Sunday, 30 November 2014

1800 - week one

Did pretty good this week. Mostly lower than 1800. Low low carbs. Plenty of fat.

Coupled with lots of distractions, I wasn't so obsessed with food.
A good thing.

So, perhaps it is time to get weighed.
Dentist & Optician this week.
Dentures? New glasses?
I have another date.
Life is good.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

1800 calories HFLC - weekend start

I track food, calories and macros over at MyFitnessPal, which has been ultra helpful in showing me just where I need to concentrate on improving. High fat, low carb has worked for me recently, getting me a 19 lb loss over 3 months, so it is worth doing. Going back to eating carbs was a mistake I paid for with feeling bad, feeling out of control and stopping my exercising vibe. Hmpf. So I'm booting them out again, except for one day a week when I will allow myself to eat anything I like without calorie or carb restrictions. With my altered tastebuds and now hopefully more shrunken stomach, I'm sure of a good result and trust myself to be reasonable with this. If I do overindulge, it is just one day.

Since I'm being mostly sedentary, I've decided to give myself a boost on the weight-loss path with a lower calorie allowance. 1800 calories is do-able and allows me to have decent sized meals and no guilt. I'm big enough that I will lose easily on this even without exercising - which currently I don't seem to be able to make myself do as yet. (it's that agrophobia thing and a general reluctance to leave the house - must do something about that)

Sat -10 am and have already eaten half the new daily calories! Well, have to start somewhere. Macros good so far.
Had chicken with mushrooms in sour cream sauce & lovely crunchy red radishes for breakfast - who cares about conventional breakfast food :)

I counted 3 snacks as lunch - 4 whole walnuts (cracked open and the nutmeat taken out as nuts SHOULD be eaten, not guzzled easily from a plastic packet...), 95g of nice mature cheddar, then another 4 walnuts.
Still raining, rain expected over the whole weekend.
Must get out and do some snipping. Rose bush is growing while I skulk in the house...
Did not emerge from the house. Must do better with the exercise. People coming by on Monday, so house cleaning & some garden tidying might be a good idea.

7.30pm Had black pudding, fried eggs and fried streaky bacon for dinner. Have now used up all my 1800 calories. Now to drink water until tomorrow or midnight :)
Macros at this point: 67.5% fat, 25.3% protein, 4% carbs
This would be a good day in Dr Bernstein's book. Am going to try incorporating a few more veggies tomorrow.

Yay! Did good yesterday! Managed to keep to my 1800 calorie limit, rah rah rah! No snacking between my last meal on Sat and this morning. I drank some water, and slept at a decent hour.
Also, even though I didn't hit the 135g ideal macro for protein, I did eat decent protein at every meal - had lean chicken, nuts, cheese, eggs and bacon.
Didn't wake up with a headache this morning too. A big plus day :D :D

noon - made a early lunch since I didn't have breakfast. Too busy chortling over my success yesterday. Lamb loin chops from the butcher at Tesco, lots of fat as well as meat, yummy, pan fried in a little ghee. Tossed in the shredded red cabbage, a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar to counteract the fat, sour cream and water to make a sauce. Delicious.
5.30pm - nearly half a day's calories still to eat. Carbs so far: 15g

Update rest of day later.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Symbolic gestures

This morning I woke up with this thought: I must get rid of all the starchy carbs in the house.
It doesn't feel right to me, to throw away good food. But much like giving up cigarettes all those years ago, this action is right.

Symbolism has a big impact on my psyche. When I made the true decision to quit smoking, rather than the lip service of 'after this pack has finished', I still had most of a pack of cigarettes left. I methodically, and ceremoniously soaked and shredded each stick and ripped the box into little pieces. When they were nothing more than a mass of sopping wet bits of paper, filters and shreds of tobacco, I threw it all into the bin, telling myself this was it. My first day of many being a non-smoker. To help me too, I immediately put away all the rest of the smoker paraphernalia - ashtrays, matches, lighters, and vowed to myself that my home was now a smoking-free zone. It took me a while to lose the craving, and I did backslide now and then. But the end result is today I am a non-smoker. I don't have cigarettes in the house, I prefer my friends who do smoke, to smoke out in the garden, and I smell so much better these days :) Success!

So, despite my qualms about throwing away good food, I am prepping myself to do this. It has to be a fairly dramatic gesture for it to make an impact on my subconscious. And a symbolic date too. That is the key, I believe, to my success in changing my diet and lifestyle forever. Because I don't want to be the diabetic, high blood pressure, asthmatic sufferer any more. I saved my lungs before, I can save the rest of me again.

As it is dry food, perhaps to salve my conscience I will put it all into the garden where it can feed little creatures in the ground while it rots down. I've just had a flash thought of a Ancient Greek tale of Psyche's trials set by Aphrodite, one of them involved sorting out a mess of mixed grains and pulses...and she was helped by little creatures :)

Goodbye basmati rice, you big sackful, you! Goodbye flour, I shall miss making bread with you - maybe one day long into the future we'll meet again occasionally. Goodbye pasta, oh, how I will miss you, my favourite - but I have managed these few weeks without you already.

My ceremony is going to have stages this time. Clearing my cupboards. Pouring all those foodstuffs together in a heap in the garden and mixing it with compost. Then digging it into the earth once it has rotted down a little. I'm not throwing away good food, I am returning it to the earth, where it will feed the ground and eventually feed my plants - giving me beautiful flowers and fruit. Psychologically this will help my mind to accept this behaviour.

Why has this come to a head now? I have noticed that instead of getting smaller, my arms seem to have gotten bigger, bulkier and the skin feels tight on them. My thighs have expanded, and also feel tight. My belly has lost that loose skin feel it had three months ago. Although I have changed my habits and generally don't eat as much starchy carbs as before, I still have access to them in my home. It is time to gather all those remaining bags and pack them off. It is time to make a clean break finally. It is time to give myself another gift of good health :)

Friday, 14 November 2014

My sooper-dooper bread rolls

My bread rolls turned out great this time. Baking is a chancy business for me, sometimes I get great results, sometimes not so great. It is probably due to the fact I never seem to follow a recipe twice...or I'm ad-hoc-ing some of the ingredients!

Made these last night because I had a real craving for bread and there was none in the freezer. This recipe was a success :) Sort of a combination of classic dinner rolls and artisan no knead high liquid method. Possibly too because I allowed the dough to rise 3 times and baked them in a properly hot oven.

Super-dooper bread rolls - 16

650g Sainsbury strong white flour,
1 tsp Sainsbury Basics fine salt
2 teaspoons Silver Spoon caster sugar (mine is scented with vanilla beans in the jar I keep sugar in)
1 packet Tesco instant yeast (7g)
200ml cold Tesco whole milk (homogenized - what is it with this practice??)
200ml just boiled hot water
2 tablespoons Farchioni Il Casolare Extra Virgin Olive oil (this was the ad-hoc, I simply glugged in the oil, so could be more or less)
additional sprayed oil on the parchment lined pan (I used Filippo Berio EVO pump action spray bottle)
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil for kneading

Whisk all dry ingredients together in large wide mouthed bowl.
Combine all wet in a jug and whisk before pouring onto dry
Using fork or spoon, combine until dough comes together
Knead briefly with oiled hands in bowl - 1 or 2 minutes, scraping sides. Dough will be soft and a little sticky. Do not add extra flour. Form dough into a ball by pulling down sides to underneath.
Oil bowl and return dough, rolling in oil to cover all surfaces.
Using a large clean supermarket carrier bag, spray insides with a little oil, rub together to coat, then cover dough loosely.
Place in cold oven or similar draught free space for dough to rise - 90 minutes minimum.

Remove plastic bag, knock down dough, reshape, re-oil, replace oiled plastic bag cover and allow to rise again - 90 minutes minimum.

Spray oil onto parchment baking paper lining baking tray.
Remove dough from resting place. Remove plastic bag. Knead briefly.
Divide dough into 16 pieces ( I made this many because that was what fit my baking sheet).
Shape dough. (I made classic spheres)
Flatten each piece between palms, then form into a smooth ball by bringing edges together underneath and pinching and pulling in several times. Place on oiled baking pan, pinched side down so about 1 cm of space inbetween.
Shape all dough. Can snip or brush with egg wash, scatter with seeds, salt flakes, dust with flour now.
Cover with oiled plastic bag loosely and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

15 minutes before dough fininshed rising 3rd time, turn oven on to 225ÂșC.
Remove oiled plastic bag. Check dough has risen to twice the size.
Place in top 1/3 of oven, bake for 20 minutes. Tops will be nicely browned and bases will sound hollow when tapped. Rolls may have joined together depending on distance from each other. If you don't want this, use a bigger tray and space rolls far apart.
Remove, split rolls from each other and alow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before eating.
Each roll is 174 calories, 29g carbs.

I've eaten 5 today and frozen the rest. :) They were fab warm from the oven with some fresh slightly salted butter. And just as good cold later on. The crumb was soft and open, crusts were crisp. Yummy. I'm going to try this again in a couple of weeks with chopped kalamata olives and a little extra EVO.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I am pruning down my rose climbers and buddleia, and perhaps cutting down some branches from the eucalyptus, golden elm and apple trees. Perhaps strip back all the climbers on the chainlink fence. My plan is to chop and heap up stuff, then when that's all done, spend a couple of days moving the debris to the skip in easy bucket loads. When all of that has been cleared I can examine the fence and see how to dismantle one section so the shed can be delivered.

The last few days it has rained and rained and I have been feeling sad & blue. No rain, just clouds and sunshine predicted for tomorrow, yay!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Inspector Bird

We're getting a new shed, so today I've been in the garden moving stuff and clearing out the paved pad where it is going. As I was hauling all those big tubs, large bags of compost and picking up plastic plant pots and other paraphernalia I noticed someone was there. A little red breasted robin was only a metre away from me, hopping around, sitting on the branches of the overgrown rose climber - his beady eyes trained on my efforts. Inspector Robin Bird was a genial little companion to my afternoon exercise. I hope he got himself a good meal out of it - I certainly uncovered plenty of earthworms!

Today has been a carb blowout day - loads of sandwiches. Tomorrow I will be back on the primal wagon for a while.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Creak creak

I've had a busy couple of days. Manic cleaning, then today, walking around a garden centre. I haven't been so active in weeks. Had a good dose of Vitamin D despite the rain. I have sore muscles, sore feet, a sore back, and aching arms but I'm otherwise feeling great. :) And I have company and am being sociable, my sister is visting. Tomorrow I am seeing other relatives, and my fitbit is back online. Today's steps 1500. A good start from almost complete inactivity.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Wet and splooshy November

So here I am again. It's been a dreadful summer for me. I slumped into a depression that segued into feeling panicky about getting out of the house, kept putting off going shopping, cancelled appointments and basically hid under the covers. Not good. I'm feeling a little better now, because I have run out of meds, and I am almost positive being on them contributed to my slump and has probably contributed to my general meh feelings over the last few years since I started taking them.

Going to the doc tomorrow, going to ask for some help with the depression that's non-drugs, I'm also going to say that I want to try getting better without the meds, or just be on a small dose. Getting a new weight update too, I'm hoping for a same or just slightly higher number, because part of that depressive episode was feeling sorry for myself and eating stuff I really should have left on the supermarket shelf.

This last week I've been eating better. My mum told me my face looked a little thinner, yay for disappearing jowls! The fitbit will be back online too, so stepping out is my priority.

Its damp, wet and slooshy outside, but in here and in my head things are getting brighter. For inspiration I looked online at people who have rehabilitated themselves from tremendous odds. If they can do it so can I.