Archive for March, 2009

Blood test results

March 25, 2009

Can anyone translate this for me?

Serum lipids: total cholesterol level 4.0 mmol/L
serum triglycerides 1.8 mmol/L
Glucose level: serum random glucose level 4.6 mol/L (3.5-5.6)
Doesn’t mean anything to me but apparently translates as ‘cholesterol is fine, glucose is within normal range’. I hope the NZIS MA is happy with it.


For one day only – pigging out after the blood tests

March 19, 2009

I’ll have to go back to dieting after today because (a) I have to wait a week to see if my blood is ‘blood lite’ or ‘full fat, high sugar’ – till I have passed the the NZIS MA’s satisfaction, I can’t be too silly with food – I don’t want to be the cause of us not being allowed to emigrate.
(b) I still need to lose weight anyway.

Now that the plan is to go in September I could get down to a decent weight (just at the high end of okay) by then if I try really, really hard.

So what’s in the pictures?
Breakfast: Special K bar (in the car, after I no longer needed to fast) follwed by two hot cross buns in the office. No spread in them as I didn’t have any with me.

Mid morning: someone brought these in to the office – banana and malteser muffin. It was rather heavy and stodgy – not as tasty as the muffins I make!

Lunch: pasta with spinach and pinenuts (and oil – most of which Ileft at the bottom of the container – not a low-calorie lunch!)

Mid afternoon (really shouldn’t have needed it): hot cross bun and three sweets

Dinner: Jacket potato & mince (half with carrots, half as bolognaise)
I cooked the potatoes in the combi-oven – the fisrt time I’ve used that function in the three years or so I’ve owned it. They came out really well.

In the evening: the last of the choccies!

Special K day 4

March 12, 2009

If you think there is more food than usual in the ‘daytime’ shot that’s because there is. The plan was for me to go to the gym or swimming pool before work this morning. It didn’t happen that way (but that’s another story). I prepared ahead and packed some Nairn mixed berries oat biscuits to eat on the way there. I think exercising on an empty stomach would be stupid. I ate them almost as soon as I got to work. They were delicious.

Dinner may look unappetising but it was actually very tasty. My SO cooked this evening – although I had chosen and bought the meal. The sad, aneamic looking lump is a Marks & Spencer smoked haddock and bubble & squeak cake and was actually very tasty, with a good chunky texture. The instructions say fry or oven bake. Obviously I’m not going to fry it so in the oven it went. It looked undercooked to me when SO served it up, but it was hot inside so I guessed it was okay. I tasted really good.

I hadn’t planned on having potatoes but he’d bought some for himself so I asked for two small ones. I figure it’s what you put on them that does the harm. That, and wanting to eat way too many!

Oh, and I weighed myself this morning. I know conventional wisdom is that you shouldn’t weigh more often than once a week but I need to know that the regime is working. According to the scales I have lost three pounds since Monday. I doubt it. I don’t even feel one pound lighter. Waistbands certainly not looser yet. Still I’ll keep going for a bit and see what happens.

Special K Day 3 – shouldn’t it start getting easier now?

March 12, 2009

It’s certainly easy to pack my food bag for this diet. The same everyday. Adding an apple t my morning food – eaten on the way to work – has helped get me through the morning. Putting the blueberries and raspberries (taken out of the freezer the night before) on the luchtime cereal makes it more interesting and gives me a ‘sweet boost’.

I can’t go from lunch at 1pm to dinner at about 6.30pm with nothing in between so I’m having a small tin of pineapple rings in the afternoon. My choice of tinned fruit was governed by my having lots of small tins of pineapple in the house as I bought some at Costco. The small tin is enough to give me some extra food without being too much.

Dinner was a Marks & Spencer microwave meal. Not ideal but right now Ineed something that I can just throw in the oven or microwave and be eating very quickly. If I make my own food I will eat too much of it. It was nice enough. There was quite a bit of veg (25%) and the rice okay. The chicken tasted like chicken in all microwave meals – artificial. The sauce left a lingering chemical taste in my mouth later that evening. But I’ve had worse.

SO had been to Costco and bought, as well as a twin pack of Special K, some bananas, apples and a huge box of grapes. I can eat a standard box (400g?) of grapes in one sitting. Fortunately, this box was so big – 1.8kg (I just checked) – that I was able to just weigh out 200g to eat now as my brain, and even my tummy, knew that I could not eat them all at once so didn’t even think about trying to.

But now I have to start thinking about food for the weekend, and for Friday when we go to aqua aerobics straight from work and traditionally go the Chinese chip shop on the way home. I had toyed with the idea of making somekind of chicken and vegetable dish in the slow cooker, so it would be ready as soon as we got in on Friday. I’d asked the SO to get some carrots, and some mushrooms for the prawn stir-fry I’m planning for Saturday but he didn’t find any.

Limiting my food intake when I have to carry it away from the house is one thing; restricting my food intake when I’m at home with a full freezer, fridge and cupboards is a whole different story. I popped into M&S Food at lunchtime (there is one a couple of minutes walk from my office) and bought some spinach and three ‘Count On Us’ (ie diet version) beef lasagnes. Why three? they were three for £5 makeing the third one cost not a lot (I don’t remember the exact price of buying just one). I decided that we can have them when we get home from water aerobics on Friday. I’ll have to wait 40 minutes though (30 mins cooking plus time for the oven to heat up). I guess I could try setting the oven to come on so they are cooked when we get home. Then I realised that doing a 45 minute aqua aerobics class on about 400 calories is just not going to work. Should I have a meal at lunchtime and cereal after the class, I wondered? I decided that something hot to pop in the microwave at lunchtime was a must, and that I would still have a hot meal (the beef lasagne and spinach) after the class. I can still keep within the calorie limit. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Special K day 2

March 11, 2009

I remembered some fruit today (well last night, when I took the raspberries out of the freezer and the pineapple (not shown) out of the cupboard). I also put the cereal in a much smaller contain and it seemed to be more filling – it must be true that our eyes inform our tummies about how much food they think we are getting.

I was dismayed (probably too strong a word) to discover boxes of cakes in the office kitchen this morning, must be someone’s birthday. But I ignored them. They are not for me, I am dieting.

I had to get the bus to work as SO had an osteopath appointment at about 9ish. I knew that I woul dneed to eat before I got to work so put an apple in my bag. I then had the first lot of cereal once I got there.

I try to take my lunch break between 1pm and 2pm. That way the afternoon is shorter and home time seems to come more quickly. However, I was very busy today and barely had tome to stop. I too twenty minutes at 1.40 and had athe second lot of cereal with the berries that I have forgotten earlier.

During the afteroon I was quite hungry, but not as much as yesterday (well I had eaten more today – an apple and 60g of raspberries more) and kept drinking water.

This didn’t stop me from feeling hungry by home time (though not as badly as yesterday) and I had a can of four pineapple rings (which I forgot to photograph) just before I left the office for the 25 minute walk to SO’s office.

Dinner was more runner beans (I do like them) with a Marks & Spencer COU (Count On Us) sweet & sour chicken with vegetable rice microwave meal. I’d love to cook something instead but know that I will add too much oil or make too big a portion if I do. I’m sticking to prepared food for a couple of days and am looking forward to a home-cooked prawn stir-fry on Saturday.

Tuesday evenings is the pub quiz at our local and we go with our next door neighbour. I was going to have orange juice and diet lemondade but wondered ‘is there more calories in orange juice than lager?” So I had lager, but two halves instead of two pints.

When I got home SO asked me to cut him a piece of cake (left over from last week’s party). It smelled good but I resisted and had a tin of peach slices in juice instead.

Nutritional data:
Calories (kcal) 1351
Protein (g) 51.9
Carbohydrate (g) 222.6
Fat (g) 11.0
Fibre (g) 19.8
Fruit & Veg 10.5

I know it’s a marketing ploy, but maybe it’ll work for me ..

March 11, 2009

Dieting by eating (mostly) healthily for most of the time but eating too much and having ‘non-diet days’ far too often means that I have lost weight but very slowly. I need a quick fix.

I told my SO “I guess I’ll have to buy some Slimfast.”
“Or Special K” he said.

Well I don’t like milky drinks so cereal has to be better than slimfast.
The idea is that you have ‘a bowl of cereal for breakfast and another for either lunch or dinner with ‘a balanced meal’ for the remaining meal. I decided that I would have to add some fruit to that.

On Sunday I was in London visiting a friend and knew that I would not feel like, nor have much time to cook when I got back as it would be quite late. So, while waiting for my train at Euston I went into M&S and bought something for dinner (a delicious seafood curry and some parmienter potatoes with shallot butter). I also bought some fish cakes and a couple of calorie counted meals.

Diet started today. I took to work two separate 30g portions of Special K and a contianer with 250ml of semi-skimmed milk (125ml for each portion). I didn’t take anything else and forgot to take any fruit. 30g of Special K is not as filling as 30g of muesli and no where near as filling as 30g of porridge. Or maybe my scales were wrong and I had much less than 30g? I doubt it. Anyway, as usual when I’m in an office, I drank lots of water during the day – about two litres. I also had my usual two cups of tea (semi-skimmed milk, two sweeteners) – one when I woke up and one when I got home from work.

By ten to five I was ravenous. On the 25 minute walk from my office to my SO’s office I was cold and I was hungry. Whenever I said (whined) to myself ‘I’m hungry’ I changed it to ‘I’m getting slimmer’, then realised that all I was doing was conditioning myself to equating ‘getting slimmer’ with ‘hungry’.

In the car on the way home I reached for a cereal bar (we keep a box of them in the car as my SO often forgets to eat before/after the gym or is too busy to eat at work). Ironically, it was a Special K bar. I savoured every mouthful.

Dinner didn’t take too long to cook (I’d planned it that way). About 25 minutes, in fact. I had some of the parmentier potatoes left in the oven from yesterday (the package said ‘serves 4’ but those four must have had small appetites) and I left them in while I cooked the Orkney crab cakes. I cooked myself some runner beans to go with this (yes I know they are out of season but I can’t feel guilty about everything) and did peas for SO.

It was delicious and almost enough to keep my tummy happy and not too full before going for a one hour pilates class.

However, once home, I was soon looking in the fridge again. There were two M&S ‘Count On Us’ lemon mousses which had a ‘die by’ date of a couple of days ago. At 80 calories per pot I figured I could have one, and pressed the other on SO so I didn’t eat both.

While getting tomorrow’s food ready, and putting a tin of pineapple into my bag, I decided I could have a tin of pineapple now. After all, 250g of beans is not ‘five a day’.

Total nutrition for the day:
Calories (kcal) 985
Protein (g) 43.4
Carbohydrate (g) 138.8
Fat (g) 29.3
Fibre (g) 14.2
Fruit & Veg 5.5
Water (litres) 2.0