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A little housekeeping…

A change in the look of the site; if you’re still one of the traditional sort who visit the webpage.

I realised that my old one didn’t have an easy comment button. Hopefully this does…!

(more blogs to follow. I’m back!)

5:2 – commencing the journey

I hate diets. Even the word is painful. The fact that the first three letter spell die isn’t ironic in the slightest, because the mindset that I find myself slipping into (one of dejection and frustration at not being able to eat as I please) makes me feel as if I would rather die than engage in a painfully elongated diet process.

With intrigue and a little trepidation, I have researched and started (today!) the 5:2 diet. Most people seem to know what this entails, but for the uninitiated, you have 5 days of eating normally (well, within reason, less than 2000 calories if you’re female) and 2 days of the week (of your choosing) of ‘fasting’, where you don’t exceed 500 calories (women, 600 men). Seems so straightforward until you realise that there are calories in EVERYTHING. An apple: 50 calories. A banana: 100+ (my usual hunger-quelling snacks). Even breathing wastes calories (well, it doesn’t, but reading the books, it felt like it). It’s going to take some severe willpower and attentiveness on my part.

As a veggie, I’m sort of in a quandary: fasting for 2 days isn’t easy – I can’t bulk my meals out as easily as meat eaters. Egg features a lot on the menus, although at 75cals per medium egg (oh deity I’m counting everything already) I won’t be indulging in too many, too often. Many of the recipe books scream “eat an omelette for breakfast!”… I’m fasting on Mondays and Thursdays; therefore at work. Omelettes aren’t possible in work, oh no. I figured that if I documented what I ate here, it’d serve as a reminder for what breakfasts are possible!

I’m not going to tell you how heavy I am nor how much I need to lose; instead I’ll report any gains/losses and how the 2 fasting days are going for me. Fingers crossed….

In a vain attempt to motivate myself through this, I’m going to list out what I’m eating and see what I can conjur up on fasting days that actually curb some of the hunger pangs. So, today:

2x Kallo corn cakes (52cals)
2tsp Marmite (20cals)

Miso soup (29cals) (found in Whole Foods – a single portion to make a soup. Need to find better sources of Miso paste that won’t break the bank)
1x Kallo corn cake (26 cals)

Dinner will be a tofu and mushroom south Indian curry, from the marvellous Celia Brooks’ 5:2 Vegetarian book (147 cals) with a wholemeal pitta bread (138 cals, but I need some carbs).

Drinks:

Fruit teas in abundance. I have Lidl’s Very Berry Knightsbridge tea, and we found a Yogi Sweet Chilli tea in the local Whole Foods store, and several Twinings variations to try as well. They’re all 0 calories and many of the books suggest that drinking them can curb your hunger. I may become very bad and invest in Pepsi Max as I find that carbonated drinks tend to fool my stomach into thinking it’s had something, so I might commit the cardinal sin of resorting to fizzy; but not making it a regular habit – a last resort.

Allowance for at least one cup of tea with skimmed milk (how I always have my tea anyway – I like to taste the tea, not the milk!): 30cals

Total for the day (barring any slipups): 442cals.

As I posted this (10:45am), I was just beginning to feel hungry, but haven’t had anything other than a fruit trees and point of water. I’ll try and teach my body not to expect food quite so early in the mornings!

Girly Wit

For Christmas, I was given a desk calendar. I quite like them, tearing off a page each day, coupled with a satisfaction that the awful months are flying, but so are the better ones.

This calendar is inventively titled “women’s wit”:
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I therefore expected a mirthy, laugh-out-loud affair, providing me with a chuckle or few. Not too much to ask, I’m sure you’ll agree!

If the first two days are anything to go by, I’m going to be sorely disappointed this year:
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Yawwwwwwn…

I have, therefore, appropriately retitled the calendar:
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Oh, you’re one of those, are you?

There’s a word which, when uttered in public, makes many people shudder and cringe. A word that people roll their eyes at or snigger when in certain situations. I’m going to utter it now, just to see your reaction.

Ready?

(take a deep breath)

Vegetarian.

There. That wasn’t painful, was it? Well, try being one.

Since turning veggie (for health reasons) a few years ago, I’ve noticed the sheer discrimination that most restaurants and eateries display towards those not choosing (or unable to) eat meat. You know what? I’m growing rather tired of it.
Imagine going to a restaurant (and I’m assuming you’re a meat eater here, fellow veggies will sympathise) and having just a single option on the menu.

Worse, are fellow diner’s reactions: who seem bothered that they should have to consider the vegetarians when eating out. Don’t make it sound like a hassle: just spare a thought for the limited choice I will get whilst you bathe in the glory of indecision.

Imagine you’re hankering for a bacon and egg sarnie and you head off to a greasy spoon (café), only to be told “sorry, we only have sausages today”.  Imagine heading to The Fat Duck or Gordon Ramsay’s flagship restaurant to find just one item on the menu that you can eat?

I’m bored of it. I’m bored of restaurants being unimaginative and lacking creativity and thought where vegetarian food is concerned. My heart sinks every time I see “vegetable lasagne” or “goat’s cheese salad” (in fact, goat’s cheese anything) on a menu. If I’m lucky I might get a variation of a risotto (wooo) or maybe a pasta and tomato sauce (scraping the bottom of the Dolmio barrel here). Essentially being a vegetarian boils down to one of three things on a menu (and never three things, you know – it’s only ever one): risotto, lasagne or pasta.

Yawn, bloody yawn.

Why should I only have one item to choose from? What if my item contains something I don’t like (admittedly, there isn’t really anything I don’t like other than water chestnuts, but they’re not in anything much other than Chinese food). Why should I be subjected to yet another goat’s cheese pasta / (or pizza for the really lazy)/ risotto combination?

My meat eating fellow diners pore over choices of one or two white meat, and always at least two red meat choices. “oh, I don’t know what to have!” they utter in dismay, whilst I’ve opened the menu, glanced at the unimaginative item listed in front of me and closed the menu – all before they’ve even got past the starters.

I long for a day when there are as many vegetarian options on a menu as there are meat options. I long to struggle to decide. I long to want to try all of the dishes and be wowed by them all. The simple fact is, that unless a business lists itself as a ‘vegetarian restaurant’ (and by default loses any meat eating, vegetable-shunning customers unwilling to branch out from their steaks), I’m stuck with one or two choices at best. If a meat eater went to a restaurant and only had two choices at most, can you imagine the furore?!

I believe that every restaurant should offer one vegetable option for every type of meat and fish sold. However, lest I inconvenience some unimaginative and somewhat academically challenged chef, I’ll remain bored out of my skull, resigned to being an afterthought.

Why is there a turd on the motorway?

Driving to work over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a growing trend of brown cars appearing on the roads. It seems to be the new colour. Silver is so early 2000s, and the historical blacks, blues, reds and whites of the car world are still about… but this new brown seems to be very popular this year. It seems most prevalent in the German branded cars (we have a Volkswagen Beetle local to us in said colour that I keep seeing), but I’m questioning the desire of a driver to want to drive around in a brown car. Yes, people: brown! What sort of self-respecting person wants to turn up to work in a BROWN car?

Well, read on…

In the early 2000s, I graduated from university. I ended up working about an hour away from where I lived (blindly following what I thought was love at the time, don’t ask) and I needed a car that would safely get me to work for that hour’s journey. Short and simple, I bought the first car that I could lay my hands on. On the V5 (car registration document), it said it was red. Red, my arse (which is not, btw, in the interests of sharing). It was brown. BROWN, I tell you.

Well, technically it was maroon, but let’s not let a little rouge get in the way, eh?

When I took it to my new job, much mirth ensued. “You’re driving a BROWN car!” they cried. My new (well, not new; 6 years old, it was) car needed a name. Given the mocking of the poor thing, and my penchant for driving it up and down the motorway to work, it soon became known as The Flying Pooh. Pooh and I went everywhere, and by everywhere I mean that I racked up a significant number of miles in him. I’d drive 70ish a day to and from work, and then head to my parents’. I think Pooh and I even went to France once. He didn’t like the French though, so we swore never to go back.

In 2001, just 18 months after I bought him, I moved closer to my work, and was offered the chance to buy a friend’s car – which I jumped at. Pooh and I were to be parted, so to speak. All was not lost, however, as Pooh was passed to my sister for a minimal amount of money, and his workhorse-like status in our family thus continued. Pooh retired from the family in 2004, after clocking up nearly 60,000 miles in his time with us. His engine was still running like a dream, but he was slowly falling apart around the engine. Even things like his fast forward and rewind buttons on the cassette player (yes, he had a cassette! How 90s!), had fallen off.

When I drove him, I didn’t think about his colour. After all, you don’t really look at the outside of your car as you drive it, do you? In all the time we owned him I only found one benefit to having a brown car: he didn’t look dirty until he had a layer of filth upon him for six months. He just didn’t need a wash.

Yet I look at the brown cars of today, and note an absence of the red that Pooh had in him. These cars are proper mud, pooh brown cars, and it beggars belief why anyone would seriously choose a brand new car in that colour (these are all shiny 2012/2013 cars I’m seeing out there). Here’s a few examples:

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However, all they do is make me think of the original pooh brown car that’s out there, the dull-as-ditchwater Austin Allegro, with (on the early models) a ‘quartic’ square steering wheel:

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So go ahead and buy your brown cars, people; and why not buy yourselves a pair of flares and brown tweed jackets and tie dye tshirts at the same time?! Back to the seventies we go………..

Things I Say

So every time I say something random, I comment to L: “I should blog that”. She agrees. I forget. Until now…

I’m going to try and blog my randomness more. It’s what I do best, being random…

“That dog looks like a sheep” (it was one of those horrid looking dogs with a white woolly coat with a long rounded face. It looked like a lamb to me).

“What are those flowers?” (Pointing to L’s flowers that C got her whilst out with her gran one weekend. “Flowers” was the answer. I’m glad it’s not just me who has no idea)
This was followed by me saying “but you’re a woman, you’re supposed to know about flowers”. I got a look for that.

“The only way we were going to win Eurovision was with a spectacular stage show. Like with Bonnie Tyler shooting fireworks out of her lady bits or something”…

“We need mustard” (we’ve never bought mustard together. Ever. This was at 21:30 on a Sunday night. That’s when everyone decides that they need mustard, yes?)