Saturday, June 7, 2008

Going down

Whew. Hopped on the scales and I'm down to 84kg. I haven't starved either. I could do better this week, as I was a bit disorganised during the days. This week we've got lots of veges to have. Actually one of my favourite lunches from last week was the extra pumpkin that I roasted, with a little Southwest dressing on top. That was really tasty. I got a piece of pumpkin for this week too, plus some kumera, which I thought I could roast whole and reheat with something stuffed inside. Yum.

The weird thing is that I still think of myself as a skinny person, like I used to be. So I find it really frustrating not to fit smaller clothes, and I expect that I will not have rolls and bumps showing at all in clothes. But, of course, I do. I won't wear clothes that are too tight just so that I can pretend I'm a smaller size, because comfort is so important. I guess I'm a big advocate for stylish clothes that fit a curvier body. Here are some things I find very frustrating with the fit of clothing I have come across:

  • Tights that won't stay up, and have a narrow band at the top that cuts in, leaving bulge lines.
  • Underwear that is supposed to flatten and flatter that accentuates the blobbiness by forcing flab to gather outside the edges. Oh, and control underwear that won't stay put, rolling and riding up.
  • Hipster jeans that are uncomfortable- either digging in or falling down.
  • Undies that go up your bum. Into the bin they go!!!!!
  • Boots that won't fit a generous calf.
  • Tops that fit, but bulge at the buttons over the bust. Or that won't fit the bust.
  • Jackets that are way too big in the shoulders but won't fit across the bust or hips.
  • Knee-high tights that don't go to the knee.
  • Anything that clings to a bulgy tummy.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with clothing issues! Everyone has a different body shape. I'm fortunate that I have an hourglass figure.

Bye for now, my lovely friends. XXX

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mr B's got my back

I've got Mr B supporting my Fatty Challenge efforts. Especially since the first week was such a disaster. Miss M suggested that I dust myself off and get back on that horse. Yes, I love the cliche, except it reminds me of the time I fell off my horse at riding school and the riding instuctor made me get back on. I couldn't control my legs to put my feet in the stirrups, and can't recall much about the time between falling off in a paddock and getting back to the arena. I'm sure I got knocked out and had concussion. Apart from that I'm back on my horse (a clydesdale at the moment) and I've done ok today.
  • Minestrone soup for a late brunch as stayed in bed talking to Mum on phone for ages.
  • 1 smallish piece of citrus slice and a couple of small bits of bagel. NO hot chocolate!
  • A pita pocket with Tuscan smoked chicken and salad.

I have to admit I did have a few chocolate buttons. See that munching comfort eating thing struck again. Anyway, I've made a salad for lunch tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow.

  • Porridge with low fat milk.
  • Fruit.
  • Salad with tuna or salmon.
  • Fruit and crackers.
  • Fresh pasta with a tomato based sauce and salad.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


How is it that I decide that I need to lose weight and start off at the depressing weight of 83.5kg, and only one week later I weigh 86kg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
That would be the dreaded comfort eating to combat the anxiety that has welled up like a wave of horror. Have I triggered the anxiety by getting all worried about my weight? Probably more likely to be my social anxiety issues, which have reared their ugly head this week. Grrrrrr! Thinking back I started out pretty well, but had a couple of bought meals that were not exactly light on the calories. We went out for tea and had a roast dinner with pudding. Last night we had pudding and chips and chocolate at a friend's house (while watching the delightfully corny Bride and Prejudice). We had a big pasta meal one night that Mr B cooked when I went to cello. Plus I did nibble a fair bit at school. So thinking back, I didn't manage to eat healthy food much at all. Well, I ate the healthy stuff plus a whole lot of other stuff too. And big portions. We've got Barbara coming around for tea tonight. We are having tortellini and salad, with gingerbread ice-cream and Jamie's gingerbread. If I go light on the tortellini and heavy on the salad, and don't have the ice-cream cause I'm not that mad on it, that should reduce the calorie intake. Plus a nice brisk doggy walk today.

Right, this week I will try to keep this blog updated so I can track my progress. I can do it. XXX

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Fatty Challenge!

The time has come. My pants are cutting in around the waist, giving me an assortment of rolls and bumps that I've never had before. I am finding it tricky to choose what to wear to be both comfortable and to disguise the expanding girth. Without a serious intervention I am going to keep on expanding. I have to change my lifestyle rather than starve myself. I'm sure there wouldn't be a dietitian that would disagree with that. In previous attempts to lose weight I have:
  • Eaten nothing except the odd bit of junk food until tea time. Worked, but really bad for my metabolism and brain function.
  • Gym. I went to the gym for ages. Didn't lose a kilo, but got pretty fit and strong. I stopped going because it was costing so much. Plus I got really hungry and couldn't practise cello after doing weights.
  • Dietitian. Trotted along for ages and learnt what to do, but didn't lose anything.
  • Went to Weightwatchers. Went along to meetings religiously with a bunch of porky and not so porky women, and one huge man. Lost 4 kg and then started gaining again. Got sick of the same people going up the front to get their little badges, bookmarks, stars etc.

The Problem

I am a serious emotional eater. And with an anxiety disorder I feel a lot of stress. When I get stressed I want to eat to feel good. Good old Weightwatchers talked about this, but I'm a hard core case. If I wasn't so sensible I think I'd probably head down the eating disorder route. I'd be bulimic I think. Fortunately I'm far to busy to spend time binging and barfing. I can happily eat a King Sized block of Cadbury chocolate and a family sized bag of chips in one sitting. Or a whole packet of chocolate biscuits. Whole bags of lollies.

The second problem is that I get really tired with my job, and don't get much time or have much motivation and energy for exercise. I'd like to spend all of my spare time curled up sleeping or reading a book.

The Plan

  • A weekly weigh-in. I'll record my progress here on the blog. Confession time.
  • Eat 3 low calorie meals a day plus 2 snacks.
  • Record the good and bad here on the blog.
  • Learn lots of new recipes and share them here on the blog.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Rain, snow, hail or sun.
  • Only eat "junk food" occasionally and eat single portion sized amounts (this is going to be the tricky one).
  • Eat masses of fruit and veges, and watch portions with everything else.

Any advice, recipe, ideas and encouragement would be greatly received. And if you want to confess your sins (or weight once a week) I'd be happy to return the support.

The Goal

  • To improve my eating habits.
  • To eliminate junk food binges.
  • To increase my exercise.
  • To eat masses of fruit and veges.
  • To lose weight. My goal weight is the weight at which I last felt really comfortable, is healthy for my height and still has curves.

Goal weight 63kg

Current weight (oh dear, so far to go) 83.5kg. Next weigh in is Sunday next weekend. Wish me luck. XXX

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Making the most of Sunday

You will be thinking practically all I eat is soup and bread. Well, it is heading into winter here, and I love soup and making bread. Today I've whipped up a brew of my "not minestrone" minestrone soup. I say "not minestrone" because traditionally minestrone has beans, but Mr B makes a fuss if he has to eat anything other than a baked bean, so I leave them out. Here is the general recipe. This is a throw it in the pot and it will work recipe.

  1. Brown bacon (I used 100g, but you can use as much as you like)

  2. Throw in one chopped up fat onion and continue sauteing.

  3. Chop up one fat potato, 2 big sticks of celery and 1-2 cups of cabbage and throw into the pot.

  4. Add water to almost the top of the pot (I forgot to say I use a big pot)

  5. Add 1 tin of tomatoes in juice (chop up roughly if not already chopped) and 1 little tin or pottle of tomato paste.

  6. Throw in a handful of dried pasta (because Mr B loves it).

Boil it all together for a while. Season with salt, pepper and smoked garlic salt (if you have some).

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese if you can bear to part with lots of money to get some.

Here's my bread in the oven. I wanted to make 2 loaves so I have enough for sandwiches during the week.

I had some extra dough so I rolled it out and spread it with sweet chili jam.

Then I rolled it up and sliced into little swirls.

Unfortunately while I was letting them rise a bit more on the table (waiting for a vacancy in the oven, as you can happily do with bread) something dreadful happened.

Someone was hungry.

Luckily she was only halfway through scoffing off the whole tray when she was caught, sweet chili jam sticky upon her whiskery lips. There were a few left for the intended consumers, so I bunged them in the oven. May I just suggest that you don't attempt to remove these from the tray as soon as you get them out of the oven. My finger hurts. Burnt by sweet chili jam that stuck like superglue to my fingers while I flapped around trying to get them under the tap. Bugger, bugger, bugger!

I'm proud to say I had an outstanding baking afternoon, apart from the obvious little issues I faced. Here are the banana muffins I made from bananas Mr B promised he would eat, but didn't.

The one missing was a test muffin. I had to make sure they were fit for human consumption (the dog certainly wont be getting any!

I'm off to grab a slice of bread and a bowl of soup. I'm pretty proud of myself. If I can do it, so can you!

Action stations

I'm back from my holiday, and it's time to get this Chocolate Baby under control. Fruit and veges are my materials, and my kitchen is the tool . How dorky does that sound? Anyway, I've got Mr B on board. Here's what we had for tea tonight:

This is the most simple roast vegetable salad you can imagine. It contains the following things and serves 2 hungry people as a main.

  • Two medium potatoes - leave the skin on.
  • One big kumera - peeled in this case because it was a bit rough. Leave skin on if it is good enough.
  • One fat carrot.
  • About 1 cup pumpkin.
  • One big onion.

Chop into even pieces about 3cm across. Heat a roasting dish in the oven. When hot pour in about 1 tablespoon of oil (I use olive oil) and throw in all of the veges except for the onion. Mix around. Cook for a while until the veges soften up. Add your onion (it cooks quicker than the other things). Sprinkle on seasoning. I used smoked garlic seasoning salt, but you could keep it simple and just use salt and pepper, or flavour with something exotic like Cajun or Moroccan seasoning. Mixed herbs give you a good flavour too. Once everything is browny and soft you are ready to eat.

Serving: I shredded some rainbow chard and put the roasties on top. Then I sprinkled with parsley. Mr B chose a balsamic vinagrette and I chose a traditional vinagrette (both in bottles from the fridge!-I will have to work on dressing production).

Now onto pudding. Take a look at these beauties:

Now that manky looking apple is pure organic- growing on a tree on the farm. It is smothered in them, so I headed up through the long grass and picked myself a few. I picked up the walnuts from under a tree on the farm too. I wouldn't want to eat the apples as they come off the tree, although they would probably come up ok with a good scrub. It just shows how we are so used to perfect fruit and veges in the shops. I have to admit I don't buy organic fruit and veg from the supermarket because it is just so much more expensive. I do think it is well worth seeking out sources of spray-free or organic items that have been overlooked, or are madly producing and are going to waste. I'm going to check out the markets too.

Here's my apple crumble before I baked it:

And after:

For this crumble I used about 1/2 cup flour, 1 heaped tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup muesli, 1 tablespoon sugar and a few walnuts. I rubbed the butter into the flour, then added the rest of the ingredients. The best thing was cracking the walnuts. I discovered that I can poke a knife into the seam at the pointy end and twist it (like shucking an oyster). I baked it for about 1/2 an hour on fanbake at 170 degrees celcius.

Before I forget- I sweetened up the apple with a big tablespoon of sugar too, before I added the crumble. This is a two person crumble, so it is pretty little.

I hope my instructions are clear enough for Mrs CT. My a bit of this, and a bit of that recipes needed more explanation. These are super basic things to cook. And yummy.

Now for my words on health - and why I'm going to be going mad over fruit and vegetables. I've got a history of breast cancer in my family. My dear Auntie Jenny died of breast cancer after a seven year fight. The latest thing I read about breast cancer protection said I should be having nine servings of fruit or vegetable a day. I think everyone would benefit from a diet heavy on fruit and vegetables and very light on the processed foods. I've got a terrible habit of turning to nasty processed junk foods when I'm feeling stressed or down. So I'm working to improve my diet. I hope you can join me. XXX

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More soup and a bit of a bread recipe

Went of to school all bright eyed and bushy tailed, but as soon as I rolled up there was someone waiting to harrass me about something. I've only got four days to go until the holidays, but I'm still trying to appreciate each day.

This concoction is kumera and pumpkin soup. It contains a big onion, a massive kumera, half of a pumpkin (leftover from the last batch of soup) and three rashers of this bacon:

This is New Zealand bacon which is from free-range pigs. You would think that in NZ bacon would be from piggies allowed to roam free, but don't be fooled. Most of the bacon on sale here is not NZ bacon. You need to look for specifically labelled products. Any ham off the bone that is available here is apparently imported too, in most cases. I don't want to contribute to sow crates where lady piggies are kept for their whole lives, unable to move around freely. I'm sure the conditions for the other pigs wouldn't be much better.

I blitzed up my ingredients in my food processor to save time as we had visitors. Then I added water and boiled it up. It was seasoned generously with smoked garlic seasoning and pepper. I was chatting to Meg on the phone and accidentally browned the bottom when I was cooking the onion and bacon, but that added great caramelised flavour. I really recommend this recipe, even though it was super simple. I think that it would be a good idea to cook the kumera before chopping it up because it maintained its grainy texture even though I boiled it forever. The pumpkin broke down much faster.

Now for Ryan, who need some bread-making tips. I made this yesterday:

I faced some time challenges when making this, so it didn't get to prove (rise) for as long as usual. Never mind, it was scrummy with butter while it was still steaming hot.

I make bread by random luck, so providing you follow my basic steps you can't go too far wrong.

  1. Put about 1 dessertspoon full of granulated yeast (NOT EASYBAKE!!!) and 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey in a big bowl.
  2. Add about 2 cups of lovely warm water and give it a wee stir around (I have it fairly warm so it will stay warm for a while, really hot will kill the yeast and too cold won't work).
  3. Cover this and keep it warm (cover with a towel on a cold day or stand next to the fire).
  4. Once it starts sort of foaming you know you are in business (10 mins approx.)
  5. Add a good dollop of olive oil, about a dessertspoon full of salt, or a bit more, plus herby things if you want (mmm, sundried tomatoes, olives etc. Don't be stingy with the salt as bread needs it for the flavour. Pepper adds a nice zing too, if you add plenty.
  6. Now add your high grade flour. Tip some in and stir it. Tip in more until you can stir it into a dough. Take your dough out and put it on a floured board. Knead for a while (until you get sick of it) so the dough goes lovely and elastic feeling (if you didn't get bored too soon). If you don't know how to knead, buy a breadmaker.
  7. Flour the inside of your bowl and put your lovely ball of dough in again. Cover and keep warm until it is all fat and exciting looking (at least doubled in size). This depends on how warm you can keep it. I have resorted to standing the bowl in warm water in the sink and covering the sink with a towel.
  8. Now for the weird bit. Take your plump, soft ball of dough out and put it on your board. Knead it for about a minute again. It will go all small again, which is very disappointing.
  9. Shape your pitiful blob of dough into a loaf, rolls, a plaited twist with wheat sheaf trim etc and put it on a floured tray.
  10. Leave in a warm place and I promise it will get fat again. Once it is fat and happy bung it in the oven and bake until golden. Tapping on the bottom of a cooked loaf makes a hollow sound.
  11. The oven should be about 200 degrees celcius or around 180 on fanbake. I think you can have it hotter too.
  12. Just remember not to burn yourself trying to cut it when you just got it out of the oven, and put it on a cooking rack to stop it getting a soggy bottom.

Some home truths about bread making:

  • Using a bread maker does not mean you have made genuine handmade bread. It doesn't taste anything like it, plus you actually don't do anything, the breadmaker does.
  • Easybake Yeast gives bread a nasty taste. I really don't like the stuff. I would love to try fresh yeast but it isn't very easy to come by.
  • Bread requires quite a bit of time. Set aside about 2 hours for your first go at my recipe. There is plenty of reading time while the bread is rising, so you shouldn't be feeling like a slave to your oven.
  • Homemade bread is usually gone the first day you make it, so make twice as much if you want some for the next day.
  • There are thousands of bread recipes. I only do this one because I can whip it up without too much thinking.

Good luck. Go forth and give it a go! You can do it Ryan XXX