Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Windy.  Not me, just the weather. The sound of the wind roaring down the chimney woke me up several times last night and I could hear it outside the office when I got in, despite a certain amount of sound proofing. I spent the quiet moments in the morning watching the trees thrashing around outside my window. Wishing they'd stop it because I don't enjoy walking in the wind. I still tried at lunchtime but it was so damned cold with the Arctic wind chill factor I chickened out and stayed indoors.
After work I did pop down to the shop for some fresh air. It was fresher than I wanted - in less than half a mile I had sunshine, drizzle, hail, and back to drizzle again. It did not inspire me to go any further!  Instead I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen and a couple of hours watching TV in the dry and ignored the torrential rain outside.
Today as well TTOM finally arrived after 5 hormonal days. I had cramps all day and back pain as well. I'm pleased to say the the the only extra eating I did to comfort myself was about a tablespoon of unsweetened peanut butter and a small piece of cheddar. I didn't even fancy the sweet starchy stuff I often binge on at these times - woo hoo!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: 2 chia, flaxseed and cottage cheese pancakes topped with poached eggs cooked in the microwave. Eggs hopelessly overcooked AGAIN so I'm just going to have to accept that I can't get them right.
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: Salmon fillets spread (non-skin side) with homemade pesto mayonnaise and baked, with a few prawns as a garnish and some broccoli
Snacks: homemade pork rinds; babybel cheese; PB.

Last Chance to Sign Up for Ultimate Weight Loss

At this point in the evolution of this blog, Healthy Girl's Kitchen, you might be asking yourself, "Why all this fuss over a plant based eating program? We all know exactly what to eat to lose weight, feel great, and reverse our diseases! That's not our problem.Our problem is that although we know exactly what to do, we don't always do it."

This fuss may seem really silly to many of you, but it's so not silly to me. Because even though I knew the rules (and yes, the rules vary slightly from doctor to doctor or author to author), it wasn't until I decided that enough was enough that I started to see success. I was going to find out exactly what Chef AJ had done to lose weight and come hell or high water I was going to do exactly what she had done.

There's really no big mystery to the plan.
Read more �

Monday, March 30, 2015


I get up at 4:30 every morning, except of course today it was 3:30 according to my brain and body. It's not natural.
And then we drove to work before it was light - when just last week it was sunny by the time I got in.
So, I didn't walk before work because it wasn't quite light enough, hopefully that will change soon. I did however walk a couple of miles at lunchtime so the day wasn't wasted - although it was annoyingly sunny while I worked all morning and then cloudy by lunch :-(
By the time I left work it was raining again and we basically just snuggled down indoors for the evening, so two miles was it really - although my phone pedometer claims I did 3.5 which says something about how often I make a copy of tea or pop to the bathroom :-)

Food today:
Breakfast: Paleo 'oatmeal' of chia and flaxseed with cinnamon -  which I did not love
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: Kale & Cucumber salad with homemade keto ranch dressing and canned tuna
Snacks: homemade pork rinds; macadamia nuts

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Volunteer with Healthy World Cafe

Just eight days from our grand opening (April 6!), we're excited to invite our community to volunteer with Healthy World Cafe. As a nonprofit, our operations rely heavily on volunteers. We'll have two shifts on each cafe day (Monday through Friday), plus additional times on weeknights and weekends for special events.

Starting March 31, we'll be running final tests on our recipes for the cafe, running through systems, and preparing for our grand opening April 6. So, volunteer slots begin March 31!

We're introducing new online system for coordinating volunteers, called YourVolunteers.com. We love this system because it is non-profit focused and meets our needs � we hope you like it too!

Here's how it works. First, create your username...
  1. Follow the link to http://bit.ly/HWCvolunteer and click Register. Enter a username and password. (We recommend writing that down so you remember!) 
  2. You will see �Success!� Then, click on Login Now and go back to sign in using your just-created username and password. (Remember to check the box about being human!) Then, click sign in.
  3. Scroll to bottom of terms of service page and click I Accept for YourVolunteers.com's Terms of Service. Ta Da! You�re in! 
Once you're logged in, share your contact information...
  1. We'd love to get your contact information. Click the tab at the top called You, and complete Your Contact Information. (Don't forget to hit submit!)
  2. If you wish to sign up for The Week Ahead emails (the last option on the same dropdown menu under �You�), please do! YourVolunteers.com will then send a reminder email for the shifts you sign up for � just click Change on the Week Ahead emails page.
And sign up for shifts!
  1. Go to the Shifts tab in the top menu bar. Choose Scheduled Shifts by Calendar from the dropdown menu. The �forward� and �back� arrows at the top of the calendar will navigate months. You are able to go up to 3 months ahead to select the day(s) you wish to volunteer. (For now, we are scheduling just April shifts as we become familiar with the platform. Please check back in a few weeks for shifts in May and June!)
  2. Select the day you wish to volunteer to view the shifts � for a typical cafe day, that will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m. Select the one(s) you want, then click Add. If there is availability, you will see assigned appear on the right. You will receive an email a week ahead as a reminder, if you sign up for that form of contact. (See step No. 4 above!)
That's it!

We appreciate in advance your patience with us and the system. We know there�s a learning curve, so please contact us if you need help. We have a new dedicated email account just for volunteers and scheduling of shifts: HWCvolmgr@gmail.com.

Please check out our volunteer guidelines in advance, available at www.healthyworldcafe.org.

See you at the cafe!

Friday, March 27, 2015

What a difference another day makes...

I use this blog to moan a lot and I'm afraid that's not likely to change.  But as the exception that proves the rule...  This morning was beautiful - clear, dry, sunny, frosty - my favourite kind of autumn /winter /Spring morning. So even though yesterday just about killed my will to live and I started the day feeling a bit down (and still cramping a bit) I forced myself into walking boots and hit the path, walking 2.3 miles before 7 am. It was a bit exploratory and not the most exciting route but it was BRILLIANT.  Because 2 miles before 7 is always brilliant, no matter what the rest of the day brings :-) and anyway lunchtime brought a shorter but still enjoyable walk along the side of a pretty lake and a very short walk to the shop after work for a total of just over 5 miles.
Work was busy enough to not drag as much as normal too... So not bad all round :)

Food today:
Breakfast: microwaved scrambled eggs with a little cheese
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: crispy chicken livers with Kale & spinach salad
Snacks: macadamia nuts; babybel cheese

Ultimate Weight Loss FAQs

Good morning! I'm so excited about beginning another Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge with those of you that have already signed up or will be signing up for the program.

It's not that I don't know exactly what to eat to stay on track, I do. But I'm going to be honest, it takes daily attention on myself and my needs to stay on the path. That's why I like the feeling that I am in this with other people, that we are all there supporting each other and cheering each other on.

I also love knowing that if I have any questions, I know exactly who to turn to. The resources that Chef AJ and John Pierre tap into are the best doctors out there (IMHO), so I feel confident that the answers that I am getting are sound. As an example, I had a question about Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation. I turned to the group. I received immediate and excellent recommendations from AJ, JP and many of the members personal experiences. It was awesome!

I know that lots of you have many questions about the program, as I've been receiving them by e-mail! In an effort to answer as many of your questions as possible in one shot, here are a list of FAQs and answers about UWL. If you have any other question, please ask in the comments section below the post!

Read more �

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What a difference a day makes....

Why did I have to boast about being happy to get out and about yesterday? Was I trying to ruin the weather today? It was dismal this morning and there was just no way I was going anywhere before work except into the office. Rain, cold (though milder than yesterday) and wind. Which only eased off when it was time for me to start actually working, and there was no time to question whether a walk might be feasible. (it wouldn't have been - the whole morning was just crap) The forecast offered hope of sunny intervals - with rain before 9 am and over lunch. Stupid weather. Stupid forecasters. (Yes.  I know they don't make the weather. But I'm bitter) In the event I was prevented from walking between 12 and 1:30 by a conference call from 12:10 to 1:30. During the call there was a torrential shower that would have left me looking like a drownded rather all afternoon so I suppose I should be grateful - but it was such a long, tedious, unproductive call that I basically lost the will to live, so getting soaked would have been much better. The sun shone quite a lot this afternoon, but it clouded over again about 40 minutes before I was leaving.
So obviously I didn't go for a walk today. Except walking around the office and popping to the nearest shop after work - for a total of 2.3 unsatisfactory miles. Coming just when I'm getting my energy back it was frustrating. Work was also frustrating. All in all a less than satisfying day.
This evening after a few days of relative tinglylessness my left fingers - all of them - and my feet - both of them - broke out in tingling again to see pretty maddening degree. I didn't take the second dose either, so it's doubly weird. Having said that I'm having some stomach cramping and mood swinging along with constipation and water retention so I guess it's TTOM and the pills are just adding their mite to the general discomfort.

I really hope it isn't raining again tomorrow...

Food today:
Breakfast: microwaved scrambled eggs with a little gammon and a very little spinach
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: chili topped with a little Greek yogurt and grated cheddar
Snacks: very small amount of pate-stuffed celery; babybel cheese

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

And better...

I walked a bit today and I'm so happy!  (within the context of working, very occasional tingling fingertips and no where near enough money)
I got to work at the crack of dawn as usual and instead of sitting playing candy crush until it was worth getting started I went for a half hour walk. It was bitterly cold I have to say - I thought it was supposed to be Spring now?
That woke me up a bit so I went out again - also just for a short walk - at lunchtime. But hey, between the two I still managed about 3. 5 miles so well worth it! Despite the shivering and watering eyes. I did less yawning today - though I still stuck to my one real coffee. And decaf is beginning to taste better to me already.

Food today:
Breakfast: microwaved scrambled eggs with a little gammon and some mushroom
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: chicken salad
Snacks: pork scratchings

Healthy World Cafe's grand opening is Monday, April 6!

We are so excited to announce big news for the cafe:

Our grand opening and ribbon cutting will be 11 a.m. Monday, April 6!

After many months of renovations and tremendous support from the community, we're thrilled to be able to open in downtown York and share our mission to build a sustainable community by providing nourishing food for all � and to eat some great good while we do it!

Please join us at the Cafe, 24 S. George St., York, PA 17401, to celebrate!

Check out our opening menu below.

Want a sneak peek?

We'll also be open on First Friday in April, 5 to 9 p.m. April 3, with live music from Vinyl Souls, beer tastings from the Beer Ace and our full menu offerings. Stop by, see the space and help us launch the next era of Healthy World Cafe!

Starting April 6, we'll be open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please spread the word to friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.


� Rustic Swiss Chard, Herb and Cheese Quiche/Torte
� Chicken Salad on Greens
� Chicken Salad Sandwich on Foccacia
� Roasted Carrot Hummus, Beet Chutney, Chapati
� Roasted Carrot Hummus (with Roasted Vegetables or Chopped Greek Salad with Feta) on Focaccia

� Chicken Vegetable Soup with Ginger
� Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
� Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
� Middle Eastern Bean Salad

� Seasonal Pickled Vegetables, $1
� Dried Fruit and Oatmeal Cookie, $1
� Chapati, $1

Water and iced tea are free with your purchase, and all our menu items sourced from our farmer friends in southcentral Pennsylvania.

Lunch will be served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning April 6. Take-out orders are available during lunch hours by phone only; please call 717-814-8204.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slightly better

Philosophical question of the week...  If you give up carbs, alcohol and coffee...  Is life actually worth living?  Is it genuinely prolonged or does it just feel like it is?
Am I feeling a little bit sorry for myself...?  Possibly...
It's mostly just being tired again - in actually getting more determined on the caffeine front the worse I feel simply because I don't like depending on something like that - and I don't think there's any doubt that I was depending on it with great enthusiasm. I don't think Decaf coffee tastes as good as the real thing - though it could just be a matter of adaptation, like switching from full sugar sodas to sugar free or cutting out the sugar in the coffee. Maybe soon I won't like the taste of full strength coffee...  Joy? Is that at all likely? Or do I just have to settle for believing in the benefits while accepting the flavour downgrade?
So it was a good day food and drink wise but there was no exercise except walking around the office. I plan to try to go out at lunchtime - I did intend to today, but had a meeting to attend.

Food today:
Breakfast: thin quick cook turkey breast steaks topped with microwaved poached eggs
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: chicken thighs with lemon cream sauce and grilled asparagus
Snacks: pate stuffed celery sticks

Winner Announced. Please Join Me in Our Ultimate Weight Loss (and Happiness Gain) Journey!

From the response to my last blog posting and giveaway, it seems like many of you are ready to take the next steps to overcome your food addiction and lose your extra weight for good. I hope that you will chose to join me on this journey. Who wants to battle the bulge for the rest of their life? I certainly don't! And the last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my days fighting with myself to not eat unhealthy food. Thank the universe there is another way.

The next Chef AJ and John Pierre's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge is beginning on Monday April 13, 2015. The first live group coaching call is going to take place on Sunday April 12th at 6 pm EST (3 pm PST). All group coaching calls are recorded and a link is sent out to everyone who missed the call or those who would want to listen a second or even third time. The calls are that good and I like to listen to the recorded coaching calls when I'm cooking.

One lucky winner is joining us for free! You guys really poured your hearts and souls out in answering my questions. It was so hard to pick just one winner, because so many of your stories pulled on my heart strings. But I needed to chose just one winner, and that person is . . .

Read more �

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bed time...

I was in a slightly weird mood today...  I had a migraine yesterday so I think it was probably left over from that, but I felt kind of foggy. I was also really tired.  I realised at the weekend that I've been basically marinating my brain and other organs in coffee the last few weeks and decided that it was time to get it under control - so I had one cup of the real thing this morning and for the rest of the day drank Decaf coffee, naturally caffeine free herbal tea, and water.  God I missed the coffee....
Food was also weird. I couldn't decide what to take as a snack so I didn't take anything and was fine most of the day, but then really hungry by about 4pm. When I got home I dived into a jar of peanut butter (no added sugar).
I like not needing a snack during the day but need to work on not letting myself go nuts (hah) after work and if that means snacking midafternoon, I'll do it.
Anyway, enough garbage for today...

Food today:
Breakfast: hardboiled egg and gammon salad with cottage cheese pancakes
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: turkey salad
Snacks: peanut butter on cottage cheese pancakes

Sunday, March 22, 2015

24 Hour Blog Giveaway! The Complete Ultimate Weight Loss Program and 21Day Challenge


I hope you guys are not sick of me talking about the success that I am having following Chef AJ and John Pierre's weight loss recommendations. Their program is solely responsible for me being able to shed 26 unwanted pounds over the course of the past eleven months. But even better than that is the freedom that I am experiencing as my brain heals from its refined carbohydrate overload.

I want to stand on the rooftops and shout out to the world, "If you are struggling with your weight and can't say no to food that you don't want to eat, please stop consuming refined carbohydrates!"

This blog is my rooftop.

And here I am shouting!

But it's not so simple, A sugar addict cannot usually just stop eating sugars and flours. A person needs a plan with a proven track record and a support system that is unwavering.

Ultimate Weight Loss all of that and I am a die hard fan.

I want to help people regain their health and their sanity while maintaining my own. If you have been driven insane by weight that you are unable to lose or an inability to stick to your chosen plan of action, than Ultimate Weight Loss just might be the program that you have been waiting for your whole life.

Read more �

Friday, March 20, 2015

Busy busy day!

What a disappointment the solar eclipse was!  I had hoped for a bit of a distraction but here in Berkshire it was do cloudy this morning that at its peak it just looked like it might rain hard. Then within a couple of hours it cleared up, the sun came out, the temperature hit double digits (just) and I was able to very briefly wander around the industrial park where the office is located without a coat on - so nice! 
I had very little tingling today, which was good obviously, but after boasting I'd been sleeping well I had a truly awful night last night, almost screamed blue murder when the alarm went off, and spent the morning marinating my brain in caffeine. And to cap it all off,  I was busy testing and writing test scripts all day - which does take brain power and concentration :-( I was not a happy bunny and I'm still shattered now so I'm about to have an early night. 
Today for the first time in a week I wanted chocolate of some kind. I didn't eat any, even when offered leftover cake from yesterday's bake sale, even when I went to the shop after work. I was pleased with myself there, I don't mind admitting it. Now I just have to continue with that. Onwards and downwards (weightwise) I hope... 

Food today:
Breakfast: a leftover lamb burger 
Lunch: homemade soup 
Dinner: chicken and grilled asparagus with a 'side salad' of hard boiled egg in homemade mayo 
Snacks: cashews & peanuts 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What's Up with Potatoes? Don't They Make Us Fat?

I don't know about you, but I used to be apprehensive about eating a potato. Or more than 1/2 cup of brown rice or any other unrefined complex carbohydrate (UCC) per day. I thought that too much of that "stuff" would make me pack on the pounds.

Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

But it seems like a lot of people are really confused about this. I'm really not joking when I say"If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, 'Aren't carbohydrates bad?' I'd be a very rich woman."

And it's actually starting to really piss me off. I'm pissed off about the fact that UCCs have been lumped in with flours and sugars (refined carbohydrates or RCs).

But why do I even care?

Read more �

Tingling but NSV

My body is evil and was lulling me into a false sense of security...  I woke up this morning and before my first pill my hand was tingling, which got worse after I took the pill, and then later my feet took over. Midafternoon I actually wound up hiding in the ladies room so no-one could see me apparently having a fit trying to shake off my right hand.
So anyway. Work was relatively good today in that I raised lots of bugs and even closed a couple off.
There was a bake sale this morning. It was very inconveniently and inconsiderately set up in the main lobby, which I have to walk through every time I want a hot drink from the first floor kitchen. I went downstairs to the ground floor kitchen once to make a cup of tea, then switched to bottled water that I brought in so I didn't have to go back to the kitchen until lunchtime. Didn't buy anything!!!  Which makes me feel a little uncharitable as they were doing it to raise money, but a few girl's got to do what she's got to do...

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight almond pancakes with microwaved over poached eggs
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: egg and cheese salad
Snacks: cashews

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Frustrating day

Today I remembered my breakfast - woo hoo!
I was really busy today so I didn't have time to think about a post. I was also frustrated - the server that our test system runs on ran out of space and as a result I couldn't log on after about 9:30 this morning - not what you need when working on a project with impossibly tight deadlines anyway. Hopefully I should have the system back in the morning, but I don't have much faith in this company so I'm withholding judgement until I log on tomorrow. Or not.  In the meantime I'm trying to write test scripts - which would also be easier to do with access to the system.  Sigh.
I thought for a large chunk of today I'd be joyfully reporting no tingling today but then my foot started up around lunchtime. I'm still grateful for it reducing in duration - it wore off within an hour and then everything was fine until I took the second pill this evening. I'm still feeling absolutely exhausted by 4 pm every day - and my cold is much much much better so I'm guessing that's on the pills too. I'm sleeping OK though, and I generally leave work at 4,so being knackered only interferes with any possible training or walking after work. Speaking of interfering with walking, I was thinking of going out for a walk at lunchtime when my boss asked for an unplanned meeting at short notice and put the mockers on that. Did I mention: frustrated???

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight almond pancakes with butter and pate
Lunch: homemade soup and some cold roast chicken
Dinner: lamb burger with lettuce wrap and sauerkraut
Snacks: mini cathedral city cheddar stick

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Kind of St. Patrick's Day

We had a very large pot luck at work today. I work with a very imaginative group of people and St. Patrick's Day is one holiday that most everyone seems to rally around. The food that my coworkers contributed was fun. Things like green cookies and green rolls. Green pancakes and corned beef Rubin sandwiches that were made on griddles brought in special for the occasion. Ooey gooey, sticky pasty treat after treat after treat.

I brought in a huge green salad with black beans, tomatoes, corn, celery and my Cheezy Southwestern Dressing. My sugar-free, flour-free work buddy brought in gorgeous cut fruit.

And that's all I ate.

It was no biggie.

And I need to share with you the profound relief that I feel this evening as I write this.

Read more �

Dumbass. (me, not you)

I forgot to take my breakfast to work today - it was all ready, sitting in the fridge, and that's exactly where it stayed, damn it. On a day when I was finishing off the last of a soup batch and only really had a half portion for lunch. On the plus side when I realised I had less soup I added a couple of extra almond pancakes (I thought they were extra) to go with the soup - so my breakfast consisted of half my intended lunch plus my intended morning snack, and my lunch consisted of a ridiculous mishmash of 'chicken on a stick' and peanuts following an unsuccessful trip to a nearby esso station to buy a package of ham. I was absolutely determined to stay low carb and gf despite the screw up and I'm happy to report that I did just about manage that, even though I didn't fancy the soup. But I do need to be more careful, I  don't want a repeat of that while I'm under the weather. 
On the tingling front there has been improvement again today - it happened after both doses, but didn't last long or feel as intense so I may manage to finish the prescription without sticking either hand in the shredder.. 

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight almond pancakes cooked at the weekend, pork rinds 
Lunch: Chicken on a stick; peanuts
Dinner: meatballs with salad 
Snacks: babybel mini goat's cheese, beef stock, satsuma 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pills and the plague

Tingling fingertips - and feet - check. Extreme fatigue check. That one could be another side effect of the pills I'm taking (it's listed among the side effects in the packaging) or it could be because I have developed a cold and have been sneezing, sniffling, and aching all over all day.  Yes, I'm pretty sure I am a joy to work with / live with, thanks.
The tingling thing I made light of on Friday but I have to say it's really damned annoying. It started on Saturday morning and by yesterday evening I'd nearly shaken, rubbed and scratched my hands off - not to mention pressing them against first cold surfaces, then hot ones.  None of that helps, it just comes and goes as it pleases. It seemed a bit better today, so I'll give it another day but if I have a day like Sunday I'll be halving the dose or stopping it altogether.
Enough moaning anyway, quick weekend catch up.  Saturday I went for a walk in a local nature reserve. There's a trail in there that apparently stretches for 23 miles - I didn't cover a tenth of that. It was a tad bleak due to the season, but I plan to go back later in the year to walk further.  Saturday afternoon we watched How To Train Your Dragon 2 - I want a dragon of my own now please!
Sunday I stayed in bed late - awake, just tired - then lay on the sofa for a bit, then lay on the bed for a bit longer. I didn't want to go for a walk, or cook, or eat anything more challenging than peanut butter off a spoon (but I did make myself eat some real food) I can't remember the last time I moved so little, I'm sure that even the day after my eye operation I moved around the house more than that!
Today I did go into work, and was actually quite busy - which was a good distraction I suppose, although I was really glad to get home and get into my dressing gown afterwards. There was no lunchtime or after work walk and I don't even feel sad about that thanks to the whole aching all over thing. I even slightly lost my appetite - I made myself eat for fuel but didn't fancy it or enjoy it much at all.

Food today:
Breakfast: overnight almond pancakes cooked at the weekend, buttered and spread with pate
Lunch: homemade soup
Dinner: Paleo /keto Meatloaf with cheesy creamed spinach
Snacks: pork rinds

Sunday, March 15, 2015

These Simple Things Could be Messing Up Your Weight Loss Success on a Plant Based Diet

If you are reading this post, chances are you are interested in learning as much as you can about a healthy plant based diet. Either you have been on some version of a plant based diet for a while, but have not had 100% success on it, or you are just beginning to explore whether a plant based diet is for you and you are seeking as much information as you possibly can before you decide how and when to jump in with both feet.

No matter what camp you are in, you are probably very well aware of the smoothie and juicing phenomenons. Everywhere you look in the Internet and in books, people are jumping on the health benefits of smoothies and juices. And I'm not here to tell you that these foods are not, in fact, health promoting foods. I'm not a doctor or a certified nutritionist, and I'm just not qualified to say whether they are or are not healthy foods (but my guess is that they are fairly healthy, in the scheme of mostly crappy choices out there in the world today).

This is about weight loss.

Read more �

Friday, March 13, 2015

Medication, that's what I need...

So here I am back to taking eye drops 4 times a day - and I have not been missing that. They are prednisolone drops, steroids for short term use against inflammatory eye conditions. Apparently the only side effects are a stinging sensation (yup) and possible blurred vision - not so far. The capsules I'm also taking twice a day apparently can cause tingling fingertips while also acting as a diuretic; the consultant told me a lot of people stop using them as a result. I haven't noticed either effect so far and I'd like to hammer the eye swelling with a combined attack, so fingers crossed that continues. They don't sound that bad to me anyway as side effects go but I guess the fingertips things might have a water torture kind of effect.
Thanks Joy, Deniz and Cosmic for your kind comments. I'll be eating spinach by the ton in the hope of putting off the procedure - I know it's very minor really, but the idea of being awake, temporarily blind, and hearing what's going on around me is way more scary to me than the mechanics of the procedure itself. I am a big coward when people get anywhere near my face, especially my eyes, with sharp pointy things and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
Anyway, I've not spent the whole day worrying about it (some, not all). I had a moderately frustrating day at work - my boss had arranged to spend the day in a meeting room with me working on the website I'm supposed to test, and as a result I made plans based on not taking a long lunch break - left my coat & walking boots at home. Then she didn't come into the office today and I was kind of stuck because I didn't want to get blisters from trying to walk in heels right before the weekend started. I made up for it by walking about 3 miles after work instead though. Food wise I was good again today with no temptation to break out or go wild. I know I've had good patches many times  before and then spectacularly failed so I'm not going to bother claiming I'm on a roll or I've found the magic bullet - I'll just stick to it for as long as possible and hope it improves my general health along the way.
Oh all, I admit - screw my general health, I hope I lose weight along the way!  But vanity aside, I have been feeling much more in control this past week - and I like feeling that way.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with leek and gammon and a tiny bit of cream
Lunch: Gammon with salad
Dinner: zoodles topped with roast chicken and lemon cream sauce with a side of asparagus tips.
Snacks: pork rinds

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sad, long, tiring day

The sad part is because of the death of one my favourite authors and all round heroes,  Terry Pratchett's, only 66 years old. I really admired his talent and his attitude when he was diagnosed,and it's tragic that he's dead so relatively young.

The other parts are both more personal and more trivial. I had what should have been my final discharge appointment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital today. Needless to say it ate my entire morning - since the house move my former 4 miles walking for these appointments became 6 miles and then of  course there was all the waiting around including getting a scan and picking up a prescription, topped off by not being discharged. Sigh.  The surgeon who actually operated on my blasted eye finally saw me again.  He was quite surprised to pick up on some swelling that usually happens soon after the operation but rarely appears almost a year on, so he gave me a prescription for drops and pills to take care of that.  He also confirmed what I'd already figured out - I have cataracts beginning to form (I spotted a few fuzzy areas in my vision consistently in the same place a couple of weeks ago but didn't want to talk about it given that last time I made a fuss they couldn't see anything wrong. Which was daft of me because unlike the visual weirdness back then, this hasn't gone away)  Anyhow they don't need removing yet but of course they will eventually.  So lucky me I'll be having another procedure at some point, and this one I'm told is done with local anaesthetic which frankly terrifies me.
And the tiring part of the day? In total, counting a quick shop after finishing work (working from home of course), I walked 7 miles today. Low carb and not even tempted to eat crap like I usually do on these little excursions. But I was dead on my ass after all that and still am now...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with mushrooms and a couple of rashers of bacon
Lunch: smoked ham straight from the pack while walking home
Dinner: chicken thighs with lemon cream sauce and grilled asparagus
Snacks: pork scratchings, Greek yogurt, babybel goat's cheese

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I can do it!

I'm feeling better again today - not headache or nausea at all. I guess I'm pretty lucky, when I was looking for ways to take the pain away (excluding decapitation as I felt the downside might outweigh the benefits) I was reading about people feeling rubbish for weeks. Of course they also may have gone cold turkey to a more extreme degree than me as well. So far this week I've been trying to keep below 50g of carbs a day, but at least in the short term my target will be even lower as I'm trying to CRUSH my carb-loving tendencies. I am definitely feeling (and looking I think) less bloated already and my digestive system is a lot happier than it was, so those are good signs. I still don't have much physical energy but I'm not feeling as knackered as I was at the beginning of the week either - today I didn't have to battle with my eyelids until 3 pm...

Food today:
Breakfast: 3 almond pancakes with butter topped with 2 poached eggs (poached in the microwave at work and sadly a bit overcooked)
Lunch: tuna mayo on a bed of salad
Dinner: grilled lamb and salad
Snacks: cheddar

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Over the hump

Less desire to just get on with dying today :-) No headache on waking up - or nausea - and definitely no inflamed sinuses. Such a relief!  Midmorning I started to feel like a headache was looming but a stock cube drink later that subsided (man that thing tasted salty - which is, of course, the point)
I still had little energy but I'd rather be tired than feel sick any day of the week. At lunchtime I did pop out for half an hour or so of sunshine and that was nice, but that was all I did. Getting better though!

Food today:
Breakfast: 3 almond pancakes with butter and chicken liver pate on one, cheese on another, just butter on the third one.
Lunch: cheesy spinach soup
Dinner: bolognese on zoodles
Snacks: half an avocado and half a chicken breast

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ouch ow bloody hell

I managed to have a gluten free and low carb weekend - low carb enough to feel tired just walking yesterday, which surprised me at the time but is a good thing given my ketogenic plans.
Now my training course is over and the real work is done with I have a little more freedom. I didn't have the energy to walk before work, but while travelling in with M I will be arriving at the crack of dawn and my plan is to take a prework wake up walk (when weather and sun rise times permit). I'm also bringing my breakfast with me to work because I can't face eating that early which I hope will help with not snacking excessively. I'm feeling relatively optimistic today about this! I also feel really crappy in a carb flu kind of way, which I guess says a lot about the way I ate last week (and a lot of the time before that). I'm currently trying to see it more as a good sign than a problem (and browsing the Web for suggestions for feeling better) and hoping like hell I'll feel better soon enough to keep my motivation going :-) Because a headache that actually made my teeth throb - NOT FUN. AT ALL. And the nausea wasn't a party in my stomach either. So tomorrow I will be taking some (hopefully) preventative measures : in case of sodium /electrolyte loss I'm taking some beef stock cubes to work so I can drink one if need be, and I'll also take some fattier and proteinier snacks while I'm adapting. I sooooooooooo hope it doesn't take too long...

Food today:
Breakfast: almond pancakes with butter and chicken liver pate
Lunch: cheesy spinach soup - NO evil sandwiches or crisps!!!
Dinner: chicken thighs with lemon cream sauce and a grilled salad of romaine lettuce and cucumber
Snacks: toasted coconut flakes

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Most Asked Question: What Does a Typical Day of Food Look Like on Ultimate Weight Loss?

Hi Everyone!

First off, I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my last post, whether it be here on the blog or on Facebook. It's always a little scary to let it all hang out, and getting positive feedback from so many people letting me know that they are going through exactly what I am going through has been important for me. No one wants to feel like an outsider at a club that they really want to belong to. And for me, the club is the "I am at a Healthy Weight Eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet Club."

Secondly, I want to speak to a question that I am asked a few times each day, either on Instagram, Facebook or here in the blog comments, and that is, "What is a typical day of food on Ultimate Weight Loss?"

From this moment forward, I'm just going to direct people to this blog post and the comments that I hope will pour in from others who have been doing Ultimate Weight Loss.

So here's a fairly typical inquiry that I receive:


First of all, let me say how much I love your website and enjoy reading your entries.
I am stuck, however. Do you have an over-all plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For example, a grain and fruit for B, soup and salad for L, and vegetables and
starch for D?

I need a 'structured plan' for my meals each day, as I don�t really know how to put the
plant-based way of eating into practice. Can you help?

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Friday, March 6, 2015

One week down

More technical issues this morning.... IT is rubbish. I swear some people want it that way so they always have a job fixing problems... I could just be being cynical because I don't understand networking at all I admit.
Anyhow, the training course is finished and it only lasted twice as long as it should. Today it dragged on nearly half an hour longer than it should and hadn't actually finished when I left - they'd wandered off into marketing speak instead of technical /system stuff.  And as a result our drive home was crap.  The hard work starts on Monday, but at least from now on I should be able to finish work at 4.
This evening we had another takeaway because we were starving when we got home at last, and it's hard to be good when starving.

Food today:
Breakfast: cashews (I was still feeling bloated and fed up of food generally, so couldn't be bothered to eat my intended eggy breakfast)
Lunch: evil sandwiches & crisps
Dinner: peri peri chicken (lots) and a few fries
Snacks: fruit, a wispa bar

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 3 training

Another training day today. It's tough to find anything to write about when you spend the whole day in one room with no windows learning the intricacies of the Magento eCommerce website development tool.
Sometimes it leads you TMS (too much sharing). For instance: I had pronounced digestive issues this morning to the extent I was wondering if I'd make it to the training course on time. (I did).  I've definitely overdone the gluten this week, and although I plan to accept it again tomorrow just for the convenience of eating the same things as everyone else, I'm now getting sick of all the bread - and all the bread induced bloating etc. I actually want to go low carb again right now (although I do know from experience that it's hard to make that change even when you really want to thanks to inconvenient bodily expectations and cravings.)  Even so - bring it on!!!

Food today:
Breakfast: baked pancetta, mushroom & leek frittata
Lunch: evil sandwiches & crisps
Dinner: Roast gammon, broccoli & cauliflower
Snacks: fruit, Pork rinds

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dragging on

Another day training and fewer technical glitches today thankfully. The group was smaller and asked fewer questions so it was easier to cover the material and I didn't leave as late as yesterday - all very good things, believe me!
I now have working login details as well, so I'll be able to do the work once it gets that far.
I felt really fat and bloated all morning today - and it took all morning for me to realise that I felt that way largely because I was wearing control underwear and it necessarily fits very tight. Sigh.  That's what I get for being vain enough to try for a more 'streamlined silhouette' :-)

Food today:
Breakfast: homemade gf scotch egg and small piece of baked pancetta, mushroom & leek frittata
Lunch: evil sandwiches & crisps
Dinner: General Tso's Meatballs with cauliflower rice
Snacks: fruit, Pork rinds

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New job day 2

Day 2 in the new job and I don't yet have the ability to log onto my desktop or email. I don't really need it yet as I'm in training all week but I can't help thinking it doesn't make me more productive....
I haven't worked out a routine to allow pre-work training as I'd like yet and it was raining this morning so definitely no walk.  Because lunch was included in the training room I didn't have the opportunity to walk at lunchtime either, and because I finished later than usual due to the course, and this office is further from home, and the journey was therefore rubbish, I didn't have /make time to do anything after work either. This week looks like being a dead loss for both food and exercise, but things should settle down next week so I'm trying not to let it get to me too much.

Food today:
Breakfast: homemade gf scotch egg and small piece of baked pancetta, mushroom & leek frittata
Lunch: evil sandwiches & crisps
Dinner: Indian takeaway: Lal maans (a lamb curry from Rajasthan) with plain rice
Snacks: fruit

Monday, March 2, 2015

Another week, another job...

First day at the new job today. I've been worrying about it - which is daft on so many levels - and having trouble sleeping since Friday night so I'm kind of shattered. The weekend was very mixed - Saturday I had to shop for new work clothes as this place is a bit more formal than the last one and any left over formalish clothes I had don't currently fit :-(. You can probably guess how happy I was about that. I ate well and walked 4 miles on Saturday. Then yesterday I walked more - 7 miles - but my food went to pot a bit (comfort eating, but short of binge eating)
This morning I drove to work with M as he works for the new company already. I wasn't due in till 10:15 and he starts much earlier than that so I had time for a 4 mile walk and a sit down with a drink before I started, which was nice. Early on it was very cold but very bright; by the time I got back to the office it was only overcast and still cold but more importantly it stayed dry. My desk in the new office is by a window, so even if the view isn't that exciting I can see the outside world!
Today was typically confusing for a first day. I met lots of people and met up with a couple of people I worked with here before, years ago, which was nice. The new project I'll be working on is hideously complicated and will be very challenging, but I'm in a training course for the rest of the week so I don't have to work it all out today, thankfully. Less thankfully lunch is provided on the course and I've decided I'm just going to bite the bullet and eat it even though it will not be gf...  It's just easier that way. Next week I plan to get the low carbing back on track and aim for full on keto to get my system cleared asap.

Menu plan for this week:
Monday: Chicken salad
Tuesday: General Tso's Meatballs with Cauliflower rice
Wednesday:  Chicken and vegetables
Thursday: Paleo chicken curry with cauliflower rice
Friday: Chicken & keto cauliflower 'mac' & cheese
Saturday: Chicken thighs with lemon cream sauce and broccoli
Sunday: peanut butter pork (except made with almond butter) with cauliflower rice and veg

Food today:
Breakfast: Chicken and sausage sandwich - definitely not gf
Lunch: another sandwich - this one was gf
Dinner: chicken salad
Snacks: pork rinds, baked frittata

Protective Style Lookbook || Pin Curled Chunky Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: NaturallyNellzy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Pin curled chunky twists.

Study, Skin Care || Turmeric for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles?

I am subscribed to tons of YouTubers, and one of them is Farah.  She has several videos discussing the effectiveness of turmeric against hyperpigmentation.  While I have not tried her homemade mixtures, I did view this is an opportunity to find any research on turmeric and hyperpigmentation.  What did I find?
  • In one study, turmeric demonstrated effectiveness against hyperpigmentation and other UVB-induced skin damage in mice.  It specifically prevented the following: an increase in skin thickness, a reduction in skin elasticity, formation of wrinkles, and formation of melanin induced by chronic UVB exposure [1].  The mechanism by which turmeric accomplishes this is believed to be via the "inhibition of increases in metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression caused by chronic irradiation". 
  • Curcumin, an active component of turmeric, "protects skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation through the inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B [2]".

One of Farah's many videos on using turmeric for the skin: 

When a Plant Based Diet Just Isn't Enough

A few weeks ago, in my vegetables for breakfast post, I mentioned the fact that I have been experimenting with dropping whole grain flours and all sugars (except for the occasional date in a dressing or sauce) out of my diet. I said that it was a story for another day, and that day has come.

This is going to be a very long blog post, so if you are interested, I recommend that you get comfortable!

First a review of my recent dieting history and inspiration for starting the Healthy Girl's Kitchen blog. Five years ago, a college roommate of mine asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I was thirty nine years old and I had recently had my third child. I had a long history of yo-yo dieting, with many successful weight loss journeys, all to be followed up by weight gain horrors. I made up my mind that I would NOT be the fat bridesmaid, and I went back to a national weight loss program that had worked for me many times in the past (if you consider working to mean losing the weight and gaining it all back).

The program worked again, because I was hell bent on weighing and measuring my food, tracking it all and staying within my allotted calories. I made a lot of really nice friends in that program who I miss to this day. The camaraderie was amazing.

Shortly after I entered those meeting rooms again, one member had mentioned to me an online support group for people who follow all different diet plans. It's called PEERtrainer and it was in that support group that I first heard of a whole food plant based diet. The idea appealed to me immediately. First, from an ethical perspective, because I had been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for eleven years. But second, from a health standpoint, learning about the negative impact of processed food, dairy and meat on our bodies suddenly and forcefully hit home for me. So while I was on the "counting and measuring" program, over the course of a few months I was really BOTH on the counting plan AND on a whole foods plant based plan.

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