Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 3 of back to basics

I trained again this morning, getting up at 4:30 to be sure I had the time before work.  It went well, 
I felt good and sweated profusely. And felt far more awake at the time,  although that wore off by mid morning. 
Shortly after I got to work I turned round to talk to someone, and felt like I'd been knifed in the back. I took painkillers straight away and I'm hoping it was just a slight twist that will go away quickly. To encourage it I took things very easy at lunchtime. Then walked a mere 1.5 miles after work (in the dark :-( I miss the summer evenings) It doesn't feel too bad right now so fingers crossed... 
There was an accident on the M4 again this afternoon and on the Web it looked like it was causing chaos - but in the end it only added 10 minutes to my normal travel time,  plus an hour of stress while I tried to decide whether to suffer through it or seek an alternative route. I need to work from home permanently (though then I'd die or boredom instead of stress) It's no good,  the lottery win remains the ideal solution.  Or it would if I actually bought a ticket ever.

Day 3:
Food - success. 
Booze - success.  Although I slightly wish I'd finished the 2 bottles of beer in my cupboard before I started doing this. And I have to say it's harder on a weekend evening. 
Exercise - success!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek & tomatoes,  with a tiny bit of bacon 
Lunch: Salad with cold roast gammon followed by a pear 
Dinner: lamb's liver,  onions and green beans 
Snacks: cashews & cold meat

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 2 of back to basics

Are you sitting down,  holding on and prepared for a shock? This morning (drum roll please)  I trained!!!
It's been a couple of months so I didn't push myself too hard particularly as I didn't get to bed till 11:30 last night,  woke up around 4 and got up at 5:15. I was working from home so I didn't have to waste half an hour driving to the office and I was too sleepy to come up with any excuses not to train,  and by working out to an episode of Criminal Minds I managed a full 40 minutes - so I may not have completely lost any strength & fitness I used to have. 
At lunchtime I walked a couple of miles as well - so I am now officially exhausted and about to have a very early night.  But first... 
Day 2:
Food - partial success.  I'm fine with everything I ate,  but I overindulged slightly with the pork rinds; however I think that was down to increased appetite from increased activity 
Booze - success
Exercise - massive success!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek & tomatoes,  with a tiny but of gammon 
Lunch: homemade soup (yesterday's  vegetable soup with a little added gammon) 
Dinner: a homemade lamb & cumin burger in a red pepper 'bun' with slices of roasted sweet potato and some sauerkraut 
Snacks: cashews & some homemade Pork rinds

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Back to basics

The plan:
1) gluten free
2) low carb - especially no sweet stuff 
3) unprocessed food
4) no booze
5) legume free 
6) grain free (goodbye again rice) 
7) no artificial sweeteners (I've been drinking soft drinks again lately - diet only) 
8) more exercise - especially when feeling depressed 
9) less snacking 
10) less using my medication as an excuse for unproductive behaviours

That will do for now - dairy will probably go too,  but I'm not too worried about that as I've never noticed having problems with it.

Putting it in writing it doesn't look that hard...  Fairly obviously I find it harder to act on this stuff and, more importantly, to keep on doing so. I used to manage though, so it can't be beyond the realms of possibility that I can get back into it, can it?

DAY 1: 
Success on the food front 
Success on the booze front 
Fail on the exercise front - I was still working out the above list when I should have been getting up & training this morning. And at lunchtime I allowed the dodgy weather and the need to collect my prescription (with 15 minute wait) persuade me not to walk

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek & yellow and green pepper 
Lunch: homemade soup (vegetable soup but made with meat stock) 
Dinner: tuna salad 
Snacks: cashews & some cold cooked beef 

Bored with myself

I am so bored with telling you I'm really tired /depressed /binging,  so I can only imagine how bored you must be with reading it.  I might be tempted to write about feeling better and being happy but I don't want to lie about things here,  or there's no point posting at all.
So yesterday I wasn't depressed,  I even had the energy to walk about 3.5 miles through the day as I worked from home and had cable installed in the house during the morning. I got my antidepressants prescription renewed (can't believe it's been a month already - I'm sure I felt better by this point last time I took them) but by about 8pm when I would have been writing my post I was suddenly totally and completely wiped out - like being hit by a truck.  I turned the light out at 19:45 and didn't move again till 2:25 am. So that's why no post posted yesterday.
I overate  yesterday.  I ate gluten stuffed rubbish too.  I didn't actually sit down and binge,  which I suppose is something though not much comfort. I realised as I lay in bed at 2:30 this morning that I've been mostly  off any real healthy eating plan since my eye surgery  - a few brief attempts at getting back into the swing followed by falling off the wagon so hard I can hardly dig myself out of the mud.
No wonder I now have my second cold sore in a month and no energy.  Something has to change,  and it has to change now with a low carb reset to regain some control over myself - and hopefully reduce the current self-loathing I feel when I unavoidably have to look at myself.
Starting today.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Up down up...

I hated the world and all its inhabitants this morning. 
I was relatively cheerful first thing today, enjoying the only benefit of daylight saving - the short short time when driving in to work means dusk & sunrise and I'm not yet driving home in the dark. 
Then I got to work,  logged into my PC, and discovered that without prior notice or discussion with me,  my boss had volunteered me to work overtime tonight.  I'd already agreed to work overtime on Wednesday this week - just to be clear that's the extremely unsocial hours, way past my bedtime, 10 pm start overtime on both days. I may have over-reacted slightly,  spending half the morning stewing over it till the bile was oozing from every pore & orifice (lovely image that,  isn't it?).  Eventually the decision was made not to go ahead with the one tonight so I more or less instantly felt much better,  and when I popped out at lunchtime to experience the lovely warm sunshine that made me feel even better. 
I had a great weekend with my Dad & his wife visiting us.  We went out to dinner to the always wonderful Royal Oak in Paley Street - amazing food,  lovely booze,  excellent staff & service,  beautiful building... It's got it all.  My starter of barbecued squid & chorizo was incredible and I really want to eat it again.  And again.  And again... Followed by red mullet & John dory and then a marvellous brown butter panna cotta with chocolate mousse & banana ice cream. 
Sunday morning I had a mysterious headache for some reason, no idea why :-)  I was also oddly not very hungry until nearly lunchtime,  possibly because I ate so much the night before.  The full stomach,  mixed booze,  and stimulation of a dinner out meant I slept very little and was really lazy yesterday.  It's also possible that that fed into my rage this morning. Anyway. It didn't happen and hopefully won't in the future.

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon & mushroom scrambled eggs 
Lunch: beef salad, bag of crisps 
Dinner: chicken salad 
Snacks: cashews, Bounty 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tired, anxious & miserable...

The last couple of days I've been rushed off my feet at work and knackered after a late night deployment on Wednesday - I worked from 10pm - 11:30 having been up since 4 am,  and then woke up at 4 Thursday morning.  Then the deployed software was pulled due to a problem (thankfully something I couldn't have found) so a) I wasted my Wednesday evening and b) it now needs redoing. And c) Until they worked out the nature of the problem I was convinced I'd be blamed and possibly sacked for it.  Then they discovered the cause and my anxiety shifted to having to test the next Live deployment. For a while it looked like that would happen tonight. Thank God, it isn't so... 
But all that means I'm completely knackered and lacking energy, plus grumpy & depressed. So while working from home yesterday I had a massive slice of cheesecake for lunch. I'm so predictable... 
Today I ate some junk food at lunch time but also walked 2.25 miles. Baby steps... I actually planned to get in another couple of miles after work but failed - or rather the M4 failed me.  After taking nearly 3 times as long to get home as I usually do I'd lost time, 
energy  and motivation...

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon & mushroom scrambled eggs 
Lunch: homemade soup,  bag of crisps 
Snacks: cashews, Bounty 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to || Heatless Blowout on 4B/4C Natural Hair

Watch Nyla's tutorial for a heatless blow out on thick 4B/4C hair.

Description: overnight braid out on damp hair followed by threading (worn for only a few hours).
Tools: thread, brush (or wide-tooth comb)

Absolutely NO HEAT! :o)

Winter Healthy Hair Tip || Retaining Moisture During Washes

{Image Source}
Switch out every other shampoo for a co-wash.  Doing this will help to remove some of the gunk without stripping your hair dry.

Don't like to co-wash?  Here are some other options:

  • Use a cleansing conditioner, which is designed to clean the hair better than a regular conditioner.
  • Apply conditioner to your strands and only shampoo your scalp.  This way your ends are protected from moisture loss.
  • Pre-poo with an oil and/conditioner.
  • Use a mud wash or clay. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I had a strange experience last night...  I think it was a strangely vivid dream that had a strong effect on me at the time, and I'm guessing it's down to the medication as I rarely even remember my dreams. I think I read somewhere that it can be a side effect (unless I imagined that). Anyway the dream wasn't particularly interesting.  I slowly dry fried some bacon yesterday evening for this morning's breakfast, and later I dreamt that I had forgotten to turn off the hob when it was done and I'd left the pan over the heat.  I woke up around midnight absolutely convinced that was the case,  (even though I would certainly have been able to smell it if that had been true after 6 more hours of heating). I could quite literally feel and hear my heart pounding away far faster than usual,  and it wouldn't calm down until I went downstairs and checked the hob.  Once I saw for sure that I wasn't in the process of burning the house down I was able to calm down straight away and fell asleep again really quickly.  I know that's a really boring story but the thing is, even on the rare occasions that I remember dreams, and they're upsetting, I have never had any physical reaction on waking up,  or felt anything than I would watching a TV show -  prior to last night.  Weird. Hopefully a one off. 
Today was very frustrating at work but not as miserable as yesterday and I avoided a repeat of yesterday's binge behaviour but was possibly punished for the bingeing with an upset stomach for most of the day.  I'm still not very comfortable now. Seems a little unfair considering that unlike most of my past binges I managed to persuade myself to stay gluten free.  As a result of the stomach issues I didn't even go out at lunchtime,  and the only exercise I got was a lot of trips to the bathroom.  A lot.  And silent internal screaming in frustration.  That's work for you. Well for me anyway. 
Thankfully the M4 was kind to me and the weather,  though awful most of the day,  wasn't quite as bad for most of my journey in or home.  If I'd been stuck like I was several times last week I might have exploded to death. 

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon sandwich 
Lunch: homemade soup 
Dinner: Meatzza - turkey 'crust'  topped with broccoli, a tiny bit of prosciutto,  red onion & mozzarella cheese 
Snacks: cashews, bag of sainsburys potato snacks 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The return of the binge monster

I had a good weekend,  thoroughly enjoyed visiting my Mum and also seeing my brother,  I was quite active,  not all of it voluntary as several trains home were cancelled and my brother  and I walked a couple of extra miles killing time until they started running again.  I also enjoyed yesterday - though I was tired all day I was also cheerful,  bordering on slightly hyper.  I didn't do much -  walked a couple of miles,  did laundry,  cooked a bit,  watched a bad movie  & lots of TV. 
Sadly good days are followed by less good days and today was no exception.

I binged today.

I don't feel great

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon leek & mushroom scrambled eggs & melon wedges 
Lunch: homemade soup 
Dinner: tuna, red onion & mayo toastie  (gf bread) 
Snacks: gf brownies,  wispa gold,  Bounty,  bag of salt &  vinegar crisps, cashews 

Friday, October 17, 2014


I slept like a baby last night - right through to about 4:30 without waking up once that I remember.  It was wonderful... I was still really tired all morning though,  I guess that's more about the pills than actual lack of sleep.  As a result I once again didn't do much all day -  no training or walking.  Luckily it's the weekend,  so I should be able to do something at least,  simply because I'll have all day without having to fit it in around work.  I'm visiting my Mum tomorrow - travelling by train - so that ensures at least a 2 mile walk round trip to the station. Can't wait... 
Apart from the tiredness I felt better today.  I had about the right level of work  during the day - enough to not be too bored,  not enough to feel pressured - and my drive home was nowhere near as bad as it has been.  I actually feel some optimism today... It feels good.

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon &  sausage sandwich - gf
Lunch: ham & salad followed by an apple 
Dinner: tuna, spinach, mushroom & leek risotto
 Snacks: yogurt with berries, cashews 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I've been really tired all day today,  so I have nothing exciting to write about.  I worked...  Drank coffee... And yawned. I popped down the road...  Drank rooibos tea... And yawned.  Ate lunch...  And yawned.  At lunchtime I bought a bag of crisps because my knackeredness craved the crunch (and there were no Pork rinds in the shop)  and then had a 2pm slump that almost had me napping under my desk.  I'd had the chance to go out for lunch but was too busy to spare the time. And too tired.

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon roll 
Lunch: poached salmon & salad 
Dinner: tuna,  mushroom & leek omelette 
Snacks: yogurt with berries, packet of crisps 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Rubbish day today.  Rubbish. Rubbish rubbish. 
I woke up feeling miserable and stayed that way. I had a headache most of the morning, and spent my time feeling stupid and overwhelmed because I have a couple of relatively technical testing tasks to do (usually I'm a business oriented tester, I try to work the way real users would use the system without needing an indepth understanding of the workings of the system) and I'm not sure how good a job I'll be able to do of it.  Which is depressing and an uncomfortable feeling. 
I actually found myself wishing that I wanted to binge. Which is weird even for me given the self loathing that follows a binge. But I didn't want to, so I didn't. I think I felt that if I was in binge mode I could have some hope that giving into it might fix my mood (even though intellectually I know better than that) whereas not having the desire to binge feels like accepting I can't make myself feel better. Or something.  My brain is a weird and scary place. 

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon,  potato & mushrooms 
Lunch: ham salad 
Dinner: chicken thighs with stir fry veg 
Snacks: yogurt, cashews

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I hate the fucking M4
Another day,  another traffic jam and another ridiculous journey home.  The roadworks responsible are due to carry on till JANUARY. 
Today my mood was a bit more stable - not as high as my recent highs,  but definitely not as low as recent lows either. I even had a little energy - fueled by frustration, but still energy is energy! At lunchtime I phoned BT to cancel our account (we're switching to cable) and it took 4 attempts (with lots of pacing endlessly around the office) to get what I wanted. By the end of my lunch break I had walked about a mile - all indoors,  where at least it was dry... It rained ALL DAY LONG here. I miss the summer.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon,  potato,  leek & a little leftover cooked cauliflower
Lunch: cheese sandwich in a gf roll
Dinner: beef salad 
Snacks: fruit, cashews

Monday, October 13, 2014

what's new?...pop-up Pilates with Steph Prem

It was 6:15am when I rocked up to Winter Olympian Steph Prem's Premium Performance pop-up Pilates studio to try out her bootcamp class. I'd downed a shot of leftover cold drip from my fridge before leaving the house (too early to show my pillow-creased face in a cafe) and was waiting for the caffeine to kick in. I was feeling pretty tired and stale. 

However, within about a minute of meeting Steph, her energy started to rub off. She says herself that she has a "severe case of chronic enthusiasm", which is exactly what you need at 6:30am in the morning. 

After welcoming the group to the studio and checking whether anyone had any injuries, we started out with some (much needed) foam rolling. Man, my quads were sore. Then it was into the circuit, which involved a range of Pilates moves, bodyweight exercises and TRX suspension work. By the end of the class, I felt more supple, balanced and energised.

Steph is a professional snowboarder, but after suffering a career-ending back injury she rebuilt her career as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. She's been training clients around Melbourne's parks and beaches for a while, but has recently opened up her pop-up studio. The studio is a gorgeous little loft above a clothing store on Chapel Street. There's no gym equipment, just Pilates props, TRX straps, a boxing bag and a ballet barre. Which is really all you need.

Verdict: Whilst I wasn't dripping in sweat, the class provided a full body workout with a focus on proper technique and core stability. If you have an injury, Steph will tailor the workout to suit your needs. And thanks to Steph's personality, you'll leave the class with a smile on your face.

You can find out more about Steph and Premium Performance at

Whilst I was invited to attend Steph's bootcamp class for free, this review is my own opinion.


Most of the weekend I felt remarkably cheerful despite having no energy and no interest in cooking (that's standard at the moment,  I've eaten yoghurt for dinner and for lunch to avoid cooking a couple of times) I only walked a couple of miles each day which is obviously not much for me at the weekend,  and spent long periods of time lying on the sofa watching TV and movies (we saw Paul &  Gravity this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed both). 
Today I woke up at my usual highly annoying 3:30 am and was feeling down again - mainly I think at the prospect of Monday back in the office.  The hideous weather added to that feeling - torrential rain & high winds -  but I did make it into the office and didn't feel desperate to get out of there until 11am...
Someone brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts in today...  I may have mentioned once or twice how much I'm addicted to the evil bastard, well, not today,  I was completely untempted, though I can't comment as to whether that would have remained the case if there'd been any left by 10:30... I have to say I'm very pleased not to have been in binge mode at all since starting the medication. I don't know if it's actually suppressing my appetite or if subconsciously I was self medicating and don't feel the need know that I'm being medicated; I also don't know how long it will last but I will make the most of it while it does last. 
This evening my usual drive home of 27 minutes took an hour and a quarter thanks to a jam on the M4. Between the driving and being in the office all day (I didn't even go out at lunchtime) I was exhausted by the time I got home so we ordered a takeaway for dinner and I collapsed in front of the TV again.  I hope I get some energy back soon... 
I miss training...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon,  potato,  leek & a little leftover cooked cauliflower
Lunch: ham sandwich in a gf roll
Dinner:  peri peri chicken &  chips 
Snacks: half a banana, cashews

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2 days of 2 halves

Yesterday I woke up miserable, worked from home again, had back ache and a lingering niggly low level headache all day...
Then took some medicinal whisky in the evening and felt much better. In fact cheerful.
This morning I had to drive in an unfamiliar area with M in the passenger seat and had what could be described as a meltdown when the sat nav tried to send me down a road that was closed for roadworks and couldn't bring itself to replan the route. I got nervous and flustered and slightly tearful and then I stopped the car and made M drive us the rest of the way. I'm going to put that little attack down to the pills rather than my own weirdness...
And now I'm cheerful again. Mood swings anyone?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Moan moan moaning

Not a great day today.  Despite my comment yesterday,  I woke up with back pain again today  -  and also a very dark mood.  I worked from home today; my back was my excuse but the real reason was that I absolutely could not face being around people all day,  especially when I would have had to behave all professional-like with no scope for crying or audibly swearing &  kicking things. 
Instead I lay on the sofa working on my laptop and intermittently playing episodes of The Walking Dead in the background so that the slaughter of zombies could take my mind of how depressed I was. I didn't move further than the drive all day (mind you, the weather wasn't at all attractive any way) 
After work M suggested going to Wetherspoons for curry night but I still couldn't face being around other people so that didn't happen...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon &  kidney
Lunch: cold meat & cheese 
Dinner:  bolognese sauce on courgette noodles 
Snacks: dates, Greek yogurt with defrosted summer berries 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fuzzy .. .

I've had fuzzy brain syndrome the last few days.  I thought to start with I was just tired due to being such an insomniac,  but I'm now thinking it might also have something to do with the mind altering drugs I'm taking - after all,  they are designed to cross the blood brain barrier and work directly on the brain's communication systems. I know that they are acknowledged to take between 2 weeks & 2 months to become fully effective against depression but I figure that's to do with building up therapeutic levels in the brain,  in which case presumably there might be other effects experienced at sub-therapeutic levels. Which is helpful - almost as helpful as giving a chronically depressed person something that can cause suicidal feelings & thoughts during that first phase (it isn't in my case,  but I know that it's a recognised side effect)
Anyhow at least I can tell the drug is a real drug... 
No exercise today due to fuzzy brain combined with heavy rain.  Plus continued backache,  though it feels like it's nearly better.  Food pretty good - no chocolate today,  100% gluten & grain free.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon 
Lunch: Salad with mixed cold meats (finishing off odds & ends) 
Dinner: baked chicken breast & oven chips with sauerkraut 
Snacks: banana, cashews 

Spanish Meatballs

  • 500g organic lean minced beef?
  • 1 large organic or free range egg?
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 organic gluten free beef stock cubes?
  • 1 litre of boiling water?
  • selection of dried mixed herbs
  • 1 white onion, finely sliced? ( or equivalent in spring onions)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced,
  • extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil,
  • salt and ground black pepper 
  1.  Mix the mince with the egg and half the onion chopped. Season with 1 stock cube and black pepper.
  2. Roll the mixture with your hands into ping pong sized balls and fry in oil until almost cooked (the meatballs can still be slightly pink in middle as they are going to simmer in the sauce).

  3. Be sure to turn them around now and again so they cook evenly.
  4. Take the meatballs out and put them on a plate to rest.
  5. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, retaining the bits of meat that are left in the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the rest of the chopped onion and some finally chopped ?garlic and saut� for a further 2 minutes until golden.
  7. Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and a good sprinkling of ?mixed herbs.
  8. Add in the water and crumble in the final stock cube.
  9. Season ?with salt and pepper if required.
  10. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens a little.
  11. Add the meatballs and mix them well with the tomato sauce.

  12. Let ?them cook for another couple of minutes.

Serve with steamed green vegetables

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hair Diary || Back to Protective Styling ... But With Heat and Jumbo Twists?

So, after another summer of going wild (hair-wise, that is), it is time to get back into protective style mode.  However, there will be some changes from my usual small/medium twists on air dried hair.  Why?
  1. I want to see my length more.  My twists shrink a lot, if you haven't noticed already.
  2. I want to be able to switch from a protective style to a loose style and back in one day.  After spending hours to twist my hair, undo-ing those babies prior to 3-4 weeks is seemingly wasteful.
  3. I want shorter detangling sessions.  Long-term protective styles equate to hours of detangling while short-term protective styles can mean 45 minutes or less.  However, the trade-off is more manipulation (re-styling) per month.
More details on these changes will be posted once I finalize them.  In the mean time, here are some hair pics:

From "purple haze" back to ...

Copper.  Semi-flat ironed hair.

Old braid out.

Twist out and pinkish (accidentally via "purple haze"
mixed with conditioner as a toner) hair.

Mixology || Orange and Vanilla Honey Shampoo

Do you want softer, easier to detangle hair after a wash?  Then check out this honey-based recipe.

Recipe Source

1/2 cup castile soap
3/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup African black soap (or just more castile soap)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sweet orange essential oil
1 tsp vanilla essential oil

Mix together thoroughly, wet hair, massage mixture into hair, then rinse out completely.


Mixed day today.  On the one hand I felt quite cheerful some of the time ; on the other hand I spent my Lunch break sitting on my ass in the office and bought a Bounty (I'd forgotten to grab a real snack to take to work)  On the other other hand I made up for not walking at lunchtime by doing a brisk 2 miles after work - and was rewarded with a rainbow.
All in all...  Can citalopram turn a depressive person bipolar?

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs salad with yellow pepper,  spring onions & homemade mayo 
Lunch: soup &  a Bounty 
Dinner: Pork cheek so slow cooked in cider &  chicken stock over courgette noodles 
Snacks: dried mango,  cashews 

Monday, October 6, 2014

24 miles in 2 days...

The weekend was very active as predicted  - despite the rain on Saturday I walked 11 miles in total,  and 13+ on Sunday around London in lovely sunshine.  I felt a lot better too, with the exercise & the distraction.  On Sunday we caught the train to Paddington then walked to the Natural History museum to see the dinosaurs (we last saw them together in 1988 according to my brother,  on a day trip to London with my Dad).  The exhibition was good,  but so crowded with Sunday morning families we just did that, then had burgers in the restaurant before walking through Chelsea to the river,  then walking along the Thames Path through Battersea Park, and all the way to Waterloo.  It was lovely apart from an upset when we happened on an accident - a cyclist-car collision.  Luckily there were lots of people around to help,  and as neither of us has any medical training we didn't join the throng of people surrounding them. 
We walked through Lambeth,  which isn't an area we are familiar with,  and happened upon Lambeth Palace which was a pleasant surprise.  All in all it was the best weekend I've had for weeks and would have been even better if only I'd managed to sleep better.  One of the side effects of the antidepressants I'm on is insomnia - not the best news for me! I hope I do better tonight,  it's getting old...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon & mushrooms 
Lunch: beef salad followed by yoghurt &  banana 
Dinner: Cod wrapped in Parma ham and broccoli
Snacks: packet of crisps, cashews 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

chocolate protein mousse

I recently bought some Bare Blends Organic Cacao WPI Native Whey Protein, which seems to be all the rage at the moment (it's delicious and relatively clean as far as protein powders go). It's all over Instagram in people's smoothies. However, I love to eat things. So I've been trying out ways to 'eat' it. 

This is my favourite way so far: a super-creamy chocolate mousse. 

As usual, the mousse is refined sugar-free and provides satisfying good fats (from the avocado) and antioxidants (from the raw cacao powder). Before you lose your hat about the addition of avocado, don't worry, you can't taste it. It just adds a smooth and creamy texture, which the whey protein further enhances.


1 small avocado (or half a large one)
2 tbsp Bare Blends Organic Cacao WPI Native Whey Protein *
2 - 3 tbsp raw cacao powder **
1 - 2 tbsp rice malt syrup, raw honey or pure maple syrup


1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Serve with raw cacao nibs or crushed nuts sprinkled on top for crunch.

* You could use a different whey-based protein powder, but watch out for ones with preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Plant-based vegan protein powders may not give the same creamy texture, but could still be used.

** Adjust the amount of cacao powder to suit your taste (keeping in mind that the more cacao you add, the less likely you will be able to taste the avocado).

Friday, October 3, 2014

Now taking care of myself

I collected my prescription this lunchtime and started my course this evening.  Of course it could be anything from 2 weeks to 2 months for it to kick in properly  -  a depressing thought.  I also had to go to the post office,  so between the two I had no time for a proper walk at lunchtime.  
The office was positively infested with gluten today -  pastries & cookies all day and the addition of scones after lunch.  Have I ever mentioned that I store fruit scones so long as they have genuine clotted cream on them (not the crappy fresh cream the supermarkets tend to stick on them) - and there was clotted cream...  I resisted all of it - or to be accurate I didn't really fancy any of it.  I was grateful that didn't happen last week,  when I would probably have polished off the whole lot.  I did however dip a few strawberries in the clotted cream -  but I'm still patting myself on the back.  At this point the only sweet food I've eaten since Sunday has been fruit (some of it dried,  but still fruit)  and as generally happens,  not eating it makes it easier to not eat it...  Hopefully that will last long enough to make a difference to the frankly appalling numbers displayed on the scale whenever I'm foolish enough to step on it... 
I walked a couple of miles after work,  not much but something.  My brother is visiting tomorrow and that always means lots of walking so it should be an active weekend!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon & mushrooms 
Lunch: ham salad 
Dinner: beef burgers  (homemade)  on a gf  ciabatta roll with oven baked homemade chips  and  dry fried mushrooms 
Snacks: Greek yogurt, cashews 

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Crying in the ladies room ????
That's how I spent part of this morning.  That and getting tearful every time a colleague casually asked how I was.  No particular reason other than weight and money concerns, but for whatever reason today they seem bigger problems than usual. Anyway, getting tearful at work is new...  So I made an appointment to see the doctor after work so I could ask for a prescription for antidepressants, and once I get it filled tomorrow I'll be back to being medicated again... I do know it's necessary -  I can't carry on like this - but I'm not happy about it,  in fact feeling like something of a failure in this respect is contributing to the overall depression today I think. I thought & hoped the need was behind me now,  but I guess I was being uncharacteristically optimistic. On the other hand,  I do feel a little relief that I'm doing something about it. Feel free to say you told me so ?

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with bacon,  leek &  mushrooms 
Lunch: ham salad sandwich (gf ciabatta roll) 
Dinner: tuna & tomato risotto
Snacks: Greek yogurt, dried fruit 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Healthy World Caf� partners with York County School of Technology for construction of cafe

Sept. 25, 2014 � Healthy World Caf�, York�s �Pay How You Can� community caf�, is thrilled to announce it will partner with York County School of Technology for construction at its location at 24 S. George St., York.

Healthy World Cafe, which has been serving freshly made, locally sourced lunches once a month at First Moravian Church, catering and popping up at community events since 2012, intends to open for business five days a week in the late fall.

York County School of Technology has graciously agreed to undertake the carpentry, plumbing and electrical work needed for the cafe to open full time. Students in the Engineering and Construction Academy will assist with duties including wainscoting, modifying existing counters and a knee wall, drywall repair and building shelving.

�We're excited for this fantastic partnership and for the ability to provide York County School of Technology students with hands-on opportunities in their program fields while supporting our progress toward opening five days a week in downtown York,� said Healthy World Cafe director Liza Naylor.

Students began work Sept. 23 and continue 9 a.m. to noon today the cafe at 24 S. George St. in downtown York under the supervision of carpentry instructor Joe Hudak.

Healthy World Cafe is dedicated to supporting the local farming and business community while working to address hunger and food insecurity head on. The 501(c)3 nonprofit aims to build a sustainable community by providing nourishing food for all: Some patrons pay the suggested prices, while some pay more or less. Diners can also volunteer their time at the cafe in exchange for a meal.