food

Getting Back in the Saddle

Having taken a break from blogging for nearly a month, I am finding it a little tricky getting back into the saddle which I wasn’t expecting. I used to post almost daily about all kinds of subjects, yet now I find myself struggling for something to say.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure I could bore you all to tears talking about my nursing experiences, but I have already mentioned nursing lately, and I am wary of over-egging that pudding, instead, I will drip feed you slowly over a period of time. (Why does everything with me always come down to food analogies)?!

Speaking of which, I had my diabetic review (on my birthday as it turned out), and things seem to be a bit haywire there. My weight has gone up even more, as have my blood sugars (according to the Hba1c blood test), and my liver function is deranged (hopefully I will find out why when I speak to GP tomorrow although it could be to do with my weight). This is all rather ironic as I am trying to get myself into shape before (hopefully) qualifying as a nurse, (bugger, I said I wouldn’t mention nursing)!

I am going to really have to put a lot of extra effort into living a healthier lifestyle, and no doubt I will post about my trials and tribulations on the way. Well, that will certainly give me plenty to write about!

#JusJoJan 2018. January 30th Scrumptious

I hope that you are enjoying my posts from Linda’s Just Jot it January as much as I am enjoying writing them.

Here is today’s prompt word.

Your prompt for January 29th, 2018, brought to you by me, is “Scrumptious.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. 

I chose the word scrumptious because I love the way it sounds, in fact, it is the kind of word that feels as though it belongs on an old Disney film like ‘Mary Poppins’or ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.

I do use it quite a bit, in relation to food (of course); it is the perfect fit to describe a chocolate layer cake with all the trimmings, yummmmm.

I like to give members of my family little nicknames, and Scrumptious was just right for my little nephew. He is now 26, so the last time I called him it, I shortened it to Scrump, or Scrumpkin (I used to call him Pumpkin as well, and you know how I like to rhyme everything)!

Anyway, that’s enough nonsense from me!  I hope you had fun with this word.

#JusJoJan 2018. January 23rd Colour

I hope that you are enjoying my posts from Linda’s Just Jot it January as much as I am enjoying writing them.

Here is today’s prompt word.

Your prompt for January 23rd, 2018, brought to you by the kind, considerate, and eloquently snarky Supernatural Snark, is “Colour.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Super at her blog, “Supernatural Snark” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:  https://supernaturalsnark.wordpress.com/

Thinking about colour for our prompt word today, I realised just how much of an impact it has on our lives. It even gives clues as to the state of our health in some cases; if our skin colour suddenly appears yellow, pale, flushed or blue, it can indicate that something is wrong.

On a lighter note, colour can influence our mood, yellow always makes me feel cheery, and we recently decorated our front room changing the colour from orange (this is supposed to be an energetic colour although I found it to be cosy) to yellow, and duck egg blue (calming and serene). Red can be associated with rage and aggression although I think a ‘red light’ may have different connotations! Apparently purple is supposed to be romantic, but I find it somewhat cloying and uncomfortable if too dark.

On the subject of moods, or rather emotions, again we often associate these with colour too, for example, ‘green with envy’, ‘feeling blue,’ ‘red with anger’ or in a ‘white-hot rage.’  Similarly colour can describe a physical feeling, which as illustrated here by these emojis need no explanation!

🤢😡😰

Colour even influences our food choices. If a bit of raw meat looks a bit brown or worse, green, then we might decide not to eat it! However, when a brightly coloured salad is presented, it looks so appetising when all of the different colours are fresh and vibrant.

Seeing a blue sky with a shining yellow sun can really lift my mood, as can a bunch of brightly coloured flowers, either in a vase or growing wild. Natures beautiful colours are around us all the time to enjoy.

What’s your favourite colour?

#JusJotJan and #SoCS 2018. January 6th Economising

Day six of Linda’s Just Jot it January and the first Stream of Consciousness post of the year. It is a double bonus in my book, combining the two!

Anyway without further ado, here is today’s prompt word.

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “eco.” Find a word that starts with “eco” or has “eco” in it, and base your post on that word. Have fun!

Economising is the name of the game in January! After the over-indulgence of the festive period, it is time to cut back.

That means not only trying to save money by not splashing out on things that I don’t need (this is going to be tricky) but also not stuffing my face with things that I don’t need (this is going to be trickier)! Hmmm, I notice a bit of a thing going on here, it seems like I can’t do things by halves, it is all or nothing!

Most people can be satisfied with a small chunk of a family sized chocolate bar. Not me, I will have the small chunk then go back for another, and another until I have polished off the lot! It is the same if I see something in the shops that I want, (mainly gadgets). I think that I am economising by buying that new set of pans or more recently, my new multicooker when in actual fact, I didn’t need them in the first place!

If only I could become as over-indulgent at the gym!

The Christmas Countdown Has Started!

Before the last pumpkin has rotted away and the fireworks fizzled out, the Christmas adverts have started on the TV! Now I love Christmas, but it is just a bit early to start the annual panic. I thought that you might enjoy this poem I wrote a while ago, about the guilt I felt for not being organised.

There’s only 7 weeks until Christmas

And I’ve not even started to shop

No presents, no food, and no booze yet

I don’t even have any pop!

The town is all lit up and sparkling

Santa’s grotto has also arrived

The shops are blaring out music

The old Christmas favourites revived!

All the heart-warming adverts on TV

They are sure to bring a tear to the eye

But my festive spirit is lacking

And I’ve not even made a mince pie!

I really need to get started

There are so many things still to get

I will make more of an effort

But it’s still not  December yet!

Another Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody!

Further the post I wrote here, my younger sister reminded me of a story that I had forgotten to include, and although it is pretty stomach-churning, it did make me laugh so here it is….

Mum had made a corned-beef hash, which although we didn’t have very often we were looking forward to. Anyway she had left it to cool off on the worktop for a little while. As she was about to dish up she suddenly screeched,

“Where’s me teeth”? She had this little plastic plate with 4 or 5 false teeth on which she used to take out now and again when they started to chafe, and they would sit on the table or window sill, wrapped in a tissue until she needed them to eat! My sister and I searched the kitchen without success, We couldn’t understand where they had gone As a last resort we decided to check the corned-beef hash, as it was not unusual for a bit of fag ash to land up in the food so why not a denture!

As it happened, the teeth were not in the hash, but the obligatory ants were! Yes, they had found their way into the hash that had been left uncovered, and had dived on in! Yuk! That was yet another meal that had no takers, fussy as we all were! Oh, and Mum’s teeth turned up in the kitchen rubbish bin! As a last resort we went through it, and there they were in a soggy filthy tissue, buried beneath tea bags, potato peelings and other assorted nasties. Mum was thrilled, a quick rinse under the tap, and she popped them back into place!

My nephew when he was young, also shared my mum’s casual attitude to dirt and used to love grubbing about in the mud as most kids do, However he liked to pick up slugs and worms as I think he liked their slimy feel. He wanted to share his treasures with the rest of us and would very often come up with us, hand outstretched grasping a writhing creature and say,

” Lug!”  he hadn’t mastered how to pronounce his ‘S’s yet, bless him. Myself and my sisters would recoil when he brought the slugs to us for inspection, and would try to swallow the scream, force a smile and tell him how lovely it was. He would amuse himself for some time playing in the dirt, making mud pies, and decorating them with the slugs and worms, singing away happily.

After a while he came up to us again

“Lug!” Only this time there was only a little bit of slug in this podgy little hand; not only that but he looked a bit mucky around the mouth. Yep, he had decided to taste his mud pies, but must have found them rather filling as he couldn’t manage a whole slug! It’s nice to know he has inherited the strong family constitution!

A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody!

A bit of reminiscing….

I received a phone call from my daughter one day during her lunch break at school to let me know that there was a Craft Fair on Friday at school and “you have got to make some gingerbread men biscuits”.  Oh great! Well, I have to give her credit for telling me a little in advance, normally it is at bedtime the night before she has to take something home-made into school. (I know some supermarkets do a lovely range of ‘home-made’ cakes etc. but it does seem a bit naughty to do that; however needs must, and I have done it in the past)!

Anyway, as it was my day off today, and not only did I have the ingredients (and more importantly the recipe) for the gingers, but I enjoy making them (along with mince pies, that is about my festive repartee). I had already made the dough, and while that was ‘chilling’ in the fridge, I had a bit of time to myself to reflect on how different I am from my mum in the kitchen. I was thinking about Mum and what a fantastic cook she is, although nowadays she doesn’t bake so much. However, in her baking heyday, some of her practices in the kitchen left a little to be desired.

Two funny stories come to mind. The first one was when mum was making her famous ‘rock cakes’. Now, they were not ALWAYS as hard as a rock as the name implies, and she put currants or something in them as well, so they were quite tasty for a Sunday afternoon tea. This particular day she made the cakes with her usual method, chucking a bit of this in, sprinkling in a pinch of that, then a dollop of something else for good measure. Once cooked they looked lovely and golden brown and she turned them out onto the wire rack to cool for a bit.

My younger sister and I were there when she decided to have a little ‘taster’, and she bit off a huge chunk from a cake.

“Mmmm these are lovely” (Self-recommendation is no praise, but Mum was proud of her cooking). As I looked up at Mum I was horrified; there were loads of ants crawling around her mouth, my sister had noticed as well. We were screeching and pointing, but Mum had realised something was not right, and she rushed over to the sink to spit out the cake and brush away the ants that she had not ingested!  It transpired that Mum’s wire rack kept in the little alcove under the kitchen sink hadn’t been washed it (how the hell she didn’t notice the ants all over it is anybody’s guess)! Well, we went cakeless, and had something else!

The other occasion was a dinner Mum was cooking for the family. She had made a gorgeous stew and was preparing the dumplings to go with it, which she cooked in the pot with the stew. She went to one of the cupboards and got out her little box where she kept, her margarine, butter and lard. Anyway, she made the dumplings, but as I watched her, I said that they didn’t look right (Mrs Expert Chef poking her nose in)! She took no notice of me, and half an hour later we all sat down for our lovely dinner.

I took one mouthful of dumpling, and the rank taste hit me; the dumpling was expelled straight away as I retched and heaved. Some of the others followed suit, but the slow starters sat there stunned; dinner was ruined. That fat she used had been sitting opened in the packet for God knows how long, and was well and truly off! Mum told us to eat the stew anyway just leave the dumplings, but everyone’s appetite had suddenly disappeared!

I remember those two occasions so well, as my Mum never understood why we all made such a fuss about everything being clean, or that food was not past its ‘sell-by date’! I and some of my brothers and sisters used to go through the fridge and cupboards, and sure enough, there were tins there from  5 years previously. (‘tins last forever’), bottles where the date had rubbed off, or perhaps even before they dated foods, unwrapped food in the fridge, cooked and raw meat stored next to each other, and condiments that must have come from the Ark! Anything that was in the refrigerator was edible according to mum regardless of how long it had been in there!

I suppose growing up when food was rationed, they were not so picky about what they ate, being grateful to have anything. Also, I have seen her trying to sneak an errant spud in the roasting tin that had fallen on the floor when she strained them in the pan. Again, anything that went on the ground got either rinsed or brushed off and put on the plate! After all,
“A little bit of dirt never killed anyone.”
and my siblings and I have the cast iron stomachs to prove it!

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living. A Renewed Attempt at a Healthier Life

As some of you may remember, last September, I embarked on a low carbohydrate diet as recommended by GP in order to lose weight,   I had steadily got bigger and bigger, and I knew that I needed to do something about it. The fact that I have Type 2 diabetes as well means that I have to be extra careful about what I eat to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

I was going back monthly at first to monitor how I was doing, and to start with, I lost 5kg (about 12lb), and that gave me a great incentive to carry on. For over six months I had no crisps, no bread, pasta, rice, pastry or potatoes, and of course no cake either! Even at Christmas, I didn’t overindulge, in fact, I hardly indulged at all. This healthy eating lark was not proving to be much fun, but I was on a mission.

I didn’t lose any more weight, in fact, I put a little back on. To say I was disheartened was an understatement. In April I started University and still managed to keep to the no-carb lunches (mainly because I just took in fruit).

At the end of July, I went on my first placement, and this is where everything changed. The place that I was at offered a complete meal at lunchtime for a reasonable price, which often included starchy carbs of some kind. I piously left them for the first couple of days, but running around working twelve-hour shifts left me starving hungry, and to be honest, downright crabby!

I justified eating the carbs for lunch. Then I ate sandwiches now and again; oh, how I had missed bread. Chocolate crept in next, velvety smooth, milky chocolate, followed closely by crisps. I crunched my way through a 1/4 of a tube of Pringles without even blinking; they were soooooo good! Then came my home-made steamed puddings, Yes, I can cook, and by then I had started my holiday from Uni and placement so had some time to do so.

Bad idea! I have worked a couple of shifts for my old job, and I noticed that my uniform was a little snugger than before. I also felt bloated and huge (not surprising with all that stodge)  and decided that I had better get myself weighed again. I am 4kg (about 10lbs) heavier  now than when I started off in the first place last year!

That serves me right I know, but I wallowed (right word seeing as I feel like a beached whale) around in a bit of self-pity yesterday, had a good cry then decided that I need to get a grip of myself

So, it’s back on the low carb wagon again. I am going to eat a little bit of the starchy carbs but no more that about 120g a day. At least I won’t feel like I am missing out and there is a bit of substance there to fill me up! Oh, and I am going to take up exercise this time too!

There, I’ve said it! I bloody hate exercise, well I do if it involves me wobbling about with a load of skinny people, feeling ashamed and humiliated at the size of me. I haven’t quite worked out my exercise plan yet, but I am going to commit to doing it this time, and not using the excuse that ‘I run around a lot at work!’

Thankfully we have some of lovely bloggers like Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor who have joined forces to bring us  lots of healthy and nutritious recipes which you can find here. In fact, I have already bought the ingredients for Sally’s Brown Rice Pilaf that I have been meaning to try for some time.  Esme from The Recipe Hunter, also features many delicious recipes.

I am starting again with renewed vigour and determination and hopefully will not be making the same mistakes as I did last year:  I have learned that

  • Nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels (yes I have nicked this quote and tweaked it to suit).
  • It is not nice to have squeeze into tight trousers that didn’t used to be tight!
  • My scales did work, it seems I just didn’t like what they said!
  • Healthy eating works better with exercise for losing weight.

By the way, I have started a Healthy Eating Board on Pinterest where I am going to pin recipes, inspiration, and some motivational quotes. If you would like to contribute to this board then please just send me a message.

 

Oh How I Hate Dieting!

Oh, I’m sick of this dieting

In my quest to be all lithe and slim

Some food is so difficult to give up on

And, I am not really keen on the gym!

This spare tyre that I carry round my middle

Spills over the top of my jeans

I need to ditch the roasts and the curries

And eat more salads and greens!

I’m fed up with looking so chunky

And hate to see myself in the nude

I really must get some willpower

And take control of my food!

I know my lifestyle is unhealthy

That’s why I have diabetes type 2

I have given up smoking and drinking

And there is just this one thing to do

I have to become more assertive

If I am going to succeed

And stick to what’s healthy and nutritious

Instead of giving in to my greed!

Pub Grub for Carnivores.

The Sunday dinner

for those with huge appetites,

go for Big Piggy

 

For only ten pounds

No vegetarians here

-A carnivore’s delight!

 

After all that food

something to wash it all down

Blueberry and lime?

 

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