Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Go me!

I slept badly last night, but was determined not to stop training the very second day, so I mainlined caffeine till had enough energy and not only did my 40 mins ellipticizing, but felt stronger and worked harder than I did yesterday. Might also have been because I was watching an episode of NCIS:LA, where yesterday it was a CSI:NY – more thinking, less action to get my legs pumping!!!

Yesterday we got agreement to buy an apartment in Reading. I haven’t lived in an apartment since Dallas, so this is going to be a big adjustment for me and I’m going to have to sell off loads of stuff. We’re months away from actually moving, so what does it say about me that today I went into Reading – and checked out a local gym and a yoga studio that I’m thinking of joining? I choose to feel it shows motivation and determination… I walked maybe 4 miles in total on top of the training, and got home for lunch almost an hour later than usual (so proud of myself for walking past 2 fish & chip shops while starving!) and really tired – I guess the caffeine wore off just then? My feet hurt too, which I guess shows how little I was doing while I was feeling sub-par.

Food today:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with gf toast

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Lunch: Roasted squash soup with most roasted squash and gf bread

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Dinner: GF Fake ‘Nandos’ – oven chips, gf roll, grilled halloumi & portobello mushroom marinated with garlic peri peri sauce, and coleslaw

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Snacks: 3 minute chocolate-pumpkin muffin;  clementine

Weight: 161 lbs

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Monday, 30 January 2012

On the mend

I managed to get on the elliptical today – and stay there for 40 mins. Exercising, not just staring slack-jawed at the TV screen Winking smile

Felt good to get sweaty again after a couple of weeks off. I also walked a mile, not exactly lots of effort but better than flat on my back, reading my kindle on the sofa!

Still a bit congested so I’m not pushing myself too hard just yet. Hopefully though that’ll be pass pretty soon – I don’t think I’ve had a coughing fit today, so that’s a good sign!

The down side though? HUNGRY all afternoon….

Food today:

Breakfast: Oatbran with cookies & cream whey, blueberries and soy milk.

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Lunch: Chicken vegetable soup with gf buckwheat sourdough bread

Dinner: Tofu Bolognese on brown rice spaghetti with a small side salad

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Snacks: Protein smoothie with frozen ‘exotic fruit’; soy yoghurt with berries;

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a few dried apricots

Weight:162 again. Told you I was maintaining way too high… Sad smile

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Eating at The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck is #5 top restaurant IN THE WORLD right now. Yes, the whole world… and it’s about 10 miles from where I currently live. If I’m honest, I (despite calling myself a foodie) was never really interested in going there because of all the talk about how Heston serves up weird meals made up of not-really-food ingredients, but M really wanted to and my attitude softened as I watched How to Cook like Heston too. That left the problem that it is virtually impossible to get a reservation there – our booking on Friday claimed the last table for 2 until April (at least on a Friday or Saturday). If that hadn’t been the case I would’ve tried to wait until I was no longer maintaining a weight at least 14lbs above my panic and get back on a diet weight…

One thing I did when making the reservation was add a comment that I was gluten-free – and I was very impressed by the way they looked after me! On arrival they checked the details of my intolerance – was I ok with oats, spelt, soy etc so that I could feel totally comfortable with eating every they had to offer. And in most cases, my course looked exactly like M’s, so I wasn’t left feeling like I had an inferior ‘compromise dish’!

Our table was booked at 1pm, and the website suggests allowing 3.5 hrs for lunch!!! That was an UNDERestimate!!! We didn’t leave till 5pm!

The meal…

I did take my camera but didn’t remember to photograph every course. Still, here goes…

1) Pre-lunch amuse bouche:  We each had what looked like one small ‘french macaron’  - a tiny mouthful with a beautiful, deep red shell with a creamy pale filling. The shell was beetroot, and the filling horse-radish cream – and I would not, could not have guess what a wonderful combination of flavours that would be!

2) 1st course: Nitro-poached Aperitifs. We had a choice of 3 flavours – vodka & lime, campari & soda, or Gin & Tonic. I had vodka & lime. The dry ice was used to poach a light cream to give it a crisp shell while remaining soft inside; the idea was to eat it in a single mouthful, where it would explode and instantly dissipate in your mouth, completely freshening the mouth with a burst of citrus.

3) Red cabbage gazpacho with Pommery Grain mushroom ice-cream. Beautiful, delicious, and again an incredible unexpected flavour combination!

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4) Jelly of Quail, Crayfish Cream, Chicken Liver parfait, oak moss & Truffle Toast. If I’m honest, this course looked beautiful but I didn’t like it. I’m not a fan of chicken liver (or any other kind of liver) and I didn’t enjoy the jelly of quail either, since the texture and flavours didn’t seem to, well, ‘gel’ for me!

5) Snail porridge. I was unsure about this course originally, but really enjoyed it. The porridge itself was delicious, and though I didn’t necessarily think the snails added a lot of flavour, they did offer a great contrasting texture that I liked a lot

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6) Roast foie gras. OK, see my comment about not liking liver…. and forget it, as this was great! The original dish came with a delicate crab biscuit, mine had a different biscuit and was absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted a bigger portion as the foie gras was incredibly rich and soft, but it was perfect in that serving size.

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7) Mock Turtle Soup. This course was full of theatre – and edible gold leaf! A bowl was placed on the table containing a turnip mousse, tiny chinese mushrooms and a dumpling. We were also given a cup of boiling water, and a ‘gold fob watch’ was dunked in the water to make a lovely stock which was then poured into the bowl to complete the mock turtle soup!

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8) Sound of the Sea. I really liked the sound of this dish, and if I’m honest, I was disappointed by it Sad smile The sashimi of tuna, mackerel and halibut was great, but I wasn’t keen on the foam or the tapioca ‘sand’ so the dish didn’t really excite me as a whole – though I liked the sound effects of crashing waves delivered through an ipod hidden in a conch shell!

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9) Salmon poached in liquorice gel – perfect salmon, accompanied by delicious artichokes and golden trout roe. I wouldn’t say the vanilla mayonnaise added much flavour, but that could be because the other flavours blew me away!

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10) Saddle of venison with beetroot soubise, risotto of spelt rice for me! and umbles. O.M.G. I was very much uncertain about the umbles as that’s offal and bluntly ewww. But, it was great! The risotto wasn’t a risotto so much as a savoury puffed rice with a hint of crunch, and it was excellent. The venison was the best venison I’ve ever had, possibly even the best red meat I’ve ever had, and if M had looked away from his plate for one minute I might have been forced to steal some of his – but he didn’t, until it was all gone!!!

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11) Hot & Iced tea. I have no idea how they did this, though I bet dry ice was involved somewhere. One cup containing both hot and iced tea – and the hot tea was actually hot, not warm, and the iced tea was cold, not just cook – an amazing sensation when drinking it, and the tea tasted great too!!!

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12) Tafferty Tart. This was the only course you could really tell was different for me than for M, as they’d combined the same flavours of caramelized apple, fennel, rose & candied lemon without the actual ‘tart’. It was amazing, and I loved the way each flavour could be distinguished separately while combining together brilliantly as well

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13) The ‘BFG’ – Black Forest Gateau. Mine looked exactly the same as M’s, and was absolutely to die for. It looked dense and rich, and the flavours were, yet it was light enough to eat after 12 other courses and over 3 hours of lunch!

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14) Whisk(e)y wine gums. I love wine gums but I don’t really love whisky (however you spell it!) This course consisted of 5 ‘wine gums’ flavoured with different whiskys from around the world (well, Scotland the US anyway). I could detect different flavours in the different gums, as opposed to just a general ‘whisky-ness’ but would’ve preferred them to be flavoured with wines given the choice.

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15) “Like a kid in the sweet shop” – a bag of sweets that could be eaten in the restaurant or taken home. I took them home, feeling slightly virtuous for waiting, but then ate them minutes after we got back without photographing them, so I guess I was no less piggy than most other people!!!

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M insisted on getting a cheese plate as well. I didn’t feel I had room for any myself, but when they brought the cheese they had 2 plates of crackers – normal crackers for M, gf ones for me – so I felt I had to show my appreciation. The crackers were so thin you could almost see through them and fantastically crisp while somehow still managing to hold the weight of small pieces of very good cheeses – fantastic!

I also managed to drink too much wine, but although the wine was incredible I don’t know enough about it to critique it in any way. I chose a Riesling Spatlese from Mosel and wanted to bathe in it… there was also a cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley, which was also great but I prefer white generally, and a delicious dessert wine as well.

I freely admit I was wrong not to be keen on the idea, as it was definitely an experience. Because they only offer a tasting menu and it doesn’t change I don’t expect to go back, but it was certainly memorable! For a better review and much better photographs, check out this site

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sniffle

I hab a code…

I was feeling under the weather for weeks before it descended on me like a ton of bricks, and now I’m acting like a man with man flu (apologies if there are any men reading this who believe they don’t get man flu Winking smile) and wallowing in the sore throat, runny nose, streaming eyes etc. I swear I don’t get like this when I have work to distract me, but because I’m at home all day just job hunting & flat hunting and sneezing, I’m letting it get me down and letting it stop me training (I can’t breathe through my nose…) as well as intermittently letting it stop me eating right…

Since I’ve been so apathetic lately there is probably no-one left out there, I’m just going to post a few photo’s of just some of the food I’ve eaten lately.  Most of it not remotely home-cooked – I’m getting out of the habit, but I do want that to change…

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Some (not nearly all) of it was relatively healthy…. not in the quantities I’ve been eating mind you…

By the way, on Friday I’m eating at The Fat Duck – that’s one meal I’m sure I WILL be posting about properly!!!

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Monday

To call Monday a struggle is a huge understatement. I guess taking a few days off is a bad idea in terms of getting motivated, plus of course reminding my body how sweet my tooth is these days. As the constipation continued I packed the fibre in yesterday (and it worked out in the end…). I also ellipticized and walked a very little – just over a mile. By dinner time I was quite full because of the psyllium husks, dried cherries & raisins etc. that I’d eaten mid-afternoon, so I cut back on dinner quite a bit.

Food:

Breakfast: No-oats cereal (with added whole flaxseeds and a dollop of Greek yoghurt)

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Lunch: Carrot – pumpkin soup with a turkey leg and some sauerkraut

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Dinner: Carrot-pumpkin soup with gf bread – no picture for this, just look above and replace the turkey & sauerkraut with 2 mini slices of home-made cheaty buckwheat sourdough bread

Snacks: 4.5 tons of dried fruit, fresh fruit & linseed-based gf bars purchased at the Borough Market (I bought 5 on Saturday, uh, they’re all gone Sad smile )

Weight this morning: 161.25lbs

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Monday, 9 January 2012

Sunday

Yesterday I did feel kind of motivated first thing, but then got hungry & let M talk me into going out for lunch one last time. The way he persuaded me – he volunteered to walk to a local pub restaurant (3 mile round trip) – which is enough of a rarity for me to go for it. He is so not a walker!!! I did try to pick light food and eat light later on as well though

Food:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs + egg whites with LF bacon

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Lunch:

Melon & fig salad

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Sicilian fish stew

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Orange & Cointreau jelly with pink grapefruit sorbet and citrus fruits

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Dinner: A turkey leg

Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit

Weight: 161.5lbs yesterday, and despite still being constipated today, 162 lbs today which I have no problem with after a weekend with 4 meals out!

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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Catch up–Fri & Sat

On Friday my brother came to visit us! The three of us went out to my favourite Indian restaurant for lunch, then he and I took at 3 mile post-lunch walk (on top of about 3.5 miles I’d walked earlier in the day) so although it wasn’t a very diet-y day, it was an active one – plus my lunch choices were mostly OK! It was a really nice relaxing day, and then he stayed overnight and the two of us went into London yesterday and walked for MILES!!! So far in fact that when he suggested finishing off by walking from Tower Bridge to Paddington I dug my (aching) heels in and insisted we went on the tube (which was no fun so I regretted that to a degree. Too many people, and really warm) We then all 3 went out for dinner as I’d been so busy planning where to go in London I’d forgotten to organise anything to eat afterwards!

We walked from Paddington to the Borough Market in Southwark, detouring to walk around Hyde Park and to hit Victoria for a very early & basic lunch. I really liked the market but it was absolutely jam packed by the time we got there, so next time I go I think I’ll tube it out there and walk back later on. As it was so crowded I took no photos at the market, but here are some from the walk…

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ETA : I just looked through these photos and realised they look like I took them on about 3 different days because the sky looks so different in a lot of them. I didn’t cheat, they were all taken yesterday by moi, with help from: The Sky over London

Food Friday:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, gf flatbread, and mushrooms dry-fried with fresh baby spinach

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Lunch: Salmon tikka starter

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Chicken shashlik main course

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Orange sorbet

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Dinner: Salad with a slice of defrosted GF lentil loaf

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Saturday:

Breakfast: No-oat cereal with berries

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Lunch: Omelette with hash browns

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Dinner: Clam chowder starter

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Chicken with marsala main course:

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NO DESSERT (even though the men did!!!)

And we then went home and watched Thor, and I didn’t eat any popcorn with it while my brother & husband did!

Weight Saturday: 161.5lbs. Didn’t weight this morning as I’m constipated – and have been for days now

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