Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The new blog

Well, I hope that all is set up for my blessings blog. You can find it here http://jaysblessings.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Have you missed me?

2014 is nearly upon us.  I am making resolutions. I am going to start a new blog on which I will count my blessings. I will post a blessing every day, that is, something I am grateful for, and I will do some sort of artwork with it too.  I wonder how long I will keep it up?

Monday, 20 May 2013

In Your Shoes

I spent a very interesting morning at the hospital today.  No, there’s nothing wrong with me, or mum, or OH.  Well, nothing more than usual!  This was a sort of focus group thingy, where patients and carers were invited to share their experiences, good and bad, with a member of staff on a one to one basis, then in groups, to try and find out where things could be made better, changed etc, to make the whole hospital experience a bit less stressful and frustrating.  It’s called “In Your Shoes”

Some people had bad personal experiences and that was their focus, some had more general comments to make.  This is not the place to share specific things that were said. I was a little surprised that no comment was made at the beginning about treating what we heard in the room as confidential, although no one exactly bared their soul.

There were plenty of positive comments too.  I guess once you have had a bad experience you tend to dwell on those aspects, whereas if you haven’t had problems you can see the bigger picture.

Anyway, in our one to one we had to try and find pithy sentences to express what we wanted to say, good on green post-its and bad on pink.  In the group work these were discussed and stuck up on a chart on the wall by the facilitator’s lovely assistant who wrote appropriate headings.  I don’t think any voices were raised, which was a triumph of management, and everyone seemed to get to say what they wanted to say.  The post-it notes was a good idea, because that way the facilitator could see who still had a point to make.
It was also a good thing to hear what others had to say, it gives one some perspective.

I feel some sympathy for the people who have to run a big institution like a hospital, there is no way they can please everybody because the needs of some are in direct conflict with the needs of others.  This was not mentioned today, because it was important that people all felt that they were being listened to but my own thoughts on that are that when people want to be given time to talk, have things properly explained to them, but they don’t want to be late going in to their appointment there is a problem.  So some “buffer” time should be given?  But that means less people being seen in a day so longer waiting times to get the appointment in the first place.  Make sure you have one for 5 minutes and then one for 25 minutes?  Well, that doesn’t work because you don’t know how long each person is going to be so you can’t plan for that.  Make sure there is plenty of room for wheelchairs in the waiting areas? Well that means less seats for everyone else (actually, I had an idea about that. Flip up seats, just a few)

All in all it was a good day, so if you ever get the chance to take part in a “In Your Shoes” session, take it.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

5:2 Decisions

First of all, I won’t bore you with posting about this every week from now on.
Secondly, I will continue with trying to do a full 24 hours, or as close as I can, at least once a week, and twice a week when I can.  I definitely find that it is easier that way for me, and having read the relevant parts of Michael Mosley’s book again, I think there are advantages.

Thirdly, in spite of what some people are telling me, I cannot find anywhere in the book that says you should eat more calories than normal on the other 5 days.  People in a trial that was reported were asked to, but later on it says that many people actually settle down to eating about 95% of what they had before and it doesn’t say that’s bad.  I am planning on having two fasting days, three good days and two not even going to think about it days
Fourthly, I know my biggest problem is that I am not burning off my calories because I get so little exercise. I can’t afford to join a gym, and finding time for a regular slot is a problem when you are trying to live three people’s lives instead of just one, as regards, appointments, needs to get out of the house, etc.  But I am going to try and walk locally much more, just for the sake of it, so not carrying shopping and so on.  Honest.
Fifthly I am doing this for the health benefits and the weight loss, while it would be welcome, is secondary to doing something about what would seem to be all the typical signs of a woman with too much fat round her vital organs.

When I feel like telling you anything else I will, but don’t hold your breath!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Three little maids from school

Get the diet report over with first.  Two good fasting days, yesterday and last Saturday.  Stopped eating at 7.00 pm the night before, nothing until 7.00 pm the following evening, then 490 calories for dinner and late breakfast the next day.  Changes in previous measurements and weight nil.  Changes in fat content up .2%.  Am I disheartened, yes I flippin' am.

Anyway, today was a lovely day as two school friends came to visit.  We had coffee here then went to see mum and had lunch with her, so hubby could have a bit of peace, then back here for a cuppa before they wended their various ways homeward.  Just lovely. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

5:2 Fifth week

Only managed to fast once this week.  Went all day, had usual fish veg and apple and rice pud, 490 calories.  Today I am 10st 4 lbs  42(!):35:39 and 37.1% fat.  So a slight reduction in fat which is good and an even more unbalanced set of measurements, none of which are any less and an increase in weight.  According to the thing that came with my fat measurer the healthy limit is 36% so I am pleased that has gone down but fed up about all the rest of it.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

5:2 Fourth week

I started this week (on a Thursday) by seriously considering giving this whole thing up.  It probably didn’t help that we went out to lunch (not something we do very often) and so when I weighed myself on the Saturday (just out of curiosity) I had gone back to 10st 6lbs. It was a fast day and by mid-morning I was feeling very grumpy and hungry and really not concentrating at all well.  This was a pain, because I wanted to start planning for the service I have in a fortnight and it made it very difficult so I had to give up on that and that made me even more grumpier.  So then I had a think and I decided that I wouldn’t have a fast day after all, but I would have a “eat as little as I am comfortable with” day instead.  I went and had some toast and marmalade, felt much better and got on really well, with a short break for some very frugal soup and another slice of toast.  My frugal soup was all the spare veg I had in the fridge, a bit of chilli and a tin of tomatoes, boiled up and then pureed, it gave me several portions that worked out at 35 calories each – yes, THAT frugal.  Scrambled egg and salmon plus stewed fruit and yogurt in the evening, but I didn’t count the calories because I DIDN’T WANT TO!
So, on Sunday I decided to have another very good day but not an actual fasting day.  Just my prunes with a bit of yogurt but no cereal in the morning. Frugal soup and toast at lunchtime,  and due to major cock-up on the catering front, beans on toast for dinner.
Yesterday (Wednesday) I must just have been in the right mood.  I had finished my dinner by 7.00 p.m on Tuesday and didn’t eat again until 7.00 p.m. ! Apart from my morning coffee I just had water, sometimes with a dash of lemon juice, and then in the evening I thoroughly enjoyed steamed cod, lots of veg, rice pudding and stewed apple. 490 calories. I didn’t sleep very well tho’
And now it is Thursday again.  My measurements are still the same, my trousers are still as tight, although I am down to 10st 3lbs (but that’s after the fast so it will go up again)  So what am I doing wrong?  I promise I am not going mad in between, in fact this week I have been extra good all week after last Thursday’s blow out.  Answers on a post card please…

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Not about the diet

Yesterday was a cooking day.  Some of you will know that I regularly cook up casseroles and stews in large quantities so that I can take full advantage of the oven being on, freeze up individual portions of things for my mum to put in the microwave and double portions for us too.  I made a chicken curry first.  This is my own very quick and simple recipe – foodies look away now as it uses both curry powder and stock cubes.  First, decide how many portions you want to make and then assemble enough chicken, chopped, about half an onion and a carrot per portion, 3 or 4 unsulphured dried apricots per portion and as much curry powder as you might usually use of whatever strength you prefer.  I use a heaped teaspoon per 2 portions of Tesco’s mild.  Fry the onion off, add the chicken and the curry powder and give it a good stir to coat the chicken, then add the carrots, the apricots, chopped small, enough water to stop it boiling dry and one, or if more than about 8 portions, 2, Beef Oxo cubes.  Yes, I did say beef.  Simmer, keeping an eye on the fluid level for about ¾ of an hour on the hob, covered, or about an hour or so at 180 C in the oven

Then I did a beef casserole, skirt, onions, carrots, mushrooms and red wine, with bay leaf and a little bit of cinnamon, or some juniper berries.  I left the mushrooms whole as they will be separated from the rest and made into a chunky low calorie pasta sauce for me when OH has  tomato sauce and cheese on his.  As I was taking him to the dentist in the afternoon I put that in the oven on the timer and we had some for our dinner.  I shall try to have a fasting day today.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

5:2 Third week

Life was a bit complicated this week so I ended up doing my fasts on Sunday and Wednesday.  For reasons I needn’t bore you with I didn’t go to church so I went all day until 6.00 and then had my usual salmon and scrambled egg followed by an extra-large dollop of stewed apple and some yoghurt which made the day’s total 445.
On Wednesday I had quite a lot to do at home so again I went without food ( but plenty of water and some coffee of course) all day and then had dinner at 6.  I even went outside and did a very little bit in the garden!!!  I planted the 6 broad bean plants that had been growing on the kitchen windowsill, but I think I had better cover them up with some fleece at night for a while.  Dinner was steamed cod and lots of veg followed by a small pot of rice pudding with some stewed apple and dried cherries.  I had to add the rice pudding to make up the calories, total was 470.
So here we are on a Thursday again.  Measurements are 41:35:39.  Yes, the one place I didn’t want to lose any inches is the place I have lost one.  Fat content is down by 0.1%.  Well, it’s a start but I still have 1.3% to go before I’m (just) back into the safe zone.  And the weight – well, bearing in mind that I fasted only yesterday and am going out for a slap up lunch today my 10st 4lbs must be taken with a pinch of salt.  That’s 3½ lbs in 3 weeks.  Frankly I am beginning to lose heart.  I have no way of knowing if the health benefits claimed are happening or not and I think I  would have lost more weight if I’d just eaten extra sensibly 6 days out of 7.  Contrary to what has been said by a lot of people I actually don’t get on very well and struggle to concentrate on the fast days.  I will give it one more week.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

5:2 The second week

This is probably very boring, but it’s part of the process of keeping me at it so bear with me
I fasted again on the Tuesday, my first meal was about 1.00 pm and I had my home made veg soup and a tiny protein sandwich again which all came to 175 calories.  It was a beautiful day and I was able to hang washing out which always makes me feel better (dear me, I really do need to get a life don’t I LOL)  I did usual sort of housework things and crafting things and caught up with a bit of tele that I had recorded and we had our evening meal at 7.30pm Steamed cod and lots of veg but no carbs and then a little dollop of stewed fruit after.  That only came out at 275 so I allowed myself 20 cals worth of tomato ketchup on the fish and it made a big difference.  So, Tuesdays total 450

As I started this on a Thursday I weighed and measured myself the following Thursday (7th March) I was very disappointed to find that my weight had only dropped by 1lb, my bust and hips and fat content were unchanged and my waist had gone UP by an inch!  I can honestly say that I did not eat any more than usual on my normal days, in fact, having learned that what I was interpreting as hunger was in fact thirst, I had probably eaten a bit less.  So I was a bit downhearted to say the least.  But, I know not everyone reacts to these things the same way.  However, I decided not to blog until another week had passed and I would hopefully then have some better news.
I had my next fast day on the Saturday.  I do wonder if part of my problem is the lack of exercise.  The weather was foul so I really didn’t want to go out for a walk, and I am still a bit worried about coming over all peculiar while I am out, so I thought I might do a bit on the Wii.  Managed 20 mins and it said I had burnt 75 calories.  I am not going to tell you what my WiiFit age was, but that was because I got confused over the memory test. Total was 480 cals

Tuesday was difficult.  Unusually I felt a bit hungry when I woke up and although my morning coffee (which I always have black without sugar anyway) helped a bit, I was looking forward to my soup from quite early on.  I had been intending trying to go the whole day but it was not to be.  Maybe the little bit of exercise I did the day before, walking to the heath and back in the driving snow, had something to do with it.  Steamed fish and veggies, followed by the bit of stewed apple I rescued from the burning saucepan (yes, I did it again!) and I was able to afford a dollop of yoghurt on it. 430 calories! But only because the bit of fish was smaller than I realised.
And now it is Thursday. I did my weighing and measuring this morning.  The waist is back to 35, so that’s something, otherwise measurements as before, fat content unchanged, weight down another 1lb.  Disheartened.  And I’ve been feeling quite depressed all week, to the point that I let off quite a bit of steam at Bible study on Monday, which is not like me.  Suddenly, after a long time of not minding, I wish I could have a holiday.  But, enough of this!!!!  Onwards and upwards.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

5:2 My second frugal day

Until I see how I settle down with the fasting days I am going to find it difficult to have set days on which to do it, so as I woke up not feeling particularly hungry and as we often have only a light evening meal on a Saturday anyway, I decided today would be a good day to have my second day.  As I am not in the habit of having breakfast as soon as I get up, I thought I would wait for as long as I could then go out and get shopping once I had eaten, later in the morning.  When I was at work I always skipped breakfast and had something once I was at the office, although it wasn’t usually something very healthy.
Well, it seems that this could be my best strategy because in the end I didn’t eat until 12.45.  I worked out what I was going to have for my evening meal and then I knew how many calories I could have for my other meal.  I had some pastrami left over from yesterday (50 cals) so I made a very frugal sandwich by cutting 2 very thin slices of bread and then taking the crusts off, which brought it down to 60 cals, and a bowl of my soup that I made last time (80 cals).  Total lunch calories 190.  This means I might be able to have a little bit of stewed fruit for afters tonight!  And I took my time over it, about half an hour, while reading The Week.  I know that in the book it suggests that you don’t do anything else when eating but I find it helps to slow me down.  I felt quite satisfied with this meagre repast

When I looked at what was in the house I decided I didn’t need to go shopping so I did housework instead and some crocheting and some card making.  Also, my lovely husband has decided to support me by trying to do it as well.  We have agreed that he will have what I have in the evening and he will experiment with the things that he is able to do for himself for the rest of the day, on the strict understanding that he doesn’t carry on if it makes him feel rough.  The usual plaintive call of “isthereanycake” has been changed into the even more plaintive “nobiscuitsnobiscuits”.
I didn’t sit down for a cup of tea until about 16.45 (lemon and ginger herbal) and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to not have anything to eat with it.  As the book says, a lot of eating (in between meals particularly), is about habit and wanting, not hunger and needing.

We are going to put the evening meal off for as long as we can as we have realised that one of our favourite TV programmes is on, which means not going to bed until nearly 23.00.  We are hoping to wait until at least 19.30.  Funnily enough it is something that we often have anyway, scrambled egg and smoked salmon.  Two eggs and 50g salmon each, (270 calories) no fat or milk added to the pan, and then yes, what joy, 50g of stewed apple for afters.  I stew apple in industrial quantities as hubby likes that best of all, but over the years I have decreased the amount of sugar I put with it and now only use 10% of the weight of the apples which means 50g of it is only 35 cals!  Total for the day 495 calories     RESULT!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

5:2 My first frugal day

OK, I am going to admit to being 10st 7½lbs 41:35:40 and 37.4% fat.  So there we have it.  Fat content not good, weight borderline, measurements just ridiculous.  Oh, if you are comparing, I am 5’4”.
Put off breakfast until 9.30 and then had prunes and yogurt, (115 cals) rather than prunes cereal and soy milk which is what I usually have.  I made a big saucepan full of vegetable soup – onion, green and red peppers, celery, carrot, tinned chopped tomatoes, courgette and a small tin of baked beans including the juice.  Added bay leaf, pinch of garlic granules, cardoman and a teaspoon of Bovril and it worked out at 80 cals for a reasonable size bowl full so I had a slice of wholemeal bread with it to soak up the juice at the end which was another 70 cals.  I tried to eat it slowly – I do have a tendency to eat my food too fast and not chew it properly because of the arthritis in my TMJ
I’m quite good at calorie counting as it is how I lost weight some years ago ( I lost about 20 lbs then) and got to the point of being able to assess the calorie content of any plate of food at 20 paces!  This time I will admit to needing to lose a few pounds but only 7 or 8 really and it is to see the effect on my arthritis that I am doing it for although the weight loss will be a bonus.  It does also seem to be the case for a lot of people that they lose the weight where they need to lose it.
A few people have advised me to keep busy.  I remember now that when I used to play badminton I would feel very hungry when we started because I used to go straight from work, and by the time we had finished the hunger pangs had gone.  I think there is a physiological explanation for this – I’ll have to google it.
I have been drinking water with a dash of lemon juice when I start to feel light headed but I am now getting really woozy (about 2.30) so I may have to go and eat a banana in a while.  I am trying to distract myself with the promise of the banana in a minute.  Now it is 3.00 and I have eaten the banana.
I made turkey curry for this evenings meal, a big saucepan full again so that I have some portions to freeze.  I have separated out some veg to have with some rice rather than get an entirely different meal for myself, but I shall have to plan better in future.  That’s going to work out about 260 cals and I think it very likely that I will need to have some Horlicks or something before I go to bed, so will have gone way over 500 but then again I wasn’t expecting not to.  Quite pleased for my first attempt.  Psychologically it is much easier when you know you can stop counting again for a few days – not that I can go mad but I hope that all this is going to give me a bit more will power!


New Month Resolutions

I didn’t really make any New Year resolutions, well, I sort of had some in mind but for various reasons didn’t really apply myself and then suddenly it was February.  And now it’s March tomorrow, how did that happen?  Anyway, my friend Heather over at  Random Ramblings has been doing that 5:2 diet and yesterday when I saw her I was so impressed by how well she looks I decided that I have to try and get myself back on course for a healthy life style.  I don’t think I can manage the 500 calorie thing, my blood sugar drops too quickly and I feel really, and I mean REALLY rough if I don’t have enough to eat, so I am going to try and build up to it by having a couple of seriously frugal days a week and then try and be sensible the rest of the week without having to think too much about it.  I shall count the calories on the frugal days and see if, over time, it goes down.  Part of the discipline will be to report back here from time to time so watch this space and if you don’t see me, come and tell me off on Twitter (@Jaydubblah)
In other news, Heather came round to play yesterday and then we went out for lunch to a local hostelry and hubby came too.  And he enjoyed himself!  At long last we seem to have found somewhere that he could get into without too much trouble, it wasn’t too noisy, he was comfortable and he liked the food!   Well done Black Tiles

We all chose from the specials list.  Hubby had the fish.  It was a lovely piece of cod with a mashed potato cake and greens.  He likes his veg well cooked so didn’t eat much of the greens but he said the fish and potato were very good.  H had the tempura pork with rice and I had the sweet chilli chicken with noodles.  No one had room for pudding

Well, it’s 8:45 so I shall have my breakfast soon.  Wish me luck!