July 2007

Its been a long time since i blogged. again. Mom hit the nail on the head last night: when i’m not blogging is usually an indication that i’m struggling. I have been, but not quite as badly as i have in the past. Most of the struggles have been down to not feeling quite 100% physically – a sore back – and struggling with sleep. Or to be more accurate: Michiel has been struggling with sleep and of course, that’s had a knock on effect on me and the quality of the sleep i’m getting – mostly because the bedroom door has a small glass panel window above it, which shows light through, and of course if Michiel is up late, i get to see all the light through that panel and it keeps me awake. After running up a small black double thickness curtain to cover it, its been much better, and i at least can get some better sleep. That was last week and i’ve spent much of the intervening period getting extra sleep – 12 hours, in some cases – and although it was not nice at the time (anyone who’s slept too long will know what i mean), i do feel better for it now.

The weather really hasn’t helped either. While i’m very aware that we have it much better than many people do (we haven’t been flooded out for starters) the fact that pretty much every day is overcast/dull/raining doesn’t help with my spirits either. Its hard to believe its july – it feels more like may – and my hopes of getting out into the garden most days and just pottering around… well. just haven’t materialised. Its been a truly miserable summer, thus far, i’m just hoping August perks up some.

However, yesterday *was* nice in the garden – sunny and no wind – so i took the opportunity and got out there, did lots of work (and overdid it) and i have to say, the garden does look much much better now. I half wish i’d taken a before photograph so i could demonstrate how much better it looks.



something by way of a note for myself, really… after a day of eating real junk (i.e. those fake crisps, the salt and vinegar sticks, cheesy puffs, custard cremes, etc.) and dosing myself to hell and back with chemicals.. Michiel popped a cherry tomato into my mouth and i swear to god.. the flavour as it burst inside my mouth.. was absolutely amazing. My body cried out for the nutrients. Even now, i feel sick from too much sugar, from the chemicals, and there’s this nasty aftertaste that i just can’t get rid of (don’t ask why i bought the chemicals in the first place, i will just say PMT). I am swigging bottle after bottle of diluted squash… I will *not* be doing this again. (at least till next month.)

Man, Michiel just came out with a chunk of cucumber and i could *smell* the cucumbery juices, i mean, I’ve not been a huge fan of cucumber in the past (ask Mom, she’d tell you that cucumber was one of the things i wouldn’t eat, along with carrots (which i still hate btw)) but i tried to snatch that cucumber out of his hand (I got glared at, but he relented and gave me a bit). I can almost feel my body going “oh GOD thankfully something GOOD!”.

I’ve been struggling with the diet the last week (yes, i know i’ve not written, and that’s a whole other thang). feeling that i’m not getting anywhere.. which i’m probably not. Period is due on monday, which won’t be helping any i think (the moment of truth is period day 2 when i weigh myself), but i can feel on my body that i’ve not lost any. although i’ve not gone off the rails big time, i’ve been cheating in little ways. bar of chocolate here, a danish there. The “Insulin resistance Diet” book didn’t help any either – although i can understand the basic principle of it (and its probably bang on the nail about me), i’m suffering from too-many-diet-books-in-a-short-space-of-time-ism aka being-afraid-to-eat-anything-ism aka feeling “oh sod it, if i’m going to be norty (i.e. a lowfat yoghurt) i may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb (i.e. a bar of chocolate).

which isn’t good at all.

What is clear though is that my body at least has enjoyed being on the real food, its doing it good. i’m obviously – failing moments apart – eating enough of the right things. got to cut down on the amount i’m eating, obviously. or do more of the bad word (begins with E. involves brightly coloured bad taste leotards or jumping around like a loony or moving so my face goes bright red, drips with sweat and i look like a jogging pink elephant).

*mutters and mumbles and resolves to get up early to head up to the allotments and see about getting one of them instead.*

lil tomatoesSpent this afternoon working in the garden and i have to say… i do feel much better for it (thanks to Michiel who gently prodded me out there). Most of the afternoon was spent on the tomatoes. I didn’t realise that sideshoots can grow back, and some of the sideshoots at the bottom, that i’d not seen, were very large, and it takes time to sideshoots dumped in the tyrecheck over 14 tomatoes plants!! I collected all the sideshoots up (some of which had actually flowered) and dumped them into the tyres i’d put at the top of the sweetpea/cane area, intending to fill it with compost and plant something in that. I may well still do that, but in the meantime i’m trying to put plant debris at the bottom so that it rots down and provides a little bit of compost. Still, you can see just how much i cut off the tomato plants, and how big some of those side shoots were in this photo. (as always, more photos behind the cut).


spicy fluffy pancakes


5oz plain flour / 3 oz wholemeal flour / 2 level tbsp wheat bran / 1 tbsp baking powder / 1/4 tsp salt / 1 tsp nutmeg / 1 tsp cinnamon* / 12 fl oz skimmed milk / 3 eggs / 2 tbsp veg oil / 2 tbsp sweetener / 1.5 tsp vanilla essence / fruit of your choice / yoghurt of your choice
* feel free to substitute the nutmeg/cinnamon for 2 tsp of mixed spice or other spices of your choice. Cardamon may be a good one, for example, if you wished to eat your pancakes with tinned drained mandarin chunks. you may wish to leave out the vanilla essence if it doesn’t go with your chosen spice. This recipe is a great one for experimentation!
1. combine the plain flour, wholemeal flour, bran, baking powder and spices in a largeish bowl.

2. in another bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oil, sweetener and vanilla essence with a fork or a handmixer (something to get the air in!).

3. pour the liquid over the flour mix and whisk with your fork, balloon whisk or handmixer till the mix is smooth.

4. heat a large nonstick pan (if you’re not confident about the nonstick, use a couple pancakes being cookedsquirts of lowfat cooking spray) to a low-medium heat (i used my cast iron fry pan) and spoon some of the batter onto the pan. You can opt for large pancakes (use a soup ladle) or small individual pancakes – use a large serving spoon – which is what i did. Wait till you see lil bubbles on the top of each pancake and the sides are turning a bit solid, (a couple minutes) then slide either a fishslice or a metal spatula to carefully lift the pancake, peer underneath, and if its brown, flip it over to the otherside. then cook for another minute or so.

5. serve with a selection of fruit with some yoghurt ontop. Maybe drizzle with some pancakes and fruithoney, or puree some other fruit to make a coulis and drizzle that ontop. Good combinations include: strawberries with a strawberry coulis combined with strawberry yoghurt (or a raspberry one for that matter); orange/mandarin pieces with cardamon flavoured pancakes, lots of honey, and some plain yoghurt; stewed rhubarb with an orange flavoured yoghurt, again with cardamon pancakes or even powdered ginger ones.

The great thing is that these can be frozen – in a single layer on a baking sheet, then put into bags once frozen (so they don’t stick together). To defrost, pop into the toaster or microwave and enjoy with fruit – so feel free to make some extra!! This recipe will make about 16 small pancakes.

3rd July 07


2nd July 07


1st July 07