June 8, 2017

Revenge of the Rainbow

Posted in June tagged , , , , , , at 11:46 am by viewfromthisdesk

It really is as sinister as the title suggests.

Yesterday I decided to have a non-rainbow breakfast.  I wanted to see how – if at all – I was affected by non rainbow foods, either physically or mentally.  I suppose I was testing to see if my attitude to food had changed, so buy eating something that I knew wasn’t brilliantly good for me, would I feel guilty or inspired to counteract it and run a marathon or something.

So I had hot cross buns for breakfast.  They smelt delicious in the toaster; the spices, the bread goodness.  Yummy.  And then paired with a layer of budget-supermarket-own-brand-Lurpak-type-product it was just heaven on a plate, I could not wait to just shove it into my face.

However, I have learnt to take my time over food and savour the different levels of senses.  It didn’t make a noise so I was entirely enraptured by the look and the smell before the taste.  It was beautiful.

My first bite.  My very first bite.  Oh my taste buds exploded with joy.  And then a crunch and a weird metallic taste and ….. pain.

My mouth was on fire.  The sensation in my mouth was horrid.


I had taken a chunk out of the inside of my lip.  It’s just over 1cm square which for someone with a delicate sized mouth like mine, is a fairly massive lump.

I’d like to say that the rest of my hot cross bun breakfast was left on the table whilst I tended to the medical emergency, but it was not.  I can say that hot cross buns with a blood coating are not tasty.

My lip yesterday swelled on the one side, it was super painful to drink hot tea or even warm tea so it was another water day and eating wasn’t fun so I just had cauliflower cheese for tea.  This morning, it’s less oozy and less frequently bleeding so hopefully it will heal up soon.

 

Will accept tubs of ice cream as sympathy and love.

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June 6, 2017

Rainbow Lessons Learned

Posted in June tagged , , , , at 1:10 pm by viewfromthisdesk

It’s difficult to know what this experience has taught me as I’ve just got random thoughts about it.

For starters, I did honestly think that I might lose weight by eating far more healthily but I didn’t.  Three days of mindful eating and I didn’t even see one pound off on the scales which surprised me.  It wasn’t the reason for doing it but it would have been nice to see a change in numbers.

Rainbow eating as a concept is to target a rainbow a day.  In order for me to to appreciate the theory of it all, I decided to try a rainbow a meal.  Otherwise I’d be doing beige plus some sides which wouldn’t exactly teach me anything.

When I went shopping that first morning, I was surprised how expensive it was to buy a trolley of fruit and veg.  But I have to remember that I’m taking the idea to an extreme.  Beige food is cheaper – a box of frozen chicken steaks that will do two meals is cheaper than a tub of blueberries for example.  I went shopping at what is considered a ‘budget’ supermarket, I can’t imagine what the cost would be if I shopped at a typical supermarket or at a farm shop.  The trolley full I bought on the Friday morning was almost the same amount as our weekly shopping budget and that’s not fun.  Aside from frozen veg that I already had in the freezer, this stuff also doesn’t last very long, and I hate shopping.  Rainbow eating over a longer period of time would result in more trips to a supermarket which is something I don’t want to entertain.

Money aside, I learnt that salad is boring without mayo.  Moving forward, a tub of coleslaw will be an investment and I’m sure it counts as something if I get a low fat low sugar version.

I was going to make a red cabbage side that even himself will eat.  It has orange juice, raisins and apple in it. That’s got to be a couple of colours for sure.  But the shop didn’t have red cabbage and I forgot it’s not the right season for that.  Purple as a veg colour is hard.

Sandwiches are boring without crisps.  I’m not sure sandwiches are really meals without crisps to be honest.

I was surprised that the first breakfast was so nice.  That mix of fruit with yogurt was delicious.  Going forward, porridge with mixed berries would cover three colours and if I found some nuts or seeds that would add texture.  I get super bored with food really quickly so I’d need to find something to keep changing the texture and presentation of food and I’m not sure I’ve got the imagination for that.

I really liked the sweet potato thing I did for tea on Saturday, it was easy to make and really tasty.  I will make it again for sure.  And not just because I’ve got another sweet potato in the veg rack.

Because I was eating so much veg and fruit, I noticed my meat consumption reduced.  It wasn’t intentional but just happened.  My besties will have opposing feelings about this.  The sweet potato dish for example is supposed to have bacon or a gammon steak chopped up into it, but I just used some left over pancetta from the salmon dish on Friday, so it wasn’t as much as the recipe suggested.  And when I was eating salads, I was happy with the raw nuts as protein.  Chicken is my favourite thing in the world and I’ve not eaten it at all over the three days.

Wearing jeans that I knew were tight made me more conscious about the amounts I was eating.  I didn’t have anything ‘treat’ over these three days – no chocolate, crisps, ice cream, biscuits or cake.   I can’t say that’s been particularly fun but it was part of the process.

As an experience, it was thought provoking and challenging and frustrating and fun all mixed up in a mad mixing bowl of food.  I had to plan ahead more and think about what I was having and allowing time to prepare and rest up.  Food was – to a point – more enjoyable but salads are my sticking point.  They’re boring and dry and I don’t want to feel like I’m eating cardboard.  Another massive issue is that I dislike cooking.  It’s a struggle for me, physically and mentally.  It hurts.  I get no pleasure from cooking.  I hate the fact I’ll wrestle with ingredients and kitchen space for an hour or more and within ten minutes of dishing up, it’s all gone.  I wish hubby would cook more but he won’t.  His idea of cooking is buying a takeaway on a Saturday night.  It’s tough.  I could really do with someone else cooking for me and then I’ll be more open to trying new stuff and I’d feel less angry about how making meals hurts so much.

What has been super lovely is the people that have found this blog and messaged me and told me that they’ve given it a go for a meal or a day.  The statistics have been bonkers.  The supportive comments have been amazing.  Maybe that’s what I need to focus on from now on?  Food rather than the health updates.

June 5, 2017

Day Three update

Posted in June tagged , , , at 11:46 am by viewfromthisdesk

Day Three was tougher than I imagined.  Sunday is the one day hubby is home so we usually have a massive list of jobs to get done.  It’s usually busy and productive.  But yesterday was wet and it meant that all the things we wanted to get done in the garden were difficult and all the house jobs I’d done on Friday and Saturday to keep distracted.  And I’d woken with a banging headache which I didn’t understand.  Doctor Google informed me that drinking eight pints of water was actually a Very Bad Thing.  Turns out, drinking too much water in one day is actually the same as not drinking enough and makes you quite ill.  Fatigue and headaches being the main symptoms.  Ooops.

So Sunday I was careful to keep my intake to three pints.  Which was more difficult than I anticipated.  I’d woken not feeling hungry again which is a bizarre concept for me.  I’m always hungry, always thinking about food and my next meal.  Food is used to celebrate, to cheer me up when I’m sad and to suppress emotions.  Hubby uses it as an apology.  Food is central to everything.

Lunch was a bacon sandwich filled with tomato and lettuce too.  I didn’t take a picture because you all know what a bacon sandwich looks like and equally, I didn’t have a whole rainbow in the meal.

Tea was lovely thought, I made vegetable cous cous and got all the colours in it except purple.  If I knew how to cook aubergines, this would have been a perfect rainbow.  I had a bowl of fruit afterwards so I got all the colours then.

There’s enough left over for me to have this again for tea so that’s something to look forward to.

I’m not sure what three days of rainbow eating has achieved other than making me realise it’s super hard to have purple in every meal.  I love beetroot but can’t have it every meal.  I need to think about this experience and reflect back.

June 3, 2017

Day Two, sponsored by Crayola

Posted in June tagged , , , , at 7:25 pm by viewfromthisdesk

Saturday I woke and I wasn’t hungry.  This is most unusual

Saturday has always been a day of food pleasure.  Breakfast would be pain aux chocolat from Lidl or something involving toast. Always carb centred.  The treat for the weekend.

I foolishly jumped on the scales.  In my head, eating well for one day should automatically result in a half stone weight loss but of course the scales showed no different to the day before.  I told you my relationship with food was twisted.

Saturday is also a day of chores, so I kept busy and drank water and just had zero desire to eat.  By half one I knew this lack of desire should be ignored.  Eating is a vital part of survival after all.

I didn’t want to take a picture of a sandwich.  That’s proper naff.  But I’m looking on this as accountability.  I could tell you I ate a sandwich but I might have secretly shoved crisps and chocolate in my face.  I’ve got to be honest and writing this is forcing that issue.


Not feeling hungry made this meal prep frustrating. But hey ho.

Red – tomato
Orange – carrot in sandwich
Yellow – pepper
Green – lettuce in sandwich
Blue – red cabbage in sandwich
White – spring onion
Tan – brown bread

Two things I learnt from lunch.
1 – a salad is boring without lashings of mayo.
2 – a sandwich is boring without crisps.

But I’ve also challenged myself in a different way, I’ve put on a pair of jeans that I’ve not been able to wear since before holiday in February.  I can do them up without too much issue and they’re snug but not cutting off circulation to legs.  I’ve managed to keep them done up until after tea.  And post-tea is always going to be a pyjamas and dressing gown kind of time anyway.

Tea was my favourite so far of the five rainbow meals that I’ve made, sweet and sticky stuffed sweet potato.  I used half the amount of maple syrup and double the amount of mustard and it was delicious.

Red – peppers
Yellow – peppers
Orange – sweet potato
Green – courgette
Purple – beetroot added post photo
White – mushrooms
Tan – raw cashews

Honestly, it was lush. And quite easy to prepare too. And I might have a small bowl of fruit in a bit if I feel the need but currently I’m super full.

A Colourful Day One

Posted in June tagged , , , , , at 1:06 pm by viewfromthisdesk

So, I survived Day One. Hoorah. All that fruit and veg didn’t kill me.

And I must apologise now. I think that people who take photographs of their food are proper wanky. I can think of nothing more self absorbed than a picture of your dinner.  And yet, I’ve fallen into that category.  I’m trying to justify it in my head by reminding myself that I need pictures for this blog, for people to interact with my challenge and help me.  But I still feel like a pillock.

You all saw my breakfast yesterday, it was tasty and pleasant and whilst my white element of natural yogurt wasn’t strictly accurate, there was no way I was putting banana in my face which is the only white fruit on the lists I’d found.  I figured natural yogurt was a good compromise because it’s good for gut bacteria.  And better than clotted cream in terms of nutrition.

I didn’t find lunch too much of a struggle either, I just made myself a reasonable bowl of salad stuff.  Fairly easy to throw together but I was reminded very quickly why defaulting to beige food is so easy.  Cutting and washing all these veg is hard work.  And I know you will be scoffing that line, what can be difficult about hacking up some items?  But I struggle with my hands, I find it difficult to hold stuff and giving me a sharp knife is a huge liability.  By the time I’d finished cutting stuff, three of my fingers had swollen, my joints were on fire and I really didn’t want to eat, I just wanted to cry and feel sorry for myself.  So this is an added dimension to the challenge for me; healthy eating without hurting myself too much.  I don’t agree with pre-prepared stuff, I think it’s lazy and expensive and a daft concept.  Plus, I’m too stubborn to give in.

So, this is lunch:

This was possibly more easy to do than breakfast.
Red/Pink – tomato
Yellow – sweet peppers
Orange – carrot (I dislike raw carrot massively, so this was a big thing for me)
Green – Lettuce and cucumber
Blue/Purple – Beetroot and red cabbage
White – Spring onions
Tan – Raw peanuts

I again, tried to eat whilst concentrating on my food.  I ate the carrots first because I really dislike raw carrots and I wanted to enjoy my meal, so I got those out the way quickly.  The rest was alright but afterwards, I felt like it had taken forever to eat, I was chewing my food so much more than usual and I was bored of eating by then end of it which is a new concept for me.

The evening meal was one I had to make that would suit both my new challenge and hubby’s need for feeding.  He’s tried to be supportive in this but ultimately, he is a boy and thinks that a comment along the lines of ‘I had a pint of cider, which is apples and therefore green’ is helpful.  Or ‘what colour is a cheese sandwich on white bread with salt and vinegar crisps?’

Neither of us are big fans of fish.  Not proper fish anyway.  We both appreciate it’s super good for us but we’re not bothered about it.

(As an aside, yesterday was apparently national fish and chip day in the UK and national donut day in Canada, why did I start Day One of Rainbow eating on this date?!!?)

But it was Friday and therefore it was fish for tea. This is what I made:

Red/Pink – Salmon.  Yep, it’s so good for us it counts on the rainbow scale, ours is wrapped in pancetta stuff to make it taste nice.
Yellow – corn
Orange – carrot
Green – green beans
Blue/Purple – was blueberries for pudding
White – potato
Tan – missing

I have to confess, I didn’t enjoy this meal at all.  I don’t enjoy fish, I eat it because I know I should.  I eat it because fish from the chippy isn’t the best decision.  And even hubby ate all the veg, the carrots were reluctant on his part and he flicked lots over to me but he did eat some.  I also struggle with the concept of potato being white.  Avoiding carbs is something I actively do when I need to shift weight and so having spuds is a weird thing for me.  I could have had cauliflower but the recipe for the roasted salmon has you bake the fish over the small new potatoes and so it had to be that way. On looking back, my day was gluten free and that doesn’t have good memories for me.

I’ve found myself drinking lots more water too.  I drink lots anyway but I made myself aware of amounts yesterday.  So one pint before breakfast, two pints between breakfast and lunch, two pints between lunch and the evening meal and then another one between the salmon and bedtime.  It may be excessive but water suppresses the hunger feeling.

I’m not going to say day one was easy but I bring my own personal issues to the challenge.  I’m certainly concerned at how beige my life had become but I have a bad relationship with food and beige is safe.  Safe but not good.