Friday, 30 October 2015

It's working

The v.low carb/wheat free eating, that is.  My digestive system is feeling the benefits now, uncomfortable bloating gone, bowels back to normal (ok I know, too much information).  My joints don't ache anything like they were before.  I am, amazingly, not craving carbs anymore - made a granary loaf today, at OH's request, and I haven't touched it, not so much as a slice......normally, I'd barely give it time to cool down before I'd cut a slice and devoured it, slathered with butter.

Made a coconut prawn curry today, I did basmati rice for OH and put a dessertspoonful on my plate....didn't even eat that. 

Oh, and I've lost 8lbs.....losing weight wasn't the focus of the eating plan, my very upset stomach and aching joints were, but weight loss is a very big bonus.  I'll be carrying on with the plan at least until next weekend, it's doing me such a lot of good.

The new computer chair arrived today.....oh it's lovely, as comfy as an armchair.  In fact, it's actually MORE comfy than my old recliner armchair!

An armchair to replace said old recliner, and a wardrobe for the twin spare room are next on the list.  That'll be about it then regarding furniture.  We would like a Welsh dresser or a sideboard at some point, but that's way off in the future.

The Bond film was fab.u.lous.....I won't say anymore about it in case anyone else is about to go and see it.  The only problem was the bloke sitting next to me, who absolutely stank of fags and booze (no, not husband haha.....the bloke on the other side of me).  Still, at least he was quiet.

Thanks for your comments, I do appreciate them all. 



Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Next purchase on the plan

As I have a laptop, I rarely sit at the desk....OH uses the desktop computer, so he sits there.  Over the past couple of days, I've been sitting there on and off....my laptop was knackered (fixed now by husband's very clever techie son in law) so I had to use the desktop, plus we've had visitors (OH's daughter and said SIL) and needed an extra chair.  Boy, is it uncomfortable!  It's skew whiff, it leans to one side, both the seat and the back are achingly uncomfortable.  After just 2 days of sitting in it occasionally, I have terrible backache.  How OH has never complained about it, I do not know, he must be a hero (or he's so engrossed in his ongoing battle with trying to get one over the computer in online chess that he just hasn't noticed). 

Anyway, I decided that a new computer chair was a bigger priority than saving for a new leather armchair.....I reckon our current recliner armchair still has a few months' life left in it, even if it does look tatty (no IF about it, it IS tatty).  And, for once, we haven't bought second hand....we reckoned that in this instance a new one was probably better.  Having searched online, we've found what looks to be a good one at a good price (a price we're willing and able to pay, in other words) on ebay....ordered and arriving next Monday.  Sorted - another thing to cross off the list.

Thanks for your comments, I was feeling a lot better after eating v.low carb/wheat free for a few days.  Had a bit of a setback after having visitors for a couple of days....not easy to do a slightly strange diet when you have to feed visitors!  Am back on it from today though, so am sure I'll be feeling better again soon.

All excited today.....we're off to the pictures tonight to see the staggeringly gorgeous Daniel Craig in the new Bond film, it's my 2 or 3 yearly birthday treat! (my birthday is next week and the new Bond films always come out around the time of my birthday.....how thoughtful of them).

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Low carbing

For years, since I was a teenager, I have suffered occasionally with IBS.....I also have a few food intolerances, 1 or 2 I knew about already, others were identified following tests I had when I was referred by my GP to a senior dietician.  Most of the time these intolerances are manageable and have little impact on my day to day life - they're only intolerances, after all, not allergies, although I do have a mild allergy to tomatoes and citrus fruits.  Even that doesn't present much of a problem, it just makes my mouth and lips tingle, with a little bit of swelling sometimes.

However, if I'm stressed, anxious or a bit down, the IBS and intolerances become a big problem, as they are now.  Starchy carbs and anything with wheat cause me massive gut problems (erm quite literally - I get a (more) massive gut due to terrible bloating, with pain and alternate diarrhoea/constipation too....you really wanted to know that, didn't you!).  All my joints ache, and I feel totally sluggish and irritable.  At times like this, it feels like almost anything I eat makes me feel ill. 

I don't want to go back to the GP - I don't want to be given a load of drugs, sent for yet more tests, or be put on a ridiculously strict and virtually unmanageable exclusion diet again (I had to do that before, and it was hell....to be fair, it did work, but that was probably due to the fact that there was hardly anything I was actually allowed to eat!).  All that makes me feel like I'm handing myself over to the medical profession and losing control of my body, which just makes me feel worse.  So this week I've taken control myself - I've been cutting out ALL starchy carbs and wheat products, eating more fish and above-ground veggies (rather than carby root veg), eating yogurt, drinking more water and fennel & peppermint tea.  I've also started taking acidophilus tablets to help sort out my gut, and St. Johns Wort to help with my low mood.

It's now beginning to work.....the bloating is disappearing and my gut & bowels are starting to settle down, my joints are aching less and I'm feeling less irritable.  Plus I've lost 4lbs since Monday!  Bonus!  I'm determined to keep up with this regime for another couple of weeks at least, longer if I can.  I hate feeling so ill.

OH brought in the remaining green tomatoes and peppers from the polytunnel this morning.....it's getting colder, the plants are dying off and the stuff is just not ripening.  A big trugful, so will have to make chutney or do something else with them over the next few days.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Free day

OH has just gone out to take the car to be fixed - new clutch being fitted today - so I've got an extra day to myself.....his mate who's a mechanic (luckily!) is doing it, and he lives right over the other side of town and OH is staying over there to help out, to hopefully get it done quicker.  Or hinder, as the case may be. 

So what am I going to do with myself today?  You know what.....nothing!  I'm having stomach troubles (IBS, it flares up occasionally when I'm a bit under the weather or stressed) and haven't slept very well the past few nights.  So today I'm just going to sit and crochet and watch trashy daytime TV.  Or a film, if I can find one. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Brrr! Lovely!

It's felt decidedly chilly today.....well, in comparison to the past few weeks.  I've had the heating on low since just after lunch, to take the chill off.  Not that I really mind it being cooler - being menopausal, I have my own inbuilt central heating system and can't bear it when the weather is hot.....I feel like I'm in a sauna.  God only knows what I'd be like without HRT!  Night times are the worst, OH has the duvet pulled up to his ears almost, whilst I'm throwing it off.  And I can't bear my feet being hot in bed, keeps me awake.  Oh, the joys of getting older!  About the only thing I like about winter is the fact that it's cooler.

Nothing much done today.....one load of washing, a granary loaf made, crustless quiche made for lunch (we had it with chips and salad.....quiche made without pastry in an effort to cut the carbs, we're trying to go low carb(ish) for a couple of weeks, before winter sets in and we start eating stodge.  And yes I know chips are carbs ;-).....but I didn't have many).

This afternoon I've been valiantly pressing on with the cushion cover, which seems to be (well, is) taking far longer than I'd anticipated.  I'm just doing a plain and simple envelope shape in double crochet, for simplicity and quickness(!!) - I'll crochet a few flowers for the front.  The trouble is, I'm doing it in chunky yarn with quite a large hook, and being such a close design (as opposed to a lacy one, e.g.) it's actually quite hard going.  Why make things easy for myself?!?!!  Oh well, I'm sure it will be worth it in the end (whenever the end FINALLY comes!).  Note to self.....just do things in DK from now on, far easier to work.

Oh, and a message for YORKSHIRE PUDDING - a couple of times now in comments you've referred to me as Leishy.  Forgive me for being a bit blonde (well, I am blonde), but I don't understand this reference.....are you actually getting me confused with someone else?  Or does Leishy mean something I don't know about?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

WIP's

Work in progress......I've got too many of them.  A blanket which is 3/4 finished, a poncho about a third done, shawl for my mother only a quarter done.  Last week I started on a tasselled waistcoat for myself, just 6 rows into it.  And today I've started a cushion cover. 

It's getting ridiculous, my attention span seems to be getting shorter the older I get!  It's not that I don't want to finish them all.....I do.  I just get a bit bored doing the same thing for days/weeks on end, I suppose, hence the desire to start something different. 

Well, I'm going to take myself in hand.....or rather, take a crocheted item in hand and bloody well finish it.  The cushion cover I'm determined to finish this week - should be easy enough, it's a plain one in chunky yarn, crocheted in solid DCs, a simple envelope shape with button fastening.  I'll then embellish it with a few crocheted flowers. 

Next I'll get on with the blanket, I reckon there's only about another half dozen or so rows to go, then 2 or 3 rows of edging. 

The shawl I'm not so sure about, I'm not very keen on the way it's looking (which is why I stopped it, I guess).....I might undo it and pick a different pattern. 

I like the idea of the waistcoat, it'll be the first actual clothing item I've ever made for myself - always just made blankets, throws, cushion covers, lacy tablecloth, scarves, cowls and hats before.  I'm using a cream Aran yarn I've had for a couple of years.....if it works out ok then I'll do another in some nice cotton mix yarn I've seen and like the look and feel of.  But before I buy any more yarn I will finish the poncho!  I love the purple flecked yarn I'm doing it in, I guess it's just taking me a bit longer to do than I hoped.....as it's made from the neck down, it's obviously getting bigger with more stitches each round. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one with loads of WIP's or UFO's.....am I?

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Lots of baking

I did quite a bit of baking yesterday.....it's the first time in ages I've done so much, sort of lost my enthusiasm for it a bit recently.

In the morning I made two cakes:-


The bottom one is banana & cinnamon, the top one apricot & ginger (or it may be the other way round!).  One of them has been frozen, the other OH will be having a slice of in his packed lunch every day.  I can't remember which one I froze, so he'll have a surprise. 

I braised some steak mince, onions, grated carrot, mushrooms and lentils in half a bottle of stout and some beef stock.  I then made some Stilton and grainy mustard scones to top the mince, before putting in the oven.



I rolled out a pack of puff pastry and made half a dozen raspberry turnovers - cut out squares of pastry, spread the base with homemade strawberry & raspberry jam, pile on some of our home grown raspberries, sprinkle with a bit of sugar and some ground almonds to soak up some of the juice.  Fold over the pastry, seal, brush with milk and bake.

 
 

Erm, I think I put in too many raspberries and not enough ground almonds, the juice leaked out everywhere.  Never mind, they'll still taste good. 

Squished together and re-rolled the bit of leftover pastry I'd cut off the edges when cutting out the squares.  There was enough to make 4 mini cheese pasties - just grated cheddar and a bit of leftover ham, the tops brushed with milk and sprinkled with smoked paprika.

 
 
 

They're not pretty but who cares, they'll get eaten in minutes.  We're going out today for a picnic by the beach so will take them with us.

Sorry for the usual bad pics and washed out colour - as always, I used my phone and I'm no photographer.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Best laid plans.....

Welcome to my new followers, Angryparsnip and Jo(e), lovely to have you and I hope you enjoy reading.....I'm still always surprised that anyone actually wants to read about our fairly mundane lives, but am happy to see that you do.  I will try not to bore you all to tears too often!

Well, you set your mind on doing something, and isn't it amazing how often something else comes along to bugger it up?!  This week we'd planned on touring a few second hand furniture shops and possibly an auction or two, to see if we could get hold of a nice red leather armchair and a pouffe, having been saving our pennies for weeks (if only things did cost pennies....is there actually anything you can buy for pennies nowadays?).  But.....suddenly, the car needs a new clutch.  Well, it's not exactly sudden, to be honest, it's been a bit dodgy for a while.  However, last week while sis was here, we'd decided to go to Ilfracombe for the day....well, there's a big hill (a VERY big hill) on the way, and the car - well, the clutch to be exact - objected very strongly to it and gave off an absolutely revolting stench and some odd noises.  So that was that.  Obviously, we didn't get to Ilfracombe.....the car was gracious enough to get us home after a suitable cooling off period (we took the opportunity to have a lovely lunch and mooch around in Lynmouth) and has obligingly ferried husband to work and us both to the supermarket since.  OH had one of the mechanics from work have a quick look at the car, he confirmed the clutch is definitely on its way out and needs replacing sharpish.  Oh well.

So obviously the money has to go on that, and the armchair and pouffe will have to wait until we've saved some more pennies.  Never mind, we'll get there in the end.  I'm just glad we've got the money to pay for it, we do have an extra little bit set aside for emergencies, but car stuff always seems to cost an arm and a leg.....

I'm going to do some baking today, a couple of cakes for the freezer and some savoury biscuits.  Have also got 3 or 4 packs of flaky pastry in the freezer (bought a job lot - well, half a dozen - when they were reduced to 25p in the supermarket), as we've got loads of our own frozen raspberries I might also make some sort of tartlets.  Will see how I get on and will try and remember to take photos.

Friday, 9 October 2015

I'll be back....

Apologies for the lack of posts this week.....we've been very busy, out and about every day whilst my sister has been here.  She went home yesterday, so normal service will be resumed once I've recovered from being so knackered....sight seeing, shopping and lunching out every day totally wears you out! (well, it does me, seeing as I'm no longer used to it).

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Recipes

Morning all, thank you for your comments, here are the recipes for the cornbread and soup I made yesterday.

The cornbread was adapted from this recipe , I had no buttermilk so used Greek yogurt thinned with a little milk.  I didn't use fresh chilli or sweet pepper or chilli powder either, I put in a tsp of smoked paprika instead.  Next time I will also sprinkle some extra grated cheese on the top when baking.

To make the soup, I chopped a large red onion and softened it in a little oil in a large saucepan.  Skinned a bowlful of our homegrown tomatoes (probably about 15-20 tomatoes of varying sizes and shapes), roughly chopped them and added them to the pan.  Also roughly chopped half a jar of small round red peppers and put them in, along with some fresh basil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a tsp of sugar and sea salt/black pepper.  Simmered for about 3/4 hour, then left it to cool.  This morning I've whizzed it up with my stick blender thingy, when I heat it up for lunch I'll add a splash of cream.

That reminds me, I need to get a new stick blender.....mine, which was a supermarket cheapo value one bought years ago, is now giving up the ghost, it makes a terrible racket after about a minute of use.  Had a quick look on the Argos website.....they mostly come with various attachments - duh, I just want a stick blender for soups, I don't want all the fancy extras that will never get used and will just clutter up the cupboard gathering dust!!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Food pics

As promised, pics of the fresh tomato and red pepper soup, and cheesy chilli cornbread:-



Not that they're particularly interesting photos!  I'm hoping they taste better than they look in the pics......

Decided not to make an apple cake.  Got a pot of clotted cream coming in my shopping delivery tomorrow, so of course I'll have to make scones in the morning.  And scones always taste best fresh on the day, don't they?

Sister coming

Thanks for all your comments recently, although I've read them all of course, I haven't had time to reply, or to make many comments on all your blogs....it's been a busy few weeks. 

My sister has more or less got over her recent health problems and is arriving tomorrow to stay with us for a few days.  Both sis and I are looking forward to this so much, we've both had a lot of stress recently and are so happy to be able to spend a few days together just chinwagging and going out and about.  We get on really well together (we didn't when we were teenagers!) and are best friends as well as sisters.  OH enjoys her company too, they have a good laugh together and sis is always willing (much more so than I!) to help him out with any DIY projects in the garden. 

She's arriving by coach late morning tomorrow, we'll go and pick her up, getting back here for lunchtime.  So today I'm making fresh tomato and red pepper soup, plus cheesy chilli cornbread, so it'll be ready for us to eat tomorrow as soon as we get home.  Roast lamb, sister's favourite and mine, for dinner tomorrow evening.

Sis is a bit of a shopaholic and a 'lady who lunches'.....that used to be me too before we moved down here to the (very) rural countryside and I became a sort of oldfashioned 'Larkrise to Candleford' style housewife!  Which, incidentally, I love and feel I was born to.  Although it is quite nice occasionally to go back to being how I used to be.....just for a day or two though.  Sis has said she'd like to see the seaside - she lives in the middle of the country, nowhere near any sea at all.  So we'll combine seaside and shopping with trips to Minehead and Weston, with a bag of chips thrown in.....well, it's what you do at the seaside! We'll probably also go to a couple of the nice inland villages, and have a decent lunch out somewhere.  Pity the weather's set to change.....typical, we've had warm sunshine for the past 2 or 3 weeks and now it's forecast to be wet and windy next week.  Grrr.

Will try to remember to take pics of the soup and cornbread, oh and a cake too hopefully, and post them later.