Friday, 25 December 2009

off to FRANCAIS

Ok, see ya soon people. Am off to the land of moules frites and pain aux chocolat.

We are hiring a little gite called La Salamandre -http://lapruneraie.co.uk/lasalamandre.aspx

Drool at will. I cant wait to get there, and thankfully eurotunnel has sorted its act out and we are ready to rock.

See ya's all in a week or so.
xxxxxxxx

Saturday, 19 December 2009

6 Grand - already trashed


Dont you just love them? No, we haent been raided or burgled. This IS the sty that my son wallows in. He has no shame. He doesnt even care if his mates see what a sloven he is. I have asked his mate (pictured above) "Do you keep your bedroom tidy?" and the answer was "Yes!" and Ds confirmed it. What is it with my son? I tidy this up and its beautiful, and the NEXT DAY its back to this again. I give up


Freedom!

Great stuff! No work now until next year!! I love saying that. I start back 4th January, so 2 weeks off - YAY!

I have become addicted to farmville on facebook. Its a nightmare. I am dreaming about plants and crops and when I went to the loo at about 3:30 this morning I thought about having a quick check up on my farm!

Well, we go to France next Friday for 4 nights. Can't wait. We will be leaving here at the unearthly time of 2 in the morning on Friday to catch the Euro-tunnel to Le Francais. We should be there by 6am their time, and at the little gite by 11am. Its in Normandy so we are going to go to the Bayeux Tapestry exhibition, and also the Mont St. Michel and some other amazing castle and stuff.

We will just chill out and go for walks for the first couple of days as nothing will be open particularly. We find that some of the Turkish restaurants are open though as they don't do xmas either, but whether there is much of a 'kebab' community in Normandy, I haven't a clue. You can usually find something open though, but France is probably the hardest country to find food in over that period. Will make sure we take stuff with us!

I dont want to eat out too much really either because of the MSG, but I am not sure what its like in other countries. I certainly put on weight when I go to France or anywhere else, but that's probably because of the vast gallons of wine I drink whilst there *hick* and haven't been having much of that lately.

My skin has really cleared up I have noticed. I am not putting it down to anything as sometimes it does just look better for about a week before sprouting white pussy pimples again and red whelts. I love nothing better than a good squeeze!!

Havent had to HMS for quite some time now, and the band seems to be working ok.
Last night I made cannelloni's for the family. they were yum..

There wasn't a lot left at the end of it either! One more vanished and then I froze three.


I absolutely love this dish but it is a bit of a pain to make. You make thin pancakes (crepes) with batter made from a couple of eggs, plain flour, milk, salt and pepper. You only need them little so about 7inch round is fine. For a man with a reasonably healthy appetite, but not wanting to stuff himslef, I would say 3 pancakes. DH had 3 plus salad and he was full. He did however still manage to eat a sponge pudding with cream and also my portion too... so I guess he could have gone 4 pancakes. Up to you. DS and the 2 girls had 2 each.

So you put the pancakes cooked to one side. I made 14 for all of us.
Then you fry some mince (ground beef) in a large pan until well cooked and browning. Add 1 onion very finely chopped and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Fry it off for a while and add a little salt. I then normally add a good whack of tomato puree, but I didn't have any, so I blended some sun dried tomato's with a little water. They were fine! You could use tinned tomato but it makes it all a bit wet, and you do need a dryish meat mix or a paste. Add some dried sage right now if you like it. Yummy

Then you get each pancake and spread it with soft cheese - like philadelphia, then add a dollop of meat mix and roll them babies up. You lay them down in the tray and pack each one nice and tight to the next one to hold them all together or they all go a bit flacid.

then make a white sauce with milk, butter and flour and some black pepper. grade some hard cheese into the mix to make it a bit cheesy and then pour all over those cannelloni's. Then sprinkle more cheese on top and bake.

Serve this with a green salad and big sliced beef tomatoes and slice of onion and its awesome.

As a bandster, I managed to eat my 1 cannelloni and 2tbsp salad. I thought I could go some more, and had another one. I managed about 1/3rd of it before I was definitely full and stopped.

I then made a syrup sponge pudding, and DS and Onion went to the shop for cream. I served it up, had a mouthful, and then could not eat any more. So DH polished that off! LOL

So there you go. I am eating regular foods, but just less of them and its all home made too. I get a kick out of that.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Crazy kid


My son is a complete headcase, a bit like me. Needless to say - ITS SNOWING!

He came rushing into my office to tell me - how he knew this and was not sound asleep I still dont know.

Exploits of Cooker Girl

When DS was a little chicken of about 2 and a half, I remember him telling me during dinner "Mummy, you really are a good cooker girl". I will never forget that! So cute, I could eat the whole sentence right up!! Obviously he now knows the word chef and stuff, but what a cool title!

So here are some more of cooker girl's antics in the kitchen this merry morn. I love Branston pickle. Its fab with cheese, crackers, with sausages, mashed potato, in a sandwich, on cheese on toast (MMMMmmmm), with all salads and just basically YUM. However, the commercial brand is full of muck - that's a given. So longing for a bit of pickle in my little MSG free life, I found a recipe for it online. This is what it looks like at the start. You boil this mess for 2 hours and end up with the pure luxurious dark chutney shortly after that.

Here it is is for your enjoyment. I didn't need to pressure can this as its very high in acid with the amount of vinegar and lemon juice etc, but I did anyway! I have a canner so why not use it! LOL. Also makes sure it is really sterilized too, as I don't know how quickly I will eat my way through 8 POUNDS of this stuff!! LOL
All I can say is that the taste is absolutely amazing. Its just like Branston pickle, but kind of nicer! Apparently it will be even better in a couple of weeks. Its something that gets better with age.
Onto more cooker girl cooking. Above is something I find vaguely tactile. I kind of want to stroke its soft swellingness... rising bread in my amazing pullman tin. Its the only way to get a square loaf. It was about £5 from china, and I wish I bought 2 now as I have to keep waiting for one loaf to finish before doing another. Anyway, 3 loaves made today.
2 of the loaves cooling after baking next to my newest toy in the playhouse of Bunny aka Nigella! This is a bread slicer from the Czech Republic. Monika had one, as do most people, and I wanted one - especially as now all our bread is home grown! DH with a knife makes doorsteps with a difference... the difference being they are wafer thin one end and 3 inch thick the other side. I don't quite know how he manages do cut bread quite so badly, so this is saving me a fortune in the long run. You can buy scrappy plastic ones that don't stick down and haven't got that weight behind them, but I knew of the real deal. It fixes to the worktop and is cast friggin iron too, so its rather heavy.
Fabulous. It was from eBay for £50 which is pricey, but seeing as we are not going to the CZ rep any time soon, and they are £42 over there anyway, I thought why not!

Had my hypnotherapy yesterday. This is my 3rd proper session... we are kind of tracing back to where my need for comfort eating comes from. Its very peculiar all this stuff that comes out I must say. Yesterday I did have a memory of the situation and it was familiar to me, but the depth of it was quite horrible and I had been crying during the session, but thankfully I feel at peace afterward, and when I tried to recall the feelings I had surrounding that pain, I couldn't get hold of them... I wanted to go to it, but my mind would not go directly to those painful feelings or thoughts, which is what my therapist helped me change during the session. we replaced the feelings (after destroying them) with happy and positive thoughts and feelings and forgiveness, which sounds terribly cliched, but it wasn't. It was good.

Last week, it was of a situation that i could not remember, and was too young to have a physical memory of. My mother actually did remember the things I was talking about, which was kind of cool. Apparently, as I regressed through my past to this feeling - to do with comfort eating - I was eating black paint and being told off, and all kinds of other stuff at playschool. Really random, but it made sense. I haven't felt the need to comfort eat recently... but its early days.

With hypnosis, I think its sometime later that you realize that you haven't done 'this' or 'that' or felt 'this way' or reacted in a typical fashion and that's when you realize that things are fundamentally changing.

What is interesting is that I have a dominant Nomad personality. Now this is odd, because I really relate to the qualities - positive and negative - of a nomad type. My secondary personality is settler.. so they conflict to a certain extent.

The true type is called Charismatic Evidential Personality. I guess it tells you stuff you already knew, but can then digest and see if you can use the information to your advantage.

My major positive characteristics (of which not all will be true to me, but give an idea)according to the test are;
Enthusiastic, lively, Exuberant, Innovative, Confident, Outgoing, Uninhibited, Sometimes Outrageous, Uncomplicated, Charismatic, good image, Sometimes witty/funny, Handle change/surprises well, good mimic, Smart and/or elegant
Major negatives (again which wont all be me specific) are:
Loud, Impulsive, childish, Fickle, Tend to exaggerate, give up easily, self indulgent, thoughtless, Unreliable, Lazy, scruffy.

Overall my personality summary is:
Chances are you are a fun loving individual who can usually find a way to enjoy yourself. It is important to you, though, that there is always something 'going on' in your life because boredom can set in far too easily otherwise and you will then become restless and may even start to create some sort of upheaval just for the hell of it! You are lively and can easily carry others along on a tide of your own enthusiasm, thanks to your inspirational nature and your ability to thrust the inhibitions of others aside. You may well have an expert eye for presentation and a love of novelty. there is a need to be in some way different from the crowd, even if it means having an unusual illness! You are probably extremely smart or extremely sloppy, maybe both at different times - and revel in it either way. Under pressure, you are excellent at 'blagging' your way through. WYSIWYG -"What you see is what you get" sums you up quite well.

Skills:
Presentation, promotional situations, direct sales, entertainment, new or novel products or schemes... anything where image, persona and/or enthusiasm are important. Many actors and 'super-salespersons' fall within this group.

Avoid:
Pondering, or taking too much notice of others telling you to be cautious.

I thought this was a pretty accurate description of me. HA HA!! I honestly did. I can see me in all of this lot. But I am not scruffy, thoughtless or lazy. Those things are not me. Out of the house I am extremely smart... but randomly I hate washing my hair and hardly ever shower as I HATE it. I tell people too (revel in my weirdness)!! Everything else is me though.

I have a weird illness - lupus, I like to be different too! I have a lap band, home school, got married very young, have a random career and I don't dress like my peers in ANY way! I also have other 'oddities' that do put me in the front line for "WTF?"

I love having stuff going on in my life. I do seem to lurch from one drama to another, but not that I invent, I must admit. I would actually like a bit of an easy ride actually, so this is a little at odds with that. But I am also the queen of blag!! Musicians usually are. Obviously my musical career also falls into the exuberant jobs where enthusiasm is needed too.

So, what kind of personality are you? Do the test here:
http://www.theconsultingrooms.co.uk/index.php
Make sure you tell me!!!!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Another Goal + HAM SHAM!

I just thought of another set of goals...

How about Previous lowest weights, and other interesting facts Goals!! LOL I know this is really dumb but anything to get me through the next couple of years has got to be worth it! HA HA

I was 17 stone 11 when I had my appointment with the midwife for DS in 1998
I got to 16 stone 6 with my band before it broke in May 2007
I got to 15 stone 6 before the dastardly unfill in September 2008
I was 15 stone 2 when I joined slimmingworld the first time in 1996
I was 13 stone 4 when I met DH in April 1996
I was 11 stone 4 when I left school aged 16 in 1993

So those are some nice milestones to remember too.

Had a good day band wise and headspace wise yesterday. I think these goal thingys are quite fun, it means that I am kind of achieving something each week, and as a person who just cant do long term missions of weightloss, that's what I need.

Its kind of odd, losing weight. You need to focus on the bigger picture, but also the tiny picture too. Its so messed up. If I lose a pound a week, I need to think "that's 4 stone in a year" but I also need to think... "Yay! I got my 'X' goal this week"

But thinking about it, I did get thoroughly annoyed yesterday about 7pm. I was making dinner for the troops and then realized as I was idly frying the ham and onion mix for the carbonara that it had FREAKING MSG in it!!!!!!!!!! How many ingredients do you think its possible for HAM to have?? 2?? 3... 5??? Try 33!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the flesh of a pig right? Meat. Natural. comes from pigs. boiled. you eat it. Why the HELL do they shag it around with all kinds of crap?

So my innocent intentions of HOME COOKED MEAL of PASTA CARBONARA last night without knowing it contained all this dross:

Pork 75% (that means 25% NOT HAM in ham!!!)
Water
Salt
honey
dextrose *
mustard - (oil, seeds, flavours*)
wheat flour
yeast *
turmeric
colour - (Paprika extract*)
sugar
vegetable oil
paprika
natural flavourings **** ( this IS actual MS freaking G)
ginger
modified maize starch ***(70% MSG)
spirit vinegar
natural carrot extract* (wtf is that??)
shallot
lemon peel
citric acid
thickener -(xanthan gum)
stabilisers -(tri, di and polyphosphates of fatty acids*)
Pork gelatine*
antioxidants* - (sodium ascorbate)
preservative -(sodium nitrite, potassium nitrite, potassium sorbate)
dried glucose syrup*
crushed black peppercorns
herbs
caramelised sugar syrup*
milk protein**** (sodium cassienate - 70% MSG)
pepper
black treacle

* means that this is a source of MSG often up to 70% of the ingredient

this is NOT ham is it. Its something else. Its like SHAM rather than HAM. No wonder that we are all messed up royally by the food we eat. I honestly didn't think there could be anything wrong with Ham.

So after cooking it all up with a luscious sauce of Gold Top milk, flour, mustard, garlic, and egg yolks I served them it all and had bread and frigging butter. Joy.

So yesterdays food was yoghurt, bread, and cereal. grrrrrrr8! But then I guess its better than nothing which was Sunday. Found it really difficult to eat anything on sunday for some reason.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Tracking with Weightloss Achievement Charts

Its kind of cool to have lots of different ways to measure success.

I lost 2lbs this week, which is AWESOME so I was just thinking about all the little things we can set ourselves.

Slimmingworld - Got my 1 stone loss award since returning back to class in June as I was 17 stone 8 pounds when I went back to slimmingworld.

I have lost 32.5 lbs since starting my weightloss expedition which means 2.5lbs until my next goal of 35lbs lost.

I have lost 1 stone 6lbs since having my lap band fitted (20lbs)

I am only 71 lbs from my goal weight

I have nearly crashed through the 230lbs barrier weighing in at 232lbs

Hmmm, so how to lay this out.

ORANGE GOALS - Slimming world GOALS (264.5lbs at start)

1/2 stone - ACHIEVED 29th September 2009
1 stone - ACHIEVED 14th December 2009
1 & 1/2 stone - (7lbs to go!)
2 stone -
2 & 1/2 stone -
3 stone -
3 & 1/2 stone -
4 stone -
4 & 1/2 stone -
5 stone -

RED GOALS - Weightloss Expedition Goals (264.5lbs on starting)

lose 5lbs - ACHIEVED 28th June 2005
lose 10lbs - ACHIEVED 5th July 2005
lose 15lbs - ACHIEVED 12th November 2007
lose 20lbs - ACHIEVED 1st July 2008
lose 25lbs - ACHIEVED 28th September 2009
lose 30lbs - ACHIEVED 7th December 2009
lose 35lbs - (2 & 1/2 lbs to go!)
lose 40lbs
lose 45lbs
lose 50lbs
lose 55lbs
lose 60lbs
lose 65lbs
lose 70lbs
lose 75lbs
lose 80lbs
lose 85lbs
lose 90lbs
lose 95lbs
lose 100lbs


GREEN GOALS - Lap Band Goals (18 stone (252lbs) when lap banded)


5lbs lost - ACHIEVED 8th June 2009
10lbs lost - ACHIEVED 22nd June 2009
15lbs lost - ACHIEVED 21st September 2009
20lbs lost - ACHIEVED 14th DECEMBER
25lbs lost - (5 lbs to go!)
30lbs lost -
35lbs lost -
40lbs lost -
45lbs lost -
50lbs lost -
55lbs lost -
60lbs lost -
65 lbs lost -
70 lbs lost -
75 lbs lost -
80lbs lost -
85lbs lost -
90lbs lost -

YELLOW GOALS - Lowering Body Weight (252lbs at outset)
Be under 250 - ACHIEVED 12th November 2007
Be under 245 - ACHIEVED 14th January 2008
Be under 240 - ACHIEVED 28th September 2009
Be under 235 - ACHIEVED 7th December 2009
Be under 230 - (2lbs to go)
Be under 225
Be under 220
Be under 215
Be under 210
Be under 205
Be under 200
Be under 195
Be under 190
Be under 185
Be under 180
Be under 175
Be under 170

BLUE GOALS - Distance from Goal Weight
be only 70lbs from goal weight (1lb to go!)
be only 65lbs from goal weight
be only 60lbs from goal weight
be only 55lbs from goal weight
be only 50lbs from goal weight
be only 45lbs from goal weight
be only 40lbs from goal weight
be only 35lbs from goal weight
be only 30lbs from goal weight
be only 25lbs from goal weight
be only 20lbs from goal weight
be only 15lbs from goal weight
be only 10lbs from goal weight
be only 5lbs from goal weight

So from the above I have only:
1 POUND to get another
BLUE Goal Weight Goal
2 POUNDS to get another
YELLOW Lowering Body Weight Goal
2 &1/2 POUNDS to get another
RED Weightloss Expedition Goal
5 POUNDS to get another
GREEN Lap Band Goal
7 POUNDS to get another
ORANGE Slimmingworld Goal


That's great! If I lose just 1 pound next week, I will have achieved one of my goals, and all the others will be closer too! I am going to label them with colours to give myself an even better idea. I will probably refer to them as

Friday, 11 December 2009

How I can can

I am trying to do low acid foods, so I can't just water bathe them, which is a bit of a pain.

I had to purchase a pressure canner. I bought a Presto one from eBay for £83 - an amazing BARGAIN as getting it from USA would be about £150 with postage and customs as you cannot buy them in the UK.

So here's how I do it:

1.) Make my tomato sauce
4 tins chopped tomato
5 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white pepper
1 pint of vegetable stock (from vegetable cooking water or similar)
(if not canning I use 10 tbsp olive oil - pressure canning CANNOT use oil in this recipe as seals cannot be made)
Blend when cooked

2.) cook 1kg cannellini beans (small white - half size of kidney beans) in pressure cooker for 10 mins
3.) combine above in huge Vat
4.) remove hot jars from dishwasher (after hot sterilize cycle)
5.) fill jars with hot beans
6.) centre flat lid on jar and screw down bands
7.) put 3 quarts (6 pints) boiling water in my canner & insert rack for first layer of jars
7.) place jars in pressure canner - (mine fits 20 pint mason jars on 2 layers)
9.) place lid on and ignite burner with weight OFF
10.) bring canner to boil until steam is exhausting from vent hole - Vent for 10 mins
11.) place weight onto vent and bring to pressure (beans - 11psi as I am at sea level here)
12.) when pressure reached, time 'Botulinum Cook' for 90 minutes (specifically for beans) - this is because the product is dense and a heat of 125 Degrees Celsius must be reached for 3 minutes throughout entire jarred product for security.
13.) let pressure subside and then remove jars with jar lifters and set aside to cool
14.) when cool, remove bands and check seals are popped concave and sealed tight.
15.) wash bands and store leaving all jars in dark pantry cupboard until use.
16.) important to store without bands so that if botulinum toxin does grow the seals will readily break letting you know (not necessary with high acid foods/fruits and toms)

The jars I bought today that you can see in the picture are 1 piece lids and jars. They screw down and stay intact, making a hermetic seal on cooling. The important thing with these types of jars is to check for the THUNK at opening. If there is no resistance, then the seal is not intact and could be potentially dangerous.

I think its basically the same, but its a HELL of a lot cheaper than mason jars. We import those, so its immediately more expensive. The replacement lids and bands for cinch seal jars are £6.99 for 12. I bought 40 lids for £3.50 this afternoon which is more my style! HA HA

I will save my mason jars for meats and things I know will be potentially hazardous as Mason jars are the industry standard for pressure canning (hee hee, what a swot I am!), but will use the others for pickles, jams, butters etc.

So, water bathe is practically the same, but its the heat needed. My cousin from California just spent a weekend canning tuna her husband caught. How cool is that. Practically free food!

Good Timez

Oh it was so cool today. Yesterday I ordered a new mobile phone. I had needed one for some time because it was just playing up all the time, and I had absolutely no signal whatsoever in the places I go, so I changed network and ordered my new phone. Well, surprise surprise... with my new mobile phone I got a free gift to choose from. I could NOT believe the choices...

£150 cash back, or a Nintendo Wii with Wii-fit plus, or a PS3, or an XBox 360 Elite or all kinds of other stuff (I am in the UK by the way, so anyone wanting to get the same deal as me will have to also be in the UK), and I was AMAZED. Well, first I thought it was a complete con or something, but it wasnt. The only relatively non 'problem' was that the contract is for 2 years. Well, thats not a big deal for me, I havent changed my phone for 2 years anyway and it was Shit! So I am getting a new phone with 400 mins, unlimited text messages for £25 a month with a FREE XBox 360 Elite Live with the game Forza 3 racing... i was already paying £30 a month for less minutes and 200 txts... so I canceled that swine and got this!

If you want to get a similar deal http://www.mobiles.co.uk/refer.aspx?refer=cust1045074

Well, lets just say that when the post came this morning after DS had been bursting his guts waiting for it he was over the moon excited and screaming:

There is something so awesome about getting something for nothing, but also it being exactly what your child has wanted for, like, ages!!! He was so excited yesterday. We were going to get him an Xbox in the January sales and he was practically faint with expectation for that, let alone getting it now! As another little treat, DH came home from work with a brand new flat screen TV for him and a Free View ariel so that he can watch Sky TV in his bedroom and play on his new Xbox. Up until now he has been using our old crappy TV from about 10 years ago which has definitely seen better days. So he is happier than a pig in muck right now!!

Its so cool giving really unexpected gifts and I get such enjoyment out of watching him being all happy and amazed and dazzled and over the moon. He is such a grateful little boy and so deserving. He really is the most humble and loving son a mother could hope to have.

Onto me... I was gutted today when I went to an old favorite shop of mine. I read your comment, Tina, about being harder for us here, and it certainly is. It got me thinking about a shop called The Daily Bread which does all kinds of Organic stuff and I had kind of forgotten about it. Its in Cambridge so its a bit of a trek, but I went this afternoon. Well I WISH I had gone before. I could have saved myself £50 on Mason jars!!! How gutted. I bought 20 1lb jars and 20 2lb jars for £15 and 40 replacement lids for £3.50. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!
So I guess I will only use my precious Mason Ball jars for very special foods. I can get these other ones any time, and they are cheap. The only problem is that they don't have a safety button on the cap, but I guess when you open them, if they don't make that nice THUNK sound, then its no go. I could not believe I could get them there, and I had searched everywhere on the net. *Blows lips out*


Ended up spending a small fortune in The Daily Bread too. I had run out of Granola, and I thought "make my own?" so bought all the ingredients for it:

and the result:

Mmmmm. Also found my favorite honey for £2.85 per lb as opposed to £4.25 a lb if you buy it by the 1lb jar. Bargain!

Got lots of herbs, and other bits including my favorite Canadian wholemeal flour and White Manitoba flour. They make my wonderful loaves.

So a good day today, I actually don't think i have eaten anything at all today - nope, I havent. How random, not been hungry! But I am about to have braised lamb and onions with roast tatties and sugar snap peas. YUM.

Housewifery extravaganza

I have thoroughly enjoyed today. Check out my days fruitage:

2 Loaves of Bread


1 Fabulous 23 litre Presto Pressure Canner (drooooooling) ready to go!
12 Jars of Baked beans in tomato sauce ready for blast off in the wonder canner

Whilst waiting for the canner to finish (90 mins at 15psi) a batch of shortbread

12 cans of Pasteurised baked beans ready to go in the cupboard

My MSG free pantry filled with baked beans and also a couple of jars of pasta sauce.


Was a really excellent day. I spent the majority cooking, but I was enjoying it. canning isn't something you need to do all the time. 12 cans of beans will last me a month and a half, so I will do it all again then. It was my canner's first run, and she held up really well. It was quite scary, but easy, and I only had 1 can that failed to seal, so I ate it! HA HA.

the shortbread is excellent. Its really not diet friendly, but soooooo easy and nice that it would be a shame not to mention it. 4oz butter, 2 oz icing sugar and 8 oz plain flour. Cream fat and sugar, then mix in the flour. squeeze and kneed it with your hands until it sticks together in a clump (at first you think that it will NEVER stick ever, but it does). Then roll out and cut with a shape and bake at 180 degrees C for 12 to 15 mins.

Today's food has been good. I had some baked bean sauce with a slice of fresh baked bread and butter (Mmmmmmmm) and then for dinner I had savory mince in gravy with peas, carrots and roast potato. I also had 1 can of my beans. Yum.

The mince I made was not particularly appetizing to look at because there was no OXO. I fried the mince, then drained off the fat, added an onion and 1/2pt of meat stock I had made a while ago and frozen. Then I cooked it for a while. I added salt, pepper, whole grain mustard and some peas and it tasted great. I added cornflour towards the end to thicken the sauce and it was scrumptious... it just looked a bit anemic. However, that was just what it looked like! It tasted delish! How very random. It was very filling too which was good. I dry roasted the potatoes (without fat) and they were crispy and nice too. Nothing like a bit of lard though is there!! Lard does potatoes like nothing else. I love 'em. I didn't have any lard today though and I hate potatoes roasted (or more boiled) in oil. Yuk. They are always greasy.

So off to bed now.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Busted!


Yes, that's right I got a goal this week! I crashed through the elusive 30lbs down barrier today and am now 30 something lost! How did I achieve this magical feat? By going back to basics!

I have decided that as a general rule of thumb for anything I buy in a shop is:

If I dont have this ingredient in my kitchen cupboards, then I best not eat it.

This basically means that I have cut all additives and preservatives from my diet and generally got back to food basics. I am now 2 weeks into my MSG free diet and 2 weeks without quick meals, pre-packed or tins of processed foods, sauces or condiments that have anything 'suspect' and not in my own cupboard. The only two things I have found and bought that I can have are a £2.50 mayonnaise (absolutely whole ingredients which I could have made it myself if I had a kenwood chef - but don't so didn't) and a jar of mustard (also pure) that I found in the local butchers. No muck.

To be honest, both of these I could make, but its easier not to. I don't want hard work, so if I can avoid it then great.

I am eating my own bread, my own marmalade, organic butter, cheese, milk and eggs from up the road. Organic meat and vegetables bought locally, and NO SAUCE!

wine, has been an interesting connundrum. It does contain preservatives and sometimes sulphites, so you have to buy specific bottles and my favorites dont have them. Last night I found a 250ml (1 large glass!) mini bottle of Chianti at the back of the cupboard, and to my delight it didnt have crap in, so I drank it. However, it was really strong. It went to my head and if it had been a whole 750ml bottle, I would not have had another glass. I find that interesting as I really loved full bodied oaky red wine which would dry your innards out at one gulp. Obviously there must be great variations in wine, but this is interesting.

Things are going the right way, and I haven't been this weight since this time last year in fact - great news!

The band is behaving and I haven't had any puking sessions, stopped when I felt that familiar swelling feeling in the chest and just not been pushing it. Being MSG free is kind of nice because it allows me and my mind to eat absolutely anything we want, but not with that in it. Which means we are then unconsciously choosing better and healthier options because all take-away, junk, crisps, sweets, burgers, packet grills, frozen meals etc are off limits.

My usual day now is:

Breakfast - nothing but coffee & whole milk
Lunch - sice toast and butter and marmalade
dinner - meat and 3 veg plus gravy made from vegetable cooking water/home made stock
snacks - home made hummus, olives, crackerbread, lentil dhal (home made and canned), banana, yoghurt and honey, fairy cake or flapjack.

cool.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ok , now ready to talk

Yeah, you know I was going through some stuff a few weeks back and just couldn't talk about it? It culminated in one or two of those binge out pictures remember? The last 2 weeks I have been back on track and all has been settled, and now I feel I can talk about it, and why it was so hard.

This is VERY long winded, but it will be cathartic. Don't read if you don't want to read drivel. I just couldnt bring myself to talk about it on here right then, which is weird because it always makes me feel so much better to get things off my chest. I guess I wasnt sure that I should write about it, just in case it turned out they read it or something, but dont think there is much hope of that.

To sum it up (and there was a LOT more so this is seriously edited) we found out that the neighbour we thought did the dirty on us regarding our previous garage conversion back in February, was not the culprit. It completely rocked my world when I found out who it actually was to be honest.

I found out by pure accident as their Singular Offspring was being a bit too nice - offering services free of charge and being really wheedling and it just smacked of guilt. Turns out it's because it's parent is a BEEYATCH

When we did the original conversion, which was back in February (all on the blog - pictures and all) we didn't really know that we needed certain regulations because we were already using the room as a room and not a garage. The doorway was there, and so we just made it better. We didn't give it much thought as we weren't changing the structure or anything and not being builders... how would we know. So when we received a letter from the council 6 months later asking "did we know we needed building regs" the answer was no.

To be honest, it was not too much of a problem really... after the flood in August we decided that we would get the thing done really well and nicely and get a nice window in there. What it meant was we needed to raise the cash a bit faster as obviously we now needed to get it done to building regs. What I did feel was a bit let down that someone was obviously poking their nose into our business and it had to be someone who knew about the room... and who knew about the room, and was that bothered about it, that they would actually bother to find the number and ring the council about it. I mean, for goodness sake. It wasn't hurting anyone was it. In fact the house looked exactly the same as it did before.

Anyway, once we knew we had to 'comply' to certain issues, we employed a builder and did it. We are law abiding citizens and I hated the fact that someone thought I was flouting the rules, when I was simply ignorant.

We just didnt know it was this particular neighbour. We had our suspicions, but they were NOT this one. This neighbour was very seriously ill about 3 years ago and since the incident we have literally bent over BACKWARDS to help them and their singular adult offspring. Its just them two living alone. I will refer to the informer as IT. IT is completely disabled down one side. I don't do things for people because I am going to get anything back - EVER - but I just want give you some idea of the FEW things that we have done over the years:
*Taken the Offspring to see It every other day in hospital for about 6 weeks until they passed their driving test.
*Cooked the Offspring many meals as they were working all the hours and also visiting hospitals etc.
*Helped the Offspring when the parent came home with washing, cleaning and sorting the house out before they arrived back to bedlam after being hospitalised for 6 months
*Done umpteen tesco orders for It with MY card, on MY computer, getting it delivered - and orchestrating that, as well as my own shopping, and then letting It pay me back for the shopping at their convenience "whenever you like is fine, don't stress" - so it usually got paid back a week later after the money had come out of my bank for it already.
*Applied 3 summers worth of sun screen to It's 'live' arm because their dead arm cannot reach obviously.
* SHAVED It's armpit because obviously you cant shave both armpits with one working arm.
*Sorted out It's electric stair lift whenever the power goes off
*Taken It's shower curtain down, washed it and put it back up when they thought it was dirty
*Got into It's house numerous times when they locked themselves out by accident
*Helped It with their arm braces, fixing small parts that have fallen off etc
*Done millions of things - DAILY
*Helped It pay for THEIR boundary fence because it was broken and I felt sorry for It being single and ill and alone and stuff.
*Helped It write cheques, do banking, run errands, take to Physio when Offspring was on a 4 month holiday (!) etc

When work started on the conversion proper, I hear from my lovely builders that she keeps complainign to them about - the noise, the fact there are vans on OUR drive, a Skip on OUR drive and making all kinds of nuisance.

For goodness sake, its not like she lives in a preservation area or a country park! Its my bloody drive and I am having work done. Of course there are going to be vans there, and a skip. It was only for 2 weeks! It has vans and ambulances there all the time - sometimes I have been late for work because I cant get out of my drive because of an Ambulance on IT's drive taking her out.

I try and placate the builders with coffee and tea and explain to them that IT has been very disabled and is not completely all there now and has nothing else to worry about in IT's life any more other than little insignificant things. Bless it. Should feel sorry for It (obviously am blissfully unaware its a complete bastard at the moment!).

So, my builders are tearing their hair out as the Building people are also, inexplicably, really coming down on them with all kinds of stuff that's completely unnecessary. I have a friend in the inspection trade for another country and he TOLD us we didn't need these things, and that someone was obviously making complaints and they were getting jiggly and officious. He said it would all sort itself out, and it did, but I never thought it would.

The crunch came when we were told that we needed to have a sound test on our new room. Neither our builders or a couple of builders we know, knew what the building guy was on about. Our garage is next to another.... garage. Both were uninhabitable rooms. We obviously were changing ours into a habitable room. If the party wall had been next to another habitable room, then we would need to make sure they didn't hear us singing at 2am and chatting and turning lights off etc. However, the room next door was a garage. This is not a habitable space. Its empty. We were dumbstruck.

My builder put up exactly the right stuff to drown out noise, infact Over and above the regs. He ever bought a decibel reader to check it. We did various tests with a radio on white noise and a drill going and made sure that it was reading 45 Db difference. However, it was looking more and more like we were going to have to get a professional company in to do the readings because the council were going off.

So I rang several of these sound places. They all said they would not want to do the job because it would fail. The flat roof, the fact that IT's garage door was 1 foot from the new window, the joint shared concrete floor etc. It would all have too much sound leakage for an accurate reading. So we were in a catch 22. They didn't want to do it, council said we must, regs said we didn't need to. Who the fuck was right. Face off. But WHY??????

Whatever happened, I certainly didn't want to throw £1000 away for nothing!

There was 2 ways around the situation. 1.) Get the test done, have it fail and tell them why and then hope they are satisfied and or give a solution for compromise (especially seeing as the regs don't need it anyway!!!!) 2.) As a reasonable person, and in good standing with neighbours, Ask IT if IT will refuse a sound test. Then the whole thing will be assessed on materials and (seeing as we dont need it) cleared up. It would also be better for IT to refuse a sound test... why? Because the sound technician must come into and out of IT's property many, many times, set up 100Db bass noise, block up their garage door, and test over several hours with the sound in it's garage VERY LOUD. It would have caused terrible disruption to IT, and IT is very sensitive to noise and has just had new carpets, is already finicky about stuff and precious since the disability and you cant explain stuff to IT well and IT's just a royal pain in the arse, although we try our best to be nice. Try to having a cup of tea takes IT 10 minutes to talk itself around to it.

But feeling like we should give IT the option to not have all that disruption, and maybe give us a hand so we didn't have to fork out £1000 for something that was not necessary anyway, and us knowing each other well after all - or so I thought, and still not knowing It was the protagonist in all of this, we went around there to speak to them.

The Offspring is sitting there hanging their head in shame (so that's why offspring was offering their help so much. GUILT!) as they know exactly what the parent is like and the Offspring is actually a thoroughly good sort and we get on with them well, but its the parent who has lost their mind. IT was honestly a little bit of an arsehole before, but now worse if you know what I mean.

So we sat around there and I am in tears from the stress of everything, coupled with the tests I have to go through for my kidneys and bladder and my Dad in hospital again (long story) everything like that, I just cant cope with anything else and I couldn't have stopped crying whilst sitting there - even if we had been best of mates and were just having chin wag. Telling it all again to them was too much for me, and I thought it would be easily sorted out. We have lived next to them for years and years and thought we knew them well.

I thought it would just be elimentary.

Well, IT is a complete FUCKER. Absolutely not prepared to give an inch. It complained when we said we need a sound test because we need to get into their property and put a 100Db noise in their house and test in our house for sound. They don't like that idea. The only reason we need to do this is because they complained in the first place (It told us it did!) so, shocked by this, we say then - still reeling - all they have to do is withdraw the complaint or refuse access to their house and all is fine again, but NO NO NO. Their mind is too fucked up to reason with itself. It would rather go through all that hassle for some reason.

THEN, we find out the real reason. Insane jealousy. Offspring sits with head in hands excruciatingly annoyed with the parent, and I am in tears, DH is fit to blow a blood vessel, and we could see this was a pointless waste of time and get up to leave, keeping amazingly calm - so the sound test, costing £1000 which WILL fail because of the logistics, will have to be paid. We just start to settle that fact in our hearts and also the one where, although we have helped IT so much, the one time we need IT's help, it is simply not prepared to. EVEN THOUGH this has absolutely no impact on them.

*I must stress this as otherwise it might seem unfair - The party wall is a garage wall and there is NO SOUND able to permeate into it, let alone from there into their garage. This is such a NON story that we are stunned by Its sheer viciousness and venom that it attacked with. It was honestly at war with us as we walked through IT's door. *

Then, as we decide to leave, losing £1000, but whatever... IT says "Why don't you just forget it? I mean, how are you going to pay for that test?"... I am annoyed right, and I reply "Not that it's any of your business, but my parents are helping us" and IT says "Oh! well that's nice! Lucky you having family to bail you out! We don't have any help like that! No one comes and see I am alright" And the Offspring says "Oh lets not get into that, that hasn't anything to do with anything" and IT SCREAMS at the offspring to "Shut UP!" and turns on us and says "I just want it to go back to being a garage like it used to be".

I cannot believe my ears. My tears have stopped and I reply "Well, sorry X, that ain't ever going to happen! If you think i am going to pay £6K for a conversion and then wipe my hands of it you have to be crazy!" at which point we left.

Now remember that this was not all that was said. IT was really really hideous and nasty and was totally unbending. IT didn't want us to do the sound test because it meant us coming into their home, setting up loads of equipment and making awful noise for a day, but IT didn't want us to not have the sound test either as IT apparently wanted to "make sure it was all above board"! Stupid fucker. You can't have it both ways love. Above board is already done. This is going beyond the beyond. The fact that we didn't have to have this done in the first place is just compounding the lunacy. I am not sure if you are getting this but it was honestly like the proverbial chicken and egg conundrum but with 5 parts!

1.) Don't need it done
2.) Idiot#1 from council says we do
3.) She wants it above board
4.) she doesn't want noise
5.)has to be noise if done
6.) don't need it done
7.) Idiot 1 from council says we do

and on.... and on....and on..... and... on......

The best bit - it REALLY didn't need any of it. We didn't need planning anyway, they had no hold over what we turned the garage into and it didn't need a sound test costing £1000 as it was next to an UNINHABITABLE SPACE. It's been passed and we just haven't bothered IT with that news, so IT can sit there and stew thinking that they have the upper hand until the cows come home but I have my certificate and that's all that matters. If IT ever asks about it, then I might tell IT... or I might not.

Can you imagine an armpit that can never be washed. GRIM. Well, I certainly ain't going to shave any fucking stinky armpits again!

The pure jealousy of it was so abundant, and I am left with a knowledge that IT is a deeply nasty person, even though damaged. To be outright vindictive to people who have honestly bent over backwards for you, for no good reason is totally unbelievable. When we told people they couldn't believe it.

Here is a picture of the finished article. As you can see the conversion is next to IT's garage. Why it was so annoyed or upset I cannot imagine. It neither sits in It's garage or uses it for anything at all, with 20cms of insulation It also ain't gonna hear a bomb going off in there, and thankfully we wont hear It complaining through it either!

Wonder if IT will ask for help ever again. Hope so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Another day in Bunny's warren

Been to work *bleugh*

Not been able to eat today for some unknown reason that is just totally random. I have no idea why this happens to me once a week or so. Its so odd. does anyone else seem to just not be able to pouch foods for a day with absolutely nothing changing in their routine?

Whatever, Albert (my band)is just being a bitch today obviously.

Last night I had some wine. The first for ages and this morning I felt S H 1 T. Really horrendous headache and honestly, dog rough. weirdly enough in just 2 weeks off MSG it also tasted really really awful. It was my usual tipple... Jacob's Creek Shiraz (obviously would love the budget to drink St. emillion Grand Cru daily, but havent), so have no idea why it tasted like salt and gave me the tongue tingles so massive. Maybe its the tannins... dunno. After the headache I am not going to repeat the experience, so wont find out if its a taste bud change or not for a while!

Have been a paragon of virtue, and being MSG free is now kind of ok. I really hope that I get my canner soon and my jars too so that i can start canning/bottling. I am really eager as I miss my baked beans and my canned foods for their convenience.

I am struggling to work out if I really want the canner, or if I really need it... Want and need are two very similar things, but I kind of jump into things and I am not sure whether it will be another purchase that I will use once and then never use again. I don't think it will, because this lifestyle has been really positive on the whole family.

What I think is really unusal is that Sue (who was being all officious and agreeing (!) with me about the msg and saying she was doing it too - which for her main meal she is, because I cook it) has started buying puddings. Its really odd. This week she has bought about 3 puddings... ready made custard in a tub, syrup sponge and other things.

Now, does she just fancy a bit of food with additives in, or is she trying to tempt me or what? I am not eating this stuff, but DH and DS are and I don't think that's very good. Maybe she will stop but I just think its really odd that since we went MSG free she has suddenly needed to supplement ours & her dinner. She buys enough for everyone, so its not a case of just getting a little something for her. She is a skinny mini anyway, so she doesn't need to lose weight.

Who knows. Charlotte is loving MSG free living and has said that the dinners are especially yummy. The gravies all look a bit weird - light brown or beige/see through but the taste is wonderful. I would say its even better than with OXO. We certainly eat with our eyes.

I am seriously enjoying all the cooking too. I am deriving exceeding pleasure from baking and cooking lots of delicious things for my family and having them "mmmm" and "ahhhhmmm" whilst eating it. Its very gratifying.

Put it this way, I made 18 fairy cakes, a tray of flapjack, 2 ginger cakes & a loaf on Wednesday. they were all gone by Thursday night. I am not being funny but shop bought cakes and biscuits last longer than that. I know its also not good for us to give up one form of crap for another, but these don't seem to be doing much damage to our waist lines. DH has lost 3 pounds this week and DS lost a pound which he doesn't need to. Charlie and Sue are both scrawny anyway, so they don't count - they don't eat my cakes either because they are not included in the rent HEE HEE HEE.

I am enjoying things right now, so even though I couldn't eat tonight's sausage, mash, peas and onion gravy, its all good in the hutch.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Things I notice

Some possibly interesting stuff... not really about weightloss or bands, but about food. Bit eco-food warrior!! Kind of a rant at commercialism.

Before we start, you know I am cutting MSG from my food, but I, as an MSG-sensitive individual, I consider the term "MSG" to include any and all glutamic acid that has been freed from protein through a manufacturing process. Thought I had better make that clear so that where you read MSG read 'glutamic acid freed from protein in any form'

Milk
Whole full fat milk has 64cals 100g (natural occurring MSG)
Semi skimmed milk 50cals 100g (MSG+)
skimmed milk has 37 cals 100g. (MSG++)

And for general information:
UHT Whole milk (MSG +++)
UHT Semi Skimmed (MSG++++)
UHT skimmed (MSG+++++) - what I was drinking!

When I have a coffee, I used to use skimmed UHT milk. I used to buy 40 x 1 litre cartons at a time so that I would have enough milk for the month. We used 1.5 litres of milk every day as a family (which is about 3 pints)

We now drink Full Fat Whole Organic milk so as to minimize MSG and we find we are using 1 and a half pints per day. This is HALF the milk EVERY DAY and it tastes better, is the most natural form of milk out of all of them, as opposed to the most processed which we used to drink. I thought we would use more milk if anything, so this is interesting to me.

When I have a coffee, it no longer has to be half a pint of milk in the cup to make it milky the way I like it. I now have a literal 'dash' of milk and let it cool down. When I first started using it I was putting in the same amount of milk and it was disgustingly creamy and horrible. I quickly adapted, and to get the same colour and taste I have to use exactly 1/4 the amount of milk that I used to use.

So what does that mean in general?

Well we are taught "drink skimmed milk, its less calories and you will lose weight"...

That's utter crap. I have just done an experiment - you know I am an anal retentive already right? I used to use 100mls of Skimmed milk in my coffee. It filled 1/4 of the cup with milk every cup I had. This meant I would use 37 calories a cup. I know this because I am anal.

Now, however, I use 25 mls of Whole Milk in each and every cup. 25mls of Whole milk is ONLY 16 CALORIES A CUP! I am actually CUTTING my calories by more than half by having whole milk!! Now who would have thought that?

I have always thought that skimmed milk was a great way to sell water, but this just makes me really angry. I am so fucked off with the MAN right now its unreal. It was the same when I was looking into the shit labeling of Muller lights. You have to have a frigging maths degree to work this bollocks out.

What has less calories - 200ml serving of Whole Milk or 200ml serving Orange Juice?

Well yes you are right, Orange juice has less. There are 86 calories in a 200ml glass or orange juice. There would be 134 on the same glass of whole milk.

But think about that a little more. How many people go and have a glass of milk as a supplimentary healthy drink? No one but kids. How many people think that having a glass or 3 of orange juice a day - in excess of their usual diet -is good for them? I know several people who drink skimmed milk in their coffee and tea because its good for them, but get through a 1/2 litre of orange juice a day. Its marketed as being good for you, which I am sure it is in moderation, but its not the health drink its purported to be. I am not saying that milk is either, but I just think its interesting that there are serious flaws in the marketting of products we eat regularly. There is money to be made, and that makes people very strange.

I have been completely satisfied these last 2 weeks. Everything I eat has really satisfied me. I have even cut down on my coffee intake as it now tastes like it comes from Starbucks and seems to be more satisfying in a way.

I had yoghurt with honey for breakfast - full fat organic stuff - and I was not hungry all the way to lunch. If people are full and content they are not going to buy products and make the companies money.

All this low fat stuff is crammed full of shit in one form or another, and the satisfaction doesn't last. to me that's a bit odd. I am really glad I cut out MSG because its kind of made me realise a lot of things and they have really pissed me off.

Here's another horror. I have cleared my pantry out of all MSG containing products and, although it looks bare now I know there is nothing in there that will tempt me. I gave all my stuff to a friend who was quite willing to relief me of it. My freezer however, has home made things that do contain OXO or a few frozen meals etc which I just cannot bring to throw away. they are not readily in my face, so its not a worry. I have lots of meat in there and other things, and once its gone its gone. It will gradually be replaced with stuff from the organic butchers Johnson's of Oldhurst.

The other night I cooked a bit of a roast. I had 4 chicken breasts from Johnson's and 1 left over from Tesco. There are 5 of us, so I shoved them all on a baking tray and put them in the oven as usual. they were all the same size give or take for general variation in chicken boobs.

35 minutes later I go to get them out of the oven as I usually do, and The Tesco one was cooked and, as happens to meat, it was about 1/4 smaller from shrinkage. the other breasts were not cooked. they were all the same size and I had to give them an extra 20 mins until the juices ran clear! The Johnson's breasts were more than double the size of the Tesco one.

This was a real annoyance. The small wizened and hard chicken breast from Tesco and 4 plump juicy breasts from Johnson's sat on my chopping board. I served it up and actually gave myself the wizened one, although I now knew it must have been chock full of water and fillers and god knows what else, but simply because there was no way I could have eat a whole Johnson's breast.

Well funnily enough no one else could either! Even DH left some chicken. He said it was SO dense and filling. He could have gone halves. Charlotte left most of hers and Sue left half of hers. DS gave the rest of his to the dog.

So the meat from tesco (Lakeland Frozen chicken fillets) cost £9.22kg. The Johnsons ones were - wait for it - £7.94kg!!!!! Frigging Cheaper!!!!! I just rang them, so I know its correct (did I say I was anal).
Now the sad thing about this is that I bought frozen ready bagged chicken. If I had bought fresh organic breasts from Tesco today they were a staggering £17.49kg. the ones I think everyone would normally buy - Tesco healthy living ones - are £10.99kg .

They are ALL dearer than Johnsons and they all taste like shit, and shrink to half the size. We have a case of selling water again. I honestly couldn't remember what the chicken breasts were at the butcher shop, so I called them and found out. But had he said £15kg I would still have thought that was a bargain because there was double the meat there at the end of cooking. I was even flabbergasted at the price.

To be honest I am finding stuff like this across the board. It has been so hard to go additive free and even get normal healthy meat and vegetables at a reasonable cost. Doing this needent cost the earth, and nor should it. Its a hell of a lot more work though. But thats just it, its easier to go with the Man.

Today I hopped on the scales and saw the 16 stone 8 again. The curse is all finished and water levels are returning to normal again thank heavens and everything seems to be still on a downward trend.

Couple this with every day having some kind of home made cake, real butter, whole milk, home made bread and then a selection of fruit and vegetables and cereals that are additive free... I am more satisfied, and the band also has to cope with less food as a result and there are no calorie rich sauces helping it all slide down there. I had very mild cravings for chocolate during this months curse, and it was satisfied by a square ( a SINGLE square) or Peruvian 70 which has absolutely nothing in it but cocoa mass and cocoa solid. Unreal.

I would urge anyone struggling with the band as I have, to look at your diet again. Obviously different countries have different laws and guidelines and names for stuff, and I am in the UK. It might be easier to avoid stuff like this in other countries where there is more of a home grown mentality... like Canning or Bottling for example. You cannot buy a pressure canner in the UK. full stop. This means that you MUST buy or cook often all your jarred foods. Most people nowadays don't even know how to cook these things so buying them is as fundamentally basic as buying bread or eggs. Bought jarred foods are now a basic shopping need as opposed to a convenience or luxury.

The book I hired at the library actually said "Do not can your own vegetables as fatal results could occur as the high temperature required for canning these items cannot be reached". Well, sorry that's just wrong. It CAN be reached, by a pressure canner which you cant buy in the UK. Going to the Czech republic taught me the lesson of what wanton wasters of food we are. Everything was canned, dried or pickled there. Everything that ever had a biological life. Why isn't this way of preserving made public knowledge? The book on canning I bought is an American one! Yes the Brits make chutney, or pickle or jams, but not canned ratatouille or mustard greens and bacon, or baked beans etc. We have to buy them. Maybe they are worried that people wont do it correctly and the health risk of Botulism etc... But I think its more risky to eat all this canned shit with god knows what in.

Yes its hard work baking bread each day, cooking from scratch, remembering to drain your veg water into a bowl rather than down the sink, making cakes daily, shopping in 15 different locations for ingredients, but out great grandmothers weren't fat. And they didn't go to work either!

Buy eating processed foods, we have to join slimming clubs, look for different foods that are low fat and taste good and buy umpteen different things and then feel bad because its not satisfying and go out and have a chinese takeaway and then feel guilty and still hungry and eat junk food and then go back and spend more money on the gym and slimming clubs.... ad infintum.

Our great grandmothers were not fat, cooked from scratch did not go to the gym, and as is commonly suggested they didn't do manual labour either... that was the men. Granny was at home with the kids and the kids were looked after ok and the community as a whole was better.

I am not suggesting that the worlds problems are created from MSG, its just funny how my thoughts run in logical low to weird knock on effects.

I know that they died of heart attacks and high cholesterol etc life in general was harder with lack of vaccum cleaners and washing machines, but then they didn't have the amount of furniture to polish or the amount of carpets to clean . But then even 50 years ago - with these mod cons - obesity wasn't the crisis it is now so I well know its a balancing act - But a very interesting one at any rate.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The right stuff!

Well, its official... my body does just love to get the bloody great size 11 hob nails in there!

I got the dreaded curse of all women again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHH

That happens every darn time I want to have a good weigh in. Rubbish... But, STILL GREAT RESULTS so YAH BOO SHUCKS to my body smiting machine!

2.5lbs was removed from this fat ass this week! Yeah baby!

Who would have thought that drinking every coffee with full fat milk, eating butter and home made cakes and biscuits and even chocolate (admittedly 70% muck) could shift weight off ya?

Its all down to the right stuff.

I feel FULL and satiated all day long. I think a combination of good wholesome grub and the band is liking it very much. Who knows... all I know is I am allowing myself to eat any thing I please but it CANNOT have any kind of MSG in it, in any kind of version that might come in at all.

I have even got into bottling. Now this might come as a huge surprise to some of you people from overseas, but in the UK we CANNOT purchase a pressure canner. Its NOT physically possible. You can purchase a pressure cooker, but the biggest you can get is 11litres - pointless when you want to do quite a few of these cans and also doesn't have a pressure gauge so you don't know when they get to temperature. Guesswork is not good when you don't fancy a dose of botulism for pudding.

Also, there are no books of canning/bottling other than for doing it with fruits and chutneys and jams. If you want to bottle veg, there are NO BOOKS on this subject and in the ones it tentatively says you can bottle in (which most don't) it says you cant do it because "lethal results may occur as the bottles must be heated above 100 degrees C."

Yeah, that's right they do... but HOW? The British don't seem to know. Well thanks heavens for the internet. I have managed to purchase the complete guide to canning from the USA food place thingy and also get some Ball Jar equivalents called Home Discovery Deluxe jars... same lid and band jar style which is great.

I have my eye on a 23 litre canner though, don't you worry... wink wink. all is not lost. Meanwhile I have my pressure cooker.

This means I can now process my baked beans in tomato sauce and have them ready in the cupboard along with curry sauces, pasta sauces, meats and greens and all kind of lovely stuff. I can make all the jam and preserves I need in a tub of water, but this is a real boon to be able to actually can (bottle) my own cooking and have it ready when its needed rather than having to dive into the freezer and not know what the hell is in the bag as the label long fell off (and also stuff lasts for up to a year which is even better than freezing!)

I am a right devil of a housewife right now.

So the organic additive free diet is a real goer at the moment. I had the most almighty horrors for a couple of days though. I was a complete bitch ogre from the swamp jungle and it was scary even from my own eyes. I can only put the terribleness down to the 'cold turkey' process of non processed things. Obviously cutting MSG and MSG containing ingredients has meant I must have also cut a lot of other shit out too, and our processed foods are really very very limited. It was all I could do to not tear the hand of a kid walkign by with a bag of crisps!! Thats so bad. I was craving big style and it was horrible. I was seeing salad creme in my sleep and dreaming about curry and it was so bad. I even had a dream about egg mayonaise sandwiches!!! So perculiar.

Anyway, seem to be over that lark now, and have not had any particular cravings for a few days and have been very happily content to even stop when my band doesn't want to eat. That normally frustrates me no end and I end up eating massive portions.

For example today I have had several coffees with full cream milk, a bowl of yogurt and a teaspoon of wild forest honey. I have a portion of my baked beans for lunch and then this evening I got a can of my home made (and home canned) dhal. I ate about 1/3 jar and that has been it. I am satisfied.

When people go for a Chinese (which is loaded in that shite) and then an hour later are starving, this must be what its down to for me. Cutting out all that stuff has made a huge difference on my food intake, so I am not going to knock it.