Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Feeling much more chirpy

Cheep cheep. Yes, the undercarriage is certainly on the mend, albeit taking a while. My consultant said it would possibly get worse (GULP!) before it got better, but so far it hasnt got too horrendous. All those times I thought I had cystitis, or a urine infection. Pffft! All I can say is that I think we should ALL have a copy of our medical records that we have to carry around with us because the doctors I have dealt with in my time don't seem to read them. If they had they would have recognized that every time I came in for a urine infection or dose of cystitis medicine and did one of those pee tests that I had in fact NOT GOT ONE!!!! For goodness sake. I am sure that I would be a much better doctor. I am sure in this day and age someone could bung "Urine infection results" in a search facility on our medical notes and see some kind of throw up of results. Its not rocket science is it.

So, apart from knowing categorically that I have to take control and have a thorough working quizzical knowledge of medicine for my own sanity, I am getting better DESPITE the doctor.

Thankfully the consultants in hospitals get the job done, but its getting there in the first place isn't it. I hate going to the doctor and saying "I have such and such" and then as they are getting ready to launch a few antibiotics at you, you say "I have been looking into it on the internet and I think it could be X" and they kind of sneer at you like they are god. How could you possibly know what you have as a mere mortal? What I LOVE is that I usually turn out to be right. I would take great delight in rubbing their face in it the next time I go to see them and say "Yeah, so I was right about that thing YOU SAID IT WASN'T you dumb ass". Oh how I wish I could, but obviously that's just a big fat dream. HA!

So yes, I am getting better, and hopefully it will all be sorted out once the burnt bits have healed up. And yes, I was as scared as crap about it!! I think the word cauterize and bladder in the same sentence are a tad distressing, especially when you consider where they attack it all from. *whimper* It's probably even a form of torture in some places.

Eating. Well, I have been doing a lot of that, and all nice and home cooked. I made a yummy chicken stew last night. It was a bit of a 'throw it all together' meal, but turned out absolutely yummy. I am using the pressure cooker so much as it makes the meat so tender. I had some fruity vegetable stock in the freezer - I had a load of peelings and skins from onions, carrots and cabbage etc and a few plums that were going over ripe and no one was going to eat, so I boiled them all up to make this fruity stock about a month ago.

I am amazed that I never did this before to be honest. Its so easy. Instead of throwing all your vegetable peelings out, wash them, put them all in a pan and boil them (possibly with a bit of extra veg too if you want) and then strain them to get a really nice gravy or stew stock. Its so much better than boiling up vegetables just to throw them away. A neat trick is definitely to use onion skins in the stock as that is what gives it that browny colour.

I used to just peel and throw into the garden recycling. Its actually such a waste when you think about it. It kind of sounds a bit grim - boiled peelings - but it really does make a good stock and does the job well.

So I used that fruity frozen stock, shoved in an onion, a couple of sticks of celery, 4 chopped organic chicken breasts, 1 big Bramley cooking apple and a bunch of tarragon that I found frozen in the freezer (another fave tip of mine - buy herbs when they are 10p going out of date in the supermarket and freezer them and they are absolutely as fine as fresh but about 1/8th the price!) and cooked it all in the pressure cooker. I added a bit of cornflour at the end to thicken the juice/gravy and served it with boiled potatoes, and it was scrumptious and very band friendly.

I am really enjoying eating lovely tasty food that is home cooked and even Charlotte, our 20 year old lodger, says her skin has changed and cleared up completely (I agree) and she says she feel's much more alert as she is sleeping better and happy in her soul. When we were away in France she said she really missed us and it was really noticeable about the change in the food. She said that after the 4th day she found that she got a whole heap of spots come back on her face and back. She had reverted to type and went back to eating pot noodles and processed ready meals or frozen curries and convenience foods - albeit weight watchers and supposedly healthy living varieties. Its when you do things like that that you start to notice that going MSG/additive free is actually making a big change in your life.

I talked about Sue, our other lodger, being a bit of a saboteur to all this last time. Well, I think it is a case that its showing up her cravings. She hadn't thought about it apparently, but when I mentioned it she said it was true that she was seeming to have a 'fancying' for something but she didn't know what. So she said she was going to watch it a bit more. Whether she does or not is another matter, but the evening meals are staying MSG FREE!! I told her she could take a slice of my cake (Date and ginger today) with her to work if she would rather, as suddenly she has been buying Swiss roll and brownies etc...

Its obviously making changes to people just by one meal! That is staggering. DH, DS and I are obviously just eating additive free foods now, but Sue has her own breakfast and lunch, so to have one meal making such a difference is amazing. Charlotte skips breakfast, and has soup for lunch, so her intake of MSG/additives daily is less than Sue ordinarily anyway. Sue always has a big bowl of cereal and toast with jam and then for lunch she has sandwiches, cake, crisps, yoghurt and biscuits as snacks throughout the day and also takes a gazillion medicines and vitamin supplements which are FULL of this stuff.

I would also like to point out that Sue and Charlotte are both waifs. A wisp of wind and they would both fly off over the hills. How?????

Anyway, band wise - I am conscious that I am coming up to my original 3 year band-iversary. That is truly unbelievable. I cannot believe that it was 3 years ago I did that. Last year I was around the same weight I am now, so I hope to shift a bit more each week until then and hopefully that little record of shame will be over with.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Hellooooooo

I is back!

Sorry it was a bit long... I forgot to tell you all I had to have a little operation. It was just going to be some tests under general, but ended up being a cauterizing of my bladder and other such delights which has left me with some considerable pain in my undercarriage and a nice infection too. YUM!

So, new years eve saw me at the mercy of my Urologist and his lovely Cystoscope. Can you believe that i walked into theatre and went "Oh, I forgot to take off my pants!" Now HOW did I forget that? What a moron I am. Maybe it was a little mind battle "NO DON'T DO IT TO ME" or something.

I was so freaking out about it. Talk about stressful. We got back from France the day before and so I didn't leave myself much time to prepare, which I think was a good thing, but I was dreading it all through my trip away.

Anyway, France was excellent. Considering that we couldn't be completely additive free whilst away, and I the fact that I didn't hold back on my eating at all, I was amazed today at Slimmingworld that I had actually lost half a pound!! YAY!

Thats the first time EVER that I have lost weight over any holiday. Awesome! So have been continuing immediately with no MSG/additives on my return and things are going pretty ok. The wine is also all used up now (well we had to bring SOME back didn't we!!), and so we are back to the status quo.

I must admit Sue is putting the odd spanner in the works. She bought a chicken with stuffing, sausages and bacon and syrup puddings for dinner the other day. I always cook for the family and the 2 lodgers, but being of tender loins over the weekend, DH was on duty. Taking pity on the poor bloke (or fed up with sausage(albeit organic no additive ones!!!) and mash or jacket potato and beans!) she cooked this lovely roast. However, the stuffing was full of crud, as were the sausages and bacon wraps and the puddings. She also bought tins of ambrosia rice pudding and put it in my cupboard, and some custard and biscuits. Nice thought, but MSG MSG MSG and all kinds of stuff we DON'T WANT thanks very much!!!

Its like she has suddenly developed a craving for them. She used to buy the odd thing for us all to eat, but not like this and its not like she is flush or anything. Me thinks its a bit unusual that she is suddenly buying these things now she doesn't get the MSG enriched ones on a daily basis from me! Maybe that shows up her craving/need. Interesting.

DH is now Tea Total apparently. He decided after France that after drinking he feels really lousy in the mornings and doesn't want to any more. Thats kind of interesting too. After not drinking for some weeks (ok... not many, but at least 4) I noticed a marked difference in the morning after too, and that was only after a few glasses. After drinking practically daily over the last week with our booze buys from Francais, its noticeable less... like I got used to it again!! Nightmare. So will be good to get that back out of our systems again. DH also stopped the plonk when I did, so its interesting he noticed a 'roughness' after it was reinstated. Maybe this just means we drank far too much in the first place... I don't know.

So, cooking this year started yesterday evening with a GORGEOUS dinner. I haven't dreamed up a name for it, but it was delish. I soooo wish I had taken a photo, but I didn't. These flavours might sound a bit odd, but trust me it really worked.

get a curly kale or hard greens and shred. Fry with a little oil, 1 finely chopped onion and some salt and pepper, dill and parsley and 3 cloves of grated garlic. add a few spoons of water and cover to simmer and wilt. Make sure all water is gone and set aside.

Make pastry with a lot of butter and flour and some sage. roll out into an oblong shape and spread the kale/greens mixture down the centre in a long pile. Cut up and blob blue cheese all along the cabbage mixture then over the roll with rashers of bacon. Then cut the pastry into little feathers along the edge and fold over the mixture to make it look like a strudel or en-croute. bake for 20-25 minutes and serve with roast potatoes and roasted vine ripened cheery tomatoes.

Mmmm. It was so rich and lush and delisious. The tomatoes just cut through that richness and it was gorgeous. I will make it again and photo it as it was awesome.

Bacon, Kale and Blue cheese strudel. that sounds good.

So, here we go again, another week, another load of eating, another load of msg/additive avoidance and hopefully another week of a happy fresh mind, better skin and hopefully no bladder pain!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Send your own ElfYourself eCards