tips welcome). But as far as calories go, knowing there is no bread in there, I'd estimate it to be just under or just over 1000 cals and the nutrition to be around 80-85% vitamins and minerals. I imagine I'd be low on iron and E, and certainly on D because I've stopped taking my supplement after the latest scare. I might have some broccoli later to bump things up, but I'm about to head out to a friend's place for a movie so if she did insist on feeding me, I have room for it.

Where am I going with this? Well, I guess I would just like the reassurance that C-O-M gave me that my healthy diet was healthy, and not just pseudo-healthy, lacking in nutrients. It's not bothering me too much; I'll get C-O-M installed somehow, sometime... The other thing was that I try very hard to get P to eat healthy food when I am with him, but not my food. Quite often I make a large salad, cook greens, and we share those, but I will do meat for him - steak, or lamb, or something that looks as though it could look nice if I wasn't a rampant veggie. I'm a little distressed to find that what I thought was healthy - good steak, for instance - isn't! Still, the nutritional profile of all of the meals on R's posts could be bumped up by 200g of steamed spinach whacked on each plate, I would have thought. A small difference, but a crucial one... At least P is usually more than willing to eat his greens even if he does draw a line at a plate of kale. :-)

More off-the-cuff ramblings from me... Golden Compass now (a disappointing adaptation of a fabulous book if there ever was one).

Monday, 25 February 2008


I've been wanting to find the time, inclination, motivation and words to update for a while... but the four never seem to arrive when I want them to, let alone together. Imagination seems to have done a bunk as well, along with all ability to stick to a proper CRON regime. Or, in fact, any regime at all, since I have rarely been in the same place for more than 48 hours for several weeks now.

So here I am, stuck in DTBIC land, which would be much more of the BIC if I managed to stop drinking as much wine as IC. Gah, as Bridget Jones would say.

Still, that's pretty trivial.

P's dad is in hospital right now, having undergone heart surgery on Friday. And he's not waking up, or rather, waking very very slowly indeed. Which is really, really concerning.

We've spent quite a lot of time at the hospital these last few days; it's the specialist centre for heart ops in the UK, so he's really in the best place. Well, I say we've spent time in the hospital. Personally I've spent it in the canteen with endless cups of coffee and books while P's family watch his father sleeping around the clock. And having spent time in the canteen, I have just been horrified, horrified, horrified by the catering available. I mean, here we are, in a hospital, and what can visitors get to eat while their nearest and dearest languish on their wards?

Sweets. Chips. Crisps. Cake. Biscuits. Fizzy drinks. Practically everyone who came in yesterday ate a full Sunday roast dinner. There were, admittedly, some unappetizing salad options and some diet yoghurts which I did take advantage of (and I bought my own salad box up with me yesterday), and there was some fresh fruit available. Now I know that people with their relatives in hospital really couldn't give the slightest what they put in their mouths; it's sustenance, it's comfort, it's something to do. But I wish that the hospital included, under its duty of care to the patient, duty of care to the relative. Because all they are doing by serving that kind of food is lining up the next tranche of cardiac arrest victims. :-( Just don't offer it. Take the crap away.

I know it's not that simple but it really upset me. Shoot me for a cold, callous, unsympathetic food nazi. Guilty as charged.

P's father, incidentally, is not, to my knowledge, ill now because of his diet in his past. There is a history of weak hearts in his family.

I just don't ever want to see P in his place.

I don't want to see me in one of those places. I won't get there because of the food. And I know why I will be there if I am. So why am I so hasty to criticise the bad food habits of others when I have terrible habits of my own? I know I have no right.

Hell. I just wanted to ramble. Move on please, nothing to see here.... That's if anyone is still reading anyway!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

I am still here...

... but not blogging about CR because, for all intents and purposes and no matter what, it is - unfortunately - not happening.

However, it is February in Great Britain and today I lunched in the sun in a village that really deserves a much better website with a friend and no jacket. Bright blue skies above scored with vapour trails; bright white spring sun beating down; snowdrops white and quiet and damp in the shadows on the banks, folding up their secrets into their silent, seemingly-eternal selves.

Tonight the sky is dark and silver studded, ripped open like a book I could read if I could. So clear, I can see the whole dark moon, bone-white-curved shyly into the fractional-caress of the sun.

:-) And I wonder why CR isn't happening?

As ever, xxx to all.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

So that's how it works!

A year and several days on, and I finally work out how to microwave a package of eggwhites.

(Slightly excused by the fact that we've only had packaged eggwhites on shop shelves here for a few months to my knowledge, and even then I've only seen them in Selfridges and Wholefoods).

Yes, prior to this, if I've been eating eggwhites I've been hard-boiling eggs and burning my fingers separating them out. It hasn't encouraged me to use them often. This 500g package though, after 10 mins in the microwave in my lasagne dish, has cut up into little cubes like tofu or quorn - far more appetizing than scraps with shell.

So, that's me sorted for protein for the next few days then.

Monday, 28 January 2008

I never learn!

Last week I came up to town wearing my new jeans (admittedly a size up from the ones I was wearing with comfort back in July 2007, but temporarily so, surely) and feeling sexy and slinky. I might not have looked it but I felt it and that's always good.

Today those very same jeans are mumsy and frumpy and too tight.

It's a mystery.

(Oh, okay, so it's not a mystery at all. Damn my lack of self-restraint with calories in liquid form, and an over-fondness for expensive white burgundy. It's never the food.)

Still, no use beating myself up about it. Onwards and upwards... I can see lots of soup in my immediate future.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Hello World

Not much of CR interest going on in the life of Sara right now, but Arturo has reminded me it's too easy just to vanish back into the ether unless I keep posting here (I'm always reading the blogs, lurking away). I'm still plugging away at trying to lose the New Year pounds; I guess I need to remember that my body hangs onto weight, and while other people seem fine to drop 2 or so in a week, it will take mine at least a month of being fairly (or more) rigorous with watching what I eat. So much easier said than done when I socialise so much. Still, I'm eating well, and these last few days I've been experimenting with a version of Hilary's breakfast suggestion (300g Total 0%, 10g LLBY, 10g pumpkin seeds, 5g flaxseed, 5g gojis); at around 300 cals, it's certainly filling, and the sheer OMGIAMAGLUTTON feeling I get from eating 2 pots of yoghurt in a row first thing in the morning is enough to send me to the gym afterwards so... I guess that's a good thing! :-) Seriously though, it packs over 30g protein and yes, finally, I think this is making things feel a lot less edgy. So good.

Outside of CR considerations, I've eaten in a couple of really fabulous places in London over the last couple of weeks. We went to the new champagne bar in St Pancras station; freezing cold, but right next to all the Eurostar trains rumbling off for more glamorous, if not warmer, climes. Followed by a visit to Acorn House, where I ate the veggie accompaniments (scraping amaretti crumbs off the butternut squash - why, why??), and argued with P (who had ordered the veggie dish) about why veggie dishes in restaurants need always be so boring and pastry/pasta/rice based... Except when they are eaten in 32 Great Queen Street, however, where last Tuesday I had a fabulous salad with fine shavings of raw Jerusalem artichoke and pomegranate seeds and chicory and raddiccio and walnuts, followed by a comforting, earthy broth of wild and field mushrooms with barley. Mmm, mmm, mmmm. Maybe there's a reason it takes more than a week... :-)

The other thing of note that has happened this week is that I applied for a job a couple of weeks ago; sent off my old CV, slightly tweaked, and a cover letter and then basically forgot about it. On Thursday I got a technical telephone interview out of the blue, and then another with the head of personnel. My confidence is so shot right now that both calls left me in floods of hysterical tears, torn between fear that I had messed it up entirely and fear that I haven't and will therefore have to have a proper interview where (my shot confidence says) I am certain to embarrass myself and have my total uselessness at IT held up for all, including me, to scrutinize. I hadn't realised I had got this low and down on myself and that's a shock. I seriously need to work on rebuilding my self-esteem. But I am not sure that moving into another IT job, which is likely to be more stressful if ultimately more rewarding, is that right thing to do. When my back is to the wall I will get the job done - but I need to work out if putting my back to the wall is really what I want to be doing every day.

On a brighter note, I was talking to A Young Person (30) in the pub the other night who, when questioned, genuinely believed me to be aged around 27/28. Cool. I might feel old and knackered then, but perhaps I don't look it (even through beer googles). :-)

Right, it's 6.30am and I must take my yoghurt-filled self off to the gym for the daily stagger on the treadmill.

Love to all!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

A stuttering start

Hmm. Rather ashamed to admit that despite the best of intentions, I don't seem to have got my second CRON year off to a good start - I've gained a pound if not two since the beginning of the year (*shame* (It could just be water retention though... *hopes*)), and I keep being ambushed by hunger and the close proximity of starchy carbs, aka delicious breads. Someone said (what I think of as) the dreaded words to me the other day - "Oooh, you are looking well". I always translate this as "My, haven't you put on weight lately...", while knowing of course that my friend means anything but. But it's true. 115lbs this morning which is in no way a disaster, but irritating because I really don't want that insidious creep to 120 and beyond happening again, and even more so because I was hovering just over 112-113lbs at Christmas. I am much better and much more myself at 112, and 110 is where I want to be. So, same goal as last year then. But I'll settle for 112.

This morning I managed a gym session (urgh, so boring), and an extremely blustery and cold walk on Salisbury Plain with friends and dogs. Benefits of which were all off-set by pub lunch (butternut soup, bread) and the necessity of getting calories back into me asap because I was frozen. This afternoon I have nothing more planned than huddling up with the papers, hot drinks, and Jazz FM. Dinner will be little gem lettuce and the remains of a huge pot of low-fat cottage cheese that I foolishly opened the day before going to London and now am trying to finish off before it goes fizzy and climbs out of the fridge by itself.

Then a day at home, two more days in London, and then a week (thankfully) at home to make a second/third/fourth start on cutting the carbs and upping the protein and making gym exercise an every day thing. And shaking up my diet a bit. I am planning to cut the fruit out at breakfast and replace it with extra protein and fats (yoghurt, seeds AND nuts), and see how that goes. If nothing else it's an easy way of reducing my calories and I get all essential vitamins / minerals that my servings of fruit provide in my veggies anyway. I'd like to get my carbs down this year and see if that helps the stupid blood sugar problems I have. Also need to cut the caffeine and, obviously, resist eating bread when I am eating out.

I think it's fair to say this is now, as April described it the other day, more weight-watchers with an eye on nutrition than CR.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Very, very, very quickly indeed...

I've had lots of things buzzing around my head recently that I wanted to write in a blog post, not least because I think tomorrow counts as my CR birthday - well, the day of my first post on this blog, so sort of my CR birthday... but haven't really had the time to get them out there in any coherent order...

I used CoM for the first time in several weeks yesterday and, as usual, when I totalled my food up for the day was around 1100 calories with 98% vitamins and 98% minerals - not bad going for ad hoc. Lots of veggies and low fat cottage cheese and fat free yoghurt and some eggwhites for good measure. Today isn't so good, I've been really snacky all day, and I missed the gym due to a combination of insomnia and unexpected late sleeping with bad dreams (hence exhuasted when I finally did wake up)... although I did go out for a healthy hour long walk, thinking about my 14 years... The report below is good for breakfast, lunch and various unncessary snackings from the fridge but with dinner still to go. Cooked by me, but to be eaten en famille with the neighbours so can't weigh and measure it really, but it will be mushroom stroganoff (ok, mushrooms cooked with some olive oil, white wine, garlic and onions and mixed up with Total 0%) so that should take care of the B's, cavalo nero and green beans (hopefully the latter should sort the E). There's ciabatta but I am determined to resist it... I'm feeling quite full, I've eaten far too many eggwhites today that I meant to save for tomorrow, plus more cereal than usual to finish up the packet; if I was alone I'd probably just have a plate of broccoli and be done with it.

Nutrition Summary for 08 January 2008
Report generated by CRON-o-Meter v0.9.3

General (68%)
Energy | 942.3 kcal 79%
Protein | 73.1 g 81%
Carbs | 112.2 g 93%
Fiber | 27.3 g 78%
Fat | 28.0 g 31%
Water | 1308.3 g 48%

Vitamins (91%)
Vitamin A | 13955.9 IU 598%
Folate | 553.4 µg 138%
B1 (Thiamine) | 0.9 mg 80%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 2.5 mg 231%
B3 (Niacin) | 9.4 mg 67%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 2.8 mg 56%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.1 mg 162%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.6 µg 107%
Vitamin C | 169.9 mg 227%
Vitamin D | 420.7 IU 210%
Vitamin E | 13.0 mg 86%
Vitamin K | 380.9 µg 423%

Minerals (95%)
Calcium | 1073.7 mg 107%
Copper | 1.5 mg 169%
Iron | 18.1 mg 100%
Magnesium | 355.8 mg 111%
Manganese | 2.5 mg 139%
Phosphorus | 1041.6 mg 149%
Potassium | 3747.3 mg 80%
Selenium | 115.3 µg 210%
Sodium | 1135.3 mg 76%
Zinc | 7.4 mg 93%

Lipids (42%)
Saturated | 3.3 g 17%
Omega-3 | 1.4 g 130%
Omega-6 | 6.1 g 51%
Cholesterol | 6.0 mg 2%

(Rather irritatingly the yellows were back this morning. if it's food related, I ate a ton of butternut squash last week, and have been eating broccoli practically every day, and last night had a pile of kale. Over Christmas it seemed a lot better. I dunno... *sigh*)